Microsoft 365 Copilot: How It Can Benefit Your Business + Unlock Your Productivity
What makes a business successful? This is a common question among business owners. A successful business can ultimately adapt to changing circumstances and consistently deliver value to its customers. Two crucial factors that help achieve this goal are strong collaboration and productivity.
Based on a report from HubSpot, US employers lose around $1.8 trillion (AUD$2.81 trillion) annually due to poor productivity. Also, a separate study found that many businesses struggle to communicate effectively. Some causes of these problems are mundane or repetitive tasks, inefficient operations, and, more importantly, a lack of proper resources and tools.
Today, leveraging technology to boost productivity and efficiency has become crucial. Launched by Microsoft, Microsoft 365 Copilot is poised to reshape how you collaborate and increase productivity to enhance your competitive edge.
What is Microsoft 365 Copilot?
Microsoft 365 (M365) Copilot is a digital assistant powered by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) technology. It is integrated into popular Microsoft 365 apps—such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams—to assist with tasks such as writing, editing, summarising, and creating content. Copilot aims to help users unleash creativity, unlock productivity, and enhance their skills.
Benefits of using Microsoft 365 Copilot
The potential benefits of Copilot have rapidly captured the attention of business enterprises. In fact, it reached USD$2.67 trillion (AUD$4.16 trillion) in market capitalisation after its launch. Here are some of the advantages of this powerful tool:
1. Simplifies mundane tasks and boosts productivity
Juggling through repetitive tasks can take time and sap your energy in the process. M365 Copilot can streamline and automate mundane tasks, such as creating meeting agendas, scheduling appointments, and tracking expenses. For as long as you provide a clear command or prompt, this tool can deliver an exceptional output.
Copilot can help free up users to focus on more important aspects of their work, ultimately enhancing productivity and efficiency. So no more drowning in a sea of emails, spreadsheets, and documents—this digital assistant will do all the work for you.
2. Elevates collaboration & Improves communication within teams
As the saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work. M365 Copilot can help improve collaboration among all the stakeholders in the organisation.
Copilot can schedule and manage meetings, discussions, calls, and webinars. It comes with many features that improve efficiency and communication, such as the ability to create notes and share files right away. On a business chat, it can summarise meeting discussions to help users catch up on any missed information.
Moreover, the chatbot feature can help connect team members, reducing the time spent exchanging emails or making phone calls. This also lowers the risk of miscommunications or delays. This is especially beneficial for remote teams or hybrid setups.
When is Microsoft Copilot being released?
Microsoft Copilot will be integrated into Windows, launching on September 26. This feature aims to streamline your work by facilitating quicker task completion and reducing cognitive effort, simplifying tasks that were once complex. Accessing Copilot is effortless— it’s conveniently located on the taskbar or accessible via the Win+C keyboard shortcut, ready to assist with all your apps. The Windows-integrated Copilot will debut a new icon, user interface, and include Bing Chat, all available to commercial customers at no extra charge.
Expanding on Microsoft Copilot, Bing Chat Enterprise introduces commercial data protection, ensuring the confidentiality of your business data within the organization. This version ensures that chat data is not stored, there is no access for Microsoft, and the data does not contribute to training large language models (LLM). Bing Chat Enterprise is available separately at $5 per user per month and is also included in Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5 packages.
Microsoft 365 Copilot stands as your AI work assistant, building on the features of Bing Chat Enterprise, but offering unique capabilities. It provides enterprise-level security, privacy, compliance, and responsible AI, with all data processing occurring within your Microsoft 365 tenant, utilizing technology trusted by Microsoft 365 users for years. Microsoft 365 Chat, integrated into Microsoft 365 Apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and others, acts as a pivotal feature for Microsoft 365 Copilot. It goes beyond answering basic queries by scanning through your complete data set—emails, meetings, chats, documents, and more, along with web data—to address your intricate work-related challenges. After being successfully used by numerous enterprise users, including those from Visa, General Motors, KPMG, and Lumen Technologies in our Early Access Program (EAP), Microsoft 365 Copilot will be broadly available for enterprise users at $30 per user per month, starting November 1.
Will Microsoft Copilot come with Business Premium License?
CoPilot is versatile, offering compatibility with numerous Microsoft 365 plans, such as Microsoft 365 E5, E3, Business Premium, and Business Standard. Nonetheless, it comes as an additional expense and is not incorporated into your current package. The subsequent adjustment in your Microsoft 365 licensing budget will be contingent on your existing licenses, and availability does not extend to frontline workers holding the M365 F3 license.
