Microsoft 365 Copilot:
How to use it in ms365, Viva and Power Platform
Microsoft 365 Copilot is the assistant designed to increase the productivity of people in Microsoft 365, Viva and Power Platform suites (but not limited to).
Find out how to use it in your favorite work apps.
What you will find in this article
- Microsoft 365 Copilot: What it is and when it will be released
- How to use Microsoft 365 Copilot in Microsoft 365 apps
- How to use Microsoft 365 Copilot in the Microsoft Viva suite
- How to use Microsoft 365 Copilot in the Power Platform
- How to use Microsoft 365 Copilot for security
- What is Microsoft 365 Copilot's Business Chat
Microsoft 365 Copilot is the virtual assistant soon to arrive in the ms365, Viva and Power Platform suites to revolutionize our productivity.
When will we be able to use it?
We know it will be available in preview on some products, such as Viva Topics and SharePoint, from September 2023.
But without waiting that long, let's see together what Microsoft 365 Copilot is and how it will change the way we work with the world's most popular business apps.
Microsoft 365 Copilot was born from the union of Large Language Models, recently brought to the fore by Open AI, and Microsoft Graph, the API that collects and connects the information in the Microsoft 365-based digital workspace.
The result has thus been the creation of conversational and accountable AI.
"Conversational" because it is prompted by users' words to perform a myriad of actions within Microsoft suites, from composing an email to analyzing entire spreadsheets.
It will also be possible to request a summary of the most important events that happened in the company while one was on vacation, sick, or simply away from the latest news.
Regarding the adjective "accountable," however, we feel it is worth noting that Copilot is confined within the security perimeter that characterizes the Microsoft 365 environment.
In other words, it can only reprocess information that users create, store, or exchange in the suite's apps, thus ensuring the privacy of corporate data.
However, it is not guaranteed to be completely error-free from its reprocessing.
Thus, user procedure remains necessary.
The goal is not to replace the person behind the screen.
It is to help them deal with only the most strategic and creative activities.
To speed up the writing of an e-mail or, more generally, the management of one's corporate mailbox, it will be possible to request Copilot's procedures in two ways:
- The "@Copilot" mention.
Once the AI is mentioned in the body of an email, she can be asked to write the entire message, also based on the contents of a document or notes from a past meeting.
A draft will then be generated, which can be edited directly or with the new "Adjust" command. With the latter, you will be able to define not only the length of the text, but also elements such as the tone of voice.
- The "Catchup" feature.
Very useful for getting a quick summary of the Inbox and all the emails it contains, highlighting the most relevant content for the user and, most importantly, the requests made by senders.
Just ask and Copilot will turn a blank page into a complete document, perhaps starting with some meeting notes.
The user can then take action on the generated draft or ask the AI to rephrase what was written, add particular images, or give a graphic style to the entire document following that of a PPT presentation to be correlated.
Similar to what happens in Outlook, Copilot comes to the rescue to create a presentation from a prompt composed on the spot or from a file.
In addition to reworking a document into textual content that can be inserted into slides, it helps set the tone of voice and create the right graphic accompaniment.
Of course, this is also of great use in the case of presentations that are ready-made but need some stylistic tweaking. For example, you will be able to request that a slide overflowing with words become more visual.
Finally, Copilot will integrate with the historic "Speaker Coach" feature to come up with useful presentation notes and provide tips on how to speak to your audience so you never lose their attention.
Copilot will be able to be used to speed up the analysis of data entered into a spreadsheet.
It will thus be able to be used for:
- synthesize information graphically;
- aggregate data into a new table;
- make future or hypothetical predictions.
The third point involves a revolutionary new feature.
The user will be able to ask the AI to make assumptions about what would have changed in a table, report, or graph if a certain piece of data had been different.
In addition, it will justify its answer by explaining the steps it took to find it.
Copilot will bring out some of its most interesting features in Microsoft Teams (recorded) meetings.
First of all, it will be able to generate a summary of meetings (a new "Follow" item will appear in meeting invitations to this end) that will report:
- a summary of what participants said;
- the notes shared;
- the tasks assigned.
