Microsoft's New Team Copilot: What to Expect

It’s still very early days but we’re getting questions on Microsoft’s newest upcoming tool launch, Team Copilot. The service promises to be a game-changer, offering a suite of AI-driven tools designed to enhance productivity, streamline operations, and foster collaboration. Here’s how your business can benefit from this innovative update and the steps you need to implement it effectively.

What is Team Copilot?

Team Copilot is an extension of Microsoft’s existing Copilot feature, which uses AI to assist with various tasks within Microsoft 365 applications. While the original Copilot acted as a personal assistant, Team Copilot takes this further by acting as an integral team member, enhancing collaboration and project management across your organisation. Available within familiar tools like Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Word, and Excel, it helps automate routine tasks, manage projects, and facilitate seamless communication​ (Microsoft Cloud)​​ (Microsoft Cloud)​.

What are the Benefits of Team Copilot for Your Business?

Team Copilot can manage meeting agendas, take notes, and follow up on action items, freeing up time for more strategic planning and allowing attendees to focus and contributes fairly. For example, during meetings, Copilot can provide intelligent recaps, highlighting key points and decisions made, ensuring no crucial detail is overlooked​​.

In tools like Microsoft Teams, Copilot helps surface important information from chats and emails, ensuring team members are always up-to-date. It can also assign tasks, track deadlines, and notify team members when their input is needed, keeping everyone on the same page​​.

By automating routine tasks and reducing administrative burdens, Team Copilot allows your team to focus on activities that drive growth and profitability. This can include generating reports, analysing data trends, and creating compelling presentations with ease, thus speeding up decision-making and execution​.

Is Copilot Right For Me?

Determining whether Team Copilot is worth the investment for your SME involves a balanced evaluation of several factors. Before doing anything else, you should evaluate your current challenges in productivity, collaboration, and project management. If these are significant pain points, Team Copilot’s AI-driven solutions might offer improvements by automating routine tasks and facilitating project management, potentially leading to better team efficiency and focus on high-value activities, thereby driving business growth.

That being said, it is important consider the cost and compatibility aspects critically before getting distracted by the shiniest, dazzling tech. Currently priced at £250 (as of June 2024) per year without a trial or monthly subscription option, this particular investment must be weighed against your business’ unique needs and budget constraints. A potential dealbreaking factor is if your team prefers to use non-Microsoft tools such as Google Workspace or Slack; you might not fully benefit from Copilot’s collaborative features, as these are optimised for the Microsoft ecosystem.

If you’re planning to scale your team up or down in the coming year, Team Copilot is designed to adapt to increased workloads and more complex projects, maintaining efficiency within Microsoft 365. Early reports show that the user experience can vary; while Microsoft provides extensive support and has designed Copilot to be user-friendly, the transition to a new resource will still require some adjustment time for your team.

Think you’re yeady to take it on? Here are some important considerations:

Step 1: Assess Your Needs
Start by identifying the areas in your business where automation and AI can have the most significant impact. This might include project management, customer service, or internal communications.

Step 2: Ensure Compatibility
Ensure your current Microsoft 365 setup is compatible with the new Copilot features. This includes having the necessary licences and updates installed. Copilot is available for Microsoft 365 Business Premium, E3, and E5 plans​. Unsure which licence you’re on? Sign in with your work or school account at www.office.com/signin and click Settings, and then under My app settings, choose Office 365. In the Office 365 Settings pane on the My account page, choose Subscriptions.

Step 3: Support Your Team With Training
Formulate a a plan to educate your team on how to use Copilot effectively. Microsoft provides a wealth of resources, including tutorials and community forums, to help users get the most out of Copilot. Accounting for this transition period is the best way to ensure stakeholder buy-in and encourage your team to explore these resources and integrate Copilot into their daily workflows​​.

Step 4: Monitor and Optimise
After implementation, monitor the impact of Copilot on your operations. Use feedback to optimise its use, ensuring it meets your evolving business needs. Regularly update your tools and stay informed about new features and enhancements.

Real-World Applications For Copilot

Each day there are more features and hidden tricks coming out, and we expect there to be much more in the coming months. This is some of the practical applications we’ve seen so far:

Retail
In retail, Copilot can manage inventory by predicting stock needs based on sales data, handling customer enquiries through automated responses, and even suggesting product substitutions for out-of-stock items​.

Healthcare
For healthcare providers, Copilot can streamline patient management by automating appointment scheduling, managing patient records, and ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations​​.

Professional Services
In professional services, Copilot assists in project management by tracking billable hours, generating client reports, and facilitating seamless client communication​​.

So hopefully you’re now a little more informed of what Team Copilot could do for you and your business. If it’s the right solution for you, you could stand to enhance your team’s performance and drives your business towards greater profitability and success. For more insights on how Microsoft’s latest AI innovations technology can transform your business, contact our team of specialists today.

You might also find this helpful: How Do I Identify AI Images?

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