Is Copilot included in Office 365?
Microsoft 365 Copilot is built on Microsoft’s trusted and comprehensive approach to enterprise-grade security, privacy, identity, compliance, and responsible AI. Microsoft 365 Copilot will be available for commercial customers for USD30 per user per month for Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard, and Business Premium customers when broadly available.
Microsoft 365 Copilot vs ChatGpt: What are the key differences?
ChatGPT and Microsoft 365 Copilot are both artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that were developed with the intent of helping you accomplish tasks and activities faster and more efficiently. While they may seem similar, there are significant differences between the two.
ChatGPT works like a chatbot as it was designed to hold a conversation with you. After giving it a question or prompt, ChatGPT uses machine learning algorithms to understand the context of the conversation and generate the appropriate responses. To produce a response, it predicts the next word in a given sequence based on patterns its learned from human language.
Unlike a search engine, ChatGPT does not have the ability to search the internet and may not have the most up-to-date information to draw from. This can leave room for error, or “hallucinations”, within its responses, so it’s important for you to review and edit the information that ChatGPT provides. As with all chat-based AI tools, you might need to follow a trial-and-error approach when crafting your questions in order to get the answers you’re looking for.
Microsoft 365 Copilot is an AI-powered digital assistant that aims to provide personalized assistance to users for a range of tasks and activities. Copilot doesn’t just connect ChatGPT with Microsoft 365; it combines the power of large language models (LLMs) with your data in the Microsoft Graph (including your calendar, emails, chats, documents, meetings, and more) and the Microsoft 365 apps to turn your words into the most powerful productivity tool on the planet.
Embedded in the Microsoft 365 apps you use every day, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and more, Copilot works alongside you to help unleash your creativity, unlock productivity, and uplevel your skills.
What is responsible AI?
Responsible AI is AI that is designed, developed, and deployed in a way that takes into account ethical, legal, and societal considerations. This includes considering the potential for unintended consequences, being transparent about how decisions are made, and respecting privacy. Responsible AI also requires building trust and ensuring accountability, as well as ensuring that individuals are not discriminated against due to their race, gender, or other protected characteristics.
Responsible AI Principles
Microsoft’s six responsible AI principles lay the foundation for all of Microsoft’s AI efforts across the company.
- Fairness – Microsoft AI systems are designed with quality of service, availability of resources, and a minimization of the potential for stereotyping based on demographics, culture, or other factors.
- Reliability and safety – Microsoft AI systems are developed in a way that is consistent with our design ideas, values, and principles so as to not create harm in the world.
- Privacy and security – With an increased reliance on data to develop and train AI systems, we’ve established requirements to ensure that data is not leaked or disclosed.
- Inclusiveness – Microsoft’s AI systems should empower and engage communities around the world, and to do this, we partner with under-served minority communities to plan, test, and build AI systems.
- Transparency – People who create AI systems should be open about how and why they are using AI, and open about the limitations of the system. Additionally, everyone must understand the behavior of AI systems.
- Accountability – Everyone is accountable for how technology impacts the world. For Microsoft, this means we are consistently enacting our principles and taking them into account in everything that we do.
3. Illuminates insights
The magic of data-driven decisions! Copilot isn’t just a helper; it’s your onboard data analyst. It can generate insights, metrics, and reports based on your workplace data. You can also use it to detect operations bottlenecks and identify potential areas of improvement. With this information, you can restructure your workflow and make sound decisions for business growth.
4. Robust data security and compliance
Based on a report, around 83% of businesses encountered data breaches in 2022. This alarming statistic proves that data security and compliance are non-negotiable for organisations. Fortunately, Microsoft 365 Copilot is designed with robust security measures to safeguard your business’s confidential data.
Your business needs a fortress in a digital world full of cyber threats. You can’t afford to overlook the possibility of data breaches, malware, or phishing attacks—all of which can spell disaster for your business.
Copilot can boost the protection provided by your cybersecurity framework. Here are some of the features it offers:
- It automatically blocks suspicious emails and links.
- It monitors user behaviour for potential anomalies.
- It enforces multi-factor authentication protocols.
- It generates security alerts for anomalous activities.
These built-in security protocols help ensure your business operations remain safe from malicious attacks and unauthorised access. However, it’s important to note that Copilot is not a substitute for a dedicated antivirus. It is designed to enhance security measures within Microsoft 365 applications and provide additional safeguards against cyber threats.
