Expanding Copilot for Microsoft 365 to businesses of all sizes

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

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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.

a close up of an umbrella

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.

The Best New Years Resolutions for IT Departments in 2024

 

The Best New Years Resolutions for IT Departments in 2024

 

As we bid farewell to another year, it's the perfect time to reflect on the past and set our sights on the future. For IT departments, embracing the new year often involves reevaluating strategies, streamlining processes, and leveraging innovative solutions.

As a passionate team of IT experts that champion all the ways in which bolstering IT can benefit businesses everywhere, we're so excited to guide you through some New Year resolutions that can revitalize your IT approach and bring success in 2024.

 

AI Integration for IT Advancement

Resolution: Embrace the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in our IT operations to enhance efficiency and decision-making processes.

Why: AI technologies, such as machine learning and predictive analytics, can revolutionize how we manage and optimize IT resources. By leveraging AI, we can automate routine tasks, gain insights from data, and make proactive decisions that contribute to the overall success of our IT initiatives.

 

Automation for Streamlined Operations

Resolution: Embrace automation to streamline repetitive tasks and enhance operational efficiency.

Why: Automation can significantly reduce manual efforts, minimize errors, and accelerate processes. By identifying opportunities for automation in routine tasks, we can free up valuable time for our IT teams to focus on more strategic initiatives, leading to a more agile and responsive IT environment.

 

Embrace Cloud Optimization

Resolution: In 2024, commit to optimizing our cloud infrastructure for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Why: Cloud technology is dynamic and ever evolving. Ensuring that our cloud services are optimized will enhance performance, reduce costs, and allow us to take full advantage of the latest features.

 

Enhance Cybersecurity Measures

Resolution: Strengthen our cybersecurity posture to safeguard against evolving threats.

Why: As cyber threats become more sophisticated, prioritizing cybersecurity is crucial. Implementing robust measures, such as regular security audits and employee training, will fortify our defenses.

 

Implement Proactive Monitoring

Resolution: Transition to proactive monitoring for early issue detection and swift resolution.

Why: Reactive approaches can lead to downtime and disruptions. Proactive monitoring ensures that potential issues are identified and addressed before they impact operations.

 

Upgrade Legacy Systems

Resolution: Develop a plan to systematically upgrade legacy systems to modern, efficient solutions.

Why: Outdated systems pose security risks and hinder performance. Upgrading to the latest technologies ensures we stay competitive, secure, and aligned with industry standards.

 

Optimize IT Budgets

Resolution: Conduct a thorough review of IT budgets to identify cost-saving opportunities without compromising performance.

Why: Efficient budget allocation is essential for achieving business objectives. Identifying and eliminating unnecessary expenses will optimize our IT spend.

Interested in learning more? Check out our blog on Software Sprawl.

 

Promote Collaboration Tools

Resolution: Implement or enhance collaboration tools to boost team productivity.

Why: Effective communication and collaboration are cornerstones of success. Integrating advanced collaboration tools will empower our teams to work seamlessly, irrespective of location.

You can learn more by reading our blog on Microsoft viva or click here to see all of the powerful collaboration tools and services we offer to amplify your team’s engagement and productivity.

 

Invest in Employee Training

Resolution: Prioritize ongoing training to keep our IT teams well-versed in the latest technologies.

Why: The tech landscape evolves rapidly. Investing in continuous training ensures that our teams are equipped with the skills needed to navigate emerging trends.

Here are some resources for internal training:

You can also access our past webinars for expert walkthrough on various tools and technologies that all IT teams should know.

 

Explore New Microsoft Solutions

Resolution: Stay abreast of the latest Microsoft solutions and integrate them into our IT ecosystem.

Why: Microsoft offers a suite of powerful solutions. Regularly exploring and adopting new tools can enhance productivity and keep us at the forefront of technological innovation.

Learn more about Microsoft tools and services that you can access through our trusted team.

As we step into 2024, let's embark on a journey of IT excellence. These resolutions serve as a roadmap for a successful and technologically advanced year. If you're ready to turn these resolutions into reality, our team at Managed Solution is here to support you every step of the way. Here's to a year of innovation, efficiency, and IT success!

 

More Resources

Preparing for AI: Are You Ready for a New Era of Work?

The Era of AI-Powered Productivity

How is your business preparing for AI?

The way we now work—defined by an era of digital transformation—is evolving at such a pace that keeping up has become a challenge for many organizations. Business leaders are recognizing the enormous opportunity that modern work solutions like AI tools present and are now exploring ways to use them to their best advantage.

