Microsoft Copilot is Here! But...Are You Ready?

Microsoft Copilot is now generally available to all users, but before you turn it on, there are important considerations to make. Find out about licenses, expectations, data governance, and more in this blog post.

Two weeks ago, Microsoft announced their new AI tool, Copilot is now generally available to all users. Here at Synergy, we have been assessing it for use by our clients and thinking about things you should consider before turning it on. Below are some of the important questions you should be asking along with our take. 

1. Do I need special licenses to use Copilot?
The answer to this question is twofold. First, you need to have the right underlying Microsoft Licenses to even be able to turn it on. In fact, it is a great reason to perform a software review across your organization to make sure you are getting the most out of tools you are already paying for. Second, you will need to purchase a Copilot license for each user and will need to have the most modern Office tools for it to be effective, including the new versions of Outlook and Teams.

2. What should my expectations of Copilot be?
The potential for Copilot to fundamentally change the way you do your everyday work is significant. At Synergy, we have already begun to use it to capture our meetings and generate efficient summaries and task lists. We are using it to enhance internal communication to be more efficient with our time. We used Copilot to write content for us, including the first draft of this blog post, and if it is set up well, we see infinite possibilities.

3. Do I have the right data structure and governance in place to turn it on?
The question we like to ask clients who want to turn Copilot on is, “How would you feel about everyone in the company seeing the CEO’s salary?” Without the right data governance and storage practices in place, it can expose unexpected data to audiences who should not see it. That is why you need to perform a review of your data and policies before turning it on.

4. Can Copilot search my historical data to identify trends?
It absolutely has the capability to identify and summarize trends you may not even be aware of, but it does require all data to be stored in Microsoft Modern Work based locations. It does not crawl content stored in network drives.  

5. Can my network and infrastructure handle the requirements of the service?
Copilot has the potential to put some stress on your local physical network but in most cases, your systems should be able to handle it. However, it is an important question to ask before turning it on for widespread use in your company. Which leads us to… 

6. Should I pilot it before turning it on for my whole company?
Yes! We have found the best path to success is to define a testing group for copilot before rolling it out to others in the organization – this will help develop champions, identify training needs, and find any issues with data organization before they become a major issue.  

Copilot will have a huge effect on how companies approach their daily work, and companies who embrace the features included in Copilot will likely have a competitive advantage. That is why every organization should evaluate how it could improve your team’s efficiency. Synergy is already experiencing the benefits of its features and we believe it is just the tip of the iceberg. With the right Microsoft licenses, data structure, and governance, I have no doubt you and your organization will benefit from using Copilot alongside your Microsoft toolset. If you’re ready to get started, let’s talk.

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