Are you ready to tap into the potential of Microsoft’s Copilot solutions?
The buzz surrounding Microsoft’s Copilot has been steadily growing since the announcement of its Copilot roadmap in March 2023. Initially available only to beta testers for early access, Copilot has now become widely accessible across various Microsoft platforms, including Copilot for Windows, Copilot in Dynamics 365, and Microsoft 365 Copilot. There’s even a forthcoming Copilot solution for Microsoft Viva.
While accessing most versions of Copilot is relatively straightforward, you may still need some guidance on enabling Copilot for your teams and employees. This complete guide will walk you through the steps to enable Copilot seamlessly within the Microsoft ecosystem.
Understanding Microsoft Copilot: An Overview
Before delving into the process of enabling Microsoft Copilot, let’s briefly introduce what Copilot is.
Microsoft Copilot, or simply “Copilot,” stands as the AI assistant designed by Microsoft to assist users across different facets of the Microsoft ecosystem. Developed using the latest OpenAI LLM technology, Copilot allows professionals to incorporate generative AI into their daily workflows. Microsoft’s commitment to integrating Copilot into every aspect of its technology stack is evident, with availability spanning Microsoft 365 apps, Dynamics 365, and Windows. Notably, Copilot has found its way into Microsoft Viva as well.
Statistics from Microsoft’s Work Trend Index reveal the impactful benefits of enabling Copilot: 77% of users feel more productive, and 68% believe it enhances the quality of their work. Moreover, tasks can be completed up to 29% faster with Copilot.
The Microsoft Copilot Lineup: Diverse Options
It’s essential to note that there are multiple types of Copilot available. The core “Microsoft Copilot” now encompasses the service previously known as Bing Chat. This generative AI chatbot aids users in tasks such as coding, finding answers, generating images, and drafting emails.
Other Copilots cater to specific applications and tools within Microsoft’s portfolio:
- Windows Copilot: An AI assistant streamlining tasks related to PC settings and web browsing.
- Microsoft 365 Copilot: Extending generative AI to Microsoft apps like Teams, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and Word, with the added feature of Copilot Studio, Microsoft’s low-code generative AI tool.
- Security Copilot: An AI tool for security workflows, integrated with Microsoft Sentinel, Intune, and Defender Threat Intelligence.
- Dynamics 365 Copilot and Copilot for Sales and Service: Tailored Copilot tools for customer-facing businesses, integrating with CRM and ERP systems.
- Copilot in Viva: Integration into the Viva Engagement platform with features like suggesting OKRs in Viva Goals and aiding in creating posts on Viva Engage.
Cost of Copilot: Licensing Information
Enabling Microsoft Copilot requires the appropriate license, and different Copilot experiences come with varying fees. The core Microsoft Copilot service (Bing Chat) is free, as are Microsoft Copilot for Windows and Microsoft 365 Chat.
Microsoft 365 Copilot, with additional features, has an add-on fee of $30 per monthly user, on top of the Microsoft 365 business subscription cost, which ranges from $12 to $38 per monthly user. Copilot for Sales and Service is priced at $50 per user per month, with potential inclusion in certain Microsoft Dynamics 365 subscription packages.
Enabling Microsoft Copilot for Windows 11
Activating Microsoft Copilot in Windows 11 is a cost-free process. For everyday users, Windows Copilot was integrated into the free Windows update earlier in the year. Accessing it involves updating to the latest version, after which Copilot can be found in the Windows 11 taskbar or accessed via Win + C for quick access.
Windows 11 Copilot offers a range of features, from standard tasks like copy/paste to more advanced capabilities like content summarization and rewriting. However, for business users, enabling Copilot in Windows requires additional steps for managed devices. This involves configuring temporary enterprise control, ensuring the right chat provider platform is set up, and applying policies for feature enablement.
Enabling Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365
Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 is now generally available and is described by Microsoft as the most advanced productivity tool. Priced at $30 per user per month, this subscription includes Copilot Studio, a low-code platform for customizing Copilot experiences.
Microsoft Copilot integrates seamlessly into various productivity apps:
- Word: Assisting with summarizing, drafting, and revising documents.
- Excel: Providing insights, creating visualizations, detecting patterns, and facilitating Python workflows.
- PowerPoint: Transforming ideas into presentations with natural language instructions.
- Outlook: Organizing inboxes, summarizing conversations, and suggesting responses.
- Power Platform: Aiding developers in prototyping and creating low-code applications.
- Business Chat: Combining emails, calendars, notes, and presentations to assist teams in content creation and work planning.
Enabling Microsoft Copilot: Prerequisites for 365 Apps
Enabling Microsoft Copilot for 365 apps involves obtaining the add-on license and ensuring compatibility with Microsoft 365 plans such as E3, E5, Business Basic, Standard, and Premium. Additional prerequisites include having Microsoft Entra IDs, OneDrive accounts, app accounts for Teams, Microsoft Loop, and Outlook, and configuring access for Microsoft Whiteboard. Network configuration aligning with Microsoft 365 connectivity principles is also crucial.
Assigning licenses for Microsoft 365 Copilot can be done through the Microsoft Admin interface, either manually or using PowerShell. After assigning licenses, Copilot features will begin appearing automatically in Microsoft apps, offering a range of dialog boxes and assistance within different applications.
Accessing Copilot on Microsoft 365 Apps
For most users, Copilot is already integrated into Microsoft 365 apps. Updating Microsoft applications may be necessary to access Copilot features fully. Once updated, users can activate Copilot within various apps, with the Copilot icon typically found in the ribbon menu. Copilot experiences may launch automatically in some instances, providing users with helpful suggestions and guidance.
Microsoft highlights Copilot’s positive impact on productivity, creativity, and skills development, with GitHub data indicating a high user satisfaction rate.
Enabling Microsoft Copilot for Teams
Empowering collaboration and communication strategies, Copilot in Teams enhances meeting efficiency with contextual action items and real-time summaries. Copilot can assist in note-taking during meetings, capturing content, and providing automatic recaps.
Accessing Copilot in Microsoft Teams involves clicking on the Copilot tab within a Teams meeting, interacting with the Copilot icon in chats, or utilizing the Copilot button during conversations. Admins have control over enabling or disabling specific Copilot tools in the Microsoft 365 admin center.
Copilot is also available for Teams Phone, allowing users to make and receive calls, access real-time summarizations, and benefit from Copilot’s insights during calls.
Enabling Microsoft Copilot in Other Applications
Activating Microsoft Copilot for other applications typically involves purchasing the required license and clicking a button. Copilot is either embedded in tools like Power Platform and SharePoint or becomes a native part of experiences such as in Microsoft Viva.
Specific configurations may be necessary for certain Copilot versions. For example, enabling Copilot for Dynamics 365 requires administrators to provide consent for data processing outside their cloud instance.
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