Chat Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Copilot


In February last year, Microsoft unveiled the revolutionary AI-driven Bing, a digital copilot and companion for navigating the web. The tech giant fundamentally intended to transform the search landscape with comprehensive responses, immersive chat capabilities, and tools to unlock creativity and innovation. A month later, Microsoft 365 Copilot was launched, meant to seamlessly merge the capabilities of advanced language models (LLMs) with your personal data within the Microsoft Graph and Microsoft 365 suite. Copilot for 365 ushered in a whole new way of working fuelled by natural language – the words from our mouths and fingertips. Microsoft said:


“We are working to provide a copilot for every person in their lives and at work.”


Since then, it seems that millions have embraced Bing and Copilot in novel and unique ways, tapping into their potential to kindle creativity and deepen the knowledge and understanding of our world.


Early Access Program


Two months after the launch of Copilot for 365, Microsoft announced its Copilot Early Access Program, an invitation-only, paid preview that rolled out to an initial wave of 600 hand-picked customers worldwide. These included household names such as Chevron, Goodyear, General Motors, Dow KPMG, Lumen, and Emirates NBD. Guy Moore, the Workforce Enablement Lead at Chevron, said:


“The potential of Microsoft 365 Copilot is undeniable, and it’s energizing to explore the possibilities as we couple the ingenuity of our people with the functionality of the tool. Early access has given us visibility into how it can further streamline processes, speed insights, spark ideas, enhance productivity and evolve the way we work.”


Early adopters of the Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program considered the AI tool to be a game changer, recognising Copilot as a paradigm shift in enhancing efficiency and effectiveness. Based on the feedback from these 600 guinea pigs, the Redmond-headquartered technology company confidently stated:


“Soon, no one will want to work without it.”


Bing Chat Enterprise


At the online Microsoft Inspire conference in July 2023, the company launched Bing Chat Enterprise, giving us AI-powered chat for work with commercial data protection. The tool was said to operate on the premise that data going in and coming out is always protected. Bing Chat Enterprise is based in web data and provides complete, verifiable answers with citations, along with visual answers that include graphs and charts. It is designed in line with Microsoft’s AI principles. With the release of Bing Chat Enterprise, and always erring on the side of caution, Microsoft reinforced its commitment to data protection. For each prompt of Chat, there was a reminder that personal and corporate data is protected. The company also included this statement in an official press release:


“For IT Pros and those responsible for data protection and compliance, the changes are “under the hood.” Bing Chat Enterprise enables your organization to use Windows Copilot with confidence that your data is protected—chat data is not saved, Microsoft has no ‘eyes on’ access, and your data is not used to train the underlying models.”


Bing Chat versus Bing Chat Enterprise


Bing Chat Enterprise is available in more than 160 regions, including the UK while usage in China and Russia is forbidden. Unlike its baby brother, the consumer version Bing Chat, Bing Chat Enterprise has advanced privacy and security features, This means that IT admins can’t monitor or audit activity or usage in it, nor can they see search history. Bing Chat Enterprise is supported by Edge and Chrome. Unlike Bing Chat, there is no mobile app support for the enterprise version or any API support. Bing Chat Enterprise is available as a standalone of other Copilots and costs £4 per user per month.


Commercial Microsoft 365 Copilot


Hot on the heels of Bing Chat Enterprise was the commercial release of Microsoft 365 Copilot which we mentioned earlier this month. The generative AI is considered to be a revolutionary approach to streamlining your workflow by harnessing the power of your enterprise data like never before. The tool enables seamless interaction with your business data, allowing you to pose questions and receive pertinent answers directly from the web. As we said, Microsoft 365 Copilot costs £19 per user per month, which is a bit of a stretch for any SME operating on a shoestring.


Microsoft Graph


Microsoft 365 Copilot surpasses traditional enterprise chat functionalities, such as those found in Bing Chat Enterprise, by offering a wealth of additional features. With Copilot, you gain access to a vast array of capabilities, empowering you to tackle any task with ease. Leveraging the comprehensive data ecosystem of the Microsoft Graph, including emails, calendars, chats, documents, and more, Copilot can synthesise information from various sources to fulfil diverse needs.


Microsoft 365 Copilot Integrations


Microsoft 365 Copilot can compile updates from morning meetings, emails, and chats for team dissemination, provide project insights from the previous week, or craft detailed analyses using internal files and web data, Copilot delivers unparalleled functionality tailored to your requirements. Moreover, it integrates into the everyday applications used by millions worldwide. From sparking creativity in Word and performing data analysis in Excel to designing compelling presentations in PowerPoint and efficiently managing your Outlook inbox, Copilot enhances productivity across the board. It even offers insights and summaries for Teams meetings, ensuring that everyone remains informed and engaged, regardless of attendance. With Microsoft 365 Copilot, the possibilities are limitless, revolutionising the way you work and collaborate.


Copilot security


Microsoft 365 Copilot is constructed on an all-encompassing framework for enterprise-level security, privacy, identity management, compliance, and ethical AI practices, ensuring its readiness for enterprise use:


  • Copilot seamlessly integrates with your current Microsoft 365 security, privacy, identity management, and compliance protocols, inheriting and adhering to your established policies.
  • Your data remains securely compartmentalized and shielded within your Microsoft 365 tenancy, ensuring it is always under your jurisdiction and control.
  • At the tenancy level, Copilot meticulously upholds individual and group permission policies, respecting the intricacies of access and authorization set forth within your organizational framework.


How to prepare for Microsoft 365 Copilot


Microsoft recommends these and more to effectively use Copilot:


  • Technical requirements – a Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 license, and an Azure Active Directory account
  • Permissions and content management best practices – avoid content oversharing in SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams
  • Security, privacy, and data residency – Tenants with the most abundant data in Microsoft 365 – Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams – will get the best results from Copilot.
  • Copilot license management – admins will be able to manage Microsoft 365 Copilot licenses using the Microsoft 365 admin centre in Azure or PowerShell
  • How to drive Copilot adoption – follow your established best practices in driving services usage and adoption.


Transformational AI


“SMEs can benefit tremendously from AI automation, but the technology does come with inherent threats.”


That’s’ a tiny extract from my latest Amazon international bestseller, You Don’t Need a £1 Million Cybersecurity Budget. Yes, it’s true that AI automation tools like Copilot can transform any SME. It’s also true that without the appropriate cybersecurity tools in place, an SME might find itself up the creek. I’m talking data breaches, non-compliance with privacy regulations, copyright infringement, and all the pesky and expensive litigation that follows. I have 25 years in the business of IT support and cybersecurity, helping to guide SMEs on their journey of growth. You can have the best of both worlds with AI and IT security. Reach out to me and I’ll show you how.


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