Charting the ‘flight path’ for Copilot for Microsoft 365

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“Copilot is so much more than a new feature within Microsoft 365. It’s about transforming the way people work.”

Whether it’s drafting a job description, sorting help desk tickets or visualizing complex data in seconds, Copilot is already creating huge value in the hands of millions of workers. 

A study from the Boston Consulting Group found AI-assisted workers were 25% faster. They produced 40% better quality work. And they took on 12% more tasks than a comparable group without AI assistance.

Notably, this study used open generative AI platforms, suggesting the real impact of AI tools fully integrated with proprietary data and applications could be much higher.

It’s hard to ignore the implications for competitiveness, both on the organizational and in one’s personal career. The age of AI is here, like it or not.

Charting your “flight path” to Copilot adoption

To tap into all this potential, we recently expanded our 30-year partnership with Microsoft to better help our customers get the best value from this investment.

Taking your most important asset – proprietary data on your customers, products and markets – and having that generate truly game-changing outputs for your business takes a lot of planning and data integration capability. This needs to happen without losing sight of security and governance.

To get it right “customers should not be looking at AI or Copilot for Microsoft 365 as a simple transaction or a services project,” says Chris Woodin, Sr. Vice President – Solutions and Alliances at Softchoice.

Instead, they need to see Copilot adoption in terms of a long-term journey. That journey has multiple stages that form what we call the “flight path” for Copilot adoption. Here’s how it works.

Step 1: Plan your business case for Copilot

The first stage of the flight path is to define the vision, goals, and success criteria for using Copilot for Microsoft 365 in your organization.

We call this the “Plan” phase. Here, we look at the universe of potential use cases that might create meaningful change in value for the business and justify the case for change.

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For example, you may want to use Copilot to improve the productivity and quality of your content creation, marketing, sales, or customer service teams. You might consider deploying it to IT to improve service desk ticketing, security alerts or any number of other applications. How Copilot shows up will depend on the context in which you operate today and where AI can make a difference in real productivity terms.

To help, we can support as you plan, build and win support for your business case, create a roadmap and align those with a stake in decision-making on the scope and timeline of the project.

Getting Clear on Copilot Adoption – The Business Case

Step 2: Assess your technical and organizational readiness

The next stage is to evaluate the current state of your IT environment, licensing, security posture, and organizational readiness for Copilot for Microsoft 365.

This is the “Assess” phase. In this phase, you need to make sure that existing applications, business processes, and data can be integrated effectively into Copilot. This involves a gap analysis to identify any risks, issues, or dependencies that are going to need remediation before you deploy.

For example, you may need to upgrade your Microsoft 365 subscription, update your applications, or resolve any compatibility or performance issues.

To help you gauge your readiness for Copilot, we offer a Copilot Readiness Assessment, that provides a comprehensive review of your IT environment, security posture, and Copilot requirements. This yields a detailed report with recommendations and best practices to prepare for deployment and minimize errors during the process.

The Catalyst Gets Clear on Copilot Adoption – Getting ready 

Step 3: Run a pilot with select users, configure and implement

The third stage of the flight path is to configure and deploy Copilot for Microsoft 365 according to best practices and your specific requirements. This is when you integrate your custom data sources, including enterprise data, industry-specific terminology, and so on.

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Then, you test and validate the functionality, performance, permissions, and security of Copilot within your IT environment with a focus on integration with enterprise data.

Note that we strongly recommend deploying Copilot as a pilot project to a select group of users first. This gives you the chance to collect valuable user feedback and course correct where needed before going organization wide.

To help you implement and pilot Copilot, we have a Copilot Implementation Service, including expert guidance and support to set up and deploy Copilot. This includes a Copilot Pilot Program with a custom plan and toolkit for deploying to an initial group of select users.  

The Catalyst Gets Clear on Copilot Adoption – Implementation

Step 4: Adopt Copilot and manage the people factor

Copilot for Microsoft 365 won’t have any impact if people don’t know it’s there or why they should use it.

This means a continuous management approach to end user adoption focused on realizing the actual benefits, whether that’s increasing employee productivity or transforming the way they work with their customers.

The next phase is built to heighten awareness, engagement, and adoption of Copilot among your end users at every level. The importance of training, communication, and support to help people understand and use Copilot can’t be overstated.

You‘ll also need a clear process to monitor and collect feedback from the users on their experience and satisfaction with Copilot and apply their feedback as you go.

This is where our Copilot Adoption and Enablement Services come in. It’s meant to give you a detailed strategy and plan to drive user adoption of Copilot in your organization.

It includes a Copilot Adoption Toolkit for educating, training and supporting users on integrating Copilot into daily work as well as in cultivating an “AI-first mentality.”

Step 5: Sustain the momentum over the long term

No genuine transformation is going to be a one-and-done effort.

The final stage of the flight path involves proactive steps to keep the early momentum going. The aim is to avoid a drop-off in usage and ensure people truly integrate the tool into their work. This is more an ongoing journey than a destination.

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It involves reviewing and updating the vision, goals, and success criteria as your needs and priorities evolve and as Microsoft adds new features and capabilities. You’ll want to monitor and analyze the metrics against outcomes. It may be necessary to throw in additional training, guidance, and support to the users. Remember that new hires will also need to learn the specific ways your organization uses the technology.

To help you sustain and optimize Copilot, Softchoice offers a Copilot Sustainment Service, where you can get ongoing support and guidance to maintain and enhance the performance and value of Copilot in your organization. This comes with a Copilot Sustainment Toolkit, where you’ll find the latest resources and tools to keep your users informed, engaged, and satisfied with Copilot for Microsoft 365.

The Catalyst Gets Clear on Copilot Adoption – Sustain 

Ready to take off with Copilot?

You plan to adopt Copilot for Microsoft 365. Why should you trust us to help?

We know people and technology. To succeed with Copilot deployment, you’ll need to account for both and have them work in harmony.

We bring over 30 years’ experience as a Microsoft partner. This comes with a deep bench of Microsoft certified specialists who deliver thousands of Microsoft assessments and implementation projects every year.

We were our own first Copilot customer. As a member of Microsoft’s Early Access Program, we were among the first companies to use Copilot in a real-world environment.

Every Copilot needs a navigator

Explore Copilot for Microsoft 365 services

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