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Webinar Part - 1 Recap - How Copilot for Microsoft 365 Streamlines the Workday

May 14, 2024
By ProArch

The pace of modern work is relentless - overflowing inboxes, endless meetings, and a never-ending list of tasks. Numerous studies and research indicate that, on average, a working professional dedicates over 25% of their time just to managing their emails. That's where Copilot for Microsoft 365 comes in. This powerful AI assistant is designed to help people work smarter and more efficiently across apps like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Teams. But how does Copilot work? What to use it, where to start and does the data shared is adequately protected?

All these questions are addressed by James Spignardo, Strategic Solutions Consultant at ProArch and Greg Dodge, Strategic Solutions Architect at ProArch’s webinar series Prepare for Copilot for Microsoft 365. They provided an in-depth look at the key features of Copilot and how it can revolutionize your team's productivity. Keep reading for a summary of the discussion and click here to watch the full webinar.

Moving Forward with Copilot for Microsoft 365

According to Greg Dodge, Gen AI will essentially increase the global economy. He cites estimates suggesting it could lead to an increase in global GDP ranging from 10 to 15 percent, with a specific estimate of 14 percent, by 2030.


Generative AI is poised to revolutionize the global workforce. Despite fears, uncertainties, and doubts, it will create new jobs in robotics, automation, and data science industries. Generative AI will also increase productivity and efficiency of people in their existing jobs, which is the focus today

— Greg Dodge, Strategic Solutions Architect, ProArch

The Key Components of Copilot for Microsoft 365

While sharing how Gen AI is revolutionizing economies, Greg also talked about key components that make up Microsoft's Copilot for Microsoft 365, and how they work together.

The four main things:

  • A large language model
  • The Microsoft Graph (an existing underpinning for accessing data)
  • Microsoft apps (both web and traditional clients)
  • The internet

Greg emphasizes that the large language model and the internet are separate entities. Language models are curated with significant investment of time and energy, while directly feeding internet data can confuse them and cause issues like hallucinations. From Microsoft's perspective, the language model, data, and internet are kept separate, which is a key point to understand when using the co-pilot.

A more detailed flow of what that looks like


Copilot for Microsoft 365 accesses data from your tenant's documents, SharePoint, OneDrive etc. while keeping that data secure and private. Copilot aims to boost productivity through tasks like summarization, content generation, and enabling new capabilities via plugins and integrations.

However, users must evaluate its outputs critically as the generative AI can sometimes produce inaccuracies. Effective prompting is key. Copilot continuously expands abilities through model updates and new third-party data source integrations.

If you don't have security and compliance with guardrails around the data, you might inadvertently expose Graph data to the Copilot that the user shouldn't access or use. Your data in Microsoft 365 stays inside your secure partition and is not used to train the models.

— Greg Dodge, Strategic Solutions Architect, ProArch


Clear prompts to get near-accurate output

According to James, to get the best out of Copilot you need to - clearly state your goal, provide context, include relevant source information, and specify the desired output format. Prompting should be conversational, allowing refinement through natural language interactions.

The recommended approach has four key elements: the goal (what you want Copilot to do), context (why, who's involved), source (emails, documents for Copilot to reference), and expectations (desired output like bullets, tables, code).

Copilot assists with tasks like generating content ideas, gaining insights, translating languages, storytelling, and troubleshooting. Best practices include being clear and specific, keeping prompt conversational, providing examples when needed, and giving feedback to improve Copilot.

This technology works through natural language and a conversational approach to providing information to AI. We call these prompts - part art, part science. Understanding how to create good prompts leads to better responses and greater satisfaction with the results.

— Spignardo, Strategic Solutions Consultant, ProArch

Avoid vague prompts, inappropriate content requests, conflicting instructions, and frequently changing topics within the same conversation. Fact-checking Copilot's outputs is crucial, as it can sometimes generate inaccuracies.

Do’s and Don’ts of Prompting


When you're writing prompts for Copilot in Microsoft 365, make sure to be clear and specific. Provide the topic, purpose, tone, and required format. Keep it conversational and let Copilot know what you think of its responses to help it learn and improve based on what you like.

In one demo, Jim Spignardo highlighted Copilot's ability to streamline inbox management through the "Summary by Copilot" feature in Outlook.

Spignardo walked through a scenario where an individual faced a lengthy email thread. Instead of manually reading through numerous replies, they used "Summary by Copilot" to generate a concise summary identifying key points, suggestions, and proposals from various team members.

Copilot summarizes email chains in Outlook, highlighting product launches, marketing strategies, and beta testing groups. It revolutionizes productivity by intelligently extracting insights from Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint decks across Microsoft 365. Keep watching our webinar series part —1 for a live demo showcasing Copilot's AI-powered summarization capabilities throughout the suite.

What’s Next?

As generative AI grows, understanding how Microsoft Copilot can benefit your organization is crucial. Our Microsoft 365 Copilot Readiness engagement helps you identify the areas where Copilot can drive the most value for your organization.

We'll work closely with your team to:

  • Assess your current processes and workflows
  • Identify opportunities for Copilot to enhance productivity and efficiency
  • Provide tailored recommendations on leveraging Copilot's capabilities
  • Estimate the potential return on investment (ROI) with our ROI calculator

If Copilot doesn't seem like the right fit, ProArch can help you in other ways:

  • Plan and implement custom AI and generative AI solutions tailored to your needs
  • Prepare your data for AI initiatives, ensuring quality and compliance
  • Implement robust data security controls to protect your valuable assets

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and unlock the power of generative AI for your organization.

For more insight, download the full recording and slide deck of the webinar and learn more about our services at ProArch.

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