, March 31, 2023
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Imagine never writing another email again, or creating a presentation, or having to analyze data manually, or taking notes in meetings, better yet never going to meetings. How much time, energy, and frustration could you save each day?

It sounds too good to be true, especially the part where you never have to attend another meeting again and indeed that is a stretch. Meetings will be around for a long time, but now you can send your artificial intelligence (AI) assistant to follow a meeting as if you were there. Say you had a conflict, your AI assistant would generate notes, summaries, and even follow-up action items for you. Welcome to the future of work.

In March 2023, Microsoft announced the launch of Copilot, a new AI assistant for Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 apps. It combines the power of large language models (LLMs) with your data in the Microsoft Graph and the Microsoft 365 apps to turn your words into the most powerful productivity tool on the planet. Copilot is part of Microsoft's strategy to democratize AI and make it accessible to everyone.

Copilot is integrated into Microsoft 365 apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and more. It can also be accessed through a new experience called Business Chat, where users can give natural language commands and get responses from Copilot. For ERP and CRM users, there is Dynamics 365 Copilot which is built for customer service, sales, marketing, operations and supply chain roles.

In this blog post, we will look at some of the functionality of Copilot for Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365.)

A whole new way to work: how you will interact with apps you use every day

Let’s take a look at Copilot functionality that will reinvent productivity for every office worker.

Microsoft Word

You can jump-start the creative process so you never start with a blank slate again. Copilot gives you a first draft to edit and iterate on — saving hours in writing, sourcing, and editing time.

Example prompts you can use:

  • Draft a 2-page project proposal based on the data from document A and spreadsheet B.
  • Change the tone of the document and make the 3rd paragraph more concise.
  • Create a one-page draft based on this rough outline.

Microsoft Excel

Copilot lets you analyze trends and create professional-looking data visualizations in seconds. It will reveal correlations, propose what-if scenarios, and suggest new formulas based on your questions.

Example prompts you can use:

  • Give a breakdown of the sales by type and channel. Insert a table.
  • Project the impact of [a variable change] and generate a chart to help visualize.
  • Model how a change to the growth rate for [variable] would impact my gross margin.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Copilot helps you create beautiful presentations with a simple prompt, adding relevant content from a document you made last week or last year. Condense lengthy presentations at the click of a button and use natural language commands to adjust layouts, reformat text, and perfectly time animations.

Example prompts you can use:

  • Create a five-slide presentation based on a Word document and include relevant stock photos.
  • Consolidate this presentation into a three-slide summary.
  • Reformat these three bullets into three columns, each with a picture.

Microsoft Outlook

From summarizing long email threads to quickly drafting suggested replies, Copilot in Outlook helps you clear your inbox in minutes, not hours.

Example prompts you can use:

  • Summarize the emails I missed while I was out last week. Flag any important items.
  • Draft a response thanking them and asking for more details about their second and third points; shorten this draft and make the tone professional.
  • Invite everyone to a “lunch and learn” about new product launches next Thursday at noon. Mention that lunch is provided.

Microsoft Teams

Copilot can summarize key discussion points — including who said what and where people are aligned and where they disagree — and suggest action items, all in real-time during a meeting.

Example prompts you can use:

  • Summarize what I missed in the meeting. What points have been made so far? Where do we disagree on this topic
  • Create a table of pros and cons for [topic being discussed]. What else should we consider before making a decision
  • What decisions were made, and what are some suggested next steps?

Microsoft 365 Copilot is a powerful tool that will change the way we work and has the potential to increase a workforce’s output and productivity.  By leveraging the power of AI, Copilot enables users to work smarter, not harder, and focus on higher value tasks. Plus, Copilot doesn’t just supercharge individual productivity. It also creates a new knowledge model for every organization — harnessing the massive reservoir of data and insights that lies largely inaccessible and untapped today.

As AI technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative solutions like Copilot that enable businesses to achieve greater efficiencies and better outcomes. 

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