Microsoft 365 Copilot: What You Need to Know

22nd January 2024

It’s finally here after months of chatter ! It’s is a new additional feature that promises to revolutionise the way you work with your existing Microsoft 365 applications.

It is a generative AI that acts as your virtual assistant, helping you with tasks such as writing, editing, presenting, emailing, and chatting. It integrates seamlessly with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams. You may never have to attend a Teams meeting again, just ask Copilot to summarise the meeting for you.

Plus, the new “365 Chat” scans all your data—emails, meetings, chats, documents, and even the web—to help you solve your most challenging work issues. Plus there a new free standalone App just called ‘Copilot’ that’s free to access Chat GPT4

How much does Microsoft 365 Copilot cost?

Microsoft 365 Copilot is not included with any of the existing Microsoft 365 plans. It is a new add-on that requires an additional Copilot license. The price is £30 plus VAT but its an annual cost and cant be cancelled. (Not our rules). This is unlike other 365 services which are almost a turn on/ turn off monthly subscription.

Is it available to all 365 users?

No, not every license is eligible for the addition of Copilot. If you’re not sure what you have licensing for then please talk to your HardSoft account manager to check.

You need to have one of the following plans to add 365 Copilot:

  • Microsoft 365 E3
  • Microsoft 365 E5
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Is Support included?

Yes, HardSoft subscriptions to all 365 products include Support within the subscription price. Additional training is available at an extra cost. A plethora of support

Are ‘Copilot’ and ‘365 Copilot’ the same solution?

No, don’t get confused Copilot is embedded into Windows 11. It will not assist with Word, Outlook etc.

Is it secure? Am I sharing my data with Microsoft?

It’s super secure, nothing is shared, and Microsoft is not using your data to help it’s AI ‘learn.

Is the extra cost worth it?

Microsoft claims that Copilot can increase your productivity by up to 40% and improve your quality of work by up to 50%. Octopus Energy has been using Copilot to draft emails. It claims that overall customer satisfaction has grown from 65% to 80%.

copilot logo and robot woman

How can I plan and control the cost of Microsoft 365 Copilot?

Microsoft 365 Copilot could be a significant investment that can have an enormous impact on your IT budget. Therefore, you need to plan and control the cost of Copilot carefully.

Firstly, be aware that you don’t have to buy Copilot for every user. Start small, understand the benefits then add licences as you need them.

As mentioned not every 365 license has the option to add Copilot but that does not mean you have to upgrade all your 365 licences and then add Copilot. Most organisations are unaware that they may have a mix of 365 licences – some compatible, some not. Without any downtime, you can reallocate existing 365 licences between users… So, a Power user demanding Copilot could be cheaper than you think.

Copilot licences are not ‘attached’ to the same user account as the 365 licences. You could take 5 licences and move them around to other users as needs change. You can use tools such as Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics to track how your users are using Copilot. Based on the results you can adjust your Copilot deployment between users to maximize the value and minimize the waste.

Is there a free trial available?

No, unfortunately not.

Can I cancel the 365 Copilot license?

Yes, but beware there is a minimum of 12 months subscription. Renewed annually as well

What’s the difference between Copilot and Chat GPT?

ChatGPT is a general-purpose large language model (LLM) trained by OpenAI on a massive dataset of text, designed to engage in human-like conversations and answer a wide range of questions on several topics. Microsoft Bing Chat is use of this same technology.

In Copilot the AI-generated responses are uniquely contextual, relevant to the task at hand, and informed by business data whether it’s a response to an email, an application that automates a specific manual process, or creating a targeted list of customer segments from your CRM system.

Next steps to implement 365 Copilot…

  • Start using Bing Chat Enterprise as part of Microsoft Edge … It’s free
  • Understand your current 365 licences… And if they are compatible!
  • Work out how many licences you need… Not everyone needs it!
  • Our Solutions Team, headed by Scott and Gavin can help. Why not book free a Teams call with our Solutions Team?

Book a call here!