How will Microsoft Copilot redefine the future of work?

5 benefits of Microsoft Copilot for businesses

AI’s role in business has permeated leadership conversations this year as more companies have experimented with its capabilities. A McKinsey survey found that marketing and sales, product development and customer service are the top three departments that regularly use generative AI. We expect it to transform more business departments in the coming years, as the same survey found that 40% of organisations using generative AI plan to increase their investment.

Microsoft released Copilot to enterprise customers on 1 November, with availability for SMBs pending. This platform introduces new approaches to incorporating AI in the workplace. Copilot offers a dynamic approach to generative AI that surpasses many of the top tools. Rather than simply outputting content, Copilot is a digital assistant that helps people manage work and reduces time spent on administrative tasks that disrupt workflows.

A digital assistant within all Microsoft apps

The current problem with many generative AI solutions and platforms is that they do not fully integrate with every app we use at work. ChatGPT might provide developers or data analysis teams with support, but users essentially have to copy and paste information into the platform and then transfer the output or insights back into the initial app. It becomes a task of continuous application switching that wastes time. In a report by Asana, 26% of respondents using 16 or more apps reported less efficiency because of this problem.

Microsoft Copilot is your digital assistant for every Microsoft 365 app, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams. Users can prompt Copilot and receive answers without leaving these apps. The result: enhanced user productivity with intelligent support that simplifies tasks and boosts workflow efficiency.

Microsoft has called this feature‘ Business Chat’. With it, your team uses natural language commands to execute tasks across various applications, such as data visualisation on Microsoft Excel, summarising email threads in Outlook or writing messages in Teams.

Suggestions to boost creativity and start projects

Microsoft Copilot reduces the time spent on content creation, starting projects and building presentations. Copilot can quickly provide drafts and outlines for project and content planning, setting a clear path for document development and maintaining a steady creative rhythm. Copilot in Word enhances writing processes with immediate editing, rephrasing, and brainstorming suggestions. It helps writers improve their text and find new directions to create engaging and well-crafted content.

Additionally, Copilot can convert documents into presentations, drafting slides and speaker notes from text. This function simplifies the transition from writing to presenting, making creating cohesive and well-structured presentations easier. Copilot also benefits presentation quality by suggesting design improvements and generating graphics, making informative and visually appealing slides.

Email and schedule management

The latest Microsoft Work Trend Index found that knowledge workers spend 57% of their day on communication tools. Copilot helps teams reduce this time by supporting people in the following ways:

Email management in Outlook assists with inbox organisation and drafting replies. With it, users can quickly clear clutter and respond to messages, enhancing productivity and communication.

Email thread summaries allow users to grasp essential information without sifting through every email, significantly reducing time spent reading or searching long threads and enabling quicker responses to important messages.

Schedule management suggests meeting times based on colleague’s calendars, work hours and time zones. When aligning everyone’s calendars takes time and coordination, this can significantly reduce the efforts needed to organise meetings.

Meeting summaries, created during and after meetings, share the key points and decisions made with participants to ensure that important details are not overlooked.

Coding support for development teams

Coding often requires repetitive code to be copied and pasted in multiple places. Copilot reduces this time by automating manual tasks so developers can spend more time addressing high-level issues.

Additionally, Copilot provides suggestions to developers when writing or altering code. It identifies bugs, performance bottlenecks, and security vulnerabilities, helping developers address these concerns early in the development cycle. As a result, Microsoft Copilot benefits developers by enhancing code quality and proactively detecting potential issues. 

Informed responses based on business data

Rather than drawing only from sources across the web, Microsoft Copilot taps into your organisation’s data to deliver relevant responses to your company’s context. It uses your internal datasets to provide analysis and insights that are relevant and tailored to your operational needs.

Users can prompt Copilot to surface data they need for specific tasks. Instead of manually searching for data, people can use information that might have remained overlooked or unused. The data surfaced can support decision-making, content creation, and project management.

Copilot also uses business data to understand your company’s content and context to respond. It uses data stored in documents, emails, calendars, chats, meetings, and contacts to provide specific responses. Copilot also uses recent activities such as meetings attended and emails exchanged to deliver contextually relevant responses. 

While Copilot uses your business data, it includes security measures to align with regulatory compliance requirements. Copilot integrates with Microsoft’s services, so it is designed with security in mind and inherits Microsoft’s existing security features. Other AI tools, like ChatGPT, often lack the right security for organisational data; these services also carry the risk of inadvertently sharing sensitive information and putting it in the public domain.

Conclusion

Microsoft Copilot supports productivity across apps in the Microsoft 365 suite, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams. With it, people can boost creativity and content creation, better manage email and schedules, and leverage business data in new ways.

Please note that any AI outputs could have errors, especially while the platform learns. Copilot’s responses or suggestions might not always be accurate, and users should monitor outputs. Before teams can fully adopt the platform, they will need training, including learning how to frame questions to get the best results.

Like any new technology, you should not adopt Copilot without considering any impacts on data security. So, your organisation must prepare for Microsoft Copilot by enforcing appropriate controls to prevent unauthorised data access.

RODIN can guide Microsoft Copilot adoption

If you want to adopt Microsoft Copilot in your business, RODIN can guide you through the adoption process, including data protection and training your team to make the most of Copilot’s capabilities.

As Australian leaders in Microsoft 365 transformations, we position your organisation to evolve with the digital landscape and gain a competitive edge. We are a certified Microsoft Solutions Partner and will enable your business to get the most from Microsoft 365 to achieve more with less.

Visit our Modern Workplace & M365 Transformations page for more information on what we can achieve for your business.

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