Microsoft Co-Pilot

Unveiling the Power of AI - Microsoft Copilot for M365

September 5, 2023

If you’re a small business, time and resources are precious to you. Maximizing productivity and efficiency is crucial for you to succeed, and that's where AI technology steps in.   In this blog I will look at Microsoft's latest software innovation: Microsoft Copilot for M365.  This new solution uses AI-driven assistance to streamline your operations, saving you valuable time and resources.

How you ask?

Copilot is integrated into Microsoft 365. It works alongside you, embedded in the Microsoft 365 apps you use every day—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and more—to unleash creativity, unlock productivity, and uplevel skills.

1. Simplified Document Creation  -  Copilot for Word

Small businesses often find themselves creating a variety of documents, from proposals to reports. With Copilot for M365, this process becomes seamless. Imagine a boutique marketing agency developing a proposal for a new client. Copilot's AI-powered suggestions can help generate impactful content, propose relevant sections, and even assist in formatting, ensuring a professional and polished document in a fraction of the time.

2. Efficient Email Communication – Copilot for Outlook

Emails play a huge role in any business communication and Microsoft CoPilot can totally up your game in this department. Imagine a sole trader who's juggling all aspects of their business. They're swamped and can't always manage to put together polite and professional email responses, or even find the time to read through everything. That's where Co-Pilot for Outlook comes in.  Copilot can suggest how to write short and effective emails, so your company's messages are clear, convincing, and just right for each person you're emailing.  CoPilot will also sort through your inbox, making sure the important stuff gets your attention first.  For any sole trader, this is a total game changer, handing back those hours usually sacrificed to evening email sessions. 

I'm sure we've all been here multiple times...... Just think about it: You've enjoyed a wonderful two-week vacation in Fiji, and you come back home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. But as soon as you switch on your computer, you see the email count climbing steadily into the hundreds. Normally, it would take several days of dedicated email-catching to get back on track. Now, imagine having a digital email assistant right at your side. This assistant takes charge of your inbox, sorting through those lengthy and complicated email thread. It not only figures out what's been discussed but also grasps the various viewpoints each person brings to the table and highlights the questions that are still unanswered. And here's the kicker: it can reply to emails with a simple prompt or turn your brief notes into professional, finely-tuned messages.

3. Data Analysis Made Smarter – Copilot for Excel

Small businesses may struggle with data analysis due to limited resources. Copilot can be a game-changer in this area. Consider a startup e-commerce business analyzing sales data. Copilot's assistance can aid in creating complex Excel formulas, generating graphs, and summarizing trends, enabling the business to make informed decisions based on accurate insights.

4. Professional Presentation Design:  Copilot for PowerPoint

When you need to share your ideas with clients, investors, or partners, nailing presentations is key. Copilot steps in to make your life easier and save you significant time and resource.   It can swiftly turn a written draft proposal from WORD into a polished PowerPoint presentation in seconds, saving you precious hours and effort.  If you already have a base presentation complete then Co-Pilot comes in with suggestions for content, slide layouts, cool visuals, and even drafts your speaker notes.

5.  Effective Sales Pitch – Copilot for Teams Phone

Imagine that you are a telemarketer who needs to explain a new product to a potential customer. You use Teams Phone to call the customer and start a conversation. As the customer talks, Copilot summarizes the call and captures their questions about the product features, benefits, and pricing. This allows you to stay focused on landing the pitch and saves you time by summarizing the conversation after you have finished. Copilot can also capture the customer's feedback and suggest next steps. You can use this information when writing a follow-up email with supporting content and information to address the questions raised during the call. Using Copilot on your phone calls can help improve your communication skills and save time on administrative tasks.

6.  Copilot in Teams chat

These days, companies are increasingly adopting group chats within their teams. However, as time passes, these chats accumulate a lot of information, making it tough to find past discussions or catch up after being away from the office.  With Copilot in Teams chat, you can quickly summarise key information from your chat threads – allowing you to ask specific questions (or use one of the suggested prompts) to help get caught up on the conversation so far, organize key discussion points, and summarize information that’s relevant to you.

7.  Copilot in Teams Meetings

Lets say you arrive late to a meeting or you completely miss the meeting all together, Copilot can create a recap of highlights that have been said by attendees. It can also answer questions that have been asked, suggest who should follow up on certain items, and list a good time for future check-ins.

8. Efficient Customer Relationship Management

Building good relationships with customers is a big deal for small businesses. Copilot steps in to help write follow-up emails, thank-you’s, and even proposals for your regular clients. Picture a small event planning crew handling lots of different events for their clients. Copilot can whip up custom proposals for each event, showing off how much they get their clients' needs and the little details.

Simply put, Microsoft Copilot for M365 is like a turbo boost for small business success. It's like having an AI sidekick that helps you with stuff from making documents and sending emails to crunching data and planning projects. The perks are real: you save time, make things better, and get things done quicker. Jumping on this tech wagon could totally change how small businesses roll and set them up for big wins in their fields.

Microsoft Copilot is still currently in private preview but we expect release early 2024 for NZ.

You have the option to purchase Microsoft Copilot as an add-on to your current M365 Business Premium or Enterprise subscription. The estimated suggested retail price (RRP) stands at around $56.00 per user per month. While this might appear costly initially, consider that even a conservative estimate of saving just 15 minutes per day (which is on the lower side) translates to a substantial gain of 5 hours per month, all for the cost of $56. For small to medium-sized businesses, this is undoubtedly a wise investment.

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