Microsoft targets optimised supply chain investments with new platform launch

Microsoft has announced details of its new Supply Chain Platform, which it says has been designed to help organisations optimise their supply chain investments. 

The framework pulls together Microsoft AI, collaboration, low code, security, and software as a service (SaaS) applications into a single platform that takes advantage of Microsoft Cloud’s full capbilities.

As part of the announcement, the tech giant also detailed the new Microsoft Supply Chain Center – now in preview – which will provide users with a command hub that natively works with existing supply chain management data to provide supply and demand insights, and order management.

“Enterprises are dealing with petabytes of data, spread across legacy systems, enterprise resource planning programs (ERPs), and custom solutions, resulting in a fragmented view of their supply chain,” said Charles Lamanna, corporate vice president of Business Applications and Platform at Microsoft, in a blog post

“An organisation’s supply chain agility and resilience will be determined by how they can connect their data and orchestrate actions across all relevant systems to quickly respond to changing market conditions.”

With the new platform, partners will be able to create integrated solutions that harness Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Teams, as well as Power Platform for custom workflows, data reporting, and applications that connect to existing supply chain systems.

Microsoft Dataverse will also enable users to create hundreds of data connectors that will offer visibility across their supply chain. 

Operating at its core, the new Supply Chain Center will streamline data from existing supply chain systems such as Dynamics 365 and other ERP providers such as SAP and Oracle.

The offering’s Data Manager feature will provide visibility across the supply chain, while pre-built modules tackle supply chain disruptions across supply and order fulfilment. 

A dedicated supply and demands insights module uses advanced Azure AI models to predict upstream supply constraints and shortages, allowing organisations to perform simulations to predict potential future scenarios such as stock shortages. 

An order management module orchestrates and automates fulfilment to help businesses meet future order volumes and complexities using pre-built connectors to specialised technology partners for order intake, delivery, and third-party logistics services.

Alongside those features, there is also Microsoft Teams integration for swift collaboration with external suppliers, as well as partner modules to help unlock specific solutions. The new supply chain framework will also help businesses reduce their carbon footprint, Microsoft said. 

“We believe supply chain agility is critical to persevere in today’s economic climate,” said Lamanna. “This means understanding and taking real-time actions based on supply chain data, securely and with sustainable business practices. We’re excited to deliver on this first step in our commitment to reimagine the supply chain with our customers and partners.”

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