Yammer is evolving to Microsoft Viva Engage with new experiences rolling out today

 

Hybrid work in an uncertain economic climate is causing many leaders to rethink how to scale meaningful connections among their distributed teams. More than half (51 percent) of employees surveyed for our Work Trend Index say relationships outside their immediate work group have weakened.1 At the leadership level, building social capital is crucial to the success of workplace culture. In fact, 68 percent of business decision-makers view cohesion and social connections within teams as a moderate to strong challenge due to the shift to hybrid work.

Two hybrid employees sharing a device and collaborating.

Microsoft Viva Engage

Connect everyone at your organization through employee communities and conversations.

For over 10 years, Yammer has been the social fabric for Microsoft’s productivity cloud, bringing community and conversations into the apps that people work in daily. However, in an increasingly distributed world of work, community engagement is essential to how people and teams come together and is a critical pillar of the employee experience, which is why last year we introduced Microsoft Viva Engage, an evolution of the Yammer Communities app in Microsoft Teams, as the newest part of Microsoft Viva.

We’ve heard your feedback on this initial step and in the coming year, all of Yammer will become Viva Engage, retiring the Yammer brand. In addition, we’ll continue to enhance Viva Engage with new capabilities that spur leadership engagement, authentic expression, events, and knowledge discovery, including new experiences rolling out today.

Yammer is evolving to Viva Engage

The next phase of the evolution will start next month, March 2023, with updates to the Communities app for Outlook and Yammer mobile apps for iOS and Android. Outside of branding changes, there are no changes to the features, capabilities, and investments for Microsoft 365 customers. You will continue to experience and benefit from the power of Viva Engage just as you did with Yammer, with no loss of continuity. In addition, we will continue to build new capabilities that realize the power of community, corporate communications at the organizational scale, and knowledge sharing. We are excited about how this change will create a unified Viva Engage experience throughout the web, mobile, and other endpoints and bring consistency for Yammer and Viva users. This evolution makes way for new Viva capabilities powered by Viva Engage and will streamline features, resources, training, documentation, and support for customers. Read on to learn more about what’s coming and when you can expect to see Yammer evolve into Viva Engage.

Connecting people in the hybrid era

New experiences rolling out for Viva Engage

In September 2022, we announced a new wave of capabilities in Viva Engage that spurs leadership engagement, authentic expression, events, and knowledge discovery. Today, these experiences begin to roll out worldwide for Viva suite and Microsoft Viva Topics customers.

Leadership Corner provides a space for leaders to connect with employees, showcase employee resource groups, and foster culture through discussions, storyline posts, events, and more. Employees see the leaders that they are connected to within their organization, and then leaders and their delegates can promote, aggregate, and launch initiatives from a single place. A new selection of intuitive dashboards track metrics and employee sentiment to help leadership teams keep a pulse on conversations and guide the discussion with their employees.

graphical user interface, application
Figure 1. The new Leadership Corner tab in Viva Engage is available to Viva suite customers.

MICROSOFT VIVA

Learn more 

Leadership Corner also introduces a new event style in Viva Engage called Ask Me Anything (AMA) events to further drive engagement. AMA events modernize the standard town hall experience through upvoting, Q&A, and engaging discussion features like GIFs and images. Long-running AMAs work well for leaders with globally distributed teams so everyone gets an opportunity to ask questions, upvote others’ questions, and get responses from their leaders. AMAs also provide moderation controls so leaders can hear what really matters, answer questions, and ensure that employees have the latest information when they need it most.

graphical user interface, email
Figure 2. A look at the new Ask Me Anything event experience in Viva Engage.

Leaders and corporate communicators can also now create campaigns to drive key initiatives that support business goals and objectives. These campaigns are automatically pulled into Leadership Corner and include a dedicated campaign page, a visual Goal Tracker to measure progress, and the ability to showcase key sponsors and recognize top contributors.

graphical user interface
Figure 3. Campaigns bring your company initiatives to life for employees.

Remote work has strained ambient knowledge transfer and logistical hurdles for employees trying to learn from each other. Employees who regularly seek individual expertise from their peers can find the process frustrating or limiting due to many factors like time zones, overloaded inboxes, or complex organizational silos. Answers in Microsoft Viva is now rolling out to Viva suite customers and Viva Topics customers as a new tab in Viva Engage. Answers utilizes Viva Topics and rich AI to surface and match employee questions to answers and experts, bringing collective knowledge to work for everyone.

graphical user interface, application
Figure 4. Answers in Viva helps to match employee questions with answers and experts.

MICROSOFT TEAMS

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Answers surfaces similar questions that have been answered, recommends topics and experts, highlights top solutions, and prompts and rewards people for contributing answers to the knowledge base.

graphical user interface, text, application, email
Figure 5. See recommended questions, trending content, and badges you’ve earned.

To better understand engagement within Viva Engage, we’ve added new Advanced Analytics that drill down into a variety of dashboards, including dedicated metrics for personal analytics, audience analytics, campaign analytics, and global answers. Customizable date ranges allow you to determine reach and engagement over time to provide a deeper look at what’s happening in Viva Engage. All metrics are aggregated and de-identified for privacy. They are on by default but can be toggled off by a Global Admin. Learn more about what’s included in these analytics and control how they are rolled out on the Microsoft Viva Tech Community blog.

graphical user interface
Figure 6. See detailed analytics of your impact across Viva Engage.

Viva Engage in Outlook and mobile

In March 2023, the existing Communities app for Outlook will be updated to reflect Viva Engage branding. This change will happen automatically, with no action necessary to see this update. Customers can use the new Viva Engage app to stay on top of community and conversation activity directly from Outlook, whether in the desktop app or web experience.

