Microsoft Copilot – we want to know what the AI assistant can do

Microsoft Copilot test

Everyone has been talking about Microsoft Copilot for a while now and curiosity is high:How can the assistant help us in our day-to-day work? How should we interact with it? What are its limits? As we wanted to find answers to all these questions, we integrated Microsoft Copilot into our day-to-day work and tested it. In our blog article, we share our experiences.

No easy task - the expectations of an AI assistant are high

A survey by the digital association Bitkom shows that 73% (tend to) see AI as an opportunity, while 24% (tend to) see it as a threat. However, another Bitkom study shows that companies have so far made little use of the opportunities: 68% see AI as the most important technology of the future, but only 15% use it. This is certainly also due to the fact that it is often unclear how AI can be used and whether AI-based tools are already good enough. One thing is clear: expectations of AI are high – including expectations of AI assistants. Many people expect an AI bot to
  • …perform tasks reliably, efficiently, accurately and consistently
  • …be easy to use and yet be able to process complex requests – without compromising data protection or data security
  • …have a strong natural language understanding
  • …be able to put things into context
  • …learn and adapt over time.
Not an easy task! But only this way can an AI solution improve both productivity and decision-making, and not only optimize processes, reduce workload and promote innovative solutions. but also gain trust within organizations & customers. That should be the goal.

First AI solutions show where the journey is heading

Certainly, many of us have already made their first attempts with AI tools such as ChatGPT and made both fun and serious requests. Meanwhile, there are many areas in which AI tools are involved. They give an idea of the potential of AI assistants.

What is our experience with Copilot?

Whether it’s communicating by email, chat or meeting or creating a presentation or Excel spreadsheet – there are many situations in which an AI assistant could be incredibly useful. Can Copilot add value in such situations?

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Creating PowerPoint presentations

We asked Copilot to create slides on a specific topic in our corporate design. Unfortunately, the slides did not meet our design standards and the content was hardly suitable. There was still some work to be done to create a consistent presentation in line with the brand and a valuable presentation in terms of content.

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Emails in Outlook

Copilot helps with composing emails, but is not able to personalize texts appropriately, incorporate the overall context and often offers texts in an inappropriate format. It is therefore necessary to edit the emails in almost all cases. However, Copilot is valuable when it comes to summarizing long emails. This was even possible for email conversations consisting of several emails. That saves time.

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Functionality in Teams

The AI assistant summarizes meetings and chats as well as the resulting to-dos surprisingly well. When transcribing meetings, not every word is recognized correctly, but the result is still helpful. In this way, Copilot can provide support in the ever-increasing number of chats, teams, channels and meetings and allows you to avoid having to attend every meeting. This can save time and simplify collaboration. This can save time and simplify collaboration. But nevertheless, Copilot is certainly no substitute for attending meetings in person 🙂 🙂

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Application in Excel

Copilot was unable to map typical business scenarios and had problems with data visualization. Thus, it currently offers no significant benefits in Excel. But it doesn’t have to stay that way: That’s why we’re already excited to see what possibilities a possible integration with Power BI opens. It could be very promising.

What are two key success factors for Copilot?

  • – Companies first need to find out in which scenarios AI makes sense in their company: Where are AI assistants just a gimmick? When can they really help? And how exactly should they be used and by whom?
  • Employees need to be well supported to ensure that the investment pays off for the company. After all, it’s all about the right “prompting”, in other words the right instructions, and that’s not that easy!

Our conclusion on Copilot

The benefits of Copilot still depend heavily on the respective use case and the users’ prompting skills. When used effectively, Copilot can save time and provide guidance in Teams and Outlook by providing summaries. However, the results are less satisfactory for personal communication and for creative projects. The decision to implement Copilot and the selection of the user group should therefore be carefully considered due to the not inconsiderable costs and the introduction should be well supported.

But one thing is certain: it is worth continuing to follow developments. This is certainly just the beginning. And Copilot will most likely provide even greater benefits if different systems are connected allowing the assistant to understand the context better.

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