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What’s benefits will Microsoft 365 Copilot bring?

We asked top Microsoft MVPs what they thought were the biggest benefits that Microsoft 365 Copilot will bring.

We asked Microsoft MVPs what the biggest benefits of Microsoft 365 Copilot are and we compiled their answers into a short video, which you can see below. But they had more to say that we put all their answers together in this blog post so we could fully share their awesome insights.

Microsoft Copilot will save people time – Vlad Catrinescu

There is no hiding that it will change the world and every organization will start using AI at some point, but it will depend on the data you have in your tenant. If you have garbage data, you’ll have a garbage experience, unfortunately. If you’re ever looking for a project to do as an organization, start cleaning up your tenant and start tagging your documents.

Vlad Catrinescu, Microsoft MVP

If you don’t have good security in place, your security team will absolutely hate Copilot. And we had a bit of the same problem with Delve a couple of years ago, which was in a way, the first version of AI in the Microsoft Cloud.

If your data is not secured properly, people will have access to things that they shouldn’t have. At the end of the day, the reason why, for me, Microsoft Copilot is the best productivity tool out there is because it respects all your security and compliance standards. So Copilot will only have access to things that the user has access to.

And that’s why it’s so important that you be secure and of course you follow your compliance standards. Then Microsoft listens. For example, one of the things they talked about in the keynote here at ESPC was that some companies want to have Copilot, but because of compliance reasons, they cannot have meeting transcription on and now you can have Copilot for your meeting recap even without the meeting transcription turned on.

So really find the settings that you can configure to use Copilot in a compliant way. Microsoft will offer you all of the different tools, but it’s your responsibility to turn them on or off depending on what compliance standard you have to follow. And of course, security, even if you’re never going to buy Copilot, secure your content, discover what’s overshared.

It will be good for your security. You don’t want to be the next company on the front page of the news that, “Hey, we had a data leak”, so secure your data either way. Start securing all of your information. This way whenever you’re ready to go in the AI world, get those Copilot licenses, your environment will be ready and you’ll have the best experience.

Copilot for me, the big advantage, it will help people stay focused on what matters most. They'll be able to recap the most important things and only dig deeper into the things that are most relevant to their job. So it will save them time by only picking the important stuff for them.

Vlad Catrinescu, Microsoft MVP

Copilot will save people time. We went from a world 20 years ago where access to information was the tough part, you couldn’t find it. Now we have too much information. We have 30 meetings a week, we have 100 emails, we have stuff in Teams, we have stuff in SharePoint. It’s just impossible to keep track of everything.

Copilot can help you get started – Karoliina Kettukari

I really think Copilot can help people get started. You don’t have to have the blank page syndrome anymore. You can ask for Copilot to create the first draft to summarize items from different work documents, PowerPoints, OneNotes, and you get to the first initiative.

Karoliina Kettukari, Microsoft MVP

One of my favorite tips a lot of customers are using as well is to build some kind of prompt library in your organization. So basically you can have the group in Viva Engage where your employees can share prompts and ideas for how to use Copilot and then share the knowledge across the whole organization.

Microsoft 365 Copilot is a game changer – Andy Malone

I mean, there’s no doubt that I think in terms of larger companies, Microsoft 365 Copilot is going to be a game changer. It really will. I’m not convinced that we’re absolutely there yet with it and I think there are a few wrinkles to be ironed out with it as with every new technology. But I think the future is looking really good.

Andy Malone, Microsoft MVP

I think of the speed of getting things done, the fact that you can just create documents, and also document conversion. You can have a report, you can abbreviate it, you can transform it into a PowerPoint presentation. I think it’s super exciting. If you are a marketer or salesperson, I think its a game changing technology.

Well, I think one of the really nice things is because Chat GPT, of course, is open to everything, the fact that it’s going to be closed against your tenant. So Microsoft 365 and also Bing Chat Enterprise, which is being rebranded as Microsoft Copilot as well, is going to be tenant specific. So it’s going to ensure that your data remains and in your tenant specifically, which is great.

