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Microsoft 365 Copilot – The Next-Generation AI For Every Business


Note: This article was first published in May 2023, and was updated in March 2024 with the latest information available.

On 16 March 2023, Microsoft announced that they're bringing next-generation AI  technology to your day-to-day work, with the introduction of Microsoft 365 Copilot. By combining the power of large-language models (LLM) with your data in the Microsoft Graph, Microsoft 365 apps, your very own words is transformed into the most effective productivity-enhancing tool you can hope for.

Microsoft 365 Copilot enables an entirely new way of working. Source: Microsoft

Microsoft has integrated Copilot into Microsoft 365 in two different ways. The first way is by embedding it into the Microsoft 365 apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams.

The second way in which Copilot has been integrated into the suite is through the new Business Chat feature. It works across the LLM, apps, and your data (as contained within your calendar, emails, chats, documents, meetings and contacts) so that you can do things that were unheard of until now.

For example, type “Tell my team how we updated the product strategy”, and Copilot will produce a status updates that’s based on the morning’s meetings, emails, and chat threads. With Copilot, you’re always in control, and you can be more creative, analytical, expressive, productive, and collaborative with Microsoft 365 apps than ever before.


What Are Some Add-ons And Standalone Solutions You Can Integrate With Office 365 To Support Your Finance Function? Click Here To Find Out More.


How Microsoft 365 Copilot Will Transform Work

MS365 Copilot 1
Copilot will help you unleash your creativity, unlock your productivity, and uplevel your skills. Source: Microsoft

Here are the three main ways that Microsoft 365 Copilot will transform the user experience at work;


Unleash Creativity

You can jump-start the creative process with Copilot, and never have to start from scratch again. You can edit and revise a first Word draft that Copilot provides, saving hours of writing, sourcing, and editing work.

Copilot will occasionally be incorrect, but can still be helpful in moving you forward. As the author, you are in complete control as you advance your original thoughts while Copilot edits, revises, or provides input.

With a straightforward prompt and the addition of pertinent content from a document you created beforehand, Copilot enables you to easily produce stunning presentations in PowerPoint. And with Copilot, you can quickly evaluate trends and produce polished data visualisations in Excel spreadsheets.


Unlock Productivity

We all want to concentrate on the 20% of our work that is truly important, yet 80% of the time is spent on busywork that drains us. Copilot greatly eases the burden of busywork from you.

Copilot makes it possible for you to swiftly compose suggested responses and summarise lengthy email conversations in Outlook, and allows you to clear your inbox in minutes rather than hours. And every Teams meeting becomes more fruitful than before, thanks to Copilot summarising key debate topics – including who said what, and where participants agree and disagree – and proposing action items in real-time.


Here’s A Quick Refresher On How Microsoft Teams Enables Communication And Collaboration Between You And Your Team Members On Any Project.


With Copilot, anyone can use Power Platform to automate tedious chores, build chatbots, and turn an idea into a functional app in a matter of minutes.

GitHub developers report being 88% more productive, 74% able to concentrate on more fulfilling work, and spend up to 77% less time looking for knowledge or examples when using Copilot.

But Copilot boosts more than just one person's productivity. It develops a new knowledge model for every business by utilising the enormous data and insight pool that is currently mainly inaccessible and underutilised.

Business Chat utilises all of your business data and apps to uncover the details and insights you require from a sea of data, allowing knowledge to move freely throughout the company and saving you important time spent looking for solutions. Business Chat can be accessed from Teams, Microsoft, Bing, and other places.


Uplevel Skills

Copilot enables you to be better at your existing strengths, and learn new skills more rapidly. Before Copilot, end users only use a fraction - such as "animate a slide" and "insert a table" - of the thousands of commands available in Microsoft 365. Now they can access all that sophisticated functionality with only everyday speech, and that's just the start.

Copilot will significantly alter how both humans and machines interact. There is a learning curve with every new pattern of work, but those that embrace it will quickly gain an advantage.


