Leveraging Artificial Intelligence Using Microsoft Copilot

Every company in the world is soon going to have the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at their fingertips, whether they realise it or not.

We are already seeing huge leaps in the artificially intelligent technologies that are being developed, and the unique and creative ways that they’re being used by businesses in the know to boost their communication and make better informed decisions with the help of AI analytics. And in the past few months, Microsoft has unveiled their own AI apps feature which is going to be incorporated into Microsoft 365 platforms like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams and more.

What Is Generative AI?

Copilot is Microsoft’s answer to generative AI – a concept that has garnered a lot of attention over the past year thanks to the launch of AI apps like ChatGPT and image generators like Midjourney.

Generative AI is all about using artificial intelligence and deep learning to provide answers to questions, generate unique images. The idea behind a platform like ChatGPT is that it has been fed a wealth of knowledge, and is able to analyse that data in order to summarise concepts succinctly. And the same can be said for image generators – an AI is trained by analysing millions of pieces of art, photographs and other images, and is then able to draw on that foundation to create new artwork.
One of the biggest benefits of generative AI is its capacity to provide meaningful insights within seconds. It is able to summarise articles, to draw on a wide database of knowledge in order to offer context to ongoing discussions, and all of this means having to spend less time doing research and finding insights, when AI has the capacity to do it far, far quicker.

Where Does Microsoft AI Fit Into The Scenario?

Where ChatGPT has been trained on data from around the web, the idea behind Microsoft Copilot is that it will be your unique Microsoft AI, trained on your data – your emails, your documents, your spreadsheets and presentations. Which will make it the perfect tool for automating processes and jumpstarting document creation, presentation design and more. It will be able to analyse the information that you feed it in order to give back meaningful insights, and because the foundation for its knowledge is all about you, it will be personalised to add specific value to the way that you work.
Microsoft AI Copilot will, for example, be writing and rewriting your emails in Outlook, your articles, proposals and other documents in Word. And because it is basing these creations on previous emails, articles, proposals and documents that you’ve written, it will be able to create new ones that use the same tone, grammar, look and feel that you and your clients are used to.

On top of this, the company has also announced a Microsoft AI Chatbot feature in the form of Business Chat, where you can ask your AI to attend meetings on your behalf and take notes, to summarise the notes from previous meetings and so much more.

How Is Microsoft Copilot Going To Help Your Business?

There are plenty of ways that AI apps are enhancing companies around the world. But there are four main areas where we expect Microsoft Copilot to shine, adding value to your operations, and helping your humans to work smarter, rather than harder.

• Enhanced Productivity

You want to see your people working as efficiently as possible. But every email that they need to read and respond to, every meeting that they need to sit in, every technical glitch that they experience, takes them away from the work that is adding real value and contributing towards your goals. An AI app like Microsoft Copilot that can write those emails, summarise those meetings without you needing to attend them, and simplify troubleshooting, is going to see productivity rising throughout your business.


• Increased Creativity

By automating the mundane day-to-day tasks that take up so much time, and by allowing Copilot to fill in the basics when it comes to creating new documents, designing presentations, and data reporting, you and your teams will find yourselves able to focus more on the creative. When the basics are already there, it makes it easier to find different angles to write about, to discover more meaningful ways of getting points across, and to look into alternative approaches for highlighting interesting insights.


• More Time

Time is a finite and incredibly valuable resource, and one that Copilot can help you to make the most of. So many time-consuming tasks can be automated, leaving you and your humans with more minutes and hours to focus your efforts on the areas where you can add true value. And, more importantly, when you are spending less time on the mundane day-to-day tasks, and are getting more done in your days, you will find yourself with more time to spend doing the things you love with the people that mean the most to you.


• Staying Competitive

Competition in business has never been fiercer, and AI apps like Copilot which can help you do more with less could be the key to keeping your company ahead of the curve. Businesses are already taking advantage of AI in various ways, and companies that can’t adapt are swiftly falling behind. As one of the top AI apps, Microsoft Copilot is an ideal platform for helping your business to stay ahead within your market, and see you stepping confidently into the future.


How Does Microsoft Copilot Compare To Other AI Apps?

With so many different AI apps out there, how can you be sure the Microsoft AI is the right choice for your business?

