- AI Ambitions: How Microsoft 365 Copilot Skyro...
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Microsoft has always been at the forefront of innovation, and with the scheduled release of Microsoft Copilot AI for Microsoft 365 in the latter half of 2023, they're taking another giant leap forward. As an AI-powered tool, Copilot will significantly increase the productivity potential of businesses of all sizes.
This blog post will delve into the features and benefits of this new addition to the Microsoft 365 suite.
What is Microsoft 365 Copilot?
Microsoft 365 Copilot is designed to revolutionize how organizations work by leveraging advanced language models and integrating seamlessly with the Microsoft ecosystem. It ensures that users get personalized experiences while maintaining strict adherence to permissions and access controls. Think of Microsoft 365 Copilot as a digital assistant designed for all of Microsoft's productivity applications, such as Word, Excel, Outlook, and more. There are several components to how Microsoft Copilot works with Microsoft 365:
- Large Language Models (LLM) Microsoft 365 Copilot uses the Open AI large language model to interact with an organization's data.
- Microsoft Graph integration Copilot utilizes the Microsoft Graph to generate personalized experiences with context, aiming to reduce the steps needed to find information.
- Personalized experiences Copilot 365 is an AI-powered personal assistant that can automate certain necessary but tedious and/or time-consuming administrative tasks.
- Backend orchestration Microsoft 365 Copilot is the sum of multiple parts and systems, and behind the scenes, Copilot for Microsoft 365 automatically manages all of the complex interactions between the Open AI large language models, the Microsoft Graph, and Microsoft 365 apps.
- Information retrieval The system only works when information is instantly available for consumption by the AI. In this case, Copilot for Microsoft 365 uses the Microsoft Graph to orchestrate information retrieval steps using search. The retrieved information, and the user's prompt, is presented to the large language model to generate a response.
- User Permissions By design, Microsoft 365 Copilot respects user-specific permissions. This least-privileged access is crucial for maintaining zero trust security between the user and the volumes of data required by the large language models powering Copilot’s AI. It only generates responses based on information that users have explicit permission to access.
How Copilot Integrates into Microsoft 365 Apps
The beauty of Microsoft 365 Copilot lies in its seamless integration with the Microsoft 365 productivity suite. Whether a user is drafting a document in Word, crunching numbers in Excel, presenting in PowerPoint, or collaborating in Teams, Copilot is there to provide AI-powered tools that fit within the context of whatever app users are working in.
Traditional tools have always been about providing solutions, but they often require the user to adapt to the tool. With Microsoft 365 Copilot, the tool adapts to the user. It learns, evolves, and offers solutions that are tailored to individual needs. It's like having a personal assistant that understands your work style and helps you achieve your goals more efficiently.
What is Business Chat?
Within Microsoft Office 365 Copilot, there is a communications platform called Business Chat. Powered by Copilot’s AI system, Business Chat is essentially a chatbot that connects to large language models, Microsoft 365 apps, and all related organizational data. The ability to read and analyze organizational data such as calendars, emails, chats, documents, meetings, and contacts makes Business Chat an extremely powerful tool for quickly completing tasks such as:
Summarizing Customer Interactions
Business Chat uses Copilot's AI to quickly gain concise a summary with sources from client meetings or compile notes of previous interactions prior to a meeting.
Copilot AI in Business Chat synthesizes data such as quarterly sales projections and related risks in seconds from various sources.
Business Chat can be asked to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) quickly into an easy-to-read report.
How Does Microsoft 365 Copilot Make Work More Productive?
With its AI-driven capabilities, Copilot Microsoft 365 understands the context of your work in Microsoft 365 apps to deliver intelligent suggestions that enhance your workflow.
Copilot in Microsoft Word
In Word, Microsoft Copilot 365 can suggest sentence completions, correct grammar, and even help with formatting. Copilot in Word is designed to be your virtual writing assistant. It doesn't just help you with spelling or grammar; it goes several steps further:
- Writes Alongside You: With just a brief prompt, Microsoft 365 Copilot can create a first draft for you, ensuring you're never stuck on rewriting a sentence twelve times due to a case of writer's block.
