Remember Clippy, the animated clip assistant in early 2000s’ Microsoft Office products we all grew to dislike? It’s been a long time since then. And even though Microsoft rather quickly realised users weren’t so fond of the animated helper, they got one thing right.
Software assistants are helpful. Sometimes, we do need guides or a helping virtual hand when using platforms or systems – something that can make different functionalities faster and more easily accessible to users.
However, we like non-intrusive virtual assistants that aid us in our day-to-day tasks and projects. And that’s what Microsoft is now trying to achieve: by resurrecting Cortana!
Cortana Is Returning
Cortana was first released in 2014 and saw some usage before being removed from certain markets in 2019. This year, Microsoft shut down their Cortana mobile app across the globe.
However, that doesn’t mean Microsoft has given up on the idea of making a great virtual assistant. On the contrary, Cortana is slowly starting to make a reappearance with the Scheduler by Cortana – right within Microsoft 365.
Your Smart Meeting Assistant
Let’s say you want to organise an all-hands meeting with your entire team. As you probably know, trying to find a time that suits several people can be a bit of a hassle. It’s usually a case of back-and-forth emailing to find a free slot.
The Meeting Scheduler by Cortana can help you. Simply send a copy of the meeting invitation to Cortana, and it will try to find a time that suits everyone best.
With conversational AI technology, Cortana recognises your language and automatically takes all text-based replies into account. So, for example, if you reply, “I’m only available Friday at 10AM”, it will understand.
Furthermore, it can also understand cancellations, wishes to extend to longer meetings and more.
On the outside, this new Cortana functionality looks like a simple service. But behind it, it’s an advanced piece of software that can help many organisations streamline their meeting bookings.
With the great innovation in AI and machine learning going on, not to mention the rollout of Microsoft Viva, a helpful virtual assistant is in many aspects the missing piece in any Employee Experience Platform.
Microsoft demonstrates how small things like this meeting scheduler can streamline life for organisations. Scheduling meetings shouldn’t be difficult – and using software to help you automate the important aspects of meetings is very interesting for many professionals.
Want more information about Scheduler by Cortana? Contact us today!