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Google sounds alarm on Microsoft’s AI dominance with Copilot chatbot for finance sector

Microsoft will release a Copilot chatbot that will perform key tasks for finance professionals

Google Cloud has launched a barb at Microsoft, alleging that the competitor is moving to establish a monopoly on cutting-edge technology like generative artificial intelligence.

Microsoft, which holds a sizable share of the cloud computing business, recently partnered with OpenAI to advance its AI development in general.

As a result, regulatory agencies in the United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union are now paying more attention to this.

“Creating a whole walled garden” is Microsoft’s goal.

Declaring, “We worry about Microsoft wanting to flex their decade-long practices where they had a lot of monopoly on the on-premise software before and now they are trying to push that into the cloud now,” Google Cloud President Amit Zavery recently voiced his concerns about Microsoft’s hold on the market.

“Therefore, they are building this entire walled garden, which is entirely under Microsoft’s ownership and control, and customers who wish to do any of this stuff must go to Microsoft exclusively,” the senior official continued further.

Zavery went on to say that customers were forced to use only Microsoft products because of the Azure cloud platform and that authorities have to intervene before the cloud behemoth creates “long-term problems” in other sectors of the economy.

The President of Google Cloud alleged that Microsoft was using its market dominance to pick its competitors by carefully selecting vendors in a way that could either make them successful or fail.

During the Mobile World Congress 2024 in Barcelona, Microsoft’s President Brad Smith delivered a jab at Google by stating, “Today, only one company is vertically integrated in a manner that includes every AI layer from chips to a thriving mobile app store.”

“We have listened to and worked constructively and directly with independent cloud providers to change our licensing terms, addressing their concerns and providing more opportunity for them,” said a second Microsoft representative, during an interaction with the Tehcradar, in response to the criticism. More than 100 cloud service providers have already benefited from these adjustments globally.

Microsoft Continues Its AI March

Microsoft will release a Copilot chatbot that will perform key tasks for finance professionals. The software company will first offer the tool in a public preview, followed by revealing the product’s pricing details.

Business software providers like HubSpot and Salesforce are trying to induct generative AI in their existing product line-ups. It all started with OpenAI launching ChatGPT in 2022, which can spit out natural-sounding text or other content with a few words of human input.

And now, taking the game to the next level, Microsoft, the principal investor of OpenAI, is going to bring Copilot chatbot tailored for finance professionals.

“We want every one of the departments to be enabled and enriched with a Copilot,” Charles Lamanna, a Microsoft corporate vice president, said in an interview with CNBC.

Microsoft already has a Copilot for general-purpose industrial use in Office applications, and it has further released Copilots designed for sales and customer-service workers.

The “Copilot for Finance” will initially run a variance analysis, reconcile data in Microsoft Excel and then speed up the collections process in Outlook.

“The software can draw on information stored in SAP and in Microsoft Dynamics 365. Additional features will come to the finance Copilot later this year,” Lamanna stated further, while adding, “The Japanese advertising agency Dentsu will use the Copilot for finance tasks.”

Microsoft’s in-house finance department reportedly provided input into the development of the new Copilot, while noticing “some early benefits” of the tool after using it.

“Comparing data taken from different systems is something every finance team on the planet does a lot of,” said Cory Hrncirik, modern finance lead in Microsoft’s office of the chief financial officer, while interacting with CNBC.

“A couple of thousand people on a financial planning and analysis team each spend one or two hours doing reconciliation each week, and with the new Copilot, that takes more like 10 or 20 minutes per week,” he stated further.

“The idea is to help these employees spend fewer hours on tedious tasks and provide time for more engaging work that can contribute more to the company. But Microsoft’s finance employees aren’t required to use the new Copilot,” Hrncirik continued further.

“If many finance professionals in a given company take advantage of those automations, though, the company might be able to close its books more quickly. That is one of the big pitches for CFOs,” Lamanna concluded.

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