5. Adapts to your goals
Your business is unique—and so are your needs. Microsoft 365 Copilot recognises that. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution; it’s your personalised toolkit. Whether you’re a startup, a growing enterprise, or a titan, this technology adapts to your goals and guides you through every stage of your journey.
Copilot leverages AI technology and insights to understand your business better. It learns from your usage patterns, identifies areas for improvement, and provides personalised recommendations and proactive monitoring to enhance your productivity and collaboration within the Microsoft 365 environment.
6. Empowers creativity
Sometimes, writers can get stuck in a rut and be unable to develop fresh ideas. Microsoft 365 Copilot can help break the creative block by using AI-enabled intelligence to suggest topics, keywords, and even related articles. This technology also has a template library, so you and your team don’t have to start from scratch when creating a document. Not only is this convenient, but it can also help everyone become a better writer by fostering creativity and helping you produce more persuasive content.
Bing Chat Enterprise — AI-powered chat for work
Employees are looking to use AI tools to help them unlock creativity and productivity at work — 70% say they would delegate as much work as possible to AI according to our Work Trend Index. But using AI tools that aren’t built for the enterprise inadvertently puts sensitive business data at risk. As organizations adopt AI, they want to be confident their data is protected.
Bing Chat Enterprise gives your organization AI-powered chat for work with commercial data protection. With Bing Chat Enterprise, user and business data are protected and will not leak outside the organization. What goes in — and comes out — remains protected. Chat data is not saved, and Microsoft has no eyes-on access – which means no one can view your data. And, your data is not used to train the models. Whether researching industry insights, analyzing data, or looking for inspiration.
7. Improve sales productivity with Microsoft Sales Copilot
Sales-related activities and AI are a match made in heaven. If you think about it, sales activities often require managing a very substantial set of situations, all a bit different. The time you spend entering data into your CRM could be dedicated to other essential tasks, such as meeting with new customers and selling.
In July 2023, Microsoft announced Microsoft Sales Copilot—a role-based copilot designed for sellers that empowers them to increase productivity and personalise every customer interaction so they can close more deals. Designed to be a seller companion, Sales Copilot can be accessed in the tools where sellers work, whether that is Outlook, Microsoft Teams, or Dynamics 365 Sales, and connects to other CRM systems like Salesforce.
With their new AIM program, the company now provides AI-guided support to assist customers in transitioning from on-premises to cloud-based applications. Moreover, Copilot’s chatbots are equipped with advanced AI capabilities similar to ChatGPT, but specifically tailored for customer service. These chatbots are rich in unique product and service knowledge, ensuring seamless interactions with customers.
Be aware of limitations
Like all transformative technologies, there are tasks that AI is not well suited for, so it’s important to be aware of the potential drawbacks.
AI-produced content and outputs may contain inaccuracies, biases, or sensitive materials because they were trained on information from the internet, as well as other sources. AI may not know about recent events yet, and struggles to understand and interpret sarcasm, irony, or humor. Please remember that it’s not a person.
It’s important that you review any content the AI generates for you to make sure it has accurately produced what you wanted.
Though Microsoft Bing Chat is multilingual and broadly available, Copilot in Microsoft 365 apps is currently only available to customers in a very limited private preview, and currently only understands instructions in English.
Microsoft Sales Copilot offers a comprehensive set of productivity and support tools designed for CRM users. With their new AIM program, the company now provides AI-guided support to assist customers in transitioning from on-premises to cloud-based applications.
Moreover, Copilot’s chatbots are equipped with advanced AI capabilities similar to ChatGPT, but specifically tailored for customer service. These chatbots are rich in unique product and service knowledge, ensuring seamless interactions with customers.
Like any other technology, M365 Copilot has its limitations. Your creativity, problem-solving skills, and business knowledge must remain in the driver’s seat. It’s not a panacea—it’s just a powerful assistant.
You must still invest effort and time into this solution. After all, there’s no shortcut in business; every member needs to pull their weight to reach the top.
Redefine your business workflow with Kaine Mathrick Tech
Growing a business doesn’t have to be such a struggle. Microsoft 365 Copilot can revolutionise collaboration and maximise productivity—a recipe for success.
Kaine Mathrick Tech can help you maximise the potential of M365 Copilot to optimise your business operations. By providing customised solutions tailored to your unique needs, we can assist you in achieving success with M365 Copilot.