Microsoft has this week announced that Copilot for Microsoft 365 is now available to small and medium-sized businesses; with no seat minimum for commercial plans—making Copilot generally available to individuals, enterprises, and everyone in between.
Once installed the new powerful AI assistant, which can help you and your team work smarter and faster with Microsoft 365, will enable your colleagues search, summarize, and generate content from your data sources, such as emails, documents, chats, and more. It can also provide suggestions, insights, and tips to improve productivity and collaboration.
But how can you make the most of this innovative tool? How can you ensure a smooth and effective implementation of M365 Copilot in your organization? What are the best practices and strategies to follow?
For this blog post, we sat down and questioned two of Cloudwell’s resident experts, Mike Ostrander and John Becher, who shared their insights and learnings drawn from customers we’re working with to successfully roll-out and integrate M365 Copilot into their workflows. For your ease, we’ve blended their responses to the questions below.
Plus, as an added bonus, we’ve also provided you with some resources and guidance to help you get started with M365 Copilot. Read on to learn more…
How M365 Copilot fits into your Microsoft 365 stack
What is the most crucial aspect that CTOs should focus on when preparing to implement M365 Copilot?
The most crucial task a CTO will need to focus on before rolling out Copilot is performing a security audit and correcting user permissions/access as needed.
This is because M365 Copilot relies on company data to provide relevant and accurate results. You want to make sure that your data is secure, compliant, and accessible to the right people to avoid sensitive information getting into the wrong hands.
For example, if left unchecked, once Copilot goes live your colleagues may ask it any number of sensitive questions you’d rather keep private, such as: ‘who gets paid the highest in my team?’ or ‘are any redundancies or cost reduction programs underway?’
To avoid this happening, you should review your data sources, identify any sensitive or confidential information, and apply appropriate sensitivity labels and data loss prevention (DLP) policies.
In addition, you should also assign a data steward to oversee the preparation and maintenance of your data quality.
As you’ll have sensitive information under your control such as financial data, proprietary data, credit card numbers, health records, or social security numbers, the data steward should be responsible for auditing data, establishing access rules, training users on hygiene, continuously monitoring how Microsoft 365 and Copilot for Microsoft 365 utilize organizational data, and enacting improvements.
Having an accountable data steward helps ingrain excellent data habits and promotes accountability across the AI life-cycle.
What are some potential challenges CTOs might encounter with M365 Copilot, and how can these be effectively overcome?
There are two obvious potential challenges: over-licensing and inconsistent accuracy.
Over-licensing is the possibility of paying for more licenses than you actually need or use.
Inconsistent accuracy refers to the variation in the quality and relevance of the results that M365 Copilot provides, depending on the content and SEO of your data.
To overcome these challenges, you should review your usage and re-allocate your licenses regularly, and manage your content and SEO proactively. When it comes to generating content from existing data it’s a case of rubbish in, rubbish out.
Additionally, you should also capture user feedback and improvement ideas through different channels, such as in-product surveys, focus groups, or support tickets. This will help you identify any issues or gaps and help you to address them accordingly.
What strategies or best practices can you recommend for successfully integrating M365 Copilot into an organization’s existing workflow?
One of the best strategies is to keep the initial scope small and focus on high value/low effort initiatives. This will allow you to test and learn from M365 Copilot without overwhelming your users or technical staff. It will also minimize the impact if any problems arise and require remediation.
Another strategy is to create a Copilot Center of Excellence (CoE). A CoE is a team or shared capability that builds and disseminates expertise on a particular technology or business practice. A CoE can help you adopt and scale M365 Copilot by providing centralized governance, best practices, training, and support.
How should CTOs approach user adoption and training to ensure effective use of M365 Copilot?
User adoption and training are essential for ensuring the success of M365 Copilot. You should leverage the available training and adoption resources from Microsoft, such as videos, quick start guides, and onboarding materials.
Develop your own company guidelines for responsible AI use, covering topics such as bias, transparency, and security.
