Introduction

Microsoft Copilot is an AI powered tool that is meant to simplify the day-to-day tasks and enhance the productivity of Microsoft users. It is designed for Microsoft 365 users and seamlessly integrates with the Microsoft 365 productivity suite. Not just that, this AI powered tool can offer real time assistance when one is using apps such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams. It functions seamlessly with the Windows operating system and the Bing search engine.

Microsoft Copilot is currently available for organizations and can be seen as a descendent of Clippy and Cortana. It not only offers suggestions and automates tasks, but it is also very simple to set up. Built on OpenAI's GPT-4 LLM, the Copilot by Microsoft mostly uses GPUs for training and CPUs and GPUs for inference. It is designed to leverage the processing power of Intel and AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) in both desktop and mobile devices.

This blog will discuss the versions and usage of Microsoft Copilot. We will also brief you through the process of setting up Copilot for Microsoft 365 suite.

Let us now talk about the different versions of Microsoft Copilot:

Versions of Microsoft Copilot

As of June 2024, there are three different versions of Copilot, and it is being operated by Microsoft as a freemium model. Let us talk about these three versions:

Free Version

This version can be used by anyone who uses Windows, Bing or Microsoft Edge. This can prove to be beneficial for personal uses or in situations where users don’t require any detailed or highly specific information.

Copilot Pro

This Pro version of Copilot is meant for power users and offers priority access to GPT-4 Turbo, thus offering a faster response rate than the free version. Not just that, it also offers faster performance, enhanced creativity and some exclusive productivity features. While it can be used for free for the first month, it is then priced at $20 per user per month.

Copilot for Microsoft 365

It combines the power of LLMs with the organization’s data and can be used as an add-on with all Microsoft 365 applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc. It offers real time assistance and can offer more specific and detailed information, thus enhancing productivity and creativity. It is priced at $30 per user per month.

How to Use Microsoft Copilot

While Copilot was initially rolled out for Windows 11, after September 2023, it has also been made available on the latest versions of Windows 10. However, Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 11 for a better user experience. Besides Edge and Bing, Copilot has been made available for Microsoft 365 suite, however, it will not support the locally installed versions of Office 2021/2019/2016 and earlier. Microsoft Copilot is also available for Mac users and offers a limited version for both Android and iOS users alike.

Just like ChatGPT, users can talk to Copilot using a natural, conversational tone to generate its responses. As with any other AI-powered model, offering it the right context and prompt is vital. It is also important to understand that Copilot is not autopilot and requires human intervention and support in the form of right questions, keywords, etc.

When used with Word or Excel, Copilot can help users generate text, summarize a document, rewrite it, make its concise overview or turn the text into tables. When used with Microsoft Teams, Copilot can offer recaps of meetings, translations, suggestions and even summarize them telling users about the key points and action plans.

Let us now understand how one can set up Copilot for Microsoft 365:

Setting Up Copilot for Microsoft 365

Before implementing Copilot for Microsoft 365, organizations must ensure that they satisfy some important Microsoft's requirements for using the tool. Copilot comes as an add-on with the Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 plans. But organizations must have a minimum of 300 E3 or E5 licenses in order to deploy Copilot for Microsoft 365.

Organizations using Microsoft 365 applications are already meeting most of the requirements, but for those who are implementing it for the first time, here are some prerequisites to follow:

Prerequisites for integrating Copilot to Microsoft 365

  • First deploy the Microsoft 365 apps from the Microsoft 365 admin center and enable third party cookies.
  • Users must also have a Microsoft Entra ID (formerly called Azure Active Directory) account.
  • Users must also have a OneDrive account, as Copilot has some features like file restore and OneDrive management that needs a OneDrive account.
  • Microsoft Copilot for 365 suites works well with the new Outlook, so it is recommended to make the switch to the new version.
  • Configure Microsoft Teams settings, including access (external and guest), team creation permissions and more.
  • The Microsoft Office feature update is required for core Copilot to work promptly in apps like Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote.

Data preparation for privacy, security and governance considerations

Copilot is an AI-powered tool that derives its data from the large language models (LLMs), Microsoft 365 productivity apps (like Word, PowerPoint etc.) and Microsoft Graph, which includes emails, chats, and documents.

Source: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365-copilot/extensibility/

Before you choose to implement Copilot for Microsoft 365 suite, the IT team in your organization must address several crucial aspects. Primarily, organizations must address the security and privacy implications that are associated with the usage of Microsoft Copilot. It's vital to ensure that users access only the data necessary for their individual roles in the organization. The IT team should employ best practices and tools to prevent over-sharing of data, by maintaining access controls that do not impede user productivity.

Moreover, to improve the effectiveness of Copilot, the IT team must work on eliminating redundant and outdated data. They must clean and organize the data to enhance the experience of the end-users. Implementing practices such as standardizing file names and tagging files with descriptive keywords can also contribute to a more efficient use of Copilot.

Generally speaking, organizations should be mindful of data governance and maintain compliance when using Copilot.

Assigning Copilot for Microsoft 365 licenses

Once your organization has met all the necessary prerequisites and put the data in order, you must assign Copilot for Microsoft 365 licenses to users. There are several methods to do it. Like other Microsoft 365 services, administrators can assign Copilot licenses using their preferred license assignment approach, like PowerShell or the Microsoft 365 admin center.

In the Microsoft 365 admin center, administrators can assign licenses by following these steps:

  • Log in to the admin center of Microsoft 365.
  • Then go to Users and select Active Users.
  • Then select the users to be enabled for Copilot. These users must already have an appropriate Microsoft 365 license assigned and be on either the Current Channel or Monthly Enterprise Channel.
  • Go to “Licenses and Apps” section to add the desired license for Microsoft 365.
  • Under Apps, select Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 to activate the license.
  • Click Save to apply the changes.

Administrators can also log into the Microsoft 365 setup wizard and use Copilot. This setup wizard can be found under the Licenses section. License management can also be accessed from the admin center under Billing > Licenses.

After licenses have been successfully assigned, users will be able to access Copilot across all their Microsoft 365 applications and services.

Extend Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365

Developers can also extend and customize the working of Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 in their own unique ways. As a productivity tool, copilot has some skills by default, these include understanding, predicting, summarizing, translating, recalling and generating content. It derives its information from LLMs, Microsoft Graphs, Microsoft 365 Apps and the internet

However, not all businesses exclusively operate on Microsoft 365 applications and data formats. Given its extensibility, developers can augment Copilot with custom skills as per their organizations. This can also help organizations enhance their productivity and daily workflows.

Deploy Microsoft Copilot

Once the organizations have reviewed all the prerequisites and prepared their data for accessibility and security, they can prepare to deploy Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365. At this stage, the organization must assign the required licenses to their users and then send them a mail announcing the deployment of Microsoft Copilot and its features for Microsoft 365 suite.

Why Choose Akkomplish?

Microsoft Copilot was made available across all channels from January of 2024. We, at Akkomplish are Microsoft Partners with expertise in offering business solutions to all your business transformation needs. We help businesses with the end-to-end implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Contact us to learn more about Microsoft Copilot and how you can implement it within your organization. You can talk to our experts by simply calling on +91 - 989 821 6968 or you can mail us at info@akkomplish.com.

GET A FREE QUOTE

Please fill this for and we'll get back to you as soon as possible!

TOP
Open chat
Hey, Let's connect...
Welcome to Akkomplish!!!

How can we help you?