Previously only available through Enterprise Agreements for a minimum of 300 users, Copilot for Microsoft 365 now brings an entirely new way of working for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). For OpenText™ Cybersecurity partners, Copilot for Microsoft 365 is an opportunity to supercharge their Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) businesses by helping customers take full advantage of Generative AI (GenAI) while ensuring their most sensitive data is protected.
Are you confused about the different options for Copilot? If so, you’re not alone. This blog will walk you through everything you need to know and how to get started – including important work that must be done to prepare your tenant and your customers for this exciting new suite of AI applications.
What are the differences between Microsoft Copilot, Copilot for Microsoft 365, and Copilot Pro?
Microsoft Copilot, Copilot for Microsoft 365, and Copilot Pro are each part of the Microsoft 365 product family. The first two are available through CSP and are for businesses and organizations. Copilot Pro is not available through CSP partners, it is only available for personal and family users.
Let’s look at each product individually.
Microsoft Copilot is an AI-powered web chat with access to public online data. Built on the latest AI models (GPT-4 and DALL·E 3), Copilot responds to questions with up-to-date information and provides citations for each response.
Though Microsoft Copilot does not have access to information stored in a customer’s Microsoft 365 Cloud and isn’t integrated with Microsoft 365 apps, customers authenticate with their Entra ID (formerly Azure ID) to receive commercial data protection. Chat data is not saved, no one at Microsoft can view your data, and the data is not used to train the AI.
Microsoft Copilot with commercial data protection is included at no extra cost for users with:
- Microsoft 365 E3, E5, and F3
- Microsoft 365 A3, A5 (faculty only)
- Business Standard
- Business Premium
- Ask questions and learn new things quickly
- Generate text-based content, such as blogs or emails
- Create custom images for presentations or social media
- Summarize text or (via Edge sidebar) PDF documents
Copilot for Microsoft 365
Copilot for Microsoft 365 builds on Microsoft Copilot, with more advanced features such as enterprise-level security, privacy, compliance, and responsible AI to ensure that customer data is only processed within the customer’s Microsoft 365 tenant.
Think of Copilot for Microsoft 365 as an AI assistant that works alongside your Microsoft 365 apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and more. It respects the customer’s security, compliance, and privacy policies in Microsoft 365 to leverage real-time access to the user’s content (EX: “I have access to these financial reports…”), but it also grounds the responses within the context of the organization’s Microsoft Graph data (EX: “The most recent financial report may be out of date because the report is usually generated by now, by a specific user in a different department, and you don’t have access to a more recent report…”).
By combining Microsoft 365 apps with the customer’s proprietary data in the Microsoft Graph and the power of large language models (LLMs), customers can be more productive, improve the quality of their work, and save time.
Customers can use Copilot for Microsoft 365 to:
- Catch up on Teams meetings even if they didn’t attend, with action items and insights
- Summarize email threads in Outlook, or draft professional emails while receiving coaching tips on clarity and tone
- Craft business proposals in Word leveraging context and data from their Microsoft 365 tenant
- Create a new PowerPoint presentation from a prompt or existing Word file, leveraging enterprise templates with images and animations
Copilot for Microsoft 365 is advertised as $30 USD per user per month; however, you may wish to think of pricing as $360 per user per year. The subscription is only available as an annual, prepaid agreement. There are no minimum seat requirements, but customers should aim to license a critical mass of their information workers to see the full value of Copilot for Microsoft 365.
You should also review your licensing before purchasing a subscription. Licensing prerequisites for Copilot for Microsoft 365 include:
- Microsoft 365 E3
- Microsoft 365 E5
- Office 365 E3
- Office 365 E5
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium
- Microsoft 365 A3 for faculty – for EDU customers
- Microsoft 365 A4 for faculty – for EDU customers
- Office 365 A3 for faculty – for EDU customers
- Office 365 A5 for faculty – for EDU customers
Customers cannot purchase more licenses of Copilot for Microsoft 365 than the collective sum of all their prerequisite licenses. For example, a customer with 20 seats of Business Basic and 10 seats of Business Premium could only license Copilot for a maximum of 10 users.
Only commercial pricing for Copilot is available with CSP licensing, meaning education customers must license a commercial subscription when purchasing through a CSP agreement. Alternatively, academic pricing may be purchased through Enrollment for Education Solutions (ESS). For US Public Sector customers, GCC licensing is expected to be available by the summer of 2024, and details for GCC High and DOD licensing will come early in 2024.