Identify early adopters who can help drive user adoption of M365 Copilot. Early adopters can provide feedback on the technology and help other users understand how to use it effectively.
Additionally, regularly send tip emails to your users, highlighting creative and innovative applications of M365 Copilot.
Share success stories from other teams or organizations that have used M365 Copilot to achieve their goals. This will help inspire and motivate your users to try and use M365 Copilot more often.
What metrics or indicators would you suggest CTOs use to measure the impact and success of their M365 Copilot implementation?
There are several metrics or indicators that you can use to measure the impact and success of M365 Copilot.
Usage metrics: These include the number of active users, queries, results, and actions performed by M365 Copilot. These metrics can help you assess the adoption and engagement of M365 Copilot among your users.
User feedback: This includes the ratings, reviews, comments, and suggestions that your users provide through various channels, such as in-product surveys, focus groups, or support tickets. This feedback can help you evaluate the satisfaction and loyalty of your users, as well as identify any areas for improvement.
Business outcomes: These include the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are relevant to your organization’s goals and objectives, such as productivity, efficiency, quality, revenue, or customer satisfaction. These outcomes can help you quantify the value and return on investment (ROI) of M365 Copilot for your organization.
Security metrics: You can track security metrics to determine how secure M365 Copilot is. These can include metrics such as the number of security incidents, the number of vulnerabilities identified, and the number of security patches applied.
M365 Copilot is a powerful AI assistant in Microsoft 365. However, to make the most of this tool, you need to prepare, implement, and measure it properly. Take a look at the following six strategies on how you can successfully integrate M365 Copilot into your workflows…
6 strategies for integrating M365 Copilot into existing workflows:
1. Identify the business processes that can benefit from M365 Copilot:
Before implementing M365 Copilot, it is important to identify the business processes that can benefit from the technology. This will help you determine the areas where M365 Copilot can be most effective and ensure that the technology is implemented in a way that meets your organization’s specific needs. Check out Microsoft’s Copilot Strategy slide deck for tips.
2. Establish a clear implementation plan:
M365 Copilot involves multiple facets, such as completing prerequisites, preparing data for searches, and assigning M365 Copilot licenses. Therefore, it is important to establish a clear implementation plan that outlines the tasks involved, timelines, and responsibilities. Check out Microsoft’s tech community’s best practice guide to rolling out Copilot.
3. Provide comprehensive training to employees:
M365 Copilot can significantly alter workflows for employees, which can lead to resistance to change. To overcome this challenge, it is important to provide comprehensive training to employees to help them understand the benefits of the technology and how to use it effectively. Check out Microsoft’s blog on how to effectively transform workflows with Copilot.
4. Ensure data privacy and security:
M365 Copilot processes large amounts of data, which can raise concerns about data privacy and security. To address these concerns, it is important to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the data that will be processed by M365 Copilot and take appropriate measures to secure the data. Check out Microsoft Copilot Strategy Slide deck for more information on how to secure your data.
5. Integrate M365 Copilot with existing systems:
M365 Copilot needs to be integrated with existing systems to function effectively. This can be a complex process, and it is important to ensure that you have the necessary resources and expertise to complete the integration. See Microsoft’s tech community blog for further reading.
6. Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of M365 Copilot:
After implementing M365 Copilot, it is important to monitor and evaluate its effectiveness. This will help you identify areas where the technology can be improved and ensure that it continues to meet your organization’s specific needs. See Microsoft’s tech community blog for more information how.
Copilot costs and capabilities
Copilot for Microsoft 365 is now generally available for small businesses with Microsoft 365 Business Premium and Business Standard Customers can purchase between one and 299 seats for $30 per person per month.
Microsoft is removing the 300-seat purchase minimum for commercial plans and making Copilot available for Office 365 E3 and E5 customers (A Microsoft 365 license was previously required).
M365 Copilot is a pre-built solution that may not immediately meet the specific needs of every organization.
Contact Team Cloudwell today to find out about how to customize it to meet your business needs.