Microsoft Launches the Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform

Microsoft today launched the Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform, an open and extensible platform that combines technologies from its Dynamics 365, Teams, Power Virtual Agents, Azure, and Nuance Communications lines.

The full lineup of products that form the basis of the Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform include Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Azure Communications Services, Nuance's Digital Engagement Platform, Power Virtual Agents, Nuance Conversational IVR, and Azure Active Directory. The addition of Nuance, which Microsoft acquired last year in a blockbuster $19.7 billion deal, brings conversational AI, security, and automation to the contact center. 

The Digital Contact Center Platform empowers agents with artificial intelligence and other tools, including next-best response recommendations, sentiment analysis, and universal desktops.

Microsoft is partnering with leaders in contact center infrastructure and systems integration, including Accenture-Avanade, Avaya, Genesys, HCL, NICE TTEC, EY, Hitachi, KPMG, PwC, and TCS.

Charles Lamanna, corporate vice president of business applications and platform at Microsoft, said in a blog post earlier today that the platform equips contact centers "with modern digital tools to engage customers across voice, video, and other digital engagement channels."

The platform brings together AI that powers self-service experiences, live customer engagements, collaborative agent experiences, business process automation, advanced telephony, and fraud prevention capabilities.  

With the platform, companies can do the following

  • Resolve customer needs with customer self-service and automation;
  • Connect customers to virtual and live agents with the best-suited skills, experience, capacity, and availability;
  • Provide agents with AI-powered recommendations;
  • Deliver hyper-personalized omnichannel service across voice and digital channels, including social messaging platforms;
  • Provide richer service engagement with Teams voice and video embedded within Dynamics 365 Customer Service;
  • Enable agents to increase conversions and drive upsell through real-time, personalized offers backed by predictive targeting; and
  • Create chatbots equipped with conversational AI to converse with customers across channels.

The Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform also includes biometric authentication, identification, and fraud protection, customer journey analytics, and conversational analytics providing instant visibility into trends across engagement channels. It also enables next-best response recommendations, sentiment analysis, AI-recommended knowledge articles, intelligent case swarming, and more. It brings information, people, and insights directly into the flow of work with Context IQ.

"Agents can view a real-time call transcript, see the customer's details, recent cases, and suggested knowledge articles and similar cases to help resolve customer issues more quickly," Lamanna said.

The platform is also cloud-scale and elastic to accommodate seasonal or surging demand. It automatically adjusts to changes in contact volume, agent counts, wait times, and service levels without performance impact.

"We recognize that the complexity and cost of upgrading technology can hold back innovation required to transform customer service from being a cost center to becoming a revenue driver. The open nature of our platform enables companies to build on what they already have and easily add any combination of capabilities they need to take their contact center to the next level," Lamanna said.

Industry insiders also see the value in Microsoft's move. 

Brian Steele, vice president of product management at, says Microsoft's contact center update "leans into the importance of integrating conversation intelligence into the evolving sales process and comes at a critical time of high turnover of representatives in call centers.”

It also "showcases the growing significance of AI for the sales industry as a whole and demonstrates the power of conversation intelligence in keeping sales representatives engaged with their customers," Steele adds. "Customer loyalty has become even more critical as we enter a time of economic challenges and high demand for customer service, and the updates to the Microsoft Digital Call Center, including real-time sentiment analysis and strategy, aim to improve call center communications and engagement from all sides. Conversation intelligence platforms have proven to help sales reps gain more confidence, see faster results, streamline sales funnels and encourage empathy during sales calls."