Why Microsoft is building Cortana for business interactions
Andrew Shuman, corporate vice president for Cortana discusses how the smart assistant has pivoted since it was originally introduced five years ago.
At Microsoft Ignite 2019 in Orlando, TechRepublic’s James Sanders spoke with Cortana corporate vice president Andrew Shuman about the ways Cortana is evolving for business use. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Andrew Shuman: If I think about where Cortana is now, we’ve really been on a journey the last year to think harder about how an assistant can be truly helpful for you–the end user–in your day and day out life. And so we focused a lot on thinking about places where we knew a lot about users already.
Thinking a lot about the M365 users–the several hundred million users where we understand who they communicate with, the projects they’re working on, the documents they’re processing, the tasks that are on their list, how they spend their time. And leveraging that signal to be truly intelligent and truly helpful, I think is the key focus we’ve had for Cortana now. Because if you think about it, you need to know a lot about a user to be able to be assistive. The best real life assistants know you well, and that’s where we’ve really taken Cortana now.
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I think one of the things that we’re really trying to emphasize today is to talk about M365 and how it becomes much more intelligent, and knows you really well. There are great features across the suite that really demonstrate that. There are instances where we’ll choose to call a feature Cortana because we think it helps to be a personified assistant, one that you can perhaps…