Office 365

What Is Microsoft 365 Copilot?

Assistive technology has rapidly advanced over the past year or two. Bots went from answering basic questions to ...

Assistive technology has rapidly advanced over the past year or two. Bots went from answering basic questions to completing tasks. The current versions can do anything from writing code to drawing pictures. As technology grows and advances, so do the ways we can use it to make our work easier. One of the latest examples is Microsoft 365 Copilot.

Microsoft's investment in ChatGPT technology has paid off for the company. Not only does it add character to the Bing search experience, but it has set a thriving base for this new AI-powered tool. The tech company promises that it can optimize the Microsoft 365 environment for greater productivity.

copilot-2How Does Microsoft 365 Copilot Work?

Copilot is the high-level virtual assistant office workers need. It combines Microsoft Graph data with large language models to convert commands into completed tasks. The tech company believes it could become one of the most powerful productivity tools on the planet, which is plausible, considering the time-savings already created by using chatbots and automation.

Machine learning powers Microsoft 365 Copilot, so it keeps learning as it goes. It uses data mining and machine learning algorithms to analyze your Microsoft 365 environment. Once Copilot accesses your environment, it requires no further input beyond configurations. It can work in the background like an IT engineer would in an organization.

Microsoft has embedded the product into all the Microsoft 365 apps, so it has the data it needs to fulfill its role as an assistant at your company. That access to data gives it the foundation it needs to respond to commands in unique and powerful ways.

For example, you may use business chat to command it to send an update to your team based on decisions made in that morning’s meetings and chats. These chats may have been with other executives, but your team did not attend those meetings and needs the information to move forward. Copilot can then pull from emails, chats, and transcripts to create a status update.

What Are the Benefits of Microsoft 365 Copilot?

Microsoft believes this AI in the workplace will completely change the way we interact with technology. Why manually complete tasks anymore when you can tell the computer what to do? Consider the positive implications for individual users and organizations.

Addresses the Technical Skills Gap

When you think of workers lacking technical skills, you might envision older workers. However, several studies now suggest that Gen Z should be added to the list. The smartphone generation does not understand computers as well as millennials and often experience "tech shame" in the office. Copilot reduces the learning curve and improves productivity for people still learning their way around computers, regardless of age or experience.

Reduces Tedious, Time-Consuming Tasks

Revisit the example above of using Copilot to update workers on new project decisions. It would take the manager half an hour or more to review all data sources and summarize the final decisions. Polishing up the writing would take additional time. Now, he can outsource that function to a bot and spend that time working on completing the actual project goals.

Improves Productivity

Microsoft 365 Copilot makes it easy to cross mundane tasks off the list. It also speeds up the process of passing information along the chain in the work process. In the example above, the workers affected did not attend the meeting that led to changes, so they would continue to work based on previous decisions. A timely update saves a lot of time wasted on doubling back.

Reduces Errors

Bots do not make mistakes. While the occasional glitch is possible, they complete repetitive tasks with a level of accuracy that humans cannot match. Humans have the gifts of creativity, natural intellect, and reasoning abilities. We use these skills to innovate. Meanwhile, a bot is exceptional at doing what it's told, even when that means doing the same thing repeatedly. It can also complete these tasks faster without negatively impacting accuracy.

What Are the Challenges of Microsoft 365 Copilot?

Your Copilot might sound like a dream come true, but it has downsides. These are some of the main ones you may need to plan for:

  • Data security: Copilot has almost complete access to company data. That access to data and syncing across apps increases the risk of data leakage or unauthorized access.
  • Data privacy: People must know that their conversations and data are safe from prying eyes, including bots. You may need to reassure workers and customers.
  • Legal risks: Rolling out a bot may introduce a new set of legal issues related to employee monitoring and data privacy. Review these carefully before launching your Copilot.
  • Technology fatigue: Introducing yet another tool can be overwhelming and add to workers' fatigue. Provide training to ensure they unlock Copilot’s full potential.

Do You Need To Migrate to the Cloud to Access Microsoft 365 Copilot?

Businesses need Microsoft 365 to access Copilot. This may necessitate a complete cloud migration. Our experienced team of migration specialists can review your system to determine whether this is true for you.

Because Copilot uses company data across Microsoft 365, it will be less effective if the company has corporate data stored elsewhere. However, you may keep some data and communication mediums separate to ensure data privacy for very sensitive data.

Are you ready to fully evaluate your legacy system and migration goals for Microsoft 365 Copilot? Contact our team at Cloudficient for a quote today.

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