Build 2019: Microsoft announces updates for the Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise

Laurent Giret

Microsoft has announced some important updates for its Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise at its Build 2019 conference today. The new platform to build company-specific skills for Cortana was first unveiled at the company’s Ignite conference in September, and it’s still available in limited private preview.

With the Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise, businesses can build custom skills for their employees available in Cortana on Windows 10. These company-specific skills can transform mundane tasks such as checking vacation balances, creating service tickets, and other company-specific tasks into conversational experiences.

“Since Ignite last year, we have further improved the development experience and added additional deployment and management controls based on customer feedback,” the company announced today. Here are two important updates that Microsoft announced for the developers building customized Cortana skills, as well as the IT admins managing their deployment:

  • We have improved the developer experience by enabling multiple developers in a team to edit and manage the Cortana channel registration configuration for the bot. With this feature, teams can access and make changes to the skill registration without waiting for the creator of the skill.
  • Enterprises often need to restrict usage of skills to certain groups or departments within the organization to ensure information is available to appropriate employees only. For example, sales team might want to deploy “Sales Agent” to people within Sales department only. With improved manageability, IT Admins can now deploy enterprise private skills to security group/s of users. Thus, enterprises can now limit the discovery of skills to a limited group of users, collect feedback, improve the skill and then deploy to entire tenant if required.

The Cortana Skills Kit is currently available through Microsoft’s Technology Adoption Program, and since launch it has already been adopted by companies in various industry sectors such as retail, manufacturing, IT Services, healthcare, and more. “Organizations are now better equipped to help their employees focus on their priorities and rely on Cortana to take care of the rest,” the company said today.