Also in March 2023, the Yammer mobile apps for iOS and Android will also be updated to Viva Engage to provide a native mobile-first experience that’s optimized for social sharing and rich media. To see the new experience, you’ll need to update your app. Viva Engage can also be used through the Teams mobile app.

Get Microsoft Viva today

The new experiences for leaders, communicators, and employees that we announced are available to Microsoft Viva customers and begin rolling out today. Learn more about each feature and the licenses required.

Woman sitting in kitchen working on 2-in-1 tabletin laptop mode.

Microsoft Viva

Support connection, insight, purpose, and growth to empower people and teams to be their best.

Looking ahead

We want to sincerely thank all of our Yammer and Viva customers who have been on this journey with us, and we will continue to communicate about the timing and changes that you can expect to see on the Yammer Tech Community blog. Please note this change does not impact the current pricing or capabilities available to current Microsoft 365 customers.

We look forward to building the future of Viva Engage together and have big plans for Microsoft Viva in the coming year and beyond.

To learn more about the changes announced today, join us on February 23, 2023, for an AMA with the product leaders from the Viva Engage team.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Is this a total rebrand of Yammer? Yes, we started this journey with the rebranding of the Communities app in Teams in 2022. Over the next year, the remaining Yammer experiences will be rebranded to reflect Viva Engage branding and better align with Microsoft Viva.
  2. What does this mean for Yammer? Yammer will continue as Viva Engage, with the next step being the rebranding of the Communities app for Outlook and Yammer mobile apps for iOS and Android. Over the next year, all of Yammer will be rebranded into Viva Engage. This does not change the current capabilities, value, or pricing to Yammer for existing Microsoft 365 customers or M365 SKUs. Leadership Corner, Advanced Analytics, and Answers in Viva will be available to Viva suite customers. Answers in Viva will also be available to Viva Topics customers.
  3. Will any Yammer functionality no longer be available as part of this change to Viva Engage? There are no changes to the features or functionality resulting from this change.
  4. Where can I get help setting up Viva Engage? Reach out to FastTrack, your account manager, or learn how to deploy Yammer/Viva Engage. We will help communicate this change and have made available an advanced deployment guide through FastTrack for interested customers. You can also find helpful adoption materials at Viva Engage Adoption. We will continue to add materials for customers to use for communication and training as more capabilities become available.
  5. Will the same content moderation and other admin policies set in Yammer be transferred over to Viva Engage? Yes, all administrative policies and capabilities will remain. Download this FAQ for a detailed look at Viva Engage for admins.

 

Yes, Yammer is evolving to Microsoft Viva Engage -- Here's where You Can Learn more about this new unified platform

Microsoft Viva

San Diego Managed Services that Unleash Business Potential 

San Diego managed services providers Specializing in Microsoft Technologies

 

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, technology isn't just an asset—it's the cornerstone of success. For businesses in San Diego, partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) specializing in Microsoft technologies can be transformative.

Let's delve into why collaborating with a local San Diego MSP proficient in Microsoft solutions is pivotal for enhancing productivity, fortifying security, and propelling business growth.

 

Why Choose a Local San Diego MSP?

 

Local Expertise and Rapid Response Times

Managing IT infrastructure demands prompt action and a deep understanding of the local business ecosystem. San Diego MSPs offer the advantage of proximity alongside unparalleled expertise, ensuring swift resolution of issues with minimal disruption to operations.

 

Tailored Solutions for Diverse Needs

San Diego boasts a diverse business landscape—from burgeoning tech startups to established biotech enterprises—each with unique IT requirements.

An MSP specializing in Microsoft technologies can craft bespoke solutions tailored to the distinct needs of these industries, aligning IT infrastructure seamlessly with overarching business objectives.

 

The Microsoft Edge

 

Comprehensive Product Suite

Microsoft's suite of offerings—from Azure and Office 365 to Dynamics 365 and SharePoint—comprises robust solutions capable of revolutionizing business operations.

MSPs well-versed in these products can facilitate seamless integration and optimization, enabling businesses to harness their full potential.

 

Scalability and Flexibility

As businesses evolve, so do their IT needs. Microsoft technologies, renowned for their scalability, can grow in tandem with enterprises.

A proficient MSP ensures seamless scalability, empowering businesses to adapt to market dynamics without the hassle of frequent hardware upgrades or software license changes.

 

Enhanced Security and Compliance

In an era of escalating cyber threats, security is paramount. Microsoft's formidable security features, complemented by local MSP oversight, provide robust protection for data and IT systems.

Moreover, adherence to industry regulations is streamlined as Microsoft products inherently meet many standards—an aspect efficiently managed and maintained by knowledgeable MSPs.

 

 

What to Look for in a San Diego MSP

 

Certified Microsoft Partnership

Prioritize MSPs with Microsoft certification. This credential underscores their expertise, guaranteeing quality service, access to the latest technology updates, and adept management of your IT infrastructure.

 

Proactive Support and Maintenance

Opt for MSPs offering proactive support with stringent service level agreements (SLAs). Round-the-clock monitoring services and minimal downtime assurances ensure swift issue identification and resolution, safeguarding uninterrupted business operations.

 

Strong Customer Focus and Transparent Communication

Exceptional MSPs prioritize customer service and uphold transparent communication channels. Regular network status updates, prompt IT issue resolutions, and transparent pricing devoid of hidden charges are hallmarks of reliable MSP-client relationships.

 

Choosing the right MSP in San Diego specializing in Microsoft technologies is paramount for unlocking advanced IT solutions that drive efficiency and growth. Such collaborations empower businesses to focus on core competencies while entrusting the intricate realm of IT to seasoned professionals.

