December 07, 2023

Article
3 min

Get Ready for Microsoft Copilot Deployment

CDW’s Windows 11 readiness assessment and migration services can help make for a smooth transition.

Microsoft 11 is here and ready for use. But with new features, tools, interfaces and computational requirements, the key to a smooth migration is a comprehensive readiness assessment. Organizations need to know how compatible their systems currently are and what needs to change to deploy the new operating system successfully.

Specifically, organizations looking to migrate need to know how to effectively deploy Microsoft 365 Copilot, the company’s new artificial intelligence assistant and perhaps the most transformative component of Windows 11.

Copilot is embedded in every application in the 365 portfolio, making it a central feature of the new operating system. Needless to say, proper Copilot deployment is essential for organizations migrating to Windows 11. Therefore, it’s no wonder that Copilot was far and away the most talked about Windows 11 feature at the 2023 Microsoft Ignite conference.

Jeff Cerreto, product manager at CDW for Microsoft Modern Work, held a session at Ignite titled “Assessing Readiness for Microsoft 365 Copilot” to help organizations with deployment. Cerreto homed in on three key areas to focus on when assessing Copilot readiness.

1: What Would a Successful Deployment Look Like for Your Organization?

Cerreto recommended starting with the “why,” determining what you want Copilot to do for your organization before figuring out technical specifications and licensing requirements. Organizations need to confirm that Copilot is the right tool to achieve their goals

“We have to ask ourselves, ‘What problems are we looking for M365 Copilot to solve?’” he said. “Do you, your team or the stakeholders around your organization have expectations already for what it might be able to do? … In other words, are we looking at M365 Copilot for the right use cases and outcomes?”

Before addressing Copilot, organizations can look at other AI solutions within Microsoft’s portfolio, such as Teams Premium. This tool offers AI-powered meeting capabilities such as intelligent recap, which automatically generates meeting notes that list highlights and tasks. Organizations should also consider which teams would benefit from Copilot. While it could be all teams, Cerreto pointed out that more specific use cases could help make a business justification for Copilot.

2: What Are the Licensing and Technical Prerequisites for Copilot?

The licensing and technical prerequisites for Copilot are as follows:

  • Users need a base license for M365 E3 or M365 E5 (available only for enterprise agreements with a minimum of 500 user licenses).
  • Users must have Microsoft Entra ID (formerly Azure Active Directory) accounts.
  • Users must be on the Current Channel for 365 apps to have access to Copilot in desktop clients.
  • Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise must be deployed.
  • Third-party cookies must be enabled for Copilot to work in the Online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Copilot will be available for $30 per user per month.
  • Copilot will require an initial order minimum of 300 user licenses.

3: How Do You Perform the Deployment and Support It Over the Long Term?

After identifying goals, department needs, budget requirements and technical obstacles, Cerreto said, it’s time to decide how to deploy. Organizations should consider their specific needs and determine if there are certain scenarios or teams they should prioritize for Copilot deployment and support.

“Last, there are several other AI solutions and copilots that have since released or that we hope to see soon. Now is a good time to explore what’s coming and how they may be able to help your organization next,” Cerreto said.

Story by Michael Hickey, the web editor at StateTech Magazine.

Michael Hickey

Web Editor, StateTech Magazine.
Michael Hickey is the web editor at StateTech Magazine.