Consider the last time that you spent just as long organizing notes and organizing action items as you did in the meeting itself. What if you could cut that time in half?

As you may have heard, Microsoft Copilot is an innovative AI tool built to automate a range of mundane tasks from compiling reports to managing emails. Its goal is to free up your day for more strategic work while increasing productivity and general operational effectiveness across the board.

In this article, we break down what Copilot can be used for and if, at this stage, it’s worth the investment.

Understanding Microsoft Copilot

First, let’s get on the same page about the technology we’re discussing. Microsoft Copilot is at the forefront of AI-powered tools designed to revolutionize how we work. At its core, Copilot integrates into your workflow and uses advanced algorithms to understand and execute tasks, such as distilling meeting notes or analyzing data.

However, as this technology is still very new, there are some potential hiccups. Similar to its counterparts such as ChatGPT or Google’s Gemini, sometimes AI doesn’t quite work like it should. For instance, it might misinterpret the nuances of a request or overlook key context, leading to outputs that need fine-tuning.

But these moments aren’t failures – just a step towards a better tool. AI like Copilot learns from interactions, continuously improving its accuracy and utility. This ongoing development means that while AI might not always deliver perfect results on the first try, it’s evolving.

Here’s a brief breakdown of the different levels of Copilot:

  • Free Version: Offers varied formats of summaries and responses, providing assistance without a major investment. This version is beneficial for users who need support in compiling meeting notes or quick summaries.

  • Copilot Pro: Functions similarly to ChatGPT 4. Users can submit PDFs, documents, and inquiries using advanced language models. This level of interaction introduces a deeper layer of AI-powered assistance.

  • Copilot for Microsoft 365: For those already utilizing Microsoft’s products, Copilot can integrate at $30/month, billed annually. This means you can utilize it across Microsoft applications to generate deeper insights and automate tasks.

Copilot Pro vs. Teams Premium

If you’re already in the Microsoft universe, you might wonder how Copilot Pro compares to Teams Premium. Deciding between the two comes down to the specific needs of your business and the depth of functionality you’re looking for.

Teams Premium might be the more budget-friendly choice while offering meeting summaries, but the capabilities are limited to the Teams environment. Meanwhile, Copilot Pro, despite the higher upfront costs, has significantly more features. It offers a broader spectrum of services that can transform various aspects of work – from document creation to data analysis.

Here’s a helpful infographic comparing the two:

Understanding whether you should utilize Copilot vs. Teams depends on the specific needs of your business.
Source: T-Minus 365

Evaluating the Value of Copilot Pro Across Job Roles

But what does using Copilot or Copilot Pro look like in practice? The tool offers specific advantages depending on what you do. Here’s a closer look at how Copilot can work for users in various industries and jobs.

  • Executives: It can help you reach the "4-hour work week" by automating routine tasks. This means leaders can focus on high-level, strategic decision-making.

  • First-line Workers: For those not tied to a desk, like in clinical or educational roles, it summarizes daily activities, meetings, and emails. While you’re running around, it’s managing information and making it more accessible.

  • Data Analytics and Reporting Experts: It integrates with Power Automate, even in its free version, to streamline form processing and data analysis.

  • Creative/Marketing Departments: Offers tools for generating visuals and content that feel personal, which aids in creative processes without the robotic tone often associated with AI-generated materials.

Each situation can benefit from Copilot Pro’s capabilities. And we’re really only at the beginning of this revolution.

“Digital technologies promise to bring new levels of productivity and efficiency in a wide variety of applications and organizations.”

- Harvard Business Review

Overall Recommendations and Takeaways from Our IT Experts

While Microsoft Copilot is not perfect yet, there are ways it can work for you. 

Ask yourself what you’d like Copilot to do, and then simply ask Copilot how to do it! Identify tasks that slow your team down and explore how Copilot Pro can automate them.

“Consider the power of being able to ask questions to your AI chatbot, but referring to your company data to get custom results, custom documents, and custom business analytics.”

- Rick Topping, Ceeva VP of Operations

  • Focus on Customization: Use Copilot Pro to create tailored solutions. It works best when answering specific questions within your company’s data. It can deliver precise documents and analytics.

  • Choose Users Wisely: Not every team member needs the full suite. Limit your investment and target its use towards team members who manage heavy document, data, and presentation workloads. This is how you maximize its ROI.

What are the Risks of Adopting Microsoft Copilot for 365?

There are some inherent risks with implementing Microsoft’s Copilot at a large scale. Microsoft claims that the built-in access control within the framework ensures secure data sharing by regulating user, group, and tenant interactions. Further, they say it’s engineered to disclose only the data a user is permitted to see. 

However, for numerous organizations, this process remains complex. Pinpointing the exact location of sensitive data and managing controls isn’t the most intuitive.

To avoid any issues here or with what’s outlined below, we recommend working closely with us so we can evaluate your internal security, permissions, and sensitivity labels before any significant implementation. That way we can ensure there are no risks, and your data remains safe and managed correctly.

  • Risk of Sensitive Data Exposure: Monitoring sensitive documents and databases, coupled with overly permissive access rights, may lead to unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information.

  • Unintended Sharing of Copilot-Generated Sensitive Information: Depending on Copilot’s access level, it could generate content using sensitive data, such as accounting information or personal employee details. This could be exposed to unauthorized third parties.

  • Inconsistent Application of Sensitivity Labels: Content created by Copilot inherits the same sensitivity labels of the files it used to create the content. This mislabeled sensitive information could expose data to unauthorized parties.

Find Out How and If Copilot Works for You

We’ve officially entered a new way of working with the help of AI tools. Copilot is designed to cut through the noise of daily tasks, but we’re still figuring out exactly how it can be used. The way Copilot works for you might be different than how it works for someone else. 

This is the main thing to remember with AI. It’s as individual as the individual using it.

At Ceeva, we’ve supported our clients in innovative technology since 1992. We’re here to lead the way and help you get the right tools for your team, AI or not. Learn more about how we can help.