Microsoft Copilot In-Depth: 10 Takeaways Business Leaders Need To Know

By Ted Brown | March 12, 2024
Ted Brown is Ntiva’s Director of Product Management, our go-to guy for all things product related and our certified Microsoft expert!

In the ever-changing world of technology, Microsoft Copilot is a standout star, constantly evolving to enhance how we work. As it grows and adapts, keeping up with its advancements is key to getting the most out of the tools.

That’s why we’re zooming in on the "Top Ten Takeaways" you need to know about Copilot right now.

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Read on as we unwrap updates from new, flexible pricing to robust security features that safeguard your workflow. Copilot’s expansion across Microsoft 365 applications and the introduction of Copilot Lab means there’s always something new to explore.

These ten takeaways will give you the edge to harness Copilot’s full potential and stay ahead in the tech game. So, let’s get to it!

  1. There Are Exciting Updates on Pricing and Availability for Microsoft Copilot.
  2. Microsoft Copilot vs. Microsoft 365 Copilot: There is a Difference!
  3. The Copilot “Family” is Bigger Than You Think.
  4. Microsoft Copilot Isn’t Just Smart; It’s Also Designed to be Safe and Secure.
  5. Microsoft 365 Copilot: It's Embedded for Maximum Productivity
  6. Uncover the Hidden Gem: Copilot Lab 
  7. M365 Copilot Makes Presentation Creation in PowerPoint So Much Easier.  
  8. Managing Your Email is Much Easier with Microsoft 365 Copilot in Outlook.  
  9. Microsoft 365 Copilot in Microsoft Teams Makes for Efficient Meetings!
  10. Start Small: How To Implement Microsoft 365 Copilot in Your Workflow
BONUS TAKEAWAY: We Have Training For That!

1. There Are Exciting Updates on Pricing and Availability for Microsoft Copilot.

Microsoft Copilot for Mobile

Microsoft has made a savvy move to boost accessibility for Microsoft Copilot, unveiling major updates on availability and pricing for commercial tenants, which were announced in January. These changes signals an exciting breakthrough for users across different Microsoft 365 and Office 365 licensing levels:

  • Previously, only certain licensing levels could access Copilot, but now, Office 365 E3 and E5, as well as Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Business Premium licenses, can seamlessly add Copilot as an add-on to their existing subscriptions.
  • In terms of cost, Microsoft maintains the price at a steady $30 per user per month. Yet, the game-changer here is the removal of the minimum purchase requirement. Gone are the days of the 300-license minimum—now, even a sole proprietor can get in on Copilot’s offerings, purchasing single licenses or small batches as needed, making this tool more approachable for small and medium-sized businesses.
  • However, there’s a caveat: Copilot doesn't offer a monthly subscription. An annual commitment is required, with payment due upfront. For example, a team of ten would pay $3,600 for a year of Copilot. Microsoft accommodates mid-year scaling with proration to align new licenses with the existing commitment period.

While there’s talk of potentially easing the payment structure to a more flexible monthly basis after the annual commitment, no concrete timeline is available. So, for now, businesses interested in enhancing their productivity with Copilot should be prepared for an annual investment, paid upfront, to access this powerful suite of tools.

2. Microsoft Copilot vs. Microsoft 365 Copilot: There is a Difference!

Microsoft Copilot and Microsoft 365 Copilot are both AI-driven technologies developed by Microsoft to enhance productivity, but they serve different purposes within the Microsoft ecosystem:

  • Microsoft Copilot represents the broader concept of integrating AI capabilities across various Microsoft products and services. It's an overarching term that includes the use of AI tools like GPT-3 to augment tasks in programming, data analysis, and beyond. The idea is to use AI to assist in creating more efficient workflows across a wide range of applications.
  • On the other hand, Microsoft 365 Copilot is specifically designed for the Microsoft 365 suite, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more. It utilizes AI to help users generate content, analyze data, and create presentations more efficiently. Using NLP and AI technologies, Microsoft 365 Copilot aims to transform how people interact with documents, spreadsheets, emails, and presentations, making these tasks more intuitive and less time-consuming.

Put simply, Microsoft Copilot delves into the realm of AI across Microsoft's extensive range of products, while Microsoft 365 Copilot focuses on boosting productivity within the Microsoft 365 suite through AI-powered support.

