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Understanding Microsoft 365 Copilot | AI Powered Digital Workplace

March 17, 2023
10 min read
Understanding Microsoft 365 Copilot | AI Powered Digital Workplace
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Microsoft is changing the digital workplace and business landscape with #Microsoft365Copilot. Soon, you will be able to bring the intelligence of #AI Chatbots like ChatGPT, into the Microsoft ecosystem to create PowerPoints, Excels, Word Docs, Emails in Outlook, and much more!

Video Transcript

Today. I'm really excited to talk to you guys about Microsoft 365 Copilot. Microsoft 365 Copilot is, without a question, the most substantial and significant change to the modern workplace that you will ever see, at least in this current life that I've had.

This is a big change and it has big implications. So I'm going to talk about it in three ways today. I'm going to talk about why, number one, why is Copilot important to you and why you should care about it. Number two, I'm going to talk about what Copilot is and what it is going to have.

Number three, I want to talk about what you should do about Copilot. What can you action today or prepare your organization for? So let's talk about number one. Why is Copilot so important? Why am I so excited and enthusiastic to tell you this? And why am I very urgently saying that you should pay attention? Because Copilot is all about AI in the organizational enterprise. And if you've never really dug into the new AI stuff, it's okay.

AI is having a very substantial impact on the industry and organizations today. In all the Cleveland meetings that I get, and I have a lot of these where I talk about technology, and strategy, the first thing that I say when I enter that room is I say, the one thing I want you to take away from today is that AI is too important to leave in the hands of technologists. The business leaders and the people working in the organization need to understand AI, and they need to start embracing, enabling, empowering, guiding, driving, and making it successful.

If you leave it just in the hands of technologists, you'll be missing out on a huge opportunity. It's not linear. This is a major transformative opportunity for every organization.

So that's the first thing that I always state to executives. And naturally, when we talk about that, it becomes a question of, well, what does it really mean? Well, if you've ever used something like Chat GPT or you've used some of the more popularized tools, maybe Bing Chat, when you use these tools, what they enable you to do is save a massive amount of time. Essentially the gist of what? So point number two, what Microsoft 365 Copilot does is it takes that drafting stage.

You know, like when you're creating an email, or you're preparing for a meeting, or you're doing something, and you do all sorts of aggregation. You go look up things, and you put them together, and you synthesize them. You make sure that they make sense.

You summarize them for yourself, or you make sure that you're prepared to use them or reference them. All of that kind of work is something that can be streamlined today with search and other techniques and storing things in the right places, et cetera. Here what's happening is AI is able to reason over that and do it a much, much faster, and more effective way than we ever could.

Now, this is something that is again transforming how search externally works if you've ever used Bing Chat Search or New Bing versus traditional search. But it's also having an impact on organizations. And Microsoft 365 means that it's more accessible to everyone who has access to Microsoft 365.

This is a good thing because a lot of people who are using these tools kind of have a leg up. They have an advantage that other people don't have because they're a bit more technologically savvy, et cetera. And they've spent a bit of time learning that here, these tools will become more available.

That doesn't mean you'll still need to learn how to use these tools; we're all going to relearn. But it does mean that it's much more addressable and accessible to the business. The second reason or the way that you'd use this tool is for the next step.

So once you've aggregated and gathered information, whether it's preparing for a meeting, creating a proposal document, or doing a variety of other tasks, you often optimize that work. So some people have amazing Excel skills, or people have abilities to create awesome PowerPoint presentations. Some people can really write just elegant and effective persuasive material.

All of those things that I've just described are no longer true differentiation because these tools make it so that everyone has access to those types of tools, that expertise, et cetera. And in fact, in many cases, what we're finding is that these tools, especially things like Microsoft 365 Copilot or, more broadly, Chat GPT Four, if you've looked at the more recent reports, these ones actually improve, often by 50% or more, the productivity or efficiency of those people who are creating that content. And pretty much everyone consistently says that the work product, the thing that you produce out of it, is more effective, it's better quality, et cetera.

