Unlocking Copilot’s productivity potential in various business functions
Copilot's advantages have been promised to extend across job roles and provide tangible benefits for organisations in many industries.
Written by Keith Batterham
Microsoft Copilot dominated headlines last week when Microsoft announced that their AI-powered productivity assistant, Copilot for Microsoft 365, would be available to more users. Initially exclusive to enterprise customers, Copilot for Microsoft 365 is now accessible to small- and medium-sized businesses with Microsoft 365 Business Premium and Business Standard subscriptions, as well as companies with Office 365 E3 and E5 licences. Even individual users can now access more advanced Copilot capabilities with Copilot Pro.
The price of productivity
Copilot for Microsoft 365 does come at a price, of course. Businesses can expect to pay $30 (approximately €28) per user per month, while Copilot Pro for individuals is $20 (€18) per month, with both being subject to an annual commitment.
Early signs seem to be that Copilot may well bring the productivity and creativity rewards that businesses are hoping for. In a survey of users from Microsoft’s Copilot for Microsoft 365 Early Access Program, 70% of Copilot users said they were more productive, 68% believed that the quality of their work improved and 57% claimed it enhanced their creativity.
The study participants also revealed that:
- They could finish tasks quicker (73%)
- They spent less time on email (64%)
- They saved time finding what they needed in their documents (75%)
- They could get to a good first draft quicker (85%)
- They found it easier to take action after meetings (84%)
The prospective power of Copilot
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of Copilot for businesses is that its potential benefits don’t appear to be limited to just a handful of roles or industries. Rather, Copilot’s capabilities have been promised to extend across various business functions, offering tangible advantages for organisations of all sizes.
Two of the business areas that could be most impacted by Copilot are content creation and communication and collaboration.
1. Content creation and editing
Content creation is not just for the creative industry; most job functions involve developing various forms of content and Copilot can assist users in:
- Streamlined content generation – Copilot’s ability to generate writing prompts, suggest relevant sources, and identify potential grammatical errors can significantly boost content creation productivity, enabling users to produce high-quality content in less time.
Use case: A Business Analyst is writing a business process documentation for a new customer onboarding process. Copilot can generate prompts for each section of the documentation, suggest relevant terminology from the business process management domain, and identify potential inconsistencies between sections, such as missing steps or unclear procedures.
- Enhancing accuracy and efficiency – Copilot’s suggestions can help users avoid common errors, improve factual accuracy, and maintain consistency throughout their content.
Use Case: A Legal Assistant is drafting a contract for the sale of a company. Copilot can suggest relevant legal terms and clauses, as well as identify potential errors in the contract’s structure or language.
- Improved communication and comprehension – Copilot assists in summarising documents, identifying key points, and clarifying language, which can enhance the clarity and effectiveness of communication.
Use case: A Project Manager is tasked with creating an overview of a project plan for a new product launch. Copilot can generate a clear and concise summary of the project plan, highlighting the key milestones, deliverables, and risks. Copilot can also identify areas for further discussion, such as potential challenges or opportunities for improvement.
2. Communication and collaboration
Copilot has been touted as a collaboration and communication gamechanger, assisting with:
- Seamless communication flow – Copilot’s ability to suggest relevant responses to emails, streamline meeting agendas, and identify potential communication gaps can facilitate more efficient and effective communication among teams.
Use case: A Sales Manager is working with a team of sales representatives to manage a pipeline of leads. Copilot can generate prompts for discussion, suggest relevant data points from customer interactions, and identify whether the representatives are following the agreed-upon sales process.
- Improved decision-making – Copilot helps teams gather relevant information, analyse data, and identify patterns, contributing to better-informed decision-making processes.
Use case: An HR Manager needs to develop a strategy to optimise workforce composition. Copilot can analyse the company’s talent data by identifying high-performing employees, predicting attrition risk and noting areas for improvement.
- Enhanced teamwork and alignment – Copilot fosters collaboration by suggesting relevant actions, streamlining task assignments, and promoting a shared understanding of goals and priorities.
Use case: A Customer Success Manager needs to resolve a customer issue by working with the technical support team. Copilot can generate prompts for cross-functional discussion, suggest relevant knowledge base articles or customer support documentation, and identify potential areas of overlap in supporting the customer.
Maximising Copilot’s impact with your MSP
Your MSP will play a pivotal role in helping you make the most of Copilot. As well as ensuring a safe and secure implementation they should be able to help you understand effective prompting practices. Copilot is only as good as the data that feeds it, the prompts it is given, and the environment it works in.
Some of the areas your MSP can assist with deploying and maximising Copilot include:
- Thorough assessment – Your MSP can conduct detailed evaluations to identify areas where Copilot can provide the most significant benefits for your organisation.
- Tailored implementation – MSPs can customise Copilot’s configuration to align with specific workflows to ensure a smooth, personalised experience for each of your users.
- Ongoing support and training – MSPs can provide continuous support by addressing technical issues and offering training on Copilot’s features, helping you and your colleagues navigate the learning curve.
- Data security and compliance – MSPs can ensure Copilot is used in compliance with data security and privacy regulations, safeguarding your company’s sensitive information.
Microsoft Copilot is set to be a valuable tool for organisations seeking to gain a competitive advantage as well as enhance productivity and innovation across various business functions. By understanding its capabilities and leveraging its features effectively, companies will be better able to harness the power of Copilot to achieve their business goals. Over time, Copilot may prove to be more than just a tool, but rather a strategic asset that can change the way many businesses operate.
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