We’ve been talking about Microsoft Copilot a fair bit lately because it will change – by which we mean improve – the way we work.
This time, we’ll look at what it’ll mean for your day-to-day tasks and activities. But first, a quick recap.
What is Microsoft Copilot?
Microsoft calls Copilot ‘your everyday AI companion.’ Operating across all Microsoft’s platforms and applications, including Office, Edge, Teams, Bing, Windows and Dynamics, it combines large language models (LLMs) with data stored in the Microsoft Graph (including calendars, chats, documents, emails and meetings). It can translate verbal instructions into concrete tasks, freeing users to concentrate on their strategic, value-adding tasks.
It will provide real-time assistance to help users complete tasks, create notes and documents, and automate standard processes.
In more concrete terms, it can generate text and tables in Word, summarise and draft emails in Outlook and generate visualisations in Excel.
The most common interface is a virtual assistant that you can assign to various tasks. For example, you might ask it to ‘summarise unread messages.’ In that case, it will scan Outlook and generate a quick summary.
Or you might ask it to follow a meeting you can’t attend. Teams will see someone has followed the session and notify you when its recap is ready. Then you can ask questions, such as ‘any actions for me?’ or ‘summarise the meeting.’
The new Business Chat functionality combines your data with your Microsoft 365 apps and the LLM to respond to prompts such as ‘update my team on the new strategy document.’
It can also draw upon chats, emails and meetings to generate daily updates and project summaries.
Copilot for Office users
Here are some examples of how Copilot will transform your day-to-day tasks in Microsoft’s Office suite:
- Word: Based on your prompts, Copilot can draft, revise, extend or condense existing documents and adjust tone.
- Excel: Copilot can reveal relationships, recommend formulas and suggest new scenarios based on your data. It can add tables and visualisations and demonstrate how changing variables can impact calculations or results (e.g. how a price change might impact sales and profit).
- PowerPoint: Copilot can simplify presentation creation by creating decks based on existing Word documents, condensing long presentations into summaries and re-organising content into new formats (including adding images).
- Teams: inside Team chat, Copilot can answer questions and summarise information. It can create meeting agendas, identify tasks and team members for follow-up and generate meeting summaries.
- Outlook: Copilot can summarise threaded conversations, draft emails and send messages based on natural language prompts (e.g. invite my team to a training session next Friday at 9 am in the boardroom).
Copilot and Business Chat
Business Chat functions across all your apps and data. It uses the Microsoft Graph to pull together data from all available sources, allowing it to streamline your workflow in new ways, for example:
- Consolidating all information regarding an action from a previous day (e.g. a customer query)
- Identifying upcoming project milestones, risks and mitigations
- Creating project timelines and planning synopses based on specific data sources (e.g. a proposal in a team member’s email or an existing planning document).
Copilot for Enterprise users
For enterprise users, Dynamics 365 Copilot offers even more. At a high level, it provides AI assistance to CRM and ERP tasks and processes through natural language inputs, automation and insights to enhance decisions and boost creativity.
For example, it can generate product descriptions, draft marketing copy and publish to Shopify or your e-commerce platform of choice.
In Dynamics 365 Sales, Copilot offers a streamlined chat interface that helps users stay on top of their essential tasks while automating ‘grunt work’ and low-value data handling. Key capabilities include:
- Record summarisation: drawn from your opportunity and lead records
- Record catch-up: summarising changes to records
- Meeting preparation: summarising relevant information from opportunity and lead records
- Email assistance: drafting copy, summarising conversations and generating reminders.
Meanwhile, for Power Apps users, Copilot allows even non-technical team members to create apps to discover insights, make work processes more efficient and free up time for high-value tasks. Copilot helps users edit and refine their apps, add chatbots and pull in data from multiple sources (including Azure SQL databases, Excel, Microsoft Dataverse and SharePoint). And, needless to say, Security Copilot, running on Azure’s hyperscale infrastructure, will significantly boost your business’s resilience and capabilities.
We firmly believe that Copilot (and other AI technologies) will change the way your business operates. The good news is that it’s already rolling out. It’s been added to Windows 11 through a regular update and will be coming to Bing and Edge this year. Enterprise customers: Microsoft 365 Copilot rolled out for enterprise customers in November.
It’s an exciting time to be a Microsoft customer, as these features will enable everyday users to interact with AI and gain the productivity, performance, and work-life balance benefits it can deliver.
To learn more, contact us today for a chat about how Microsoft Copilot can benefit your business.