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  • Writer's pictureFlagler Technologies

How Microsoft Copilot Can Transform Your Business Efficiency

The Microsoft Suite has come a long way since “Clippy” — the animated paperclip that popped up on the screen to answer questions — was relegated to the trash heap. Copilot for Microsoft 365 is one of the Redmond, Washington-based tech company's latest AI integrations, and it promises to expand worker efficiency exponentially. 

But how can you maximize the potential of this groundbreaking software feature for your business operations? Is it suitable for automating your systems? Will it require your staff to be retrained? Is it scalable? In this article, Flagler Technologies will provide the answers to these Microsoft Copilot questions and more.

Introduction to Microsoft Co-Pilot

If you’re a business manager or work in an IT department, your email has probably been inundated by marketing correspondence trying to sell you AI software or AI-powered iterations of software you already have. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the torrent of features, so let’s tackle the enhanced characteristics of Copilot one by one. 

It Integrates with Microsoft Products You Already Use

When you install Copilot, it automatically embeds with Microsoft applications that you already use, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc. While you’re using these applications, Copilot makes suggestions to improve efficiency. 

For example, you’re importing data into an Excel spreadsheet. Copilot will analyze the data structure as you build it out. It might suggest that you create a specific type of chart or table for presentation. You can also ask it to “show a trend in the data,” and it will auto-generate the chart. This type of interface occurs in all of the Microsoft tools — not just Excel. 

It Uses Natural Language Processing

In other words, it understands what you mean without you having to speak like a computer. You can give it a command or ask it a question, like “What would be the best order to present these topics?” or “Create an outline for this?”

It Can Write Your Content

Whether you find writing difficult or are a wordsmith but just don’t have time, you can have Copilot draft your documents for you. 

It’s an AI Scribe for Your Meetings

If you’re meeting on Teams, you can have Copilit provide meeting points, action items, follow-ups, etc. 

It Can Help You Organize Your Email

Copilot takes the tedium and labor out of managing your Outlook email. It can learn your preferences to highlight important emails and pre-draft responses, sort unimportant mail that doesn’t qualify as spam, and more. 

It Can Automate Certain Administrative Tasks

For instance, it can transform raw data entered into an Excel sheet and create a report in Word or PowerPoint. 

It Has Collaborative Editing Features

Teams can work on the same documents or files at the same time. 

This is in no way a comprehensive list. While many companies market tools that have similar features, Copilot combines them all into a single package at a remarkably low price — especially considering all of the functionality that’s included. 

Quality of Service in AI Tools

The business environment has a few years of experience utilizing AI-enhanced tools, and many companies are finding creative uses for these innovations. If you ask most managers, the biggest challenges of AI software are A) integrating them into their processes, B) getting their employees to use them, and C) maximizing their potential. 

Microsoft Copilot goes a long way to overcoming these obstacles. Because the software is developed by the same company that owns the Microsoft Office platform, there is no need for clunky patches or lags in performance after major system updates. The software makes suggestions to team members, so they don’t have to stop what they’re doing to go look for solutions. 

It’s also an extremely user-friendly interface. There is virtually no learning curve for using Copilot. However, as the teams become more familiar with this tool, they can begin creating new ways to save labor and increase efficiency. 

Integrating Copilot with Business Operations

Oftentimes, when a company incorporates a new product into its operations, there is an adjustment period as individual team members adopt new processes. However, if you’re already using Microsoft Office, you and your employees can begin using Copilot on day one. Once added to the platform, Copilot will immediately begin analyzing work tasks and making recommendations.

However, Copilot is customizable, and to get the most out of this tool, you should consider these tips:

  • Try to determine which areas of your workflow you want to automate. Copilot is especially adept at automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks, like entering data, generating reports, etc. 

  • Integrate Copilot with existing tools. While Copilot naturally integrates with Microsoft Office, it can also work with third-party applications that Microsoft Supports. Talk to an IT professional to determine which applications can work with Copilot. 

  • Conduct training and provide support. Your staff should be able to use Copilot without training, but to really learn what they should and shouldn’t be doing with this new tool, they should receive training. 

  • Require all parties to use the platform. For example, consider a situation where some teams use Google Docs, and others use Microsoft Word. It might work well enough within the team, but then, when more than one team tries to interact, they’ll have to make a choice. If your company has decided to use Microsoft Office, put all of your employees on the platform. 

  • Look for areas of improvement. Whether you measure productivity with hours, words, data compilation, or some other metric, it’s important to know that your investment is paying dividends. This will be a key to growth during expansion periods and cost-cutting during economic downturns. 

Security Measures for Using AI Assistants

While all systems are potentially vulnerable, Copilot is a reasonably secure system. Here are a few tips for IT security professionals to harden your data defense:

  • Data Encryption – Activate data encryption for when your system is at rest or when it’s in transit. 

  • Principle of Least Privilege – Make sure users only have access to the data they require. This means that you will have to build several access levels. 

  • Use 2FA – Two-factor authentication ensures that someone using a stolen password does not get access to an authorized account. 

  • Implement AI-supported Cybersecurity Software –  Modern security software uses AI to analyze unusual requests and patterns. 

Expertise and Managed Services for AI Integration

Copilot is one of the many exciting new tools on the market. These tools can enhance performance, reduce security threats, improve customer service, reduce costs, and more. However, your company may require guidance to realize the maximum potential of co-pilot and other AI tools. Flagler Technologies has full-service managed IT services for businesses. We can work with your existing IT staff or provide full IT support at a fraction of what it costs to retain an IT department. Call today to discuss Copilot and other cutting-edge software today!



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