 

Whether enhancing IT infrastructure, fortifying security, or driving innovation through technology, Managed Solution stands as a steadfast ally in navigating the digital landscape.

For businesses poised to elevate their technology strategy, selecting a San Diego managed service provider steeped in Microsoft technologies marks the inaugural step toward transforming IT operations into a strategic business asset.

 

Here at Managed Solution we’re proud to say that we are able to meet these criterium and more to maximize the success of each and every client we work with.

Click the links below to learn more about our Managed Services and Microsoft Consulting services or click here chat with one of our experts here to begin your Digital Transformation journey with a provider who cares about your goals and has the resources and expertise to deliver.

 

Managed IT Services - Managed Solution

Microsoft Consulting Services - Managed Solution

A Comprehensive Overview of Managed IT Services by Managed Solution

 

Ever wonder what the IT Managed Services onboarding process looks like? There are so many ways to leverage Managed IT Services and even more Managed Service Providers that can help businesses of all kinds maximize ROI for their IT department and boost success throughout their company’s operations.

 

Today, we’ll be breaking down our very own Managed Services process and showcasing the facets that set us apart. Providing not only an overview of Managed IT Services for those interested in exploring outsourced IT, but a clearer understanding of the specialized value Managed Solution has to offer.

 

Microsoft Solution Specialists

Ranked among Microsoft’s top 150 partners globally, Managed Solution belongs to the elite 1%, working closely with Microsoft to provide tailored solutions for your business needs.

By selecting a Managed Services Provider that specializes in Microsoft technology solutions you gain expertise in over 200 products and services, Microsoft Azure’s complexity requires specialized knowledge to navigate effectively.

A Microsoft specialized MSP can assess your business needs and design a tailored Azure solution, ensuring a seamless transition from on-premise to the cloud. While providing you with access to certified Azure experts eliminating the need for you to hire internal resources and providing you special discounts and simplified billing on Microsoft products.

 

Scalable Services for Continuous Evolution

Our scalable services provide a foundation for businesses to grow and innovate. Whether you need short-term project assistance or ongoing support, we're here to monitor, automate, manage, and optimize your IT.

This type of support is crucial for business looking for adaptability in their technology providers, allowing them to adjust their IT resources based on current demands, ensuring they can handle growth or changes in the market.  You will also find that scalability can lead to lower IT costs by optimizing resource usage and minimizing the need for over staffing.

Our clients also tell us that staying scalable allows them to quickly adapt to new technologies and customer demands, all of which helps keep their business competitive.

 

Unparalleled Customer Service

Our approach to the IT Managed Services onboarding process is rooted in a 'people first' philosophy, recognizing that the success of any business lies in the success of the individuals behind it. The right technology can transform organizations, and as a result the lives of the employees and teams within them.

Our clients experience this through specialized, tailored delivery of powerful Microsoft and market-leading solutions to achieve their operational, security, productivity goals and beyond.

Furthermore, customer service is at the heart of what we do. With our 24/7/365 national help desk support, we ensure that your business is always equipped with the support it needs, whenever it needs it.

 

Services Overview

Whatever your IT needs are, we've got you covered. From delivering excellence to driving operational and corporate growth, our services are designed to streamline your IT processes.

Services Include:

  • 24/7/365 National IT Help Desk
  • Network Monitoring
  • SIEM/SOC
  • Azure Deployment and Monitoring
  • Microsoft Licensing and Security Services
  • Compliance Management
  • Backup & Disaster Recovery

 

Onboarding and Ongoing Engagement

Our IT Managed Services onboarding process is a testament to our commitment to excellence. From the internal signing of agreements to the installation of Continuum Agents and Anti-virus, we guide our clients every step of the way. The onboarding journey is a well-orchestrated process that ensures a smooth transition for our clients.

We approach each site individually, recognizing that every business is unique. Our systematic onboarding process spans months, focusing on reviewing, systemizing, analyzing, and strategizing to provide tailored solutions. This includes continuous ticket checks, root cause analysis, and quarterly reviews to ensure ongoing success.

 

Here is the full breakdown of our onboarding process below:

 Review and systemize (1 Month)

  • On-boarding Project manager & onboarding team​
  • Network assessment & asset counts​
  • Integrated ticketing & alert tools​
  • Help Desk Support Training​
  • Immediately identify areas of concern & solutions​
  • Launch Help Desk​

 

Analyze (3 - 6 months)

  • Continuous ticket & CSAT checks​
  • Customer success manager and Technical Account Manager
  • Root cause analysis
  • Partner to develop proactive solutions​
  • QBRs (Quarterly Reviews)
  • Refined support strategy
  • Recommendations towards business improvement and getting to a proactive state

 

Strategize (6 - 9 months)

  • Technology roadmap for business support
  • Security & scaling
  • Start implementing solutions and plan for long term vision
  • Quarterly Reviews​
  • A long-term technology and support strategy
  • One multidisciplinary technical team to implement
  • Start seeing improvements in end user experience and business support

 

Accelerate and smooth (ongoing)

  • QBRs/CSAT Checks
  • Root cause analysis​
  • Roadmap delivery​
  • Continuous support from assigned TAM & CSM​, Security​
  • Continuous 360º care team ensuring implementation and leveraging the right systems and people, at the right times
  • Achieve a proactive state of IT, High quality, high touch customer experience

 

Top IT Objectives: Your Path to Excellence

Our top IT objectives align with the modern business landscape, emphasizing delivery excellence, metrics-driven decision-making, employee experience, operational excellence, and corporate growth.

