AI is a hot topic right now, and many organisations are still trying to work out how best to leverage it. Microsoft hopes that its latest offering will revolutionise how organisations work, boosting productivity, enhancing security, and streamlining operations. In this article, we will examine what Microsoft Copilot is, explore how it enhances different software packages, analyse the advantages it brings to organisations, discuss its security features, and predict its future impact.
What is Copilot?
Microsoft’s vision for Copilot is to create a digital AI companion for your whole life, that will create a single Copilot user experience across Bing, Edge, Microsoft 365, and Windows. Here is the product line-up for commercial customers:
Microsoft Copilot in Windows available from 26th September empowers you to create faster and complete tasks with ease and lessen your cognitive load—making once-complicated tasks simple. Accessing the power of Copilot is seamless as it’s always right there for you on the taskbar or with the Win+C keyboard shortcut, providing assistance alongside all your apps. Copilot in Windows will feature the new Copilot icon, the new Copilot user experience, Bing Chat, and will be available to commercial customers for free.
Bing Chat Enterprise builds on Microsoft Copilot and adds commercial data protection—so you can be confident your business data is protected and will not leak outside the organization. With Bing Chat Enterprise, chat data is not saved, Microsoft has no eyes-on access, and your data is not used to train the large language models (LLM). Bing Chat Enterprise is available as a standalone for $5 per user per month and is included in Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5.
Microsoft 365 Copilot is your AI assistant at work. It builds on Bing Chat Enterprise but is in a class all its own. It includes enterprise-grade security, privacy, compliance, and responsible AI to ensure all data processing happens inside your Microsoft 365 tenant—using technology Microsoft 365 customers have relied on for years. Microsoft 365 Chat is the new hero experience for Microsoft 365 Copilot and goes far beyond simple questions and answers. It combs across your entire universe of data—all your emails, meetings, chats, documents, and more, plus the web—to solve your most complex problems at work. And it’s integrated into the Microsoft 365 Apps millions of people use every day—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and more. Microsoft 365 Copilot was made generally available for enterprise customers for $30 per user per month on 1st November.
What Can Copilot Do?
Let's take a quick look at what Copilot will bring to some key Microsoft applications.
Microsoft Word and Excel
Copilot enhances document and spreadsheet creation by suggesting content, formatting options, and data manipulation. Whether you're writing a report, crafting a presentation, or crunching numbers, Copilot is there to assist you.
Managing emails and appointments becomes more efficient with Copilot's ability to draft emails, schedule meetings, and provide context-aware responses.
Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code
For developers, Copilot is a game-changer, offering intelligent code suggestions, bug fixing, and documentation generation. It accelerates the software development process and helps in writing clean, efficient code.
Copilot can assist in creating visually appealing and engaging presentations by providing suggestions for layout, design, and content.
Within the Teams platform, Copilot facilitates efficient communication by assisting in drafting messages, setting up meetings, and providing quick access to relevant information.
Data analysis and visualisation are made easier with Copilot's ability to generate insights and suggest relevant charts and graphs.
Copilot assists in managing documents and content within SharePoint, helping users find and organise files more effectively.
Note-taking becomes smarter with Copilot offering suggestions for formatting, content organisation, and references.
Planner and To-Do
Copilot helps users stay organised by suggesting task management strategies and creating to-do lists.
These are just a few examples of the Microsoft software packages that Copilot integrates with. Its versatility and adaptability make it an essential tool for organisations looking to boost productivity across various departments.
Advantages of Copilot
Microsoft Copilot is designed with one primary goal in mind: to enhance productivity. Here's how it accomplishes this:
Faster Workflows: Copilot reduces the time required for tasks, whether it's drafting documents, coding, or managing emails. It suggests content, code, and strategies, streamlining the process.
Reduced Errors: With intelligent suggestions and auto-correction, Copilot minimises the chances of errors in documents, code, and data analysis.
Improved Collaboration: Copilot makes it easier for teams to collaborate by offering context-aware assistance within tools like Teams, Outlook, and SharePoint.
Consistency: It ensures consistency in documents, presentations, and code by suggesting standardised formats and practices.
Learning Opportunities: Copilot provides a valuable learning experience for employees. They can learn best practices, coding standards, and efficient work methods through its suggestions.
Security is paramount in the modern workplace, and Microsoft Copilot ensures that your data remains protected within your Microsoft Tenant. Here are some of the security features that make Copilot a trusted tool:
Data Encryption: Copilot employs robust data encryption mechanisms, both in transit and at rest, to safeguard sensitive information.
Role-Based Access Control: Access to Copilot and the data it handles can be controlled using role-based access control, ensuring that only authorised personnel can interact with it.
Audit Trails: Copilot maintains detailed audit trails, allowing administrators to track user activities and monitor for any anomalies.
Compliance Standards: Microsoft ensures that Copilot complies with various industry standards and regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, and SOC 2, to meet data protection requirements.
Data Residency: Organisations can select the geographic location where their data is stored, providing control over data residency and compliance needs.
Threat Detection and Response: Copilot benefits from Microsoft's extensive threat detection and response capabilities, ensuring timely identification and mitigation of potential security threats.
Regular Updates and Patches: Microsoft consistently updates and patches Copilot to address security vulnerabilities and maintain robust protection.
By prioritising security, Copilot instils confidence in organisations that their data is in safe hands while enjoying the benefits of AI-driven productivity.
Microsoft 365 Copilot Available Now
Microsoft 365 Copilot is generally available for enterprise customers worldwide as of 1st November. For more information visit the Microsoft 365 Copilot microsite.
The Future of Copilot
As we move forward in the age of AI, tools like Microsoft 365 Copilot are set to become indispensable. Its integration with the 365 suite empowers employees, making it an invaluable asset. Over the next two years, we expect organisations to embrace Copilot extensively, making it an integral part of their daily operations.
The potential of AI, combined with Microsoft's dedication to innovation, paints a very promising future and organisations that embrace this technology will undoubtedly stay ahead in a competitive and rapidly evolving business landscape.
At HybrIT we believe in the power of AI, and we are committed to delivering AI-focused projects and solutions for our customers. Setup a call with one of our Microsoft experts to find out more about how Copilot can revolutionise your business.