Where even the best AI apps that are currently available and in development address single needs, or find unique ways of approaching individual challenges, Microsoft is taking a holistic approach to implementing AI. It’s not just about solving one problem – Copilot is being integrated into the Microsoft 365 tools that you already use on a daily basis. This makes it a far-reaching solution, and one that you don’t have to go very far or make too many changes to adopt. Rather than having to alter the way you work, and get your humans to do the same, Microsoft Copilot aims to fit into your existing routines as a business, allowing you to take full advantage of AI apps and get more value from your Microsoft 365 solutions.

What Are The Challenges To Using AI Apps Like Microsoft Copilot?

Just because we expect Microsoft Copilot to have a far shallower learning curve than most AI apps, doesn’t mean that using the new platform is going to come without its challenges.

• Adoption

Just like with any technology, adoption is key. You want to ensure that the tools you provide your humans with are adding value to your business. But change is often a slow process and there are always going to be champions, and people that struggle with the adjustment.

You’ll want to make sure that you have maximum buy-in from the people within your business, because this in turn will ensure a better understanding of how Copilot can help your humans (rather than taking away their jobs), and can boost adoption throughout your company.

• Balancing AI With Your Human Side

The idea of AI writing your emails, your social media posts, your meeting notes, and more may be a wonderful one that results in you having more time on your hands. But are your AI communications going to carry your voice? The last thing you want is for people to be asking themselves whether they’re talking to you, or whether they’re talking to a bot that’s led by you. And what about when those people meet you in person, and find that you don’t come across the same way that you do in your emails.

What you don’t want is for your communications to sound robotic, or anything less than human. And ensuing that this is the case is going to take a lot of time, AI training, and a good deal of trial and error while you ensure that your AI carries your tone of voice and your mannerisms.

• Mastering A New Skill

There’s this saying going around that I love. “AI isn’t going to take your job. Someone who knows how to use AI effectively might.”

Prompting AI to get the kind of results that you need from it is a skill in and of itself, and one that is going to take time and training to master, but master it you must. Champions in business who learn how to use AI effectively are going to leapfrog others in terms of productivity, output, and career growth. And those are the people you are going to want to have working for you, which is why your humans are going to need to learn how to use AI in the right ways to become more productive, and maximise the value that they offer.


When Will You Be Able To Use Copilot?

Excitement around Microsoft Copilot has been rising ever since the Microsoft AI platform was announced in March. It is still undergoing thorough testing, with hundreds of users being selected to beta test the AI app in June. But it is expected that the official Microsoft Copilot release date and launch to all users will be before the end of 2023.

How Can Solid Systems Help?

As Microsoft partners, we are always looking for new and unique solutions that can be adopted as part of your Modern Workplace and complement your existing Microsoft technologies. And we know that Copilot is going to do just that, which is why, as an IT company in South Africa and an IT company in London, we cannot wait to help businesses to maximise their adoption of this new Microsoft solution. But Copilot is certainly not the only IT solution that we can help you with.

Whether you’re looking for a Managed Technology partner, want to work with expert IT consultants and Cloud consultants, need exceptionally human IT support, or want to secure your business against a wide range of email security and cyber security threats, Solid Systems is here for you. Book a consult today to discuss your unique IT needs, and see the difference for yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Microsoft Copilot available?

Copilot is still undergoing thorough testing, with hundreds of users being selected to beta test the AI app in June. But it is expected that the official Microsoft Copilot release date and launch to all users will be before the end of 2023.

Is Microsoft Copilot free?

Because Microsoft Copilot is still in its testing phase, it is difficult to predict what the cost structure will look like. However, since it is expected to integrate into Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, Copilot will likely be included in some of the Microsoft 365 subscription levels, providing businesses with access to the AI tool as part of their regular licensing.

How do I access Microsoft Copilot?

Microsoft is providing hundreds of beta testers access to the AI app in the month of June, allowing them to test-drive what we predict is going to be one of the best AI apps to launch this year when accessing their Microsoft 365 apps through their Edge browser.

What can Microsoft Copilot do?

There are so many different ways that Microsoft Copilot can be used. Once it has been trained on your documents and data, it will be able to craft simple documents, write emails on your behalf, summarise information from existing documentation, take notes within meetings (even if you are unable to attend them yourself), create beautiful presentations based on your data, and analyse information within spreadsheets to provide your business with meaningful insights. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Daniel Avinir

Daniel Avinir

Head of Client Success at Solid Systems | Virtual CIO I have a love and passion for people, their minds, technology, and nature.I believe in empowering people to work in increasingly flexible and productive ways, helping them unlock the collaboration potential and leading the cultural & technological change of our time.

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