That means implementing AI in a way that allows employees to be more engaged and productive, focusing on the work that matters most.

AI helps your employees offload time-consuming tasks by jumpstarting the creative process, analyzing trends, and summarizing email threads and key discussion points from meetings. Less time spent on more tedious tasks grants employees the freedom to focus on the work that matters most.

Organizations that made employee engagement a top priority have performed twice as well financially as businesses that deprioritized an engaged workforce (2). And AI is poised to empower employees to be more engaged through opportunities for creativity, skill building, and increased productivity.

Discover What’s Possible with AI

Imagine a workforce driven by the powerful combination of irreplaceable human ingenuity and skill with the innovative capabilities of a secure, user-friendly AI system. With the right tools and mindset, any organization can embrace the transformation to an AI-powered workforce.

 

Responsible AI Practices

With all the potential that working with AI holds, it’s critical to remember to take an approach of preparing for AI that prioritizes fairness, transparency, and accountability. Microsoft is a leader in the development and implementation of AI systems, which includes creating guidance on principles and best practices for responsible AI use—and ensuring those principles are at the foundation of Microsoft’s AI technology. Only with responsible AI implementation can your organization unlock the full potential of what’s possible with AI.

 

preparing for AI Microsoft copilot blog image

Credit: Microsoft

AI Readiness

How do you know your organization is prepared for AI?

The platform shift to AI isn’t one that can be made without clear leadership and focused investment. Implementing AI technology can be complex, especially without a well-defined plan in place. It requires a culture of productivity and collaboration, a secure foundation for endpoint management, and the willingness to embrace change in order to outpace it.

What does AI readiness look like? An organization ready to embrace AI understands its potential as a strategic asset, how it can be used to benefit the business, and the ability to guide employees and customers in responsible AI practices.

Assessing your readiness level is the first step toward transforming your organization into one that can outpace the changes and challenges of this new era of working with next-generation technologies like AI.

 

Assessment: Evaluating Your AI readiness

To help you begin the transformation to an AI-powered organization, we’ve compiled a quiz with questions aimed at evaluating readiness level.

The quiz is in five parts and assesses your organization's:

Choose the answer that sounds most like where your organization currently stands and keep a tally of your answers as you go. At the end of the quiz, you’ll be able to estimate whether your organization is Very Ready, Almost Ready, or Needs More Guidance in preparing for AI to begin the transformation to an AI-powered workforce.

 

Part 1: Your organization’s relationship to change and productivity

Rate your organization’s openness to change and innovation.

  1. Very open: We welcome and seek out opportunities for change and innovation.
  2. Somewhat open: We approach opportunities for change and innovation with caution.
  3. Not very open: We don’t take on many opportunities for change and innovation.

How confident are you that your current technology empowers your employees to be productive?

  1. Very confident: Our technology greatly improves employee productivity
  2. Somewhat confident: Our technology somewhat improves employee productivity.
  3. Not very confident: Our technology does not support employee productivity

 

Part 2: Your organization’s relationship to AI

How fundamental is AI to the success of your business?

  1. Very important: AI will greatly improve the success of our business.
  2. Somewhat important: AI will support the success of our business, but it isn’t necessary.
  3. Not very important: AI would be beneficial in other ways but won’t affect the success of our business.

Rate your employees’ current willingness to adopt new technologies, including AI

  1. Very willing: Employees are excited to learn about and use new technologies like AI.
  2. Somewhat willing: Employees are cautiously optimistic about new technologies.
  3. Not very willing: Employees are resistant to new technologies, including AI.

 

Part 3: Your organization’s willingness to use AI

How important is it to provide secure, user-friendly AI systems to your workforce?

  1. Very important: We want our employees to be able to learn and use AI as soon as possible.
  2. Somewhat important: We’re interested in adopting user-friendly AI but want to learn more first.
  3. Not very important: User-friendly AI systems are a “nice-to-have” but not currently a priority.

How much, if at all, has your organization’s leadership bought into the business value of AI-powered tools?

  1. All in: Our leadership is ready and willing to begin transitioning to AI-powered tools.
  2. Somewhat in: Leadership understands the importance of AI but needs some convincing on the business value of adopting it.
  3. Not at all in: Our leadership doesn’t understand the importance or value of AI just yet

 

Part 4: Investment and funding

How strong is your investment in change management and training to support the transition to AI-powered processes and systems?

