Microsoft’s latest productivity tool has got us pretty excited in the Smile IT office! Copilot has the potential to be a massive time saver for everybody from large enterprises to freelancers, marking a huge step forward in how we interact with the software we use. Let’s take a look at what it is and the benefits it’ll yield for organisations who use the Microsoft 365 suite.
What is Copilot?
Copilot is a productivity powerhouse utilising next-generation AI to help you work smarter and faster. It combines the power of large language model (LLM) AI algorithms (like what ChatGPT uses) with your company data from within Microsoft 365 to propel your workflow.
It’s integrated into the Microsoft 365 Apps you use daily, like Word, Teams, Excel and PowerPoint, with a conversational interface, allowing you to interact with the bot in natural language. You’ll have the opportunity for AI collaboration right there, to be called upon whenever you need it.
By picturing the following you may understand better how powerful an ally Copilot could be:
No More Blank Slates in Microsoft Word
Writer’s block is a thing. We’ve all spent hours staring at that blank document, waiting for the words to start writing themselves. They never seem to… but with Copilot they will. Input a few prompts and it’ll write up a first draft for you, helping get your creative juices flowing. You can then edit, tweak, shorten or expand as you wish. You’re still the author, but Copilot helps grease your cogs.
Stunning Presentations in PowerPoint
Those eye-catching PowerPoint presentations take a long time to crank out. The hair-pulling process is a lot easier with Copilot though. You give it a prompt and it’ll take care of the groundwork of building the presentation for you, seamlessly incorporating information from your past documents, your Microsoft 365 data and its own research on Bing. The presentation can then be moulded into its final version with your editing input.
Crunch Numbers with Excel
Copilot integrates with Excel to assist you with complex formulas and data analysis. Reduce the drain on your mental energy and ask it to generate charts and visualisations based on your spreadsheets, provide formula column suggestions and uncover trends.
Tame Your Emails in Outlook
Nothing worse than getting back from a week’s holiday and spending hours sifting through your clogged Outlook inbox. Copilot will cut down on this time by going through your emails, prioritising important ones and even drafting responses for you. The first day back in the office won’t seem so bad anymore.
Enhanced Teams Collaboration
Collaboration and the Copilot bot work well together. Say you want to summarise a team meeting for everybody’s records. Prompt the bot and it’ll bring together information from Teams chats, emails and saved documents, harmonising and presenting them to your contacts. Copilot can also quickly get you up to speed on conversations by reviewing and summarising the main points, saving you from trawling through hundreds of messages.
The Copilot Business Chat Feature
What Copilot does is create a knowledge model for your organisation, based on your business data within Microsoft 365, a LLM and all your calendar inputs, chats, emails and contacts. That information is then readily available at all times to access through the bot. Instead of searching around for answers or solutions, prompt Copilot with your question and you’ll get the information you need. For example, “What were the key takeaways from last week’s client call?” “Give me a basic summary of last Thursday’s sales presentation.”
What About Copilot’s Security, Compliance and Privacy?
This is a good question to ask because no organisation wants their valuable business data available to anybody who can access Copilot. Microsoft assures this won’t be the case, as Copilot will come with all the security, compliance and privacy of your Microsoft 365 account. That means protections like 2FA helping to make this a trustworthy AI solution.
What’s more, the LLM’s used don’t glean any data from your prompts or your business information within your 365 environment. There’s no data leakage because it’s not designed to be trained on your tenant data. Everything from within your organisation stays within your organisation.
Migrate to Microsoft 365
The AI revolution is still in its infancy, and we don’t believe it holds the answers to everything. We like to approach any developments in that space with a good dose of scepticism, along with our hopes and expectations of good things!
With that in mind, it’s safe to say something feels really good about Copilot. From testing it out in recent days this has the potential to revolutionise workflows, communications and productivity within a business. It’s exciting and we can’t wait to use it more and see how it goes.
If Copilot is tempting you to migrate over to Microsoft Office 365, or you want more information on how it can integrate with your stack, get in touch with one of our team members. We’re here to help and would love to answer your questions!
When he’s not writing tech articles or turning IT startups into established and consistent managed service providers, Peter Drummond can be found kitesurfing on the Gold Coast or hanging out with his family!