3. The Copilot "Family" is Bigger Than You Think.

Microsoft Copilot is more than a single feature; it's a "family" of AI tools integrated into many Microsoft products to support and streamline various work processes. In fact, you might be surprised by the sheer variety of Microsoft's AI assistants, each designed to enhance different aspects of our digital lives. Here are a few you might not be familiar with:

  • GitHub Copilot streamlines coding by translating comments into suggestions, making programming faster and easier.
  • Power Platform Copilot opens up app development and automation to everyone, regardless of their coding skills.
  • For cyber protection, Microsoft's Security Copilot watches over the network, enhancing threat detection and response to keep digital threats at bay. (Note: Availability is restricted as of March 2024.)

In a nutshell, Microsoft's family of Copilots stands out as an AI layer that enhances Microsoft's full range of products, simplifying complex tasks and fostering a more efficient and creative work environment.

(Want to know more? Check out our recent blog post on the wide world of Microsoft Copilots here!)

4. Microsoft Copilot Isn’t Just Smart; It’s Also Designed to be Safe and Secure.

Microsoft Copilot Security

Microsoft Copilot doesn't just take data security and privacy seriously - it's like a digital bodyguard for your information. Following strict standards like ISO 27001, SOC 2 Type 2, and GDPR, Copilot ensures that your data is always safe and sound. It uses data solely for providing real-time suggestions, steering clear of any shady data practices. With advanced AI models like DALL-E 3 and ChatGPT-4 in play, Copilot offers transparent and up-to-date assistance, ensuring that your data is treated with the utmost care.

For Microsoft 365 subscribers, data protection is seamlessly integrated into the user experience, creating a safe and secure environment to work in. Microsoft is constantly improving security measures for all users, ensuring that Copilot remains a top-notch guardian for your data within Microsoft 365 apps.

5. Microsoft 365 Copilot: It's Embedded for Maximum Productivity

What is Copilot 365

M365 Copilot takes Microsoft 365 to a whole new level by incorporating "grounding," which enhances its support by analyzing insights from your documents and communications. This cutting-edge approach allows Copilot to offer tailored suggestions specific to the content you're working on, all while prioritizing the privacy and security of your data. For instance:

  • In Excel, Copilot simplifies data analysis by producing charts and graphs that visually highlight data trends, enabling easier comprehension of complex information.
  • Copilot aids Word users in composing new documents, summarizing content, and providing structured drafts to kickstart the writing process.
With its ability to understand and adapt to specific user requests, Copilot's versatility significantly streamlines tasks across Microsoft 365, making it a powerful tool for enhancing productivity.
Check out our other takeaways below for more details!

6. Uncover the Hidden Gem: Copilot Lab - Your Ultimate Microsoft Copilot Companion!

If you're new to Microsoft Copilot, Copilot Lab is a fantastic resource waiting to be explored. This online hub offers a wealth of prompts and suggestions tailored to different Microsoft apps, whether you're a seasoned user looking for new possibilities or a beginner seeking guidance.

Dive into Copilot Lab to discover valuable tips and tricks for enhancing your Microsoft tools, streamlining workflows, and sparking creativity. Don't miss out on this valuable resource—visit Copilot Lab to elevate your productivity and creativity to new heights.

7. Microsoft 365 Copilot Makes Presentation Creation in PowerPoint So Much Easier.

Crafting engaging and informative PowerPoint presentations is no easy feat, as anyone tasked with this responsibility can attest to. However, Microsoft 365 Copilot has revolutionized this process, making it more straightforward and intuitive. Here's a closer look at how M365 Copilot streamlines the process: 

  • With M365 Copilot in PowerPoint, you can smoothly convert a detailed e-bike (for example!) guide into an engaging presentation by analyzing the document's structure and key points accurately.
  • Rather than merely copying text onto slides, Copilot skillfully divides your content into well-organized, polished slides. This intelligent organization ensures a cohesive flow that holds your audience's attention, transforming raw text into a compelling narrative.
  • Copilot goes beyond basic text conversion by incorporating relevant visuals and crafting concise speaker notes. This approach yields a nearly complete presentation draft that not only looks professional but also clearly communicates your message.
  • After Copilot provides the initial draft, the process isn't over. You're able to tailor each slide further, adding personal touches or specific images to make the presentation truly your own. This flexibility allows for a level of customization that can elevate the final product significantly.

Thanks to Microsoft 365 Copilot, turning a text-heavy document into an engaging PowerPoint presentation is now a breeze. This innovative technology not only saves time but also elevates the quality of presentations, making it a must-have tool for anyone aiming to communicate information effectively.

