Kerry Cai
, December 29, 2023
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Microsoft’s 365 Copilot is one of the few highly versatile, enterprise-driven AI assistant tools on the market. With its seamless integrations with Microsoft’s productivity suite, it brings about powerful generative and productivity capabilities in commonly used apps such as Word, Teams, Excel, etc. Launched early last month to approximately 600 E3/E5 licensed enterprise customers, Microsoft is focused on digital transformation with the goal of being the leader in the AI copilot space. However, for businesses, the change enablement journey is often fraught with challenges, resistance, and uncertainty. Therefore, it is crucial to stay informed of the ever-changing front of AI copilot technologies to determine the course of action that best suits your organization, its people, and its operational methods.

Forrester research shows that an estimated 6.9 million US knowledge workers—totaling 8% of the total—will utilize Microsoft’s proprietary AI tool by the end of 2024. With an astounding number of workers employing Microsoft 365 Copilot to enhance and streamline their daily workflow, it is pertinent for businesses to immediately devise a comprehensive strategy that encompasses communication, training, and support plans to ensure the future of your Microsoft 365 Copilot investment is impactful and secure.

Transformation begins with change champions

In the initial phase of implementing Microsoft 365 Copilot, it is crucial to prioritize a human-centric approach to change management. In the absence of a comprehensive understanding of the workforce's needs, there's a potential risk of unnecessarily expending valuable time, budget, and effort. Establishing a solid foundation begins by empowering enthusiastic individuals who are knowledgeable about and supportive of AI, both within and beyond the workplace. Copilot transformation hinges on these change champions, whose expertise provides sound feedback, drives value through use-case scenarios, and, most importantly, sets a precedent by leading, effectively managing expectations, and encouraging buy-in from others.

Championing through effective use cases

Making the case for widespread digital adoption can then be reinforced by showcasing relevant use cases and the impact of fruitful Microsoft 365 Copilot endeavors. For example, an article from the Wall Street Journal on the marketing advertising agency Dentsu demonstrated the rewarding nature of their Microsoft 365 Copilot investment. The reports show that the use of AI has saved the business anywhere between 5 and 10 hours per month from utilizing its AI features, which increase productivity by 5% overall. Although modest at first glance, the optimization and resources allocated, when contrasted with the incurred costs, project an impressive 2500% return on investment for Dentsu’s business.

2500% is gargantuan, and while optically impressive, it is important to note the functional benefits offered through Copilot that reinforce this metric. In research conducted by BCG, (Boston Consulting Group) three conclusive findings were uncovered in their AI Copilot experiment: higher productivity, better quality, and narrowing skill gaps. The most important of these findings is the shrinking gap between low- and high-performance individuals, indicating an impressive 43% performance shift from the lower half, while the top-half participants still managed to eke out an improvement of 17%.

Determining the AI Fit for your business

Fundamentally, Microsoft 365 Copilot can be classified into two distinct functionalities: generative and predictive AI. In generative AI (GenAI), artificial intelligence models are trained to create content from user input and mimic human speech, streamlining tasks like crafting presentations, writing RFPs, and coding for custom applications, among other backend tasks. On the other hand, predictive AI directs training models to analyze existing datasets, forecast future events, and identify potential trends in areas such as customer behavior, stock markets, or product demand.

Each of these models excel in its respective domain. Determining the suitability of either comes down to industry requirements and is also contingent on the scale and scope of your business. Whether it involves creative and artistic expression or making informed business decisions based on in-depth analysis of historical data, both technologies are positioned to influence the future and necessitate careful approaches to implementation.

Unleash your people-first strategy

Developing an effective digital adoption strategy for Microsoft 365 Copilot relies on enhancing user experiences to truly streamline company processes. When formulating the strategy, consider the following checklist to ensure users consistently derive value from your technological investment:  

  • Clearly define goals and objectives: Identify specific user behaviors you aim to encourage with the adoption of new technologies.  
  • Segment users for targeted digital adoption strategies: Recognize that not all users share the same needs or challenges. Segmenting users for adoption strategies allows for the discovery of contextually relevant and unique experiences.
  • Regularly measure the success of your strategies and track user progress: Test different approaches, analyze what works and what doesn't, and adapt based on the data.  

Creating a successful digital adoption strategy is an ongoing process for digital technologies. Stay open to experimentation, and don't hesitate to iterate and enhance as you progress.

Utilize our expertise on adoption skilling, training and support

Alithya is a global provider of learning services and solutions that help businesses humanize the Microsoft 365 Copilot implementation process. We can help guide you in your adoption strategies to secure the future of your AI investment with care, precision, and purpose.

Our all-encompassing change enablement Service is designed to assist you and your organization throughout the entire Microsoft 365 Copilot journey, spanning from initial discovery and alignment to the concluding stages of deployment, adoption, and ongoing support. Complementing this, our Microsoft 365 Copilot Technical Readiness workshop will evaluate and appraise your company’s existing technological infrastructure, ensuring proper management of data access authorization. The objective is to prepare your organization for the future AI landscape by spearheading the following initiatives:

  • Create an action plan for securing Microsoft 365 services and data
  • Devise a roadmap for implementing Purview policies
  • Generate a detailed report of your current Microsoft 365 data

As a trusted advisor with over 20 years of experience in strategy and digital transformation, our mission is to provide innovative and efficient solutions for complex digital integration and business challenges within the AI copilot landscape.

To learn more about Microsoft 365 Copilot or any AI-related technology services and workshop offerings, contact us today!

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