- Edits and Summarizes: Whether you have an existing document that needs refining or a lengthy report that requires a concise summary, Copilot for Microsoft 365 is up to the task. It can even rewrite sections or the entire document to make it more succinct.
- Brings in Information: Microsoft 365 Copilot can pull relevant data from across your organization, ensuring your document is comprehensive and well-informed.
How It Works:
The magic of Microsoft 365 Copilot lies in its ability to scan and interpret information:
- Integration with Other Microsoft Tools: If you've taken notes in OneNote or have relevant internal documents, Copilot can use them as a reference. For instance, if you need to draft a proposal based on customer notes, Copilot can scan those notes and other target files to start its draft.
- Adaptive Formatting: Want your document to maintain a consistent look with your previous work? Copilot can draft your content in the format you typically use, ensuring brand and style consistency.
- Visual Enhancements: Beyond just text, Copilot can insert product images and pull in relevant visuals from other files, making your document more engaging.
- Smart Suggestions: Copilot doesn't just stop at drafting. It can offer suggestions to enhance your document, such as adding an FAQ section, which it can generate for you.
Use Case Example:
Imagine you're a sales executive, and you need to create a rock-solid proposal to win a business deal. Time is of the essence, and you can't afford writer's block. Here's how Copilot can assist:
- You provide Copilot with a brief prompt and reference your customer notes saved in OneNote.
- Copilot scans the notes and any other internal documents you provide (e.g., from sources like Microsoft OneDrive or Sharepoint), quickly generating a first draft with all the essential details.
- Wanting to maintain consistency, you ask Copilot to format the proposal similarly to your previous ones. It obliges, even inserting product images and relevant visuals from other files.
- To make your proposal stand out, you decide to include a short summary at the top. Copilot not only helps with creating a summary, but also suggests adding an FAQ section to address potential client queries, which it drafts for you.
In no time, you have a comprehensive, well-formatted, and persuasive proposal, all thanks to Copilot.
Copilot in Microsoft PowerPoint
Presentations are a crucial aspect of professional communication, whether pitching an idea, sharing quarterly results, or educating an audience. Here is what Copilot in Microsoft PowerPoint can do for you when you want to:
- Transform a Document into a Presentation: Have a written proposal or report? Copilot can effortlessly turn it into a visually appealing presentation with speaker notes and sources.
- Create a Presentation from Scratch: Even if you're starting with a simple prompt or idea, Copilot can craft a presentation for you.
- Enhance and Refine Your Presentation: Whether you want to condense a lengthy slide, adjust layouts, reformat text, or perfectly time animations, Copilot has got you covered.
How It Works:
The brilliance of Microsoft Copilot 365 lies in its intuitive and user-friendly approach:
- Seamless Integration: Using natural language commands, you can instruct Copilot to translate a Word document into a PowerPoint presentation and vice versa. This ensures consistency and saves time.
- Responsive to Instructions: Want to add a slide? Just give Microsoft 365 Copilot a brief instruction, and it will craft one for you. If a slide feels too wordy or cluttered, Copilot can make it more visual and engaging.
- Animation and Design: With just a single click, Copilot can animate your slides, giving them a professional design treatment that's sure to captivate your audience.
- Speaker Notes: Beyond just the visuals, Copilot generates speaker notes for all your slides, ensuring you're well-prepared and confident during your presentation.
Use Case Example:
Imagine you're a sales executive gearing up for a crucial customer pitch meeting. You have a detailed proposal written in Word, but you're short on time to create a presentation. Here's how Copilot can assist:
- You ask Microsoft 365 Copilot to transform your Word proposal into a PowerPoint presentation.
- Within moments, you have a professional-looking presentation. However, you feel one slide is too text-heavy and might lose the audience's attention.
- You ask Copilot to make that slide more visual. In a few seconds, it not only refines the slide but also animates it, adding a touch of dynamism.
- To ensure you cover all points during the pitch, Copilot generates speaker notes for each slide, making you feel more prepared and confident.
Microsoft 365's Copilot in PowerPoint is not just about adding some extra "oomph" to slides with visuals and animations, it's about storytelling, engagement, and making every presentation count. Whether you're a seasoned presenter or someone who dreads the thought of crafting slides, Copilot promises to be your trusted ally.
