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10 Key Takeaways From Microsoft Execs On Cloud, AI And Windows

Kyle Alspach and Gina Narcisi

AI Is A 'Complement,' Not A Product

In April, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella contended the company is surpassing cloud competitors by offering a greater number of artificial intelligence services "than any other cloud provider." Nadella cited offerings such as the Bot Framework, used for integrating chatbots, which has attracted more than 300,000 developers. Microsoft executives who spoke with CRN, however, emphasized that AI isn't a product for partners to make money from, per se. "It's not that a partner would make money on bots -- the partner would complement their services or their application with a bot," said Eduardo Kassner, CTO and chief innovation officer for Microsoft's One Commercial Partner organization. For instance, a basic way to get started is to integrate a FAQ bot to provide support on a website in lieu of adding a call center, he said. "AI is a complement. AI is an addition," Kassner said. "It's not [selling] AI -- it's [doing] what you're doing enhanced with AI. And so that's when it gets really tangible. Some of the best scenarios you see are where it's not AI beginning to end. It's when somebody's trying to do something, and AI enhances the quality of it."

 
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