 

Delivery Excellence

  • Experience high-quality service and operational transformation through expert guidance and modern technology solutions including:
    • Microsoft Azure
    • Microsoft Power Apps and Power BI
    • Microsoft Teams
    • Microsoft Copilot

 

Metrics Driven

  • Leverage platforms like Microsoft Teams, PowerApps, Power Bi and Viva to provide company goals (Set OKRs or Objectives and Key Results)
  • Analyze culture updates to enable better collaboration between employees with Microsoft Viva
  • Leverage Microsoft Power BI to make more informed business decisions

 

Employee Experience

  • Enable seamless workflows for end users
  • Save time by assigning day-to-day tasks to Managed Solution
  • Track and plan goals and in-house operations with tools like Microsoft Planner, Teams and streamline productivity towards these goals through Microsoft Copilot
  • Boost productivity by allowing in-house teams to focus on high priority initiatives

 

Bringing Your Organization Together

Our holistic approach, powered by Microsoft technologies and specialized expertise, consolidates identity management infrastructure, migrates to geo-redundant tenants, adopts Microsoft Office 365, and implements robust security measures, ensuring reliability, stability, and security.

 

Managed Solution isn't just an IT service provider; we are your dedicated partner in success. Beyond problem-solving, we help businesses thrive with Microsoft-centric strategies. Helping clients experience a proactive state of IT, high-quality service, and a Microsoft-driven, customer-centric approach that empowers your organization for the future.

 

Ready to get started? Chat with one of our experts today to get started on your journey to excellent IT operations. Or dive deeper into our blog page to learn even more about what Managed Services entails.

How to Connect External Data with Copilot

 

In the dynamic realm of data-driven decision-making, access to relevant, accurate, and timely data is paramount. Copilot Data Connectors are revolutionary, linking various data sources to assist in your evaluation.

This guide discusses Copilot Data Connectors. It explains how to use them, why they are important, and how they improve data workflows.

Understanding Copilot Data Connectors

 

Copilot Data Connectors are innovative tools designed to simplify and streamline data integration processes.

They help users easily access data from different sources like cloud platforms, databases, and applications. Copilot Data Connectors make it easier to retrieve and integrate data. This allows users to concentrate on gaining valuable insights rather than managing separate data sources.

 

how to connect external data with copilot graphic examples

How to Use Copilot Data Connectors

 

  1. Choose Your Data Source: Begin by identifying the data sources you wish to connect to. Copilot Data Connectors can link to a variety of sources. These include MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB databases. They can also connect to cloud platforms such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.
  2. Select the Connector: Once you've identified your data sources, select the appropriate Copilot Data Connector for seamless integration. Copilot offers a diverse range of connectors tailored to specific data platforms, ensuring compatibility and efficiency.
  3. Set up connection parameters: By entering authentication details, server information, and necessary settings. This will help create a secure and dependable connection to your data source.
  4. Retrieve and Transform Data: With the connection established, leverage Copilot Data Connectors to retrieve the desired datasets. Employ advanced data transformation capabilities to cleanse, enrich, and harmonize the data according to your diagnostic requirements.

To get the latest data for analyzing and reports, you can choose to turn on Real-Time Syncing for continuous updates. This will keep your insights up-to-date with the latest data from your sources.

You can connect the data with your favorite analytical tools. These tools include business intelligence dashboards, machine learning models, and custom applications. This allows for seamless integration and analyzing.

Why Connecting Your Data is Important

Integrating external data with Copilot extends the scope of analyzing, enabling organizations to gain a holistic view of their operations, customers, and competitive landscape.

 

Here's why connecting external data with Copilot is crucial:

 

Enhanced Context and Insights

External data sources provide valuable context that enriches internal datasets. Companies can improve their understanding of customers, competition, and opportunities by using external information.

This information can include market trends, consumer behavior, and industry standards. By analyzing this data, companies can gain insights into what customers desire and potential risks they may face.

 

Better decision-making

Having access to different types of outside information helps make decisions based on real-world situations. Organizations can make better decisions by using external data. For example, they can adjust marketing plans based on social media feedback.

They can also enhance supply chain operations with weather predictions. Ultimately, this leads to improved business results. This leads to better business results.

 

Predictive Analytics and Forecasting

External data often contains signals and patterns that can enhance predictive analytics and forecasting models. Companies can improve their predictive models by using outside information such as economic data, population trends, and global events.

This can make their models more accurate and reliable. As a result, companies can plan and manage risks more effectively. This helps with planning and managing risks more effectively.

 

Competitive Advantage

Leveraging external data can provide a competitive edge by uncovering hidden opportunities or early warning signs of potential risks.

By using Copilot, organizations can stay ahead by spotting market trends early and tracking competitors online. Integrating external data helps them stay ahead of the competition.

 

Innovation and Adaptability

External data integration fosters innovation by enabling organizations to tap into new sources of insights and inspiration. Companies can find new market groups by analyzing data from outside sources. Additionally, they can generate new ideas for products and services.

 

Comprehensive Risk Management

External data sources play a critical role in risk management by providing early indicators of potential risks and vulnerabilities.

With Copilot, companies can use external data to anticipate and manage risks like supply chain problems and regulatory shifts. This helps prevent issues from getting worse.

Organizations can use Copilot to connect external data sources. This allows them to access a variety of data-driven insights. You can use these insights for decision-making, planning, and innovation.

By doing this, organizations can enhance their logical capabilities. Organizations can use outside data to discover new opportunities, lower risks, and stay ahead in today's fast-paced environment.

How Copilot Data Connectors Drive Seamless Data Connection

 

Efficiency and Productivity

Copilot Data Connectors streamline the data integration process, reducing manual effort and time spent on data preparation tasks. This efficiency enables data teams to focus on higher-value activities such as analyzing, modeling, and strategic decision-making.

