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What everyone should know about Microsoft 365 Copilot

In this article, twoday Business Area Manager Magnus Karlsson explains how Microsoft 365 Copilot works and what to consider before implementing it in your organization.
May 14, 2024 9:35:50 AM Magnus Karlsson

What is Microsoft 365 Copilot and how does it differ from other AI tools?

“Microsoft 365 Copilot is an incredibly dynamic tool that has made a profound impact across numerous organizations. What distinguishes M365 Copilot from other AI solutions is its primary integration with various applications within the Microsoft 365 platform, including Outlook, Teams, Word, Excel, and more. With Copilot's implementation, users receive extensive support in utilizing these tools, as it generates insights and responses based on their access permissions through the company's Microsoft license.”

What are the primary features provided by Microsoft 365 Copilot to its users?

"Microsoft 365 Copilot serves as an excellent assistant while navigating through various applications within the Microsoft ecosystem. For instance, in Word, you can highlight a passage and request Copilot to summarize key points or generate a table based on specific text, facilitating better document structuring. For heavy email users, Copilot can summarize important emails received over the past week, identify actionable items, and prioritize them accordingly. Additionally, specialized Copilots cater to specific domains, like Copilot for finance, streamlining tasks for finance teams within organizations.”

What are the primary challenges organizations usually encounter when implementing Microsoft 365 Copilot?

“The biggest challenges among organizations are not really related to M365 Copilot itself, as it is just one of many AI solutions to choose from. The biggest challenge usually revolves around internally deciding how to handle AI in general. While most organizations recognize the need for AI adoption, they often lack clarity on how to proceed. What often happens is that employees take their own initiatives and start using AI solutions without a clear guideline from the company informing them of what they are allowed to use and what they are not allowed to use. Therefore, regardless of the specific solution, the most prevalent challenge is to determine: where should we integrate AI into our processes, how should we do it, what permissions should we grant, and what limitations should we set?"

How should companies approach determining what should be permitted and restricted concerning AI?

“As a company, you should primarily consider which areas AI provides the most value. This involves pinpointing functions and processes with significant potential for streamlining while posing minimal security risks. Achieving a balance between information security and operational efficiency is essential for the business.”

Can you choose what information Microsoft 365 Copilot can access?

“The fundamental technology relies heavily on the authorization structure within your current Microsoft environment. It's crucial to ensure all users have the appropriate authorization set up. However, this is often lacking in many organizations, particularly evident during M365 Copilot implementation. Therefore, it's essential to address this as part of the implementation process beforehand. Fortunately, several new automated tools have been developed to aid in gaining better control over employee access.”

How does Microsoft 365 Copilot handle data protection and user privacy, considering GDPR?

"In simplified terms, Microsoft 365 Copilot handles its data in the same way as the other Microsoft 365 applications handle their data. This means that if you are a corporate user located in Europe, the European data protection regulations are complied with. From a user perspective, the questions you ask Copilot and the answers generated are stored, similar to in a Teams chat. There are also different types of settings that can be made as an administrator in Copilot, where you can set up rules for, for example, how long the information should be stored. But unlike, for example, ChatGPT or other types of public generative AI, the information you feed into Copilot will never be accessible to external parties.

It's important to pay special attention to whether, apart from the core functionality, you're also utilizing plugins that fetch data from external sources. In such cases, it's crucial to ensure compliance with the organization's established rules.”

How do you think generative AI will affect our everyday work in the long run?

"I would say that it will affect our everyday lives to a fairly large extent. Then the question is how long it will take. The AI field is not new, it began to develop as early as the 1960s, however, a lot has happened in a short time in recent years. It is an area that will have a major impact on many organizations, it is probably just a matter of figuring out how to use it best and in which processes."

How much does it cost to use Microsoft 365 Copilot?

"Microsoft 365 Copilot costs $30 per user per month. Usually, you start by introducing a pilot group within the organization, which begins using the tool and in turn evaluates the solution before scaling up usage within the organization."

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