How To Get The Most Out Of Microsoft Copilot: Part 1

 

When James, our MD set me the challenge of researching Microsoft Copilot with the view to writing a blog about it, I was excited but nervous. I’d heard rumours that it was coming and the likely functionality that we could expect, but not in great detail. How would a non-techy like me know how to use it? And how do I relay this back to our customers? These were my first thoughts!  

Well luckily, Microsoft Copilot is mostly very intuitive and user-friendly, once you get the hang of it.

If you’re hoping that Microsoft Co-Pilot will solve all of your prayers by writing blogs, creating your PowerPoint presentations and replying to all your emails at the click of a button, you might be a little disappointed.

If however, you see Copilot as a personal assistant, taking the time to provide instruction, key information and clear goals, the results could change the way you work forever.   

I couldn’t bundle all of my thoughts into one blog, so over the next few weeks, I will share with you my experience of using Copilot with some of the key Microsoft apps.

I’ll discuss how to get started, what works well, what doesn’t work so well and some tips on how to get the most out of it. 

How To Get Ready for Copilot  

There are some important points to note before diving in head first.   

Switch to ‘New Outlook’ Now 

Firstly, you must switch to the new Outlook (if you haven’t already) to begin using Copilot. My first top tip is to switch to the new Outlook now and try this out before you consider purchasing a Copilot licence.

It’s been rumoured that Copilot will be available on Classic Outlook soon, but for now is a pre-requisite of Co-pilot.

For, me there are a few things on the new Outlook that will take some changes to the way I work so it’s worth being sure that you can adapt to the changes, before investing in a Copilot license.

You can find out more about some of the features in the New Outlook here.

Eventually, the “New” Outlook will simply become “Outlook” and this will become irrelevant, but for early adopters, it’s important to note. 

Is Your Sensitive Data Locked Down?   

Microsoft Copilot comes with a warning tag.

As copilot indexes all of your data on Microsoft 365, it’s a good time to review that your sensitive data is locked down to authorised personnel only.

For example, a user could ask Co-pilot to “Give me a summary of salaries within the business” and if there’s a document out there that isn’t locked down, the user may be provided with the information.

Take the opportunity to review permissions in Sharepoint and Teams to ensure that users only have access to what they need.  

If you have any concerns about your data and permissions, get in touch with our support team and one of the team will be able to help.    

Ensure Your Microsoft Apps Are Up To Date 

To get started with Copilot you’ll need to ensure that your Microsoft apps are up to date.

You can do this in Outlook by going to ‘File’ at the top of the window  > Office Account and Microsoft 365 and Office updates

Annual Commitment  

Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn’t released a trial version of Copilot yet. 

It’s an upfront payment of £296.40 per user per year, which will auto-renew at the end of the first year unless cancelled.

This sounds like a lot of money, however, when you break this down per month, it’s just £24.70 per user per month.

However, if it saves you a few hours of work over the month, it could really prove its value! 

Sadly this isn’t available for non-profits or educational organisations with their usual discounts yet, but it is included as part of the roadmap.  

Start Light 

Before rolling this out to your entire team, trial with just a few colleagues to start exploring how you can integrate this new functionality into your business.

You may need to change how you work to get the most out of Copilot. Therefore, picking a couple of people to try this out and advocate the new software is the best place to start.   

If you’ve done the above tasks, you’re ready to go!

Keep an eye out for Part Two next week, where I discuss the benefits of using Copilot functionality in the Outlook and Teams apps.  

Can’t wait and ready to get stuck in?

Drop our helpdesk a line and we’ll be happy to help!

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