 

Data Accessibility and Modification

By bridging data silos and simplifying access to disparate data sources, Copilot Data Connectors democratize data access across organizations. Business users, analysts, and data scientists can get the data they need without needing specialized technical skills.

Connecting external data with Copilot enables you to grow with your changing data needs, providing scalability and flexibility. Whether you're dealing with small-scale datasets or massive data volumes, Copilot's robust infrastructure ensures seamless growth and performance.

Copilot Data Connectors provide real-time insights for organizations. They help organizations access fresh data quickly. This allows them to make decisions faster. It also helps them respond promptly to market changes.

 

Ability and Affinity

Copilot Data Connectors support a wide range of data platforms and formats, ensuring compatibility with your existing infrastructure and tools. This interoperability eliminates data silos and fosters a cohesive data ecosystem within your organization.

 

In conclusion, Copilot Data Connectors represent a paradigm shift in data integration, offering unparalleled efficiency, accessibility, and scalability.

Your organization can use connector tools to easily connect data with Copilot for maximum data utilization. This helps them innovate and strategically grow in today's data-focused environment.

Which Copilot Plan is Right for You? A Guide for Purchasing Copilot

 In this in-depth guide for purchasing Copilot you'll learn about every licensing option available in detail, along with the demographics each option best suits to choose the perfect plan for you.

“The company discovered there were different “types” of Copilot users. One segment includes creators, researchers, and programmers who want rapid access to the latest generative AI tools. 

Another segment includes Microsoft 365 customers who want to leverage Copilot in their apps for personal use. Plus, there are Copilot users who need access to the complete capabilities of Copilot, alongside enterprise data protection, Microsoft Graph grounding, and Copilot in Teams.

As a result, there are now different “Copilot plans” available for each type of user, starting with the introduction of Microsoft Copilot Pro”. -- Android Authority

 

Copilot Pricing Plans

 

 complete licensing options for microsoft copilot

 

Quick Overview: Best Plans for Different Users

 

Freelancers and Hobbyists: Copilot’s Free version is the perfect fit for freelancers and hobbyists who work on projects intermittently. This option allows individuals to access Copilot's capabilities without committing to a fixed monthly subscription, making it cost-effective and highly accessible for users who don’t yet have the need for Copilots complete suite of services.

 

Small to Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs): SMBs with Microsoft 365 Business Standard or Business Premium subscription and small to medium-sized development teams can benefit from Copilot Pro or Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365.

With its predictable monthly subscription fee per user, Copilot Pro offers unlimited access to Copilot's features, enabling teams to collaborate effectively and increase productivity without worrying about variable costs.

If the organization is working heavily with Microsoft 365, then Copilot for Microsoft 365 is the best option to reap all of Copilots benefits within their existing M365 platform.

 

Large Enterprises: Large enterprises with Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 and complex development environments and stringent security requirements can leverage Copilot for Microsoft 365.

Customizable pricing and features, along with advanced security controls and dedicated support, make Copilot for Microsoft 365 ideal for organizations seeking enterprise-grade solutions tailored to their specific needs.

 

Copilot’s Free Plan VS Copilot Pro

 

Copilot (Free)

The "free" Copilot experience for individuals grants access to foundational capabilities, web grounding, and commercial data protection. However, users do not have access to Copilot features within tools like Word, PowerPoint, or Teams.

Free users can utilize Copilot in specific solutions, such as Bing Chat and Bing Chat Enterprise.

Considering upgrading from the free version of Copilot to the monthly Copilot Pro subscription for $20? If you're a casual Copilot user and satisfied with the performance and features of the free version, there's no pressing need to upgrade.

 

Copilot Pro

However, if you frequently use Microsoft Office applications, the decision becomes more nuanced. Copilot Pro unlocks AI features within Office, particularly in apps like PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook, which can be truly transformative.

The ability to command Copilot to assist in creating a PowerPoint presentation based on a Word document or email is remarkable and can significantly save time.

If such capabilities align with your needs and preferences, then opting for a Copilot Pro subscription is advisable. While $20 per month may seem steep, we anticipate that Copilot Pro will continue to evolve with additional features over time, potentially increasing its value in the future.

 

Who Benefits Most from Copilots Free Plan?

The Copilot Free Plan is particularly beneficial for individuals and small teams who have occasional or moderate needs for AI-driven assistance in software development but do not require access to advanced features or integration with Microsoft Office applications.

 

Specifically, the following demographics would benefit the most from Copilot's Free Plan:

Freelancers and Hobbyists: Individuals who work on coding projects independently or as a hobby can benefit from the Copilot Free Plan as it provides foundational AI capabilities without the need for a paid subscription.

 

Students: Students learning to code or working on coding projects for academic purposes can leverage the Copilot Free Plan to access AI-powered coding assistance at no cost.

 

Small Development Teams: Small teams with limited resources or budgets can utilize the Copilot Free Plan to enhance their coding productivity without incurring additional expenses.

 

Startups and Bootstrapped Companies: Startups and bootstrapped companies in their early stages of development may find the Copilot Free Plan advantageous as it offers basic AI assistance without requiring a financial commitment.

 

Overall, the Copilot Free Plan caters to individuals and organizations looking to explore AI-driven coding assistance without the need for advanced features or integration with Microsoft Office applications.

 

Who Benefits Most from Copilot Pro?

The Copilot Pro Plan is best suited for users and organizations with more extensive needs, particularly those who rely heavily on Microsoft Office applications for their work.

 

The following demographics would benefit the most from Copilot's Pro Plan:

Professional Developers: Experienced developers and software engineers who work on complex projects and require advanced AI-driven assistance, such as code suggestions, refactoring, and bug fixing, would benefit greatly from the Copilot Pro Plan.

