Work is becoming increasingly complex and fast-paced and you’ve probably noticed in your experience there are a growing number of touch points, tasks and sources of information to work with. Amidst this whirlpool of priorities and information, AI-driven solutions can help business teams to harness this complexity and transform it into empowering simplicity, all while helping them to deliver more value, more efficiently than ever before!
In November last year, Microsoft released CoPilot for 365, an intelligent AI-assistant with game-changing features. You want an excel sheet built from scratch? CoPilot will have your back. Need a project plan created based on a range of meeting notes? No problem.
CoPilot’s distinguishing feature is its ability to use a softer, human-like intelligence to undertake a range of more or less complicated tasks for users at a fraction of the time it would take to complete them manually.
In this blog, we dive into some of the remarkable capabilities that CoPilot can offer and the technology that underpins it, alongside the range of deep benefits it can bring to a business. Let’s get into it!
The Technology Behind CoPilot
At the heart of Microsoft CoPilot is a grouping of cutting-edge technologies that fuel its intelligent capabilities. CoPilot combines large language models that use machine learning with big data and the suite of Microsoft 365 tools, the latter being a key differentiator of its unique value.
Microsoft CoPilot’s unique value arises from its use of three key technologies:
- Machine learning
- Natural language processing (NLP)
- Large language models (LLMs)
Large language models are a subset of natural language processing technology, which is a form of AI that is used to read, interpret, and usefully respond to text-based queries. For a common example, a user can ask ChatGPT (an LLM) a question, and it is able to contextually understand and respond to the question and the user (e.g taking into account prior user behaviour and conversations).
To do this, these large language models are trained using vast sets of data, enabling them to increasingly give useful and accurate outputs that satisfy user questions and commands.
Because of this, tools like CoPilot and ChatGPT are now increasingly able to help us carry out more complex tasks more accurately. So how does this carry over into game-changing differences in the work that your team does across your Microsoft 365 tenant?
Microsoft CoPilot for 365’s Features
With a basic overview of the key technologies involved, let’s now explore some compelling use cases that showcase the capabilities CoPilot will bring to users around the world.
Dynamic Slide Design in PowerPoint
Creating a persuasive presentation takes more than words, it also means including appealing visual elements and assembling them into an attractive, cohesive design.
Going far beyond the current basic design suggestion features of PowerPoint in Microsoft 365, CoPilot can work with you as a creative partner. Using your prompts and content from Word documents, it will be able to seamlessly create a presentation on your behalf.
CoPilot can also offer suggestions to optimise the design, such as compatible colour schemes, font choices, and appealing layout arrangements. Another powerful feature is that it will be able to generate bespoke images for your presentations based on a written prompt, making for precise and appealing visuals.
Personalised Recommendations and Insights in Excel
Imagine that you’re knee-deep in a complicated Excel spreadsheet, scanning for insights within a sea of data. In this situation, CoPilot could show up like a superhero; using a simple command, CoPilot can generate insights from the data, saving you time and uncovering insights that might otherwise be missed. It can also be used to generate new chart types and visualisations of your data.
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Productive Meeting Intelligence in Teams
CoPilot is also set to deepen the value and convenience that teams get from meetings. CoPilot will be able to enhance the effectiveness of meetings by generating topic suggestions, structure meetings according to chat messages, and create meeting summaries for those that could not attend. With its ability to intelligently generate and collate information, effective collaboration can be empowered on the go!
Creating Smart Emails and Inboxes in Outlook
Managing and sifting through emails can feel like a never-ending uphill battle, but CoPilot is set to make the incline a lot less steep.
In Outlook we see the intelligence that it has to offer; for example, when you’re discussing a project with a colleague, CoPilot will be able to surface information and insights from previous emails, as well as shared documents and discussions elsewhere, such as SharePoint and Teams. Not only this, but it will also be able to summarise emails for you, enabling you to separate the signal from superfluous noise.
Document Creation and Design in Word
Aside from being able to write documents based on your own prompts, CoPilot will be able to use your wider Microsoft 365 ecosystem to offer deep value.
For example, let’s say that you’re drafting a proposal and you’re low on time. By using your written prompt and by referencing other documents (e.g meeting notes), CoPilot will be able to design and format a proposal document for you effortlessly, making document work easier than ever before.
Automated Workflow Creation in Power Automate
The value that CoPilot can offer is not just mechanistic, it can be systematic! Process mapping can be a time-consuming task that takes much focus and attention to detail, but with CoPilot as an assistant, you’ll be in good company. For example, if you’re intending to create a new and more streamlined employee onboarding process, using the Power Automate app, you can strike a conversation with CoPilot, which will be able to generate workflows and maps for you based on written prompts. It will also do this by referencing wider organisational data.
How Do I Get Microsoft CoPilot for 365?
Microsoft CoPilot for 365 is now available for businesses with enterprise subscriptions (E3 or E5, A3, or A5), but it can also be purchased for users as an additional add-on that you can tack-on to other existing plans.
For smaller businesses, getting started with CoPilot is as simple as purchasing a subscription, while for larger enterprises, there will be more factors to consider. Microsoft has created a range of documentation to help businesses to get started with it smoothly.
Overall CoPilot Benefits for Businesses
Elevated productivity is likely to be a daily outcome for businesses that use CoPilot for 365, with its flexible and advanced intelligence proving useful for completing a range of tasks more quickly, while also offering some scope for reduced errors and creating higher quality of work. Of course, we say this as the technology is far from perfect, but will become increasingly powerful as it continues to be developed.
More fundamentally, every business has a certain number of staff, skills, time, and tasks to complete. As AI is increasingly used to complete more tasks of a varying complexity, it will free up more time for teams to complete more strategic and creative tasks.
For businesses that use CoPilot, they will have more speed and agility, as well as an ability to deliver value at scale. CoPilot will thus be a game-changer for sharpening businesses’ competitive edge, which is why it is such a significant development in the workplace technology space.
Our world is becoming more connected and complex, creating more forces that pull on our attention and time. In this context, technologies like CoPilot for 365 can prove to be a game-changer, helping teams to transform complexity into actionable simplicity while also helping them to deliver more value, more quickly.
If you’re curious to find out more about CoPilot and how it can benefit your business, you can speak with our specialists or do more research. The more your business uses the latest technology in an aligned and effective way, the better placed it will be able to thrive in our era of innovation.
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