The user can then ask questions about each of the points listed.
For example, why a particular topic was covered and what is the opinion of individual participants about it.
The virtual assistant will answer these and similar doubts, highlighting the parts of the transcript that justify its interpretation.
However, Copilot will also appear on the call.
Indeed, the prompt bar will be available in the virtual rooms, with which the user can generate useful content to share live.
Or perhaps, he will be able to use it to ask for a summary of what participants have said or written in chat.
Microsoft 365 Copilot will also integrate with the Viva family of products dedicated to training, goal tracking, time management and, in general, the well-being of people in the company.
Full details have not yet been made public, but some important news about Copilot's presence in the Viva Engage, Viva Topics and Viva Goals modules have come in recent weeks.
Let's find out about them together.
Viva Engage is the module in the suite that aims to create a business community by cueing interaction among users.
In this context, Copilot will come into play to simplify the writing of posts to be published and to manage one of the most important sections of the platform, "Answers."
In the first case, it will be able to generate content with the desired - and indicated in the prompt - tone, length, graphics and attachments.
Second, it will provide users with useful information for their work, identifying the most searched questions and writing the most relevant answer for each.
Viva Topics is the module dedicated to knowledge sharing, with its topic sheets and pages and interactive concept maps.
Copilot will be used to accomplish two main activities:
- Make a summary of topics and relationships between more complex topics.
- Translate topic sheets and pages to and from the languages supported by the system (currently, about 50).
We come to the third and final module discussed in the latest news released by Microsoft concerning its virtual assistant.
Viva Goals is the platform built to simplify the tracking of business goals according to the rules of the now-famous OKR Framework (to learn more, we invite you to read our article on Viva Goals and its relationship to OKRs).
However, the work done by users to set, monitor and achieve their goals will be made even easier and faster.
Copilot will lend a hand not only in generating goals and results following the user's directions, but it will be able to make suggestions on which ones would be most convenient to track.
It will also streamline the creation of a dashboard to show and share the progress made by individual users, teams and departments against the hoped-for progress*.
*Viva Goals calculates the optimal progress to be tracked to achieve set goals in a given time.
Power Platform is the family of Power Automate, Power BI, Power Apps and Power Virtual Agents.
Copilot will integrate with these tools, which have made efficiency and productivity their mission, to make them even more effective -- and easy to use.
Starting with Power Automate, the Microsoft 365 virtual assistant will be able to generate and activate automated workflows.
For example, the user will be able to use the prompt bar to request that a notification be sent to Teams whenever a new item is added to a given SharePoint list.
In the case of Power Apps, on the other hand, it will be possible to ask the AI to create a custom application capable of handling business inspections or to provide functionality based on Dataverse tables.
Another piece of news concerns Virtual Agents bots.
Copilot will indeed be able to be used to generate chatbot conversation topics.
We eagerly await news regarding Power BI, but we anticipate similar functionality to be added in Excel.
Here we come to the most nebulous of the announced integrations.
There is no definite information yet about the presence of Microsoft 365 Copilot in Azure, the platform for infrastructure, cloud development and security.
However, we can anticipate that Copilot will come in to help verify system security and optimize IT team operations, such as analyzing heavy log files through secure extraction.
It will also provide significant support in tracing the causes and steps that led to incidents, creating concise representations of the event.
We close our presentation of the features we will soon have available with Microsoft 365 Copilot with one last, important new feature.
We are talking about Business Chat, the area dedicated to a personal conversation with AI.
This space will be for the exclusive use of the individual user, who will be able to gather here questions, requests and answers based on all the information and content in his digital workspace.
It will be the perfect place to ask Copilot to summarize relevant events of the week or gather materials on which to prepare for an upcoming meeting.
Each response will be stored in chat and can be used to generate useful new content, such as a SWAT Analysis to include in a report or a Loop canvas to share later with your team.
Where will it be found?
In 3 channels:
- Microsoft Teams.
Keep on reading
Loop is the new Microsoft 365 app, still in the experimental phase. What will it lead to?
Learn all the secrets of Forms to get useful data and unexpected insights from your corporate communities.