 

Microsoft Office Users: Individuals and teams who heavily utilize Microsoft Office applications like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook in their workflow can unlock the full potential of Copilot's integration with Office applications with the Pro Plan. This includes features such as generating PowerPoint presentations based on Word documents or emails, which can significantly save time and enhance productivity.

 

Companies with Compliance and Security Needs: Enterprises with strict compliance and security requirements can benefit from the advanced security controls and dedicated support offered by the Copilot Pro Plan, ensuring that their coding activities remain secure and compliant with industry standards.

 

Teams Requiring Priority Support and Collaboration Tools: Organizations that require priority support and advanced collaboration tools, such as centralized billing and management, can take advantage of the Copilot Pro Plan to enhance team collaboration and productivity.

 

Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 Plans

For users wanting to incorporate Copilot into their Microsoft 365 infrastructure, there are many different options to explore which we have broken down below:

 

Microsoft 365 Personal or Family Subscribers: Copilot Essentials

For individuals or families subscribed to Microsoft 365 Personal or Family, Copilot Essentials provides access to essential AI-powered features within select Microsoft 365 apps.

With Copilot Essentials, users can enjoy priority access to Copilot and experience faster performance. Additionally, Copilot Essentials accelerates image creation with Designer, making it an ideal choice for personal or household use.

 

Best Suited For:

Individuals or families seeking enhanced productivity within select Microsoft 365 apps.

Casual users who do not require extensive AI capabilities but value improved performance and image creation features.

 

Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 Business Standard or Business Premium: Business Essentials

Designed for customers with a Microsoft 365 Business Standard or Business Premium subscription, Copilot for Microsoft 365 Business Essentials offers a comprehensive set of AI-powered tools tailored for small to medium-sized businesses.

Users gain access to AI-powered chat with secure access to organizational graphs, enabling efficient communication and collaboration. Additionally, Copilot is seamlessly integrated into Microsoft 365 apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams, enhancing productivity across the organization.

With the ability to customize and extend Copilot using Microsoft Copilot Studio Preview, businesses can adapt the AI assistant to meet their unique needs. Furthermore, Copilot for Microsoft 365 Business Essentials provides enterprise-grade security, privacy, and compliance features, ensuring data protection and regulatory compliance.

 

Best Suited For:

Small to medium-sized businesses requiring AI-powered tools for improved communication, collaboration, and productivity.

Organizations seeking enterprise-grade security and compliance features within their AI assistant.

 

Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 E3 or E5: Enterprise Solutions

For customers with a Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 subscription, Copilot for Microsoft 365 Enterprise Solutions offers advanced AI capabilities tailored for large enterprises.

In addition to AI-powered chat and access to Copilot in Microsoft 365 apps, enterprise users benefit from customizable AI solutions through Microsoft Copilot Studio Preview.

With enterprise-grade security, privacy, and compliance features, Copilot for Microsoft 365 Enterprise Solutions ensures data protection and regulatory compliance at scale.

 

Best Suited For:

Large enterprises with complex workflows and extensive AI requirements.

Organizations seeking highly customizable AI solutions with robust security and compliance features.

 

Additional Licensing Options

On March 1st of 2024, Microsoft released the following additional licensing options for Copilot. These licenses for Copilot Sales and Copilot Service will be available for CSP.

Read the graph below to learn more or contact our procurement team at quotes@managedsolution.com.

copilot licensing options

Choosing the right Copilot pricing plan depends on your specific needs and the Microsoft 365 subscription you currently hold. Whether you're an individual user, a small business, or a large enterprise, there's a Copilot plan tailored to enhance your productivity, collaboration, and security within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem.

We hope this guide for purchasing copilot will help you evaluate your requirements carefully and select the Copilot plan that best aligns with your goals and priorities.

If you're ready to unlock the full potential of AI-driven productivity tools within Microsoft 365, reach out to our procurement team at quotes@managedsolution.com to learn more, and explore the Copilot pricing plans today with one of our experts.

 

Fall in Love with ConnectWise Sidekick: Why AI and Managed Services are a Perfect Match

How ConnectWise Sidekick combines AI and Managed Services to enhance businesses everywhere.

Love is in the air, and at Managed Solution, there’s one thing we’re head over heels for: ConnectWise Sidekick™. As we celebrate the season of love, let us break down the incredible features of this new powerful tool and its many benefits.

 

Why We LOVE ConnectWise Sidekick

 

Efficiency

Hyper-automation and artificial intelligence come together seamlessly in ConnectWise Sidekick. This powerful tool automates the triage, summarization, and resolution suggestion processes, leading to quicker service ticket resolutions and consistently exceptional customer experiences.

By optimizing ticket management, ConnectWise Sidekick empowers technicians to operate with efficiency and effectiveness. Moreover, it centralizes information access within Microsoft Teams, facilitating streamlined updates across all teams.

Cost Savings

ConnectWise Sidekick isn’t just about functionality; it’s also about financial prudence. The cost savings per technician help us manage our budget effectively, ensuring that our resources are utilized optimally.

Specifically, businesses save $1,042 per month by implementing ConnectWise’s Sidekick. Thanks to the power of AI organizations can achieve greater productivity at faster rates and limit the need for internal labor. Optimizing for both growth and overall spend.

Partner Benefits

ConnectWise Sidekick isn’t just beneficial for MSP’s like Managed Solution; it also extends its advantages to the broader TSP community. Its impact goes beyond our organization, fostering a network of collaboration and support among peers and clients.

 

Why You'll Appreciate ConnectWise Sidekick

Simplifying Tasks

ConnectWise Sidekick simplifies workflows with its automation capabilities. It handles routine processes seamlessly, allowing users to focus on tasks that require expertise.

