M365 Copilot – it’s here to help you, not take your job!

How AI is changing the way we work, not replacing us

M365 Copilot and other AI tools are transforming the way we work. Contrary to perception, they are not here to replace us and put us all out of work (remember when computers, and then spreadsheets were going to do the same?).

The reality is that M365 Copilot and the like can change the way we work for the better. The contemporary work landscape often forces us into monotonous tasks that deplete our time, creativity, and energy. To rediscover the soul of our work, a mere improvement in traditional approaches won't suffice; what is needed is an entirely new paradigm for work.

The transformative potential of M365 Copilot

This innovative tool harnesses the capabilities of large language models (LLMs), seamlessly integrating with your data in the Microsoft Graph and Microsoft 365 apps. The result is the conversion of spoken or written commands into the most potent productivity tool available.

As a result, if harnessed correctly, M365 Copilot can become an integral part of your daily work in applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams. The result? Enhanced creativity, unlocked productivity, and elevated skill sets.

How M365 Copilot works

The M365 Copilot application operates in two ways within Microsoft 365: embedded in familiar apps, working alongside the user to boost creativity and productivity, and through a new feature called Business Chat. The latter utilises LLMs, Microsoft 365 apps, and an organisation’s data to accomplish tasks. The user can provide natural language prompts, and M365 Copilot generates responses based on the user’s calendar, emails, chats, documents, meetings, and contacts.

If deployed and used correctly, Copilot ensures user control. Users decide what to keep, modify, or discard, enabling a more creative, analytical, expressive, and collaborative work experience across various Microsoft 365 applications.

M365 Copilot in action

Copilot provides outputs such as initial drafts in Word, aids in creating captivating presentations in PowerPoint, and facilitates quick trend analysis and data visualisation in Excel. Copilot simplifies tasks in Outlook, helping users to clear their inbox efficiently, and enhances productivity in Teams by summarising discussions in real-time.

Data from GitHub supports Microsoft's productivity claims. Developers using GitHub Copilot are reported to be 88% more productive, with 74% stating Copilot enables them to focus on more value added or gratifying work. Perhaps most tellingly, 77% of those surveyed said that they are spending less time searching for information thanks to Copilot.

Moreover, Copilot extends beyond individual productivity enhancements; it establishes a new knowledge model for organisations, leveraging untapped data and insights. Business Chat integrates across business data and apps, making information and insights easily accessible, saving time and fostering organisational knowledge flow. This data can be invaluable for internal communications teams and leadership to monitor staff sentiment, consumption, and knowledge gaps.

Transformative impacts, and what’s next

Copilot's transformative impact includes making users better at what they do and enabling mastery of new skills. By using natural language, it unlocks a myriad of functionalities within Microsoft 365 apps. Copilot is designed to evolve, learn new skills, and adapt to various domains and processes.

In the coming months, Microsoft plans to integrate Copilot into all productivity apps and expand its availability, with Dynamics 365 Copilot already available in CRM and ERP.

BB/19/2/24

3 best practices to optimise Copilot

To scale the use of Microsoft 365 Copilot, it is essential to proactively set up effective governance and data management processes while preserving data security and compliance. Doing so can minimise the risk of management issues and IT burden and help you reap the benefits of AI in the long run.

Here are three best practices to help you streamline your operations so you can leverage the transformative power of AI in Microsoft 365 Copilot.

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