The Ultimate Guide to Copilot for Microsoft 365

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is a conversational AI assistant that can help you access and leverage information from across your organizationCopilot uses natural language to provide relevant and personalized answers to your questions and perform actions on your behalf. 

Microsoft created Copilot for Microsoft 365 to address the ever-increasing pace of business.  The pace of work is outpacing our ability to keep up, resulting in increasing digital debt.  With Copilot for M365, Microsoft has placed a multi-billion-dollar bet that using Generative AI at work will overcome this challenge.

In this guide, we’ll work through the following questions:

  • Why is Copilot for M365 important?
  • Is your organization ready to use Copilot?
  • How can you protect your data?
  • How can you boost your productivity?
  • How can you get better results from Copilot?
  • Is it worth the investment?

Why is Copilot for Microsoft 365 Important?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way we work, learn, and communicate. AI can help us automate tasks, optimize processes, and generate insights from data. 

But how can every employee easily utilize AI to do their job better, improve productivity and drive company performance?  Copilot for M365 provides a seamless way to use AI to improve what we do.  It is embedded in the applications we use every day (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Teams, Excel, etc.).  Copilot isn’t just a chatbot or voice assistant, it’s a co-creator, a collaborator, and a coach.  Results from the earliest users of Copilot show it is working:

  • 71% said they saved time on mundane tasks
  • 68% said they improved the quality of their work
  • 86% said it is easier to catch up on what they missed

Want to learn more?  Read how Copilot can transform your organization.

Want Help on Your Journey?

Our free two-hour Microsoft Copilot for M365 readiness briefing ensures your organization is prepared to take advantage of Copilot.

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Is Your Organization Ready to Use Copilot for Microsoft 365?

Behind the scenes Copilot leverages multiple search engines and a large language model to provide natural and personalized answers to your questions. Copilot can help you with a wide range of scenarios, such as summarizing emails, creating tickets, finding authoritative content, and more. 

But for Copilot to do its magic, you need to prepare your data.  Is this required to use Copilot for M365?  No.  If you meet the minimum requirements to use Copilot, you can turn it on and start using it.  However, that is not recommended.  A little bit of up-front work will reap huge benefits for your organization.

How can you make sure you are ready to take advantage of Copilot and get the most out of it?  Here are the 3 areas to focus on.

How Can You Protect your Data with Copilot for Microsoft 365?

Copilot can access and display any data that you have permission to see in your M365 environment, but that also means that you need to be aware of what data you are exposing and sharing, and how to protect sensitive or confidential information from unauthorized access or leakage.

As the saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility”.  The good news is Copilot for Microsoft 365 automatically inherits all your company’s valuable security, compliance, and privacy policies and processes.  Two-factor authentication, compliance boundaries, privacy protections, and more make Copilot for M365 an AI solution you can trust.

Want to dive deeper? Read more on how to deploy Copilot for M365 with data protection and access control.

Ready to Deploy Copilot for Microsoft 365?

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How Can You Boost Your Productivity with Copilot for Microsoft 365?

Generative AI represents an enormous opportunity to improve the way we work.  With Copilot for M365 you can:

  • Reduce busywork by delegating tasks to AI.  You can have more focus time to do the work that really matters and adds value.
  • End information overload by getting answers instantly, identifying only the important information and restructuring your day for success.
  • Work smarter, not harder by spending less time in your inbox, searching for files and quickly getting up to speed with meeting recaps.

How can you hit the ground running with Copilot for M365?  This article shares some best practices and looks at the power of an AI-first mindset.

How Can You Get Better Results from Copilot for Microsoft 365?

The most important skill to get more from Copilot for M365 is prompt engineering.  Prompt engineering is the art of writing good prompts that help Copilot for M365 understand what you want it to do and produce the best possible result.  The better you get at prompting, the more value you will receive from Copilot.  Here are some quick tutorial videos:

Draft Effective Emails in Outlook

Request Tailored Edits in Word

Ask Better Questions in a Meeting

Organize Meeting Action Items

Want to take your prompting skills to the next level?  Our prompting guide for Copilot for M365 should do the trick.

Is Copilot for Microsoft 365 Worth the Investment?

Copilot for Microsoft 365 costs $30/user per month – paid upfront ($360) annually.  This can represent a substantial investment depending on the size of your organization.  Microsoft’s recent update eliminating the minimum user requirement gives organizations flexibility to plan their rollout in a manner that makes the most economic sense.

So, does Copilot for M365 make economic sense?  What is the return on investment?

Using a key calculation, you can achieve over 100% ROI with just two hours saved per month per employee.  The break-even point for your Copilot investment is 54 minutes saved per month for an employee with an annual cost of $70,000.

Ready to explore the numbers more?  This post breaks down the ROI for Copilot for M365 in more detail.

Conclusion – Copilot is a Paradigm Shift

Copilot is going to fundamentally change how you experience and interact with technology at work.  Now you can simply engage in a conversation with Copilot, and it will assist you with various tasks and queries across different Microsoft products and platforms.

While the initial investment may seem large, the significant ROI potential and the flexibility you have to scale the use of Copilot makes this a transformational technology to enhance your operations and drive innovation.

We hope this guide helps you understand the potential this technology has to improve your personal productivity as well as the productivity of your organization.

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