 

Maximizing Resources

ConnectWise Sidekick helps minimize unnecessary expenses by optimizing resource utilization. Its cost-saving features enables maintenance operational efficiency without compromising on quality.

 

Enhancing Service Delivery

ConnectWise Sidekick enables swift, accurate solutions to businesses. Its AI-driven insights ensure that teams receive the support they need promptly and effectively.

 

The Added Value to Service Delivery Processes

 

Seamless Integration

ConnectWise Sidekick seamlessly integrates with ConnectWise PSA, enhancing the functionality of our platform. Its advanced features enrich our PSA experience, making it more robust and reliable.

 

Streamlining Operations

ConnectWise Sidekick streamlines our operations by automating manual tasks. Its efficient workflow management allows us to optimize our time and resources effectively.

 

Actionable Insights

ConnectWise Sidekick provides valuable insights derived from our PSA data. These insights empower us to make informed decisions that contribute to our clients' satisfaction and our business growth.

 

In conclusion, ConnectWise Sidekick isn’t just a tool; it’s a strategic asset that enhances operations by combing the power of AI and Managed Services. Its efficiency-driven approach, cost-saving features, and collaborative benefits make it an invaluable addition to our toolkit.

Ready to fall in love with the full potential of ConnectWise Sidekick? Contact us today and let’s explore the possibilities together.

A Six-Stage Methodology for Seamless AI Implementation

In today's era of digital transformation, businesses recognize the strategic importance of AI implementation (Artificial Intelligence) to maintain a competitive edge.

Managed Solution, a trailblazer in innovative technology solutions, introduces a robust six-stage methodology designed to seamlessly integrate AI into customer environments. The steps of Collect, Cleanse, Condition, Comply, Compute and Connect are important for successfully integrate AI.

1. Collect: Locating and Consolidating Data Sources

The 'Collect' stage focuses on identifying and consolidating data scattered across various sources. This initial step ensures a comprehensive understanding of the data landscape, laying the groundwork for a successful AI implementation.

2. Cleanse: Ensuring Data Quality

The 'Cleanse' stage focuses on data quality by removing errors, duplicates, and ensuring accurate and reliable data. A robust cleansing process is crucial for obtaining meaningful and actionable AI-driven insights.

3. Condition: Implementing Information Protection Policies

In the 'Condition' stage, Managed Solution ensures the implementation and updating of information protection policies. This involves measures to safeguard data integrity, confidentiality, and availability, establishing a secure data environment crucial for successful AI implementation.

4. Comply: Assigning Tags and Data Classification

The 'Comply' stage goes beyond protection to compliance. We label and classify data to follow rules and regulations. This step is particularly vital for industries with strict compliance requirements, such as healthcare and finance.

5. Compute: Integrating AI Skills for Enhanced Responses

The 'Compute' stage involves leveraging Microsoft Graph and Microsoft 365 Applications to seamlessly integrate data sources with AI systems. This integration is pivotal for creating a unified data environment that facilitates efficient AI-driven insights.

6. Connect: Integrating Data Sources with AI

The final 'Connect' stage marks the culmination of Managed Solution's methodology. Algorithms smoothly incorporate AI skills into the customer's setup, improving responses and predictions.

By leveraging the power of AI, organizations can unlock valuable insights, automate processes, and make informed decisions. Managed Solution's six-stage methodology offers a comprehensive framework for organizations looking to seamlessly implement AI in their environments.

Every step is crucial for a smooth transition to an AI-driven future. This includes gathering data, following rules, and implementing AI. Businesses can fully utilize AI, innovate, and stay ahead in technology by following this methodology.

Expanding Copilot for Microsoft 365 to businesses of all sizes

 

Our vision for Microsoft Copilot is to bring the power of generative AI to everyone across work and life. Customers like Visa, BP, Honda, and Pfizer, and partners like Accenture, KPMG, and PwC are already using Copilot to transform the way they work, and 40% of the Fortune 100 participated in the Copilot Early Access Program.

We are updating our Microsoft Copilot product line-up with a new Copilot Pro subscription for individuals; expanding Copilot for Microsoft 365 availability to small and medium-sized businesses; and announcing no seat minimum for commercial plans—making Copilot generally available to individuals, enterprises, and everyone in between.

Read on for all the details.

Copilot for Microsoft 365

Copilot for Microsoft 365 enables users to enhance their creativity, productivity, and skills.

Updates to our Copilot product line-up

First, we are announcing an update to our Copilot product line-up: Copilot Pro—a new Copilot subscription for individuals priced at $20 per individual per month.

Copilot Pro has foundational capabilities in a single experience that runs across your devices and understands your context on the web, on your PC, across your apps, and soon on your phone to bring the right skills to you when you need them. And it has web grounding, so it always has access to the latest information. When you’re signed into Copilot with your Microsoft Entra ID, you get commercial data protection for free—which means chat data isn’t saved, Microsoft has no eyes-on access, and your data isn’t used to train the models.

Copilot Pro provides priority access to the very latest models—starting with OpenAI’s GPT-4 Turbo. You’ll have access to GPT-4 Turbo during peak times for faster performance and, coming soon, the ability to toggle between models to optimize your experience how you choose. Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers can use Copilot in Word, Excel (currently in Preview and English only), PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote on PC, and soon on Mac and iPad. It includes enhanced AI image creation with Designer (formerly Bing Image Creator) for faster, more detailed image quality as well as landscape image format. And Copilot Pro gives you the ability to build your own Copilot GPT—a pre-customized Copilot tailored for a specific topic—in our new Copilot GPT Builder (coming soon) with just a simple set of prompts.