Much like Copilot for Microsoft 365, Copilot Pro provides a single AI experience that works across all devices and Microsoft 365 apps, with access to the very latest AI models for personal use.
Copilot Pro is not available for sale through CSP partners, but Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers can add Copilot Pro licensing as a monthly subscription from Microsoft.com for $20 per month/per user.
What else is in the Copilot family?
Microsoft offers a tailored copilot for every Microsoft Cloud experience. The Copilot family includes:
- Microsoft Copilot and Copilot for Microsoft 365 – for every employee
- Microsoft Viva Sales – for sellers
- Dynamics 365 Copilot – for business professionals
- Microsoft Security Copilot – for IT and security professionals
- GitHub Copilot – for traditional developers
- Power Platforms Copilot – for no-code developers
- Copilot for Microsoft Fabric – for data professionals using Power BI
We’ll dive into the other Copilots in a future blog, but as the “copilot for work”, Microsoft Copilot and Copilot for Microsoft 365 are the first copilots many organizations will choose to launch their AI journey.
Successful journeys require careful preparation, so next we’ll walk through important steps you should take to ensure you or your customers’ organizations are ready for Copilot.
How can I “get AI-ready” before deploying Copilot for Microsoft 365?
GenAI solutions such as Copilot have the power to transform the way we work, but it would be easy to underestimate the preparation needed before deploying Copilot for Microsoft 365 to ensure workplace adoption, data standardization, and information governance.
How should partners be prepared to help?
CSP partners will play a critical role in helping customers prepare for Copilot, which can include:
- Developing business and technology strategies:
What do we hope to achieve and how will we measure ROI? What legacy applications must be modernized to ensure Copilot can securely access the data?
- Driving change management and readiness:
What continuous training is needed for designing effective AI prompts? How do we ensure relevant data is accessible in SharePoint/OneDrive? How do we verify accuracy of responses?
- Developing a plan to standardize on Microsoft 365:
How do we optimize licensing for Copilot access? How do we migrate legacy servers and file shares into the Microsoft Cloud? Do we have appropriate security licensing?
- Advising on information governance practices and assisting with policy enforcement:
Do our current data and security policies need to be updated? How can we apply and restrict permissions, set up sensitivity and retention labels, and enforce policies to reduce risk?
While these areas are important, information governance may be the largest challenge for organizations and the biggest opportunity for partners to help.
Copilot for Microsoft 365 inherits an organization’s existing Microsoft 365 security, compliance, and privacy policies. This ensures responses are only generated based on information that users explicitly have permission to access. While that’s good news, CSP partners and their customers will need to assess their data and security policies and user training programs to ensure customer environments are prepared for a better Copilot experience.
If you don’t already have effective policies in place, adding Copilot for Microsoft 365 could lead to oversharing of information, data leakage, and inadequate response due to outdated information. For example, if a user saves a sensitive document without proper sensitivity labels to an obscure Teams channel without adequate access restrictions, that information can be more likely to leak with Copilot for Microsoft 365.
What are some practical tips for getting started with Copilot?
Now that you’ve learned more about Copilot, here are some quick tips for getting started:
- If you’re not ready for Copilot for Microsoft 365, starting with Microsoft Copilot with corporate data protection is a great way for leaders and users to get familiar with GenAI concepts, policies, and benefits. Plus, there’s no extra cost if you already have adequate licensing.
- Before deploying Copilot for Microsoft 365, review security and information governance policies and ensure your Microsoft licensing includes security tools. For example, even though Business Standard users can license Copilot for Microsoft 365, Business Premium includes security features necessary for a more secure deployment.
- To get the most out of Copilot for Microsoft 365, you’ll want to license a critical mass of your information workers. However, we recommend starting with a pilot group of Copilot for Microsoft 365 users who can become your internal advocates and help develop best practices for your organization before deploying more widely.
- If you’re looking for early wins to demonstrate ROI or to drive user adoption, Microsoft Teams will quickly demonstrate the value of Copilot for Microsoft 365.
- Be patient; as Copilot for Microsoft 365 builds indexes and learns more about your organization and each assigned user, responses will become more relevant and the impact on productivity will grow.
Copilot for Microsoft 365 can be licensed through OpenText Cybersecurity today via Secure Cloud or by contacting your OpenText Cybersecurity account manager. CSP partners are recommended to attend our Copilot for Microsoft 365 partner webinar for even more resources and to attend our CSP Masters sales and technical bootcamps for partners.