8. Managing Your Email is Much Easier with Microsoft 365 Copilot in Outlook. 

How to use Microsoft Copilot 

Integrating Microsoft 365 Copilot into Outlook revolutionizes your email management by making it simpler and more efficient. (Make sure you're using the latest version of Outlook to take full advantage of this capability.) Let's take a look at a few of these features:

  • Faced with a lengthy email or a complex thread? Use the 'Summarize by Copilot' feature. Copilot swiftly analyzes the content, distilling it to the core points, providing you with a succinct summary that captures the essence, saving you time and effort.
  • When crafting a new email, Copilot generates the initial draft. If the tone doesn't quite match yours, you have the flexibility to tweak it—be it more formal, casual, or anything in between. Copilot adapts to your preferences over time, creating drafts that reflect your unique style.
  • Beyond drafting, Copilot offers a 'Coaching' feature to fine-tune your email's tone and clarity. It evaluates your message and offers actionable advice to enhance understanding and engagement, like specifying project names for added clarity.

Microsoft 365 Copilot in Outlook not only simplifies managing your inbox but also ensures your emails are crafted with clarity and uniquely your style. It boosts productivity and makes sure your message is always on point.

M365 Copilot Blog CTA

9. Microsoft 365 Copilot in Microsoft Teams Makes for Efficient Meetings!

Microsoft Teams has become even more powerful with the integration of Microsoft 365 Copilot, transforming how meetings are conducted and managed. As a seamless extension within Teams, Copilot elevates productivity by serving as a centralized hub for AI-assisted tasks:

  • With Copilot, retrieving recent emails or compiling to-do lists from colleagues is simplified through the use of straightforward slash commands. This feature allows users to efficiently search and gather the specific information they need without hassle.
  • One of Copilot's standout features in Teams is its ability to summarize meetings. Activating the transcription feature enables Copilot to deliver succinct summaries of discussions, highlighting essential points, decisions, and assigned tasks. This functionality is crucial for keeping everyone on the same page, especially when exploring new projects or products.
  • FYI: Active transcription is crucial for Copilot to efficiently summarize meetings, as the AI depends on transcribed data to create precise and valuable summaries.
  • Plus, Copilot levels the playing field by granting everyone access to meeting insights. Its summaries can be easily shared in meeting notes, guaranteeing that all team members grasp the meeting outcomes, no matter their Copilot access status.

By integrating Copilot into Teams, your meetings become more efficient, information is easily accessible, and team collaboration is strengthened, leading to a more informed and cohesive working environment.

10. Start Small: How To Implement Microsoft 365 Copilot in Your Workflow

As you consider integrating Microsoft 365 Copilot into your organization, it's important to weigh the potential impact on productivity and creativity. At $30 per user, starting small—a few licenses for testing within departments—can help you assess its value in enhancing your team's work.

Remember, the Copilot chat functionality may already be available to you with certain Microsoft licenses. This means you can leverage AI-powered chat and content creation without the additional cost. Direct application integration, like generating PowerPoint presentations from Word documents, isn't included, but you still gain significant capabilities to boost your current workflow.

Understanding how to craft effective prompts is key to making the most of Copilot. Focus on detailing the goal of your request, the context, the source of the information, and your expectation for the response. Be specific: Do you need a list, a summary, or a detailed report? Tailor your prompts accordingly for precise, useful results.

Daily practice with Copilot—even without the full Microsoft 365 version—can help refine your prompt technique. Invest a little time each day, and you'll soon harness Copilot's full potential.

(BONUS) We Have Training For That!

Microsoft Copilot Training

If you are a Ntiva client, and if you're looking to unlock Microsoft Copilot's full potential, you're in luck! Training capabilities are now part of the Ntiva training-as-a-service platform. This platform offers a comprehensive suite of training modules on AI and Office, including in-depth Copilot training that covers its use within Microsoft 365.

Our training platform is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly. Once you navigate to the course library, you'll find a dedicated section for Copilot, featuring 30 lessons that span over an hour and a half. These lessons cover how to integrate Copilot with core applications such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Excel, as well as providing a solid introduction so you can start leveraging it in your organization immediately—even before you purchase a license.

Whether you're aiming to enhance your daily productivity or looking to spearhead a digital transformation in your workplace, our training resources provide you with the knowledge and skills to make the most of what Copilot offers.

And There You Have It...

Phew! That was a quick drill down on Microsoft Copilot's key features as it stands today. Whether you're considering integrating Copilot into your team or staying updated on the latest AI advancements, we hope these takeaways have provided you with a better grasp of what's available now in the Microsoft universe!

Don't forget, the conversation doesn’t end here. To see Copilot in action and gain even more insights, be sure to view the webinar above in full. It's jam-packed with demonstrations and discussions that'll solidify your understanding of Copilot's dynamic capabilities! Enjoy, and stay tuned for more!

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Tags: Microsoft, Digital Transformation