On November 1st 2023, Microsoft’s AI assistant Copilot was launched, described by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, as “the next big step” in the evolution of our interaction with computers. This article summarizes the benefits of Copilot and how companies can prepare to maximize the effectiveness of their employees’ everyday AI partner.
Copilot is expected to not only boost productivity and creativity, but also give rise to entirely new ways of working within the Microsoft 365 environment. But while Copilot opens doors to innovative and productive workflows, its introduction also requires an understanding of how the AI assistant works and how companies can prepare for undesirable consequences, such as Copilot making company-sensitive information available to someone who is not meant to have it.
Microsoft Copilot – what is it?
Copilot is a powerful AI tool, a kind of super assistant that helps you plan your workday and speeds up your work by understanding, finding, compiling, predicting and generating the content you want to create based on knowledge in all the documentation you have access to in your company’s Microsoft 365 environment (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams and SharePoint).
For example, Copilot can extract and compile data from a project from years ago, allowing you to prepare for a meeting without having to navigate through a complex maze of folder structures. As Copilot “senses” your calendar, it will also tell you that you should prepare for tomorrow’s meeting during the current working day and give suggestions on how best to proceed.
How Copilot can be used to create engaging content
There are many examples of how Copilot can be used to create engaging content and support you in your everyday work.
Create text and images
Whether you are creating a blog post, project description, presentation or email, Copilot will help you facilitate the writing process and provide suggestions for improvement based on your instructions and comments. Copilot also helps you create graphics based on your texts.
Another use is to summarize key points and activities from your Microsoft Teams meetings. Copilot makes meeting management easier by creating overviews and summaries of the meeting.
You can also transform your documents into impressive presentations using Copilot and PowerPoint, including suggestions for layouts, images, icons, and diagrams to make your presentation more visually appealing and memorable.
Responding to emails
Copilot can also help you initiate email replies, suggest subject lines, greeting phrases, closing phrases and signatures in Outlook.
Copilot makes knowledge available to the whole organization
Copilot is not only good for creating text and images, summarizing meetings, and making presentations, but can also be used to convey knowledge contained in documents within an organization.
You can think of a company’s documents as a kind of knowledge bank. These documents represent how the company is structured and operates. One use of Copilot could be to transform this information into useful knowledge. An example of how this can be done is to let Copilot analyze specific content in the documents. This could be information that you want to be able to ask questions about and Copilot can then answer these questions based on the company’s documented knowledge.
By allowing Copilot to learn how your company’s content is structured, users can benefit from the information in a much more efficient and accessible way. In other words, Copilot makes the knowledge in the documents more useful and accessible to the whole organization.
Important considerations in the preparation of the Copilot
To integrate Copilot smoothly, your organization must meet technical requirements, enable specific features, and have a valid Copilot license.
Microsoft 365 Copilot uses existing permissions and policies within Microsoft 365 to deliver relevant information. It emphasizes the importance of implementing good content management practices from the start. A strong content management foundation is essential to optimize Copilot’s functionality and ensure an efficient work process.
For many organizations, managing redundant documents is a significant challenge, which can lead to unintentional sharing of information. It is necessary to ensure that Copilot has access to accurate and up-to-date content to manage these complex dynamics across platforms such as SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams.
Some things to start with
Ensure correct authorization structure
Copilot answers are accurate when they are based on the right content for the right user. To ensure this, your organization needs a well-functioning permissions structure for Exchange, OneDrive and not least for SharePoint and Teams. Given that organizations often have multiple Teams and SharePoint sites, a proper permissions structure is essential for Copilot to index and manage the sources correctly. It ensures that users can only access the sources they are authorized to access.
Structuring content in SharePoint and Teams with metadata
To optimize Copilot’s functionality, it is important to structure the content in SharePoint and Teams by using metadata instead of storing documents in traditional folders. Metadata, such as “Document type”, “Subject area” and “Keywords”, facilitate the organization, search and filtering of the content. Copilot uses metadata to understand the context and purpose of your content, resulting in more relevant and tailored suggestions.
Ensure that content is relevant
To ensure the accuracy of Copilot, it is essential that your content is up-to-date and relevant. Older documents or content that is no longer relevant should be deleted to avoid incorrect responses from Copilot. By creating and maintaining a structured order and good practices for content management and document structure, you ensure an optimal user experience with Copilot.
MetaShare facilitates the implementation of Copilot
MetaShare aims to make it easier to organize documents by using metadata, which is information about the document. MetaShare helps organize and manage workspaces, which are places where people can share documents (like SharePoint sites). The aim is to ensure that the right people have access to the right documents and content. It also creates an orderly structure for who gets access to which documents, known as a permission structure. In addition, MetaShare helps create good working habits for how the organization structures its content.
Another useful application, MetaShare Orbit, helps organizations organize their content by determining which documents should be deleted or archived. This is done automatically based on rules you set up. This means you can always be sure that your document content is up-to-date and relevant. Archived documents can also be easily excluded from Copilot’s management and reading.