Enterprise-ready AI With Microsoft 365 Copilot

MS365 Copilot 2
Copilot is ChatGPT made enterprise-ready. Source: Microsoft

Microsoft is in a unique position to offer enterprise-ready AI. Copilot is more than OpenAI's ChatGPT integrated into Microsoft 365. Behind the scenes, a highly developed processing and orchestration engine combines the power of LLMs, including GPT-4, with the Microsoft 365 apps and your company's data in the Microsoft Graph, which is now open to all users via natural language.


Grounded In Your Business’s Data

AI-powered LLMs are trained on a sizable yet constrained corpus of data. Connecting LLMs to your corporate data in a secure, compliant, and privacy-preserving manner is the key to unlocking productivity in the workplace.

Your content and context in the Microsoft Graph are both instantly accessible to Microsoft 365 Copilot. This entails that it generates answers anchored in your business content—your documents, emails, calendar, chats, meetings, contacts, and other business data—and combines them with your working context—the meeting you're in right now, the email exchanges you've had on a subject, the chat conversations you had last week—to deliver accurate, relevant, contextual responses.


Built On Microsoft's Comprehensive Approach TO Security, Compliance And Privacy 

All of your business's critical security, compliance, and privacy rules and procedures are immediately carried over by Copilot once it is integrated with Microsoft 365.

Copilot is the AI solution you can trust thanks to features like two-factor authentication, compliance restrictions, privacy safeguards, and more.


Designed To Protect Tenant, Group And Individual Data

Customers like yourself are worried about data leaking. Because of this, your tenant data or your prompts are not used in the training of Copilot LLMs. Microsoft's tried-and-true permissioning architecture within your tenant assures that data won't leak across user groups.

Additionally, Copilot uses the same technology that Microsoft has been using for years to encrypt client data, to only show information that your end users may access on a personal level.


Integrated Into Microsoft 365 Apps

Microsoft 365 Copilot is integrated in the productivity apps— Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams etc. – that millions of people use and rely on every day for work and life

With a single design language for prompts, adjustments, and commands, an easy and consistent user experience makes sure everything looks, feels, and behaves the same way in Teams as it does in Outlook.


Designed To Learn New Skills

The foundational skills of Microsoft 365 Copilot are a productivity game changer. Using the unique content and context of your business, it can already create, summarise, analyze, collaborate and automate. However, it doesn't end there.

Copilot can convert a Word document into a PowerPoint presentation by using commands within and across apps (e.g., "animate this slide"). Additionally, Copilot is made to pick up new skills.

Copilot can, for instance, learn how to link to CRM software. in order to pull customer information - such as interaction and order histories - into communications. It will become increasingly capable of handling more complex tasks and questions, as it builds on its knowledge of new domains and processes.


Microsoft 365 Copilot Is Now Generally Available To SMEs

Microsoft first announced the general availability of Microsoft 365 Copilot for enterprise customers on 1 November 2023. It was initially available for purchase with a 300-seat minimum, priced at US$30 per person/month.

Based on feedback from its customers, Microsoft subsequently made Copilot for Microsoft 365 generally available to small businesses on 15 January 2024. Now, Microsoft 365 Business Premium and Business Standard customers are eligible to purchase between 1 to 300 seats. Copilot will also be made available for Office 365 E3 and E5 customers as well.

Additionally, Microsoft will be continuing to add even more features to Copilot over the next few months. These include;

  • Copilot GPTs - Allows you to customise the behaviour of Microsoft Copilot, when it comes to a topic of particular interest to you. Users will be able to create their own Copilot GPTS using the Copilot GPT Builder. 
  • Copilot Mobile App - Now available for Android from the Google Play Store, and for iOS from the Apple App Store. It will include the same capabilities of Copilot on your PC including access to GPT-4, Dall-E 3 for image creation, and the ability to use images from your phone when chatting with Copilot.
  • Copilot in the Microsoft 365 Mobile App - You can also access CopilotWe’re also adding Copilot to the Microsoft 365 mobile app for Android and iOS for individuals with a Microsoft account. 

In the meantime, if you'd like to know how you can leverage the existing collaborative power of Microsoft Office 365 for your benefit of your business, contact us to help you out with any questions you might have about Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity suite.

Otherwise, to learn how Office 365 can boost the teamwork and productivity of your workforce in even more detail, click the image below for an insight of the features and functionalities that Microsoft’s collaboration apps and features can offer. 


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