Copilot in Microsoft Excel
Data analysis and spreadsheet management are simplified with Copilot. Here's what using Copilot in Microsoft Excel offers:
- Natural Language Queries: With Copilot, you can ask questions about your dataset in natural language, making data analysis more intuitive.
- Data Exploration: Copilot can reveal correlations, suggest new formulas, and propose "what-if" scenarios based on your queries.
- Visualization: Beyond just numbers, Copilot can create powerful visualizations to help you better understand trends and patterns.
- Recommendations: Ask Copilot for insights, which will provide recommendations to drive different outcomes, turning raw data into actionable insights.
How It Works:
The magic of Copilot lies in its user-centric and conversational approach to delivering data analysis:
- Ask and Receive: Start by posing a question about your data, and Copilot will provide key insights. For instance, you can ask about sales trends for a specific quarter, and Copilot will highlight them for you.
- Drill Down: If you wish to delve deeper into a specific trend, Copilot can create a new sheet, offering a sandbox environment for further exploration.
- Visual Enhancements: Ask Copilot to visualize specific data points, which will craft vivid charts or graphs, making data interpretation easier.
- Scenario Modeling: Pose "what-if" scenarios to Copilot, and it will answer and create a model for you. It even offers a step-by-step breakdown of its analysis for better understanding.
Use Case Example:
Imagine you're a sales manager, and you've just received this quarter's sales results. The data is extensive, and you need insights fast. Here's how Copilot can assist:
- You ask Copilot to analyze the data and highlight three key sales trends. Within moments, you have a concise overview.
- Intrigued by a declining trend, you pose a follow-up question to Copilot. It promptly creates a new sheet, allowing you to dive deeper into the data.
- To better understand the decline in sales growth, you request Copilot to visualize the contributing factors. It crafts a vibrant chart, making the issue evident.
- Wanting to plan ahead, you ask Copilot a "what-if" scenario about potential strategies to boost sales. Copilot models the scenario, even suggesting a graph of the projected outcome.
In a matter of minutes, what seemed like an overwhelming sea of data is transformed into clear insights and actionable strategies, all thanks to Copilot in Excel.
Copilot in Microsoft Outlook
In the age of instant messaging and collaboration platforms, email remains a primary mode of communication, especially in the professional world. Copilot in Outlook is designed to be your email assistant, ensuring you spend more time communicating and less time sifting through emails.
Here's what it offers:
- Email Triage: Copilot helps you prioritize your inbox, ensuring you attend to the most crucial emails first.
- Summarization: Lengthy email threads can be cumbersome. Copilot can condense them, providing a clear overview of the conversation, different viewpoints, and any unanswered questions.
- Drafting Assistance: Whether you're responding to an existing email or crafting a new one, Copilot can turn your brief notes into professional messages, drawing from content across Microsoft 365.
How It Works:
The brilliance of Copilot lies in its intuitive approach:
- Inbox Prioritization: Copilot analyzes your inbox, helping you separate essential emails from the less important ones, ensuring you address pressing matters first.
- On-the-Go Assistance: With Copilot's integration in Outlook mobile, you can get email summaries, draft replies, and even incorporate data from Excel files. Copilot crafts the response, which you can edit for conciseness, style, or added context.
- Quick Responses: Once you're satisfied with the drafted message, all that's left is a quick review and a click on the send button.
Use Case Example:
Imagine you're a project manager, and after a day of back-to-back meetings, you find your inbox flooded with emails. Among them is a lengthy thread discussing project updates. Here's how Copilot can assist:
- You activate Copilot and ask it to prioritize your emails. It highlights the project update thread as crucial.
- Instead of reading through the long thread, you request Copilot to summarize it. In moments, you clearly understand the discussion, the team's viewpoints, and any pending queries.
- You decide to respond, providing some clarifications. You jot down quick notes, and Copilot transforms them into a crisp, professional email. It even pulls relevant data from a project Excel file to support your points.
- After a brief review, you send the email, confident that all points have been addressed.
What could have been an hour-long email management task in a matter of minutes is efficiently handled, thanks to Copilot in Outlook.
Copilot in Microsoft Teams
Copilot in Microsoft Teams Premium (the feature is not available in the free version of Teams) is designed to be your virtual collaboration assistant, enhancing various aspects of the Teams experience:
- Meetings: Copilot acts as a dream moderator for your meetings. It assists in capturing notes, identifying decisions made, and even understanding the pros and cons of ideas discussed.
