We are getting asked a lot about Microsoft 365 Copilot, and when it will be available. Here is an update as of 10th January 2024.
Can I get M365 Copilot yet?
ANSWER: YES! The M365 Copilot is available starting November 01, 2023 to customers with an EA (Enterprise Agreement), and from January 01, 2024 to Academic and Educational institutions. There is a minimum order of 300 licenses per tenant.
What about CSP customers and smaller organisations?
ANSWER: NO! You will have to wait a bit longer I’m afraid…
Will Copilot be available for M365 Business Subscribers?
We’re not 100% sure. Information coming out of Microsoft suggests it will be available for Microsoft Business Premium and Business Standard subscribers.
However, we have not yet had confirmation whether it will be included with those subscriptions for free, whether it will be a chargeable bolt-on, or whether there will be a minimum number of seats required to enable it once it is released to the CSP market.
What can I do until then?
ChatGPT is well established and free to use, as is Bing Chat (or Bing Copilot). Links below.
For Bing, it is branded “Copilot, Your everyday AI companion with Bing” when not signed in. If you sign in to Bing with your M365 Business account, it currently rebrands itself as “Bing Chat Enterprise, AI-powered Copilot for the web”. Signing in will protect your personal and company data when using the Bing Chat Engine.
What is the difference between Bing Copilot and M365 Copilot?
Bing Copilot, just like ChatGPT, has visibility of data across the world wide web. Its great for answering general knowledge questions, and compiling information from publicly available sources. However, it cannot see your business data or private data.
M365 Copilot can see your business data and private data. It draws on all of the information available in your Microsoft 365 Tenancy such as emails, spreadsheets, documents and presentations across all your storage platforms like your mailbox, SharePoint & OneDrive. This opens up a whole new world of AI power, offering insights into your business data and if used well, significantly speeding up mundane tasks and day-to-day business processes.
Sound interesting? You can read more about how Microsoft 365 Copilot is bringing the power of next-generation AI to the workplace here in our article Microsoft Loop & 365 Copilot coming soon…
Could M365 Copilot pose a privacy risk inside my business?
Those of you who already have experience of using AI in chat form will be aware how much information you can get access to in a heartbeat – which is great! But what if your users get access to too much information? I.e. If a user asks “Can you tell me how much everyone got paid last month?”, will the powerful engine will fully obtain that very private information and disclose it in moments?!
Well, potentially yes! But only if you’ve allowed “Copilot” AND the “User” access to that kind of data. Like SharePoint, Copilot will follow Microsoft 365 foundational principles in that the strict permissions model will be used to protect data at all levels of the organisation, using tenant-wide, service-level, user groups and individual users predefined access settings.
Its important that you setup your access permissions, security levels and of course Copilot itself in a way that protects your business data. Simply turning Copilot on is a simple process, but you should seek advise from your M365 Experts (like us!) to ensure you do it in a safe and correct way that suits your business needs.
We want to encourage fast access to data to improve business efficiency – not create huge headaches for your HR department!
We appreciate that there aren’t a lot of answers in this article. In fact, there are barely any answers at all!
Lots of customers are confused at what they can and can’t get their hands on. That is why we are sharing what we know right now.
Rest assured, as more information is released from Microsoft we will pass it on. We will be letting customers know as soon as options are available to them.