Thursday, October 21, 2021

Microsoft Named a Leader in IDCMarketScape for WW General-Purpose Conversational AI Platforms

Microsoft is named a leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide General-Purpose Conversational AI Platforms 2021 Vendor Assessment (October 2021)


Source: "IDC MarketScape: Worldwide General-Purpose Conversational AI Platforms 2021 Vendor Assessment", By: David Schubmehl & Hayley Sutherland, October 2021, IDC # US47354421


The IDC MarketScape says Microsoft is “a strong vendor if you use a combination of code and low/no code tools to develop conversational AI scenarios, especially if you are a large enterprise looking for a broad set of cloud-based services for building and deploying conversational AI”. You can download a complimentary excerpt.


Microsoft offers both software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) options for building, training, deploying, and managing conversational AI across a wide range of channels.

  • Power Virtual Agents, Microsoft’s SaaS offering, provides a web-based intuitive graphical interface and enables all makers to build conversational AI solutions without having to managing the underlying infrastructure.
  • Azure Bot Service, Microsoft’s PaaS offering, allows pro developers to build virtual assistants through both visual and code-based interfaces.

The IDC MarketScape recognized Microsoft as a leader in general-purpose conversational AI platforms who provides a broad set of SaaS and PaaS services, the ability to give voice-based assistants custom voices and variety of languages, as well as overall engineering expertise in conversational AI.

Let’s take a closer look at the capabilities that Power Virtual Agents and Azure Bot Service offer

Power Virtual Agents

  • Build bots faster, easier - make, test, and publish bots with an intuitive low code UI, automated workflows with 450+ prebuilt data connectors, and rich AI. Deploy to multiple channels and extend with code to accelerate developer velocity.
  • Secure and scale with trust - monitor, manage and improve bots with prebuilt analytics and a unified admin center to maintain enterprise-grade compliance and governance.
  • One platform, unlimited innovation – leverage the broader Power Platform and Microsoft cloud including native integration with Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 Customer Service.

Azure Bot Service:

  • Accelerate bot building with Azure Bot Service Composer - start from a template and use a visual, open-source authoring canvas. Extend and customize the conversation with code when needed.
  • Add natural language, speech, and vision - infuse your bot with the high-quality AI capabilities of Azure Cognitive Services.
  • Deploy to popular channels with minimal code changes - build once and deploy your bot to more than 13 channels to reach customers.

As organizations increasingly empower fusion teams of subject matter experts and pro developers to partner together to build and manage bots, Microsoft is working hard to ensure that SMEs – using Power Virtual Agents – and pro developers – using Azure Bot Service Composer – can collaboratively build intelligent bots. For example, the integration between PVA and Composer enables SMEs to start building bots with PVA’s graphical interface and deploy them quickly to the channel of their choice. When needed, pro developers can extend those bots with Composer to create custom dialogs that handle interruptions, cancelations and context switching – all within PVA’s SaaS environment.  Furthermore, we have also announced capabilities to allow both PVA and Azure Bot Service to be used as skills bidirectionally. For example, Azure Bot Service bots as a skill can be used with PVA hosted bots, and PVA bots as a skill with Azure Bot Service bots (preview).  This allows customers to ensure that they can use the tools that best work for their unique needs.

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