Get ready for the takeoff of AI in the workplace

  • Posted on May 30, 2023
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Microsoft Copilot Generative AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) wasn’t just the theme at this year’s Microsoft Build. AI was the event. Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella put it best in his keynote speech: AI is taking the computer age from “the bicycle to the steam engine” – seemingly overnight. And it will have the biggest impact on how people work since the industrial revolution.

That’s a bold prediction. To understand how, let’s look at some of the key announcements:

  • The introduction of Windows Copilot makes Windows the first PC platform to centralize AI assistance. It’s essentially the “Copilot for Copilots,” bringing all your apps into the flow of work and making it easy for you to interact with everything from Windows settings through to third-party plugins. That’s incredible considering that 64% of people admit struggling to find the time and energy to get their work done, and as a result, are 3.5 times more likely to struggle with strategic thinking and innovation. With AI assistance, users can focus on bringing their ideas to life instead of spending energy searching for information across multiple applications.

  • Microsoft 365 Copilot now supports plug-ins – including Teams extensions and Power Platform connectors – demonstrating the full extensibility and interoperability of Copilot. More than 50 third-party plugins are available as part of the early access program, and thousands more will be available by general availability. That means developers can natively integrate their apps into Copilot directly, which is great news for those who’ve already invested heavily in Power Platform. It’s also taking personal productivity to a whole new level.

  • Last year, Microsoft announced new content AI capabilities within Microsoft Syntex, a set of AI-powered cloud content management services. Now there are even more new Syntex innovations that are accelerating custom development at scale and allowing users to get more value from their Microsoft 365 content – faster and more securely than ever before. No more starting from scratch or relying on templates and manual work to generate client-specific content like contracts. Repository services and plugins bring Syntex actions and skills into your Copilot experiences.

Now let’s talk about your workplace AI journey
These capabilities are revolutionizing work and personal productivity. By integrating human capabilities into our core workplace platforms and making every user a power user, Microsoft is fundamentally changing how we work. People will have changing expectations of their user experience, expecting every solution to include a Copilot experience. In fact, 70% of people say they would delegate as much work as possible to AI to lessen their workloads. And businesses will need to be ready to meet those expectations by reinventing work.

Here are three important steps you must take to be ready for Copilot’s take-off:

  1. Prepare for arrival. These Build announcements told us the technology is here. And while many of these products are still in early access/private preview, they give us a clear idea of where work is headed – and soon. To get the most out of Copilot and solutions leveraging Azure OpenAI service, they need to ensure they are future-ready, by preparing their platforms and environment ahead of time.

  2. Secure your route. The use of next-generation AI solutions within Microsoft 365 are reliant on having the right security in place. You’ll need the right governance guardrails in place across Microsoft 365 and Power Platform to support safe adoption and exploitation and make it easy for your people to work safely with new AI capabilities

  3. Get your people on board. As we reimagine work, we need to help people embrace a new way of working. They will need new skills ranging from prompt engineering to fact-checking and verifying AI-generated content. Because each organization is unique, you need to understand your current level of change readiness and be intentional and programmatic about your digital culture.

Avanade is ready to be your Copilot partner
Avanade is uniquely positioned to help clients prepare for the future of work, which undoubtedly involves adopting AI. If all these changes seem overwhelming, don’t worry. Avanade has been testing, adopting and building with a responsible AI framework for years. And no other Microsoft partner can match our depth of Microsoft expertise.

We’re ready to help you exploit the benefits of generative AI in workplace technology, starting with improving your current workplace maturity. We’ll help ensure you have the right foundations in place, including modernized platforms that are optimized for you to start leveraging new intelligent business processes.

To start your generative AI workplace journey, contact us today to schedule a complimentary 2-hour workshop.

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