So this means that it doesn't just give you tools and techniques to accelerate the way you work and get to that earlier draft faster, but it also means that the quality of a work product is faster, and you're focusing more time not on learning the tools and tweaking and optimizing things, but actually about how do I communicate, how do I enrich this, how do I make it more communicative or effective, et cetera. And this works in the collaborative format too. They showed examples with Microsoft loop where people are working in these multiplayer by design these always up-to-date experiences.

And when you do something like that, and we collaborate using these types of tools, what it does is it augments our own speed and efficiency in that collaboration. It becomes an active member, not a passive member, an active member in that form of collaboration. Now we have control over it at all times.

During this, again, control from a user experience perspective with different types of ways to accept, decline, adjust, and Tweak. But it's really important to acknowledge that this is going to have an impact on communication, collaboration, and arguably longer-term management, which we will not talk about today because it's a little bit more complicated. So the last thing that I wanted to highlight is they also shared announcements about how Power Automate is going to be using more of these Copilot tools, just like the development stack has been changing.

And this means that the second thing that I often talk to executives about, which is low code transformation, is also changing in a drastic way. This basically means that a lot of people will go to somebody like us, a technology services company, or they'll go to It to get integration or a solution to solve a problem within the business. These are these lowercase P processes, right? The big capital P processes are in ERP systems or CRM systems or customer experience systems, Sales systems, or whatever.

They're in dedicated systems with their own AI journey, et cetera. But here what's happening is all of this other stuff, the lowercase P stuff, that stuff is now being digitized much, much faster. Not just because of low code but now because of these AI assistants or bot-assisted development scenarios.

So what this basically means is that more and more of our work landscape is being digitized at a much more rapid rate, including these lowercase P processes. More and more of the work we do is going to be augmented by these tools. And what this will really lead to is the third point of my discussion today.

This should matter to you, and you should take action. So what am I encouraging? I think that everyone who listens to this, or if you're just trying to make sense of Copilot, should understand. And if you've never experimented with it, use Bingchat, which is the new Bing search, or use something like Chat GPT.

It's important to use those tools because you need to see what it's like to use them. You need to actually see how intelligent and capable it is. And there's a syntax. There's a way to interact with these things that makes it more effective. So you don't just chat with it; you have to give it guidance.

I want you to give me the format back like this of what you're giving me. I want you to start each of the paragraphs with a question. I want you to provide persuasive language but focus on examples and do it in this way.

So you have to guide it. And as you learn those tools yourself, those are all going to be very applicable in the workplace as Microsoft 365 Copilot comes to bear. If you're a leader in this space, what this really means is it is too important to leave AI in the hands of technologists.

You need to take an active role in the business leaders of understanding how and where these are going to change your employee communication strategies and technology changes there, how it's going to address and affect your employee collaboration strategies, and how it's going to affect your employee management strategies. There's a very real impact that this is going to have. It is already having for most customers today. And so we need to address that.

You can no longer lag behind because, again; I cannot express this enough. It's like 50% is pretty much the average productivity gain or benefit that somebody else gets when they use these tools versus your team and your staff. You will be outperformed in the market, and you'll be under too much duress to change that.

So that's an important one. Now, if you're a technologist and you're just learning about this, and you maybe aren't as familiar with AI, that's okay. What this really means is that we need to think about our other investments, like low code and how we build solutions and things like that and how they are being optimized with Copilot and other tools.

And we need to think about how that's now going to translate to the way in which we interact and engage and work with our employees. A lot of it is about enablement, sure, as a starting point, but then it becomes a really important discussion around governance, around digital dexterity. If you think of digital skills, a lot of us have been focusing on teaching people how to use Excel better, how to use PowerPoint better, how to use Outlook better, and teams better.

Now, the shift needs to change where it needs to be about not just how to do those things but, more importantly, how to use AI to do those things for you. And that will absolutely change the way it works within organizations, the way we communicate, and the way that we provide value to the business. I hope this has been helpful to you.

I know there's a lot of information out there, but I just wanted to share the way that I would talk about this with other executives who are asking me this exact question. Now that it's public, they have all these questions about it. I would start with this point, and then we get into nuanced details, right, of exactly how it's going to affect your intranet strategy or how it's going to affect your meeting management solution sets and things like that.

So, again, thanks so much for your attention. I hope this was helpful.

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