My advice it to learn as much as you can. I mean, there's a there's a wealth of materials out there on Microsoft Learn. There's the A900 getting started course which is free. You can do it today. I think it's something that everybody needs to take a look at.

Andy Malone, Microsoft MVP

What do I need to keep in mind with general availability? I think getting prepared for it. I watched Jeff’s session here at ESPC and I think preparation in terms of security. So things like getting Microsoft Purview labelling, classification, data loss prevention policies in place. So get your infrastructure in place first before taking that step forward into Copilot.

Discover new possibilities with Copilot – Gokan Ozcifci

I’ve been using Copilot for at least three months. Two things for sure you will get with Copilot; The first thing is you will discover new data, new possibilities by asking good questions and also getting results from forgotten data.

Well, you will get new results, new responses that will amaze you. Secondly, you’ll discover the potential of Copilot by just asking the good questions. You will be surprised on how intelligent the responses will be by asking the correct questions, either to Excel, either to Word.

Gokan Ozcifci, Microsoft MVP

One thing I love with Copilot is the ability to create new presentations based on Word documents. For me, it would take like hours to build a presentation. Now, with Copilot, I’ll just ask it to build a presentation based on a data source, a dataset, could be a Word file, could be a SharePoint site, could even be the web, and that presentation will be drafted for me. So you will discover new possibilities with Copilot.

So the advice I would give you is firstly, set up a centre for excellence, empower some power users and give them practical examples on a weekly or even daily basis. If you don’t train your end users, your power users, if you don’t give them practical examples, we’ll deal with a loss. By providing them all the data they need through a centre of excellence, through a blog post, through email, through chat, through any kind of formal education, well, you will get top notch Copilot educated people. Education is an absolute must to do within Copilot.

Copilot will enhance the experience – Elio Struyf

I already use Copilot from GitHub for a while, so I started using it three years ago. I saw it from nothing to what it does right now, writing my own code. And I can only imagine in the enterprise world that it gives you a lot of benefits. On creating emails, extracting data from emails, seeing what’s on the upcoming meetings and so on. So I can only imagine that our life will be a much easier. That’s awesome.

Elio Struyf, Microsoft MVP

I think as the advice I would give is companies should not be afraid of AI, they should be adapting to it. And it’s a tool that users can use for making their work experience better instead of replacing a person. Same thing as what I saw and heard on the developer side with GitHub Copilot. It’s not replacing a developer because we still have to implement the logic and we still need to understand the code that we are implementing. So the same thing will happen with Microsoft 365 Copilot. It’s not going to replace people, it’s going to enhance the experience for them.

If you give Copilot to developers, they still have to understand code and you cannot code blind. So you can ask Copilot to write code, but a developer still needs to understand what they are implementing. It’s always good to do a review of the actual code that you get and do you understand it? And if you don’t understand it, you can ask Copilot again to explain it. But don’t do blind things because otherwise you’re getting code that nobody understands inside your code base who needs to maintain it afterwards.

Copilot already understands my code and is going to provide me details about my code and suggest things based on my code base. So if I have a problem, probably Copilot can already solve it for me. So less context switching is the benefit of Copilot for a developer.

Elio Struyf, Microsoft MVP

So I can only imagine inside Microsoft 365 that you don’t have to go to a whole set of documents anymore to find the right piece of information that you need to write your email. You can go in your email chat with Copilot in order to retrieve that information and then write the document or write the email.

Copilot frees up time for high value collaboration – Richard Harbridge

There’s a lot that people can do to improve the way they communicate, how they write, how they craft and think about things. For example, re purposing content. A lot of times we have content, but it’s not designed for an audience or tailored in a certain way. And now we can do that really easily.

Another big one that I’m a big fan of is aggregating and saving time. So a lot of times you’ll be looking at a long document and you can quickly say, “Summarize this document” or “I’m looking for these patterns across three or four documents” and even some of that you can do again by just loading up the document in the browser using that Edge sidebar.

