Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has welcomed the dawn of “a new era” for AI by teasing Copilot.
Copilot is a system that combines large language models with a company’s data and Microsoft apps.
It appears as if a bot within these apps. The user then gives Copilot a prompt, which it takes and runs with to simplify and automate tasks for them.
That is a simple summary. Yet, those that delve deeper will discover that Copilot works by making its way between three cornerstone technologies.
How does Copilot Work?
Copilot hinges on three technologies. These are:
- Microsoft 365 Apps – These include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and more.
- The Microsoft Graph API – This brings together content and context from emails, meetings, files, chats, calendar events, and more.
- A Large Language Model (LLM) – This is a creative engine capable of parsing and producing human-readable text.
Sitting within Microsoft 365 apps, CoPilot receives a prompt from the user and calls into Microsoft Graph. There, it retrieves business content and data, adding context to the prompt.
Then, Copilot sends the modified prompt to the LLM, a new technology many people will be familiar with through their experiences with ChatGPT. The LLM then generates a response.
Once it has done so, the LLM sends the response to Microsoft Graph for post-processing. This involves adding context and generating commands. Copilot them runs responsible AI checks alongside security, compliance, and privacy reviews.
Finally, Copilot responds to the user and sends commands back to the apps.
As Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President, Modern Work & Business Applications at Microsoft summarized:
Copilot iteratively processes and orchestrates these sophisticated services to produce a result that feels like magic.
In doing so, it opens up many opportunities to improve employee experiences. The video below brings several of these to life.
Microsoft delved deeper into many of these possibilities when launching Copilot during a live broadcast.
Indeed, Charles Lamanna, Corporate Vice President, Business Applications and Platforms at Microsoft, shared several examples of how Copilot may bolster a business’s ability to acquire and retain customers. Here are some of the most eye-catching.
Catch Up on Missed Sales Meetings
Sometimes salespeople miss important meetings due to scheduling conflicts, healthcare appointments, family emergencies, etc.
With Copilot in Teams, the salesperson can catch up on what they missed, receiving a notification when the meeting recap is ready.
In this recap, they can see the shared content, detailed notes, and action items.
To delve deeper into the notes, the salesperson can ask Copilot questions to gather more context.
Moreover, the salesperson can dig into why their colleagues made particular decisions and which other options they considered, providing citations and snapshots of the conversation transcript.
Stay On Top of Live Customer Conversations
During live interactions with customers and colleagues in Teams, salespeople can ask Copilot to summarize what has happened so far and who said what.
As the meeting progresses, they may even ask: what questions are unresolved?
Keep Your Colleagues In the Loop
Copilot helps salespeople by summarizing all their customer communications via Outlook and Teams into a single thread.
So, if a colleague asks for an update on the customer, Copoilot may produce an overview with citations – which the salesperson can verify, refine, and send.
Work On Customer Cases Together
Microsoft has embedded Copilot into Loop, its collaborations app. Here, sales and marketing teams can brainstorm with Copilot as their AI peer.
For instance, if they want to work together on product offers and pricing, Copilot can pull data from Excel – so teams understand sales trends across demographics and dig deeper.
In doing so, they can create custom, personalized offers for particular customers.
Close More Deals
With Copilot in Viva Sales, salespeople can easily pull information from Salesforce and Dynamics CRM systems.
As a result, before a sales meeting starts, businesses can use Copilot in Viva Sales to get the latest info on that customer.
Such info may include an account overview, recent engagements with the customer, and their purchase history. This may fuel a productive conversation.
If the customer asks how a product compares to a competitor’s, Copilot may also delve into sales materials to inform a response.
As the interaction ends, Copilot recaps the call and outlines the next steps. These details filter back through to the CRM.
After, Copilot will use the meeting context to help create and send a proposal. Although, the salesperson can make adjustments and include additional details before sending.
If the customer accepts the offer, Copilot in Viva Sales automatically updates the CRM, marking the opportunity as “won”.
Automate Customer Follow Ups
Copilot makes Microsoft’s Power Automate tools much more accessible. With these, sales teams can set up automated post-deal workflows.
For instance, the account manager may want to receive an alert whenever a customer raises an urgent support issue.
In addition, they may want to create a space where the account team can solve that issue together.
With Copilot and Power Automate, the manager can automate both of these flows in minutes using their own words. They can then review the suggested flow – all without a developer in the loop.
Moreover, Copilot can write a summary of the problem, post that summary in the appropriate Teams channel, and tag the right colleagues to resolve the issue.
According to Lamana: “Through Copilot, Power Automate is now an essential part of work for everyone, just like Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.”
Where Can I Learn More About Copilot?
After showcasing these use cases during his presentation, Lamana stated:
You can see how Copilot is a game-changer for business processes. Not just for sellers but every other line of business. Marketing, finance, customer service, and more.
It’s exciting to consider the possibility of Microsoft adding Copilot to other tools within its ecosystem, such as its CRM, contact center, and business intelligence solutions.
If it does so, this game-changer may become a crucial cog in the CX machine within many businesses.
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