  1. Very strong: We could begin the transition immediately.
  2. Somewhat strong: We could begin the transition soon but have some challenges to overcome first.
  3. Not very strong: We need a lot of support and training in preparing for AI before we can begin the transition.

Does your organization have funding for deploying and implementing a secure, user-friendly AI system?

  1. Fully funded: Our organization is ready and able to invest in AI technologies.
  2. Some funding: Our organization can afford to transition, but leadership is unsure the benefit outweighs the cost.
  3. No funding: We’re working toward a place where we can invest in AI technologies, but we’re not quite there yet.

 

Part 5: Endpoint management and security capabilities

How confident are you in your organization’s current endpoint management capabilities to enable employees that are preparing for AI to help them do their best work, regardless of where they work and what device they use?

  1. Very confident: Our endpoint management capabilities allow employees to work where and how they feel they can be most successful.
  2. Somewhat confident: Our endpoint management capabilities are stable for certain experiences but could be improved.
  3. Not very confident: We need a better system to support endpoint management for employees working anywhere and from any device.

Rate your organization’s current security foundation for enabling AI-powered work from any endpoint.

  1. Very secure: Our systems are built on a robust security foundation and support our strong endpoint management capabilities.
  2. Somewhat secure: We have strong security systems but aren’t confident they can support the additional requirements of using AI-powered tools.
  3. Not very secure: We need a more secure system to protect our organization’s data and ensure our employees can confidently work from anywhere.

 

Results

 

Mostly A’s: Very Ready (GREAT NEWS)

Your organization has put the work in preparing for AI and true transformation is underway. The Microsoft 365 team is excited to help you move forward. A couple of key notes for Very Ready organizations:

Having that baseline productivity in place will enable your employees to start exploring the benefits of Copilot as soon as possible. You can find a link to get started at the end of this blog.

 

Mostly B’s: Almost Ready (GOOD NEWS)

Your organization is nearly there. Like Very Ready organizations, your Almost Ready business should consider deploying Microsoft 365, if you haven’t already. Help your employees learn their way around Microsoft 365 now so that it's easier for them to adopt the AI integrations down the road.

A couple of notes for Almost Ready organizations:

 

Mostly C’s: Need More Guidance (IT'S OKAY)

It sounds like your organization could benefit from personalized guidance on implementing AI tools. For more information on the requirements and benefits of a secure, user-friendly AI system, Microsoft can help!

A couple of notes to get organizations that Need More Guidance started:

 

Next steps

Unlock the potential of AI with Microsoft 365 and Copilot

An organization that is preparing for AI and ready to unlock all that's possible, has a strong foundation in security, streamlined endpoint management, and an openness to innovation that improves productivity. With Microsoft 365, your organization can achieve those checkpoints with one complete solution.

With Microsoft 365, your organization's technology landscape will be grounded in Zero Trust, ensuring a secure foundation for all of your endpoints, no matter where access is coming from. A Zero Trust security foundation in turn makes endpoint management safer and less complex, so you can efficiently grant employees access to all the tools they need to be more productive than ever.

Microsoft offers decades in future forward technology expertise, and that experience is built into the features that make Microsoft 365 so powerful. Now, with Copilot, your organization can extend the capabilities of Microsoft 365 even further.

Microsoft 365 delivers a secure, productive working experience. With Copilot, it becomes an intuitive, next-generation productivity partner that works alongside your employees, empowering them to collaborate and work more efficiently to become more productive contributors to business outcomes.

Copilot can empower your team to tap into the rich functionality available throughout Microsoft 365, making employees better at what they’re already good at and mastering what they’ve yet to learn. It integrates seamlessly with the apps your teams already use and is designed to unlock their untapped potential.

Ultimately, Copilot elevates the powerful capabilities of Microsoft 365 to enhance your workforce’s productivity, creativity, and skills—benefits your organization can experience when you make the transformation to AI.

 

What can Microsoft 365 with Copilot do for your organization?

 

Ready to see what Microsoft 365 Copilot can do for your organization? Learn more.

 

 

Sources: 1 “Will AI Fix Work?” Work Trend Index, May 9, 2023. Microsoft. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/worklab/ work-trend-index/will-ai-fix-work. 2 “The New Performance Equation in the Age of AI.” Work Trend Index, April 20, 2023. Microsoft. https://www. microsoft.com/en-us/worklab/work-trend-index/the-new-performance-equation-in-the-age-of-ai. 3 “A Whole New Way of Working.” Work Trend Index. Microsoft. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/worklab/ai[1]a-whole-new-way-of-working.

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