What is Copilot for Microsoft 365

What is Copilot for Microsoft 365?

Microsoft has introduced Copilot for Microsoft 365, an AI-powered service which could revolutionise how business users interact with their documents, emails, and presentations. Microsoft Copilot uses the power of large language models (LLMs) and integrates this with Office applications like Excel, Word, Teams, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Confusingly, Microsoft have released several products recently all with “Copilot” in the name, so there is one for writing software, another integrated into the Bing search engine, several for interpreting security logs, one to assist with the sales process, and one that concentrates on Microsoft Office users. It is this last one that is most likely to impact our customers.

What is Microsoft 365 Copilot?

Microsoft 365 Copilot is designed to provide suggestions, automate repetitive tasks, and generate content based on user input. Whether it’s drafting emails in Outlook, creating presentations in PowerPoint, analysing data in Excel, or brainstorming ideas in OneNote, Copilot aims to streamline the process. For example, you can ask it to generate a PowerPoint presentation highlighting your competitors’ product or service features and benefits. The Copilot output is unlikely to be something that can be used immediately and will require human interaction to check and edit prior to distributing, but it can save hours of manually scouring competitors’ websites to try and find key information.  The technology Microsoft use behind the scenes has been customised, but it is largely the work of Chat GPT that is assisting the creation of content.

Within financial services, a common use for Copilot for Microsoft 365 is as an AI-driven researcher, looking for statistics and opinion online for a list of corporate  entities that are of interest to you or your clients. Many organisations have interns that perform this role at a base level. Copilot probably won’t produce as good or as reliable content as a human, nor will it replace all your researchers, but it will work quickly and be able to handle greater volumes of research as it operates 24/7. Your research team could be smaller, as individual researchers will be more productive. Asset Managers also use Copilot in Excel to search for data anomalies and unmatched values in financial data and for carrying out variance analysis.

Benefits of Microsoft 365 Copilot

Some benefits of Microsoft Copilot include:

A Starting Point: When faced with creating a new document or presentation it is often easier to start with an outline document rather than blank sheet. With only a small amount of guidance, Copilot can create this “starting point” that you can work on.

Better Presentations: When creating a presentation, a lot of time can be spent ensuring that colour contrasts, and font sizes are correct.  Copilot can do this for you. In Excel, it will also suggest and create data visualisation options such as dashboards, pivot tables, and charts.

Personalised Assistance: Copilot learns from your actions and customises its suggestions to suit your preferences.

Real-time Assistance: Copilot provides contextual suggestions as you work, saving time and effort while ensuring accuracy and relevance.

Increased Productivity: By automating mundane tasks such as summarising email threads, drafting replies, or generating presentation slides, Copilot frees up users to focus on higher value work. It helps prioritise tasks, streamline communications, and facilitate more efficient collaboration, particularly in Teams meetings where it can be configured to summarise meetings in a document.

Improved Office Application Skills: Copilot acts as your personal assistant, helping navigate the many features within Microsoft 365 applications. By enabling natural language interactions, it lowers the barrier to entry for less experienced users and encourages exploration of advanced features. With full integration into MS 365, Copilot can also assist with document preparation for Project Management tasks, Customer Relationship Management activities, Finance department analysis and Human Resources documentation, such as job descriptions and employee contracts.

Cost, Accessibility, and Security

Microsoft Copilot is available as addition to an existing Microsoft 365 subscription. The cost is approximately £30 per user per month, but unlike other 365 subscriptions it must be paid annually up-front.

According to Microsoft, Copilot is designed to protect tenant, group, and individual data. It is integrated into Microsoft 365 and automatically inherits a company’s existing document security, compliance, privacy policies and processes. This means that it presents only data that an individual can access using the same underlying controls for data access as in other Microsoft 365 services.

Pros and Cons

While the potential benefits of Microsoft 365 Copilot are promising, it’s important to consider both its advantages and limitations:


  • Time-saving automation of repetitive tasks, especially online research
  • Ability to collect and analyse data and convert into an initial report or presentation
  • Natural language or written interaction
  • Integration across Microsoft 365 applications
  • Potential for improved skills development and knowledge sharing
  • Better enables the drawing of insights from data to facilitate strategic decision-making.


  • Risks associated with data privacy and security if permissions are not configured correctly
  • Subscription cost and commitment may deter some organisations from adoption
  • Possibility of underutilisation
  • Learning curve and potential challenges in distinguishing between AI-generated and human-authored content
  • The need for human assessment of output to avoid reliance on inaccurate AI- generated content.

Copilot for Finance

Last week Microsoft released a public preview of Copilot for finance which can connect to Excel, Outlook, Microsoft Dynamics and SAP. As the preview has only been available for less than a week there is very little with regard to reviews, but you may want to read the Microsoft Blog post here.

Want to use or ask questions about Microsoft 365 Copilot? Contact Tivarri to discuss how Copilot could help your business 01225 428879 or [email protected]

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