MICROSOFT COPILOT STUDIO

Sign up for a free trial 

While Copilot Pro is our best experience for individuals, Copilot for Microsoft 365 is our best experience for organizations. Copilot for Microsoft 365 gives you the same priority access to the very latest models. You get Copilot in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and Microsoft Teams—combined with your universe of data in the Microsoft Graph. It has enterprise-grade data protection which means it inherits your existing Microsoft 365 security, privacy, identity, and compliance policies. And it also includes Copilot Studio, so organizations can customize Copilot for Microsoft 365 and build their own custom copilots and plugins as well as manage and secure their customizations and standalone copilots with the right access, data, user controls, and analytics.

Here’s a summary of the updated Copilot product line-up:

There are 9 rows of text: Foundational Capabilities, Web Grounding, Commercial Data Protection, Priority Model Access, Copilot in Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, Copilot in Teams, Microsoft Graph Grounding, Enterprise-Grade Data Protection, and Customization.
Click the image above to make it larger.

No seat minimum and expanded availability of Copilot for Microsoft 365—including small and medium-sized businesses

THE COPILOT SYSTEM

Watch the video 

To empower every organization to become AI-powered, we are making three changes. First, we are removing the 300-seat purchase minimum for Copilot for Microsoft 365 commercial plans. Second, we are removing the Microsoft 365 prerequisite for Copilot—so now, Office 365 E3 and E5 customers are eligible to purchase. We’re also extending Semantic Index for Copilot to Office 365 users with a paid Copilot license. Semantic Index works with the Copilot System and the Microsoft Graph to create a sophisticated map of all the data and content in your organization—enabling Microsoft 365 Copilot to deliver personalized, relevant, and actionable responses. Third, we are excited to announce that Copilot for Microsoft 365 is now generally available for small and medium-sized businesses—from solopreneurs running and launching their first business to 300-person fast-growing startups. If you are using either Microsoft 365 Business Standard or Microsoft 365 Business Premium, you can now purchase Copilot for Microsoft 365 for $30 per user per month.1

Small and medium-sized businesses are the heart of every community and the lifeblood of local economies. They have an outsized impact on the world and markets they support—in the United States, this category accounts for 99.9% of business and employs nearly half of the workforce.2

These businesses stand to gain the most from this era of generative AI—and Copilot is uniquely suited to meet their needs. Small and medium-sized business owners report that communicating with customers takes up most of their time (66%), with managing budgets (50%) and administrative tasks (48%) not far behind.3 Copilot for Microsoft 365 can help reduce this daily grind, giving business owners valuable time back to focus on what matters most: growing their business. And with the Microsoft Copilot Copyright Commitment, small business owners can trust that they are working with a reliable partner. Small and medium-sized business customers that have Microsoft 365 Business Standard or Business Premium can learn how to purchase Copilot for Microsoft 365 via our website or by contacting a partner.

We have been learning alongside small and medium-sized business customers in our Copilot Early Access Program. Here’s what they’re saying about how Copilot for Microsoft 365 is already transforming their work.

“I love that it’s in our environment. It’s able to cross-pollinate and gather information from all of the data we’ve got in Microsoft 365. As a business owner, that’s really important to me because it keeps our people working inside our systems.”

James Hawley, CEO and Founder at NextPath Career Partners

“I do believe that there isn’t a single job position in the company that won’t benefit in some way from Copilot being available to them.”

Alex Wood, Senior Cloud Engineer at Floww

“Copilot accurately summarizes the call and meeting notes in minutes. That’s not just faster, it means callers can add more value to the discussion rather than just take notes.”

Philip Burridge, Director, Operations and Strategy at Morula Health

Empowering partners to help every customer become AI-powered

Commercial customers—including small and medium-sized businesses—can now purchase Copilot for Microsoft 365 through our network Cloud Solution Provider partners (CSPs). This means Copilot for Microsoft 365 is now available across all our sales channels. CSPs have served as trusted advisors to their customers, unlocking profitability for businesses and expanding their own capabilities. Learn more about Cloud Solution Provider partners.

Next steps for Microsoft 365

These announcements come just one month after we announced that we are making Copilot for Microsoft 365 generally available to education customers with Microsoft 365 A3 or A5 faculty, and we’re expanding that to include Office 365 A3 or A5 faculty with no seat minimum. While education licenses are not yet included in the CSP expansion announced today, we will share updates in the coming months. It’s all part of our vision to empower everyone—from individuals to global enterprises—for an AI-powered world.

Learn more about Microsoft Copilot and visit the Copilot for Work site for actionable guidance on how you can start transforming work with Copilot today.

Learn more about how Copilot for Microsoft 365 for small and medium-sized businesses, including next steps licensing and technical requirements, and get familiar with Copilot capabilities.

Visit WorkLab for critical research and insights on how generative AI is transforming work.

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Microsoft Copilot

Copilot helps you achieve things like never before using the power of AI.


1Copilot for Microsoft 365 may not be available for all markets and languages. To purchase, enterprise customers must have a license for Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 or Office 365 E3 or E5, and business customers must have a license for Microsoft 365 Business Standard or Business Premium.

Copilot is currently supported in the following languages: English (US, GB, AU, CA, IN), Spanish (ES, MX), Japanese, French (FR, CA), German, Portuguese (BR), Italian, and Chinese Simplified. We plan to support the following languages (in alphabetical order) over the first half of 2024: Arabic, Chinese Traditional, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (PT), Russian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

2U.S. Small Business Administration. (2023). Frequently Asked Questions.

3Wakefield Research. (2023). Microsoft study: Small businesses intrigued by AI and the opportunities it brings.

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