Preparing Your Business For Microsoft Copilot

By Gavin Hall | January 9, 2024

Copilot Image

Microsoft unveiled its ambitious vision for Microsoft Copilot at their Annual Ignite Conference recently, announcing it as "your new everyday AI companion designed to seamlessly integrate into every aspect of your digital life".

This revolutionary tool is set to create a unified Copilot user experience across Bing, Edge, Microsoft 365, and Windows.

We explore the key highlights to help you understand why now is the time to get ready for the Copilot revolution.

Microsoft Copilot  - The New Normal Of Using Microsoft

Microsoft Copilot is breaking barriers by embedding itself across all Microsoft platforms, including Bing Chat, Edge, Microsoft 365, and Windows. The Copilot icon, representing this intelligent assistant, will become a familiar sight, helping to create a strong brand awareness, engagement and consistent user experience.

Launched for Enterprise customers on September 26, 2023, Copilot will continue expanding its availability throughout 2024, seamlessly integrating itself wherever Microsoft is present. Accessible through the taskbar and/or Win+C keyboard shortcut, Copilot will ensure constant readiness to assist.

This cross-application functionality promises to simplify tasks, reduce cognitive load, and enhance overall user productivity.

Microsoft reports that the new Work Trend Index data is already showing Copilot to be making people more productive and creative, and saving time."

  • 77% of people who have used Copilot said they don’t want to give it up,
  • 70% said Copilot makes them more productive, and
  • 68% said it improved the quality of their work.

"In experiments that Microsoft have run, users were 29% faster overall across a series of tasks and caught up on missed meetings nearly four times faster."

As Copilot has integrated into Windows, it has transformed into an indispensable part of the user experience. Whether you're a seasoned developer or a casual user, Copilot's adaptability ensures it becomes a standard feature, aiding you in various tasks effortlessly.

Copilot Integration

UPDATE: As of the 17th Jan 2024 Microsoft has confirmed "Copilot for Microsoft 365 is now available to Australian SME's with eligible Microsoft 3654 Licenses'.

With enterprise-grade security, privacy, and compliance features, Copilot surpasses traditional AI assistance by delving into complex problem-solving. Its integration into Microsoft 365 Apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams, making it a comprehensive tool for businesses.

Beyond its integration into Microsoft applications, Copilot is set to extend into its own ecosystem, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.

Commercially available as an add on to your current Microsoft 365 package for US$30 per user per month from November 1 for Enterprise customers, it promises to transform the way organisations operate in the digital landscape.

Copilot's integration into various Microsoft apps promises to revolutionise the way we work, some examples include: 

  • Copilot in Outlook - Helping you manage your inbox efficiently.
  • Copilot in Word  - Transforming the writing process.
  • Copilot in Excel - Enabling data analysis comparable to the level of a data analyst.
  • Copilot in Loop - Facilitating collaborative thinking.
  • Copilot in OneNote, Stream, and OneDrive - Further streamlining processes, providing quick access to relevant information and insights.

Bing Chat Rebranded By Copilot

At Ignite 2023, Microsoft announced the rebrand of Bing Chat and Bing Chat Enterprise into Copilot. Foundational capabilities, web grounding, and commercial data protection are retained, ensuring a seamless transition. Copilot's rebrand of Bing Chat marks a significant step toward simplifying user experiences and providing advanced AI assistance.

How To Prepare for Copilot - Empowering Directors

Microsoft recommends addressing specific technical requirements to prepare your SMB for the introduction of Copilot.

  1. Licensing and Account Requirements: Organisations must ensure that Copilot users have a Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 license and an Azure Active Directory account. This grants access to Microsoft 365 apps and services compatible with Copilot, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Outlook, and Loop.

  2. Network Optimisation: To enhance Copilot's performance, organisations are advised to align their network with Microsoft 365 network connectivity principles. This entails unblocking WebSockets from user endpoints and enabling plugins in the Teams admin centre for cross-app intelligence experiences in Teams.

While the provided information touches the surface, Microsoft offers additional insights into permissions, content management best practices, and more here.

The deployment flexibility of Copilot in Windows for SMBs lies in the hands of IT admins, allowing each organisation to choose controls and device management options according to their preferences.

However, IT administrators should exercise caution and prioritise the privacy of various devices and device types during Copilot deployment to ensure a secure and responsible implementation. For more details on device privacy, explore our Mastering Mobile Device Management (MDM) Blog.

How Can Diamond IT Help?

Diamond IT's Business Technology Managers and Business Technology Consulting teams can work with you to analyse and review the current state of your Microsoft environment and provide recommendations on your permissions structure and content management practices.

This is based on Copilot using your organisations current permissions and policies when deployed into your system to deliver the most relevant information to users when accessing Copilot.

This will include:

  • Permission and Content Management Best Practices.
  • Security, Privacy and Data Locations. 
  • License Structure.  
  • Copilot Adoption - Deployment and Training Programs to ensure your team can obtain the best from your financial investment.  

Contact our team today on 1300 307 907 and let us ensure your cyber security posture is as resilient as possible.


TAGS: Managed IT Services, News and General, Cyber Security,

About Gavin Hall
Gavin Hall

Gavin is a results-driven professional with experience in delivering enterprise-wide business and IT change. He holds PMP, ISO27001 Lead Implementer and Prince2 certifications as well as a Masters of Business Administration and has a broad range of management experience in financial services, leisure and retail industries. The right blend of professionalism, skills and management experience allows for a pragmatic 'right size' approach to succeed in delivering projects and programmes of work.