Microsoft 365 Copilot Release

Microsoft Copilot Ecosystem

You don’t need your Cloud Service Provider to tell you generative AI is all the rage right now. We think everyone should feel confident seeing “Grandparent asks about artificial intelligence” on the Thanksgiving dinner Bingo cards this November.

Microsoft knows this. Well, more accurately, they’ve known this.

For the last several years they’ve been hard at work creating an entire Microsoft ecosystem around the burgeoning technology. Whether you’re a developer seeking coding assistance or an enterprise user looking to enhance document creation, data security, or business operations, Microsoft has created a Copilot-tailored solution for you.

In the last couple years, they’ve rolled out Bing Chat Enterprise, Windows Copilot, Dynamics 365 Copilot, Security Copilot, Copilot in Power Platform, and Copilot for Viva.

Tomorrow, November 1st, 2023, Microsoft users will see another huge boon in productivity with the release of Microsoft 365 Copilot. This is arguably their most comprehensive installment for your everyday 21st century tasks. And at thirty dollars per user, we think offers quite the bang for your buck.

Five Things to Know about Microsoft 365 Copilot

Let’s start with the basics. Microsoft 365 Copilot has five familiar sections: Stream, OneNote, Loop, Excel, and Word, each finely tuned to enhance specific aspects of work within their respective domains.

  • Stream summarizes videos, provides transcripts, offers open-ended questions to grasp key points, identifies discussions, and suggests follow-ups. You’ll find this tool anywhere Microsoft allows you to watch videos (e.g., Teams, SharePoint, Viva Engage, etc.).
  • For OneNote users, Microsoft 365 Copilot offers insights through comprehensive questions, generates content summaries, provides Copilot-generated content like paragraphs and bulleted lists, and delivers quick edits for writing improvement.
  • Loop fosters collaborative work with features like table generation, page content summaries, and suggested code blocks for streamlined team workflows.
  • Excel equips users for advanced data analysis, helping with data formatting, formula column creation, and data insights, even enabling Python integration.
  • Word will transform document creation by offering detailed summaries, paragraph rewriting, and table generation for better formatting.

So, What’s New? Microsoft 365 Chat.

Microsoft 365 Chat takes this product to a different level. Located in Teams, this isn’t your typical question-and-answer tool; it’s a powerful assistant with a deep understanding of your needs, responsibilities, and organizational context. It seamlessly integrates with your essential business applications, connecting data across various contexts and retrieving critical information from your files.

So, what does all that jargon mean to you? It means you can ask it to synthesize any number of disparate conversations between employees or executives and distill it into succinct, actionable requests. It means your team leads can quickly identify a project’s next milestone and whether there are risks or potential mitigations involved. It means your team can ask Chat to draw from several different documents to create a comprehensive timeline and have it drafted into an email for a stakeholder. In short—it means you can relax.

It won’t do everything. We wouldn’t put that kind of pressure on it. But it will get you 90% there before a more hands on, white glove approach is necessary.

Microsoft 365 Copilot: A Cost-Effective Transformation

The introduction of Microsoft 365 Copilot marks a transformative shift in the Microsoft 365 experience. While concerns about costs may arise, early research indicates that the benefits and cost savings from this service, even at $30 per user, will likely surpass the associated licensing expenses. We expect this to free up time from the more mundane tasks that slow your workforce down.

It’s crucial to note that Microsoft 365 Copilot requires modern licensing, specifically Microsoft 365 E3 or E5, as a foundational requirement for enterprise customers. The older, fragmented licensing approach of Office 365 and the Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) suite won’t align with Copilot. Additionally, while Microsoft Copilot is free in Windows 11 for commercial users, licensing will be required for broader Copilot experiences. This strategic move emphasizes the importance of careful licensing evaluation as Copilot experiences roll out.