Everything SMEs Need to Know About Microsoft Copilot

4 min read
Jun 7, 2024 10:00:00 AM

Everything SMEs Need to Know About Microsoft Copilot




Microsoft Copilot is the latest in a long line of generative AI tools that promise to supercharge your business productivity.

For MS 365 users, there are plenty of reasons to consider adopting it. After all, what businesses wouldn’t want to increase productivity and save money?

But is it really worth your time and money?

In this article, we’ll give you the lowdown on Microsoft Copilot. We’ll explore what Copilot is, how it can integrate into your business and how it claims to make your employees more productive. We’ll see if it lives up to the hype and cover the security concerns you need to know about before implementing it.


What is Microsoft Copilot?

Copilot is Microsoft’s generative AI smart assistant. It’s basically the MS version of ChatGPT (it even uses the same language model), except it’s a lot more powerful and valuable from a business perspective.

That’s because Copilot integrates with a wide range of Microsoft Office 365 products, including:

  • Outlook
  • Teams
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint

Copilot can access all of the information in these applications and use it to supercharge your team’s productivity. You can also use Copilot as a chat-based assistant, just like you would ChatGPT.


What’s the difference between Microsoft Copilot and Microsoft 365 Chat?

While both Microsoft 365 Chat and Copilot are not AI tools, they work slightly differently. Microsoft 365 Chat is a lot like ChatGPT in that it provides a conversational interface that your employees can use to ask questions and retrieve information. Copilot, on the other hand, integrates deeper into your employees’ workflows, allowing them to use AI without having to leave the program.


What can you do with Microsoft Copilot?

Copilot certainly isn’t short of cool features and capabilities, but can it actually help your team work smarter and faster?

In our opinion, it can. Here are just a few ways your team could leverage Copilot within their existing Microsoft 365-based workflows.


Rapidly create content in Word

With Copilot in Word, you can rapidly create content, draft reports, and refine existing documents. For example, you can ask Copilot to draft a report based on data from other documents stored in OneDrive or create a new marketing message from scratch.


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Instant analysis in Excel

Copilot excels at data analysis, helping you identify trends, generate visualisations, and create complex formulas in your existing Excel workbooks. Just ask Copilot a question, and you’ll get the insights you’re looking for in a second.


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Build a presentation from scratch in PowerPoint

Creating presentations becomes a breeze with Copilot. It can create slides from scratch, incorporate data from other applications, and even suggest design elements, ensuring your presentations are both informative and visually appealing.

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Summarise meetings in Teams

In Microsoft Teams, Copilot can summarise meeting discussions, generate action items, and provide insights from chat history. It enhances collaboration by ensuring all team members are aligned and informed about ongoing projects.

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How can you make the most of Microsoft Copilot?

Okay, you think capabilities are cool. But having the capability to do something and actually doing it are two very different things. Using the following best practices to increase the likelihood that your team leverages Copilot successfully.

  • Invest in training. Invest in comprehensive training programs to ensure all employees are familiar with Copilot’s functionalities. This can include initial onboarding sessions followed by ongoing training to cover updates and new features. Microsoft offers plenty of resources but it could be worth asking your IT provider to offer its services, too.

  • Encourage regular usage. Encourage employees to integrate Copilot into their daily workflows. Regular usage helps users become more comfortable with the tool and discover new ways it can enhance their productivity.

  • Implement a champion. Designate a Copilot champion within your organisation. This individual should be passionate about technology and become familiar with all the ways Microsoft 365 Copilot can help.

  • Regularly review your progress. Regularly evaluate the performance of Copilot within your organisation. You can track metrics such as time saved, error reduction, and employee satisfaction, or you can just ask your employees how they are getting on and whether they are seeing value. Continuous evaluation helps identify areas for improvement and ensures that Copilot remains a valuable tool.


How much does Microsoft 365 Copilot cost?

At the time of writing, Microsoft Copilot costs £24.70 per user per month. That’s based on an annual commitment and excludes VAT.

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It’s slightly more expensive than a ChatGPT subscription, but remember, Copilot integrates with your existing 365 products and can access your proprietary data.


What about data security and privacy?

Microsoft 365 Copilot follows strict privacy guidelines. The company doesn’t use your data to train its AI, so there’s no need to worry about leaking confidential data.

That being said, it is possible to accidentally share private data with your own users if you don’t have the correct security protocols in place. This could mean, for instance, a low-level employee accessing salary information for the entire company.

You’ll need to make sure you implement Copilot securely to avoid this kind of scenario—that’s something your IT provider can help with.


Deciding if Copilot is right for you

The first thing businesses want to know before implementing Copilot is whether it’s all hype. And, honestly, it’s not. While Copilot promises a lot (like virtually all other AI tools on the market), it actually does a good job of making your employees more productive right now.

Unlike some AI tools that offer limited or generalised assistance, Copilot integrates deeply with Microsoft 365 applications to provide context-specific support. This lets your team complete their day-to-day tasks much faster and with greater accuracy. And because Copolit is built into these tools, they don’t lose time by context switching, either.

Deploying Microsoft Copilot into your organisation isn’t straightforward and there are plenty of risks you need to account for. But it can certainly improve your organisational efficiency.

If you think it’s the right choice for your organisation, we’re here to help.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we are well placed to help you successfully and securely integrate Copilot into your existing processes. We’ll show you how to get the most from this AI technology whilst avoiding data privacy issues.


For more information, speak to a member of our team today on 0345 521 6111 or get in touch using our contact form.


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