Monday, 28 August 2023

What is Microsoft Copilot? And is it something my business needs?

Microsoft’s latest announcements around Copilot suggests big plans for this technology. But what does it mean for users? And should you be deploying it?

Microsoft’s latest announcements around Copilot, its new flagship AI solution, suggest the technology giant has big plans for this technology. But what does it mean for users? And is it something your organisation should be deploying?


What is Microsoft 365 Copilot?

In March this year, Microsoft announced a new solution that it would be rolling out to users across its Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 business applications. Microsoft 365 Copilot is designed to bring artificial intelligence to the business apps used by millions every day so that it can make work easier. 


What can Microsoft Copilot do for users?

Microsoft will be bringing Copilot to all its productivity apps – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, Viva, Power Platform and its CRM and ERP solutions.

Microsoft shared a number of examples to explain how AI might help users’ everyday work in practice:

•    In Word, Copilot could create a first draft for you, bringing in information from across your organisation as needed.

•    Copilot in Excel works with you to help analyse your data. It will reveal correlations and suggest new formulas based on your questions. 

•    Copilot in PowerPoint can help you create presentations. It can transform existing written documents into decks complete with speaker notes and sources. 

•    In Outlook, Copilot can summarise lengthy, convoluted email threads with multiple people to understand not only what has been said, but the different viewpoints of each person and the open questions that have yet to be answered.

•    Use Copilot in Teams to run more effective meetings, by getting everyone up to speed on the conversation, organise key discussion points and summarise follow-up actions. 


Is Microsoft Copilot something your business needs?

For Microsoft, AI is the future. It seeks to “move quickly and responsibly, learning as we go”.  Not doing so, it says, risks falling behind your competitors. Microsoft argues that “those who embrace this new way of working will quickly gain an edge”.

Microsoft has emphasised that Copilot is fully integrated with the security controls in your Microsoft 365 tenancy. It inherits all your company’s security, compliance and privacy policies and processes. 

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has released advice about the issues any organisation should consider before adopting AI technology. You can find more information about this on our recent LLM blog


What next?

Would you like to know more about how your organisation could implement these new ways of working? Our team is on hand to advise and help.

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Further reading

You can find more blogs about the latest technologies from Microsoft and elsewhere on our blog:

•    What is Power BI? And do I need it?

•    AI’s new role in cyber security

•    What is SharePoint? And do I need it?

•    Best new Teams features added in 2022

•    What is Microsoft Intune? And do I need it?