Richard Harbridge, Microsoft MVP

It’s been really interesting seeing how it affects how we collaborate. So one of my favorite patterns that I’ve seen is a lot of times in organizations, we have what we call low value collaboration. So I say, “Hey, you have amazing SharePoint skills, help me find a document” or “You are really great at creating amazing PowerPoint presentations, help me craft a better PowerPoint presentation.” And what happens is people now go to Copilot to help do those things, and that frees up a lot more time for the higher value collaboration. And that itself changes a lot when you use Copilot because you’re using Copilot.

I’m using Copilot and after we each use Copilot in that meeting context, we take the before meeting, the after meeting, the whole lifecycle of that experience and that has Copilot around it too, right? Coming up with agenda items and extracting action items and key comments or quotes that we had in the meeting, this is a lot of stuff there that we use Copilot for.

And the way it changes how people work with one another is something that you have to experience to see just how disruptive and exciting it can be because at an individual level it’s awesome to see productivity gains and quality gains. I feel the quality of this document or this format was better, but when you collaborate on it, you start to see how, having agents supporting you, a little assistant makes a world of difference in terms of what you’re capable of.

And it really lets people bring their best selves, in terms of what they’re capable of, how they communicate. A lot of people have great ideas, but they can’t express them. And so being able to write with Copilot a lot of times is wonderful because not everyone has literary science backgrounds and is really great at writing. And so this enables a lot more people to participate in an active way. It’s just is a very exciting time in the way it impacts people and productivity.

So for some organizations that it’s about making sure everyone has access to AI, whether that’s an individual or a department, a business unit, a process so that we can enrich it with the opportunities, the presents, and especially in a post generative AI era, because there’s a lot more that’s possible in that pathway.

I think the secondary challenge, is a lot of times it captures the imagination of executives and leaders because they’re like “Hey, there’s so much we could do” But the reality, if I’m Frank, is a lot of times the real work is this other stuff that is not really AI, it is just analytics and automation, right? And so a lot of times maybe true AI analytics automation in this, cohesive way isn’t necessarily what they’re really looking for, is just process automation.

Or maybe what they’re looking for is we have these analytics and data points that we’re not using today. How do we use them better? And sometimes that doesn’t require AI at all. It’s just about, unpacking the value of that using Power Platform or Syntex, which is now SharePoint Premium. It’s helping people organize documents and processes.

And then, once the data’s in Microsoft 365, you’ve migrated it from a on-prem server or you’ve got your security footprint figured out. Now all of a sudden it’s like, we can add AI layers to this and just take the value further right? Kind of skyrocket the potential value. And so that’s the destination everyone wants. But there’s all this work to kind of build up to there.

I think that's where most customers are today, is they're just trying to use this as an opportunity to envision what we could do with AI and there's so much we could do.

Richard Harbridge, Microsoft MVP

And so how do we get there? Well, let’s do incremental steps where we automate this piece, we improve this experience. And today a lot of that is just Power Automate. It’s just Power Platform or it’s just SharePoint, It’s just these other Microsoft Teams and how people coordinate with Teams.

It’s these incremental steps that eventually kind of just in each of those steps unlock new AI potential right now that it’s in SharePoint, now that it’s in Power Platform, now we can use AI to analyze the data to build better reports, or we can use AI to predict and not just notify people, but predict what kind of notification or writing we should use to tailor it, based on the audience or the urgency.

But at the end of the day, the AI transformation is absolutely available. A lot of organizations are excited by it. But if we look at volume of work, I still think most of the work is this prepping enablement and getting to a state where it can be used with the data versus just turning it on.

Would you like to know more?

It was great hearing what MVPs had to say about the benefits of Microsoft 365 Copilot. They also gave us insight into balancing collaboration vs security and the next big thing in Microsoft. Thank you to all the Microsoft MVPs for their insights!

If you want to learn more about how to get ready for Copilot, check out our webinar Getting started with Microsoft 365 Copilot, where Zoe Wilson and Luke Evans will show you how to utilize Copilot’s capabilities fully and safely. And be sure you subscribe to our newsletter and stay ahead of the curve.

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