December 04, 2023

4 min

6 Steps to Prepare Your Organization for Copilot for Microsoft 365

Find out the steps you need to take to effectively leverage AI-powered business tools like Copilot.

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, innovation is the key to staying competitive and driving success. Organizations are constantly on the lookout for cutting-edge solutions that can enhance productivity and efficiency. AI enhanced tools are at the forefront of that endeavor. One such tool garnering a lot of excitement and anticipation is Copilot for Microsoft 365 — an AI-powered tool designed to revolutionize information worker productivity.

In this blog, we delve into the significance of the Copilot for Microsoft 365 (M365) tool, the advantages it offers for your business, six steps to getting started with Copilot, and how collaborating with a leading technology solutions provider can help you maximize your investment and foster innovation.

What Is Copilot for Microsoft 365?

Copilot for Microsoft 365 represents the latest evolution in generative AI capabilities, building upon the success and momentum generated by ChatGPT. Thanks to Microsoft's partnership with OpenAI, the same powerful large language model (LLM) seamlessly integrates into Copilot for Microsoft 365, promising a new era of AI-driven productivity.

Copilot has been strategically engineered to work seamlessly with Microsoft 365 applications including Word, Outlook, Excel, Teams and PowerPoint. This game-changing assistant can draft documents, create presentations, analyze data, compose email replies, and summarize meetings — all while leveraging your Microsoft data and keeping it secure. The result? Tangible time savings that can be redirected towards more strategic and creative endeavors.

Key Considerations: Security, Data Privacy and Pricing

As with any AI solution, there are important considerations related to security, data privacy and pricing. Microsoft has taken steps to address these concerns:

  • Security: Copilot for Microsoft 365 aligns with the security preferences you've already configured for Microsoft 365, ensuring your established authentication methods and privacy safeguards are upheld.
  • Data privacy: Copilot operates exclusively with data permissions from your Microsoft 365 environment, guaranteeing that it only provides responses based on data for which you have explicit permissions.
  • Pricing: Commercial users can expect an additional cost of $30 per user per month for Copilot for Microsoft 365, in addition to their regular Microsoft 365 subscription fees. At this time, you must have Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 subscriptions to add on Copilot.

6 Key Steps to Getting Started with Copilot for Microsoft 365

To ensure a successful integration of Copilot for Microsoft 365 into your organization, it's essential to follow a strategic approach. Here are six key steps to get started:

1. Build the business case: Identify the specific benefits Copilot for Microsoft 365 can bring to your organization. A strong business case emphasizes increased efficiency and productivity. A business case provides justification for the cost and should help you get executive level sponsorship.

2. Prepare your data environment: Copilot for Microsoft 365 relies on high-quality, well-organized and current data. Ensuring that your data sources within Microsoft 365 are in tip-top shape and that the right permissions are in place is crucial to your success with Copilot. Driving adoption of core M365 workloads such as Teams, Exchange Online, SharePoint and OneDrive will ensure Copilot can leverage that data to provide relevant responses.

3. Implement robust security policies: Strong security and compliance policies are vital. Establishing clear governance policies, including "human-in-the-loop" validation, will make sure Copilot is only returning appropriate data to queries.

4. Create persona matrices: Identify the users within your organization who will benefit most from Copilot. Consider prioritizing those who generate content or work with lots of data. Make sure you have solid use cases ready to share with your users so they can use the tool effectively as soon as possible.

5. Build a solid adoption plan: You should prepare a plan for communication, enablement and success measurement for your roll out. Consider how you’ll make sure your users are getting value from the tools right away and plan for that enablement.

6. Consider extending Copilot: If you have data sources outside of Microsoft 365 but want Copilot for Microsoft 365 to be able to leverage them, you’ll need a plan to use a plug-in or connector to that data source. There are hundreds available, but you may need a custom one or some help in ensuring they are securely connected.

Maximizing Your Copilot Investment

CDW has over 20 years of experience with Microsoft solutions and has helped organizations of all industries and sizes with successful implementation and adoption of Microsoft Cloud Services. We also have extensive experience with building applications, securing Microsoft 365 tenants and driving adoption of core M365 services.

Working closely with a technology integrations expert like CDW can help your organization get the most value from your investment by identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) and aligning Copilot implementation with your strategic business objectives. Accelerate development, improve code quality, and stay ahead in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.

Al MacKinnon

Solution Architect CORP DX
Al MacKinnon is a seasoned professional with over a decade of experience advising and enabling customers around Microsoft Cloud solutions. As a lead for CDW’s digital experience solutions architect team, he focuses on enabling his team to deliver Microsoft Modern Work solutions. Prior to CDW, Al spent ten years at Microsoft as a consultant and Microsoft certified trainer and project manager.