Microsoft Copilot is here. Is your business ready for AI?

Microsoft has recently made a game-changing announcement that is set to revolutionize how businesses interact with technology. The company has now made Copilot for Microsoft 365 accessible to all businesses by removing the previously required 300-seat purchase minimum. This significant development opens the door for smaller businesses to benefit from Microsoft’s innovative AI-powered assistant at a more affordable $30 per seat option, eliminating the need for a substantial initial investment.

Understanding Microsoft Copilot

Microsoft Copilot is not a singular entity but encompasses a range of services designed to enhance business productivity. The original version, a free offering to both consumers and businesses, functions as a sophisticated chatbot similar to ChatGPT. However, the newly launched Copilot Pro, available for a $20 monthly premium, introduces AI-powered features within Office applications and more, catering specifically to consumers.

Copilot has been developed on the ChatGPT platform and was first announced at the July 2023 Microsoft Inspire conference. It stands out for its ability to combine the power of large language models with in-house enterprise data from the Microsoft Graph and Microsoft 365 applications. This integration allows users to find better answers and potentially create content using AI and natural language processing.

The 3 Key Types of Microsoft Copilot
  1. Copilot: (formerly Bing Chat Enterprise) is the AI chat for the web. It is available free of charge to both consumers and businesses, which is essentially a chatbot much like ChatGPT. Learn more here: Copilot Pro Plan & Pricing – Latest AI Models, Chat Tool & Assistant | Microsoft Store
  2. Copilot for Microsoft 365: This version integrates AI into Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams, enhancing creativity and productivity. It requires a subscription and is ideal for enterprise customers. As of January 2024, it is available at $30 per user per month for one to 299 seats, making it more accessible to small and medium-sized businesses. Learn more here: Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 | Microsoft 365
  3. Copilot Pro: Launched in January 2024, this is a premium subscription service at $20 per user per month. Targeting super users, it offers advanced features like Image Creator and access to Microsoft’s Copilot GPT Builder. It is available for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers. Learn more here: Copilot Pro Plan & Pricing – Latest AI Models, Chat Tool & Assistant | Microsoft Store
Pricing and Availability
  • Microsoft Copilot in Windows: Free.
  • Copilot for Microsoft 365: $30 per user per month (billed annually).
  • Copilot Pro: $20 per user per month (billed annually).
Licensing
  1. Copilot for Microsoft 365 is now generally available for small businesses. Customers can purchase between one and 299 seats. 
  2. To purchase Copilot for Microsoft 365, enterprise customers must have a license for Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 or Office 365 E3 or E5, and business customers must have a license for Microsoft 365 Business Standard or Business Premium.
  3. Copilot works as an add-on to the eligible base M365 license and cannot be purchased as a standalone license. 
  4. This is an annual commit with an upfront billing SKU. There won’t be a Monthly or Annual/Monthly SKU.   
Benefits for Businesses

Microsoft Copilot is more than just an AI tool; it’s a productivity enhancer. By generating AI-based drafts for documents, emails, presentations, and data visualizations, it allows employees to focus on refining and iterating final drafts, thereby increasing efficiency and fostering skill development. The enterprise-specific data application of Copilot for Microsoft 365 ensures that projects start with relevant and pertinent information, boosting the effectiveness of the AI assistance.

Integration into Microsoft Applications

Copilot seamlessly integrates into Microsoft 365 applications, offering assistance in various forms:

  • In Word: Drafting documents based on data from specified files.
  • In Excel: Analyzing sales data and projecting impacts with visual aids.
  • In PowerPoint: Creating and summarizing presentations with relevant media.
  • In Outlook: Managing emails efficiently.
  • In Microsoft 365 Chat: Summarizing communications and planning project overviews.
Who Should Consider Microsoft Copilot?

Businesses, especially large enterprises, should weigh the productivity benefits against the costs of implementing and maintaining Copilot for Microsoft 365. For smaller businesses and individuals, free or low-cost versions are available, providing a taste of AI’s potential without significant investment.

Conclusion and Recommendation

With Microsoft Copilot now widely available, businesses have an unprecedented opportunity to leverage AI for enhanced productivity and efficiency. It’s a significant leap forward in the application of AI in business environments, especially for organizations using Microsoft software.

For businesses ready to embark on their Microsoft Copilot journey, reaching out to Convverge, a Microsoft Solutions Partner, is a recommended first step. Convverge’s expertise in Microsoft technologies can guide businesses in integrating and maximizing the benefits of Copilot in their unique environments, ensuring a smooth transition into the future of AI-powered business productivity.

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