With Microsoft Copilot users can create ideas and content faster just by describing what they need with the help of AI and natural language processing.
Users will save time, boost productivity, reduce workloads and also break down data silos. So, the hope is that AI — and Microsoft Copilot — will help everyone do more with less.
Since Microsoft introduced Dynamics 365 Copilot — the world's first Copilot for both CRM and ERP — along with Copilot in the Power Platform, there is great anticipation about how these advancements will impact the way we do business.
For example, Microsoft introduced multiple built-in scenarios for their products:
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and Viva Sales augment a seller’s actions with AI-powered insights, such as generating content suggestions based on customer emails.
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service can give agents 24/7 AI-powered support to find resources to resolve issues faster.
- Microsoft Supply Chain Center enables Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management customers to better predict and act on disruptions.
- Microsoft Power Apps allows users to build an app just by describing what they need in natural language.
Beyond that, Microsoft Azure AI tools and services allow you to build your own smart agents and services. This gives every company even more opportunities to stand out by using customer and employee knowledge and insights to increase loyalty, decrease turnover and build long-lasting relationships.
With this launch, Microsoft democratizes AI, making AI capabilities formerly only available to IT and AI specialists accessible to a larger set of workers.
Those among the first to capitalize on this opportunity and leverage the potential of AI will of course be ahead of the competition.
The foundation for innovation and Microsoft Copilot
Microsoft Copilot is giving companies another reason to take advantage of the possibilities in the cloud. The new functionality will be a part of the next update for Dynamics 365.
The evidence of the advantages of moving to the cloud is growing. Having up-to-date business applications makes it easier for companies and their IT departments to develop the business and stay relevant to their customers. The launch of Microsoft Copilot is another proof that the cloud brings continuous opportunities for innovation and development. And those companies that were able to understand that early on now have more time and opportunities to benefit from Microsoft Copilot.
Will the launch of Copilot create a new wave of businesses starting their journey to the cloud? Migrating to the cloud isn’t a simple task and requires an experienced partner to help you do it the right way. Columbus’ OnTarget methodology anticipates where challenges may arise and adjusts to accommodate new demands. OnTarget is a solid foundation for your company’s successful migration to the cloud and getting ready to benefit from emerging new technologies like AI in Dynamics 365 Copilot. Many years of successful core business systems to cloud projects including industry knowledge are equally important.
For those already in the cloud, managing your updates securely and efficiently is critical to experiencing the opportunities, flexibility and benefits of the cloud. Make sure your company is testing updates in advance to ensure they are compatible with your business’ data, customizations and extensions.
Define goals and prepare your data to leverage Microsoft Copilot fully
A common hurdle to experiencing the benefits of new technology for businesses is messy data, such as data duplication, incomplete data and data silos.
Data is the fuel that propels data-driven decision-making and operational excellence.
Creating a data management strategy from the outset ensures your company data is used effectively. Data is a pillar to any digital transformation project or new tool such as Microsoft Copilot. You must do more than import data from previously used systems – effective data management requires being pragmatic to cleanse the data, identify omissions, de-dupe and map data and data analytics techniques to your current and future processes.
What if you want more? How to define valuable business use cases for AI
While Microsoft announced a few built-in use cases for Microsoft Copilot, its most significant impact on your company gives you an opportunity to develop a solution built specifically for your business using Azure AI.
Even though you are encouraged to build our own Copilots, maybe you don’t even need to. Step one is to start thinking of questions outside your current way of doing things and maybe there is already a Copilot for that.
But in our experience, only half of the companies that start an AI pilot project actually succeed because they apply generic, out-of-the-box use cases or select a use case that won’t achieve a business goal.
That’s why we developed the Columbus AI Innovation Lab. This framework guides companies on how to find an AI solution that is right for their business by evaluating:
- Business goals
- Pain points
- Market research and trends
- Competitor analysis
- Existing data
Once companies define valuable AI use cases through the Columbus AI Innovation Lab, they must be tested to discover which ones could be operationalized.
Through these tests, we help businesses answer critical questions: Is the AI project contributing to business goals? Is it viable? Does your organization have the proper resources? Do you have the right resources to use AI?
Finding the best use cases for your organization doesn’t always mean finding the flashiest one. The perfect use cases are usually tailored directly to your organization’s needs.
Governance and security with Copilot
There are governance and security considerations with any new technology deployment, and Copilot is no exception. AI needs to be used responsibly – and it’s not a panacea. IT needs to monitor internal processes continuously to ensure:
- Accuracy – AI is only as good as the data it’s trained on. Bias and inaccuracies can slip into the AI results, so AI suggestions must be reviewed and validated.
- Compliance – When dealing with industries subject to regulations, companies need to confirm Copilot adheres to rules and stays compliant.
- Security – When working with sensitive data, companies must ensure Copilot is protecting data privacy.
You need to pay special attention to Copilot in the Power Platform. It will accelerate the creation of apps, websites and flows.
If not properly managed by IT, the results of low-code development could create a quagmire of technology clutter. The more entities you create, the more complex your technology infrastructure is to secure.
The right time to consider Copilot’s rules and best practices is at the beginning. This will set the stage for proper use. When you set governance and security parameters for Copilot before you deploy, you can prevent negative consequences such as data breaches and noncompliance.
Be the change: Turning potential into action
Copilot brings exciting new capabilities and efficiencies to companies. However, as with any new technology, Copilot requires effort to adopt and run.
Sure, introducing your team to Copilot and where it can be useful is a starting point. But there's more to it than that. You want your team to get comfortable using it, understand things like how to prompt it effectively, and not give up if things don't go perfectly on the first try.
This is where specialist advisory can be of help – a key part of making AI and tech changes work for you. It's not enough to just have the latest tech. Success depends on how well your team actually uses it. If you can handle it inside your business that is great, but Columbus can of course assist.
We've set up approaches to help your team use AI and Copilot better. We're all about connecting the potential of Copilot and AI with real, tangible outcomes. Our aim is to create an environment where your team and ours collaborate for the best results.
Remember, it's not only about the tech – the people factor matters. The real value comes from bringing both together. We can help you make the most of Copilot and AI. Join us in turning possibilities into actual progress.
If you are curious, please contact us for a talk, we are happy to help.