- Chat: Copilot helps users stay in the flow of work. It aids in managing group chats, ensuring you stay connected with your team without feeling overwhelmed by numerous messages.
- Calling: Copilot enhances the calling experience, targeting not just the average information worker but also specific scenarios to make voice interactions more efficient.
How It Works:
The brilliance of Copilot Microsoft 365 lies in its deep integration and user-centric approach:
- Meetings: Copilot works alongside you in every meeting. It captures essential points, decisions, and discussions, ensuring you have a comprehensive record of what transpired.
- Chat: With Copilot in chat, users can manage the influx of messages more efficiently. It helps reduce the anxiety of missing out on important discussions, ensuring you remain in sync with your team's communications.
- Calling: While the full details of Copilot's integration in calling were not covered in the provided transcript, it's evident that Copilot aims to make voice interactions more streamlined and user-friendly.
Use Case Example:
Imagine you're a project manager coordinating with a global team.It can be challenging to stay on top of discussions and communications with people in different time zones.. Here's how Copilot can assist:
- Meetings: You have a crucial project update meeting. With participants from various departments, the discussion is rich and multifaceted. Post-meeting, instead of manually jotting down notes, you rely on Copilot. It provides a concise summary, highlighting decisions made and areas that need further exploration.
- Chat: You receive numerous messages throughout the day across different group chats. Instead of sifting through each one, you activate Copilot. It summarizes the key points from each chat, ensuring you're updated without having to read through every single message.
- Calling: You need to discuss project details with a colleague. Copilot provides a brief overview of the discussion points post-call, ensuring you have a record to refer back to.
In each scenario, Copilot ensures you're well-informed, reducing manual effort and ensuring efficient communication.
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How Does Microsoft 365 Copilot Work with Business Chat?
Think of Copilot as the backend system that enhances the Business Chat experience. It is the Copilot AI that generates all of Business Chat’s real-time responses, automates customer interactions, and provides insights based on chat content.
How to Add Microsoft 365 Copilot to Business Chat
Users can easily integrate Copilot into Business Chat through the Microsoft 365 settings, enabling a smarter and more responsive chat experience.
Microsoft Copilot and Microsoft Viva Engage
Copilot work hand-in-hand with Microsoft Viva Engage. Helping to enhance employee experiences with personalized content recommendations and insights based on individual roles and tasks.
Microsoft 365 Copilot Price
Microsoft 365 Copilot will be priced at $30 per user per month for Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard, and Business Premium customers when broadly available. Copilot can be added to Microsoft 365 Business Standard or Premium or to Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 accounts for enterprises.
Microsoft 365 Copilot pricing has stirred discussions in the tech community, especially around its value proposition. However, several arguments can be made about the $30 per price point that IT leaders should consider before dismissing what some might consider too rich of a price:
Far Beyond Basic AI
High Performance & Quick Responses
However, innovation is sometimes difficult to quantify. Is Microsoft 365 Copilot a worthwhile investment for organizations? Consider these decision points:
- How do you evaluate ROI for AI? Determining the return on investment (ROI) for a tool like Microsoft 365 Copilot can be challenging. However, its ability to understand and reason over organizational data provides a unique value proposition that can potentially lead to significant productivity gains.
- Can the enhanced capabilities justify the cost? Microsoft Copilot 365 is a tool that can provide insights based on relationships between data and users. This can lead to better decision-making and more informed strategies.
When considering the deployment of Microsoft 365 Copilot, organizations should:
- Evaluate Organizational Needs Understand the specific needs of your organization and how Copilot can address them.
- Consider the Impact Think about how the tool will impact your current workflows and whether it will lead to improved efficiency.
- Plan for Scaling Given the potential for high usage rates, plan for scaling to ensure optimal performance.
While the pricing might seem steep for some, the potential benefits and value it brings to the table can justify the investment.
In conclusion, Microsoft 365 Copilot is set to revolutionize the way businesses use Microsoft 365 apps. Contact Amaxra for a consultation on how your business can use Copilot to empower your employees to be more productive and efficient.
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