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Copilot adoption journey: 9 Essential Requirements for Implementing Copilot and How to Solve the 2 Biggest Obstacles

Picture of Guillermo Tato
Guillermo Tato
| 10 June, 2024

With the arrival of Microsoft Copilot for M365, companies face the challenge of integrating this tool efficiently and effectively. This article breaks down the 9 essential requirements for deploying Copilot in an organization and highlights the two most conflictive points that could arise during its implementation.

Essential Requirements for Implementing Copilot in Our Organization

1. Licensing

From the outset, it is imperative to have E3 or E5 licenses for each User who wants to have Copilot. On top of these licenses, we must acquire the Copilot licenses themselves (€30/month per User and a minimum of 300 users). One thing to keep in mind is that it is not possible to acquire individual Copilot licenses for specific Office applications; the complete package must always be acquired. Currently, it is only available within enterprise contracts, and it is expected to be available for CSPs in Q4 (i.e., April, May, June 2024).

2. Cloud Identity

User identities must be hosted in the cloud or synchronized with the local (on-premises) Active Directory to ensure seamless integration.

3. WebSocket Connections

The M365 deployment recommendations already recommended having WebSocket connections enabled in the tenant, but they were not essential (although they could affect the connectivity of Teams, SharePoint, or OneDrive). From now on, having this option enabled in our tenant becomes a rather essential requirement, as it is the key mechanism for maintaining a stable connection and being able to make queries to the aforementioned Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive.

4. M365 Applications

For Copilot to function, the latest version of the Office package is required, except in the case of Teams, where it will work in both the new and classic versions, although the new version will offer better stability and advanced functionalities.

5. Microsoft Teams

Within the Teams environment, transcriptions must be enabled, and the accessibility of Microsoft applications within Teams must be ensured to fully leverage Copilot’s capabilities. Copilot’s ability to summarize, interpret, and highlight key moments in Teams meetings relies on enabling automatic meeting transcriptions.

6. Connected Experiences

This is a component of the M365 package that offers second-level functionalities in the Office package, such as the automatic PowerPoint designer or the Word translator. From now on, we will have to ensure that these connected experiences are enabled in our environment, as it is an essential requirement for Copilot to function within the Office package.

7. OneDrive and SharePoint

Obviously, if we want to take full advantage of having an LLM connected to our business data, we must have corporate information accessible to Copilot. This involves having tools like OneDrive and SharePoint deployed and operational. Copilot’s semantic indexing is limited to cloud files, so having corporate information on a file server will not be useful. At this point, an interesting derivative arises, related to data security, identity protection, and sharing. These topics are extremely relevant (but not essential in terms of deployment) when adopting Copilot, to ensure that when an employee makes a query, it only returns information they have permissions for. As this is such a delicate point, we will cover it in an upcoming post dedicated to best practices for ensuring the successful adoption of Copilot in our company.

8. Outlook

A thorny point, which we will discuss later in this post. We cannot escape this one. As of today, using Copilot requires the new Outlook, although there will be (limited) support for the classic version starting in March 2024.

9. Update Channels

It is recommended to configure the current update channel to support Copilot updates, which will be available in the monthly enterprise update channel starting December 12.

The 2 Major Challenges We Must Overcome Within the Essential Requirements List for Copilot Adoption

Most of these requirements for deploying Copilot on this list are straightforward for organizations to implement. In fact, many of the points will already be covered by most organizations, simply by having deployed M365. However, within this list, there are two requirements that, due to their criticality at the functional level and the organization of the IT department’s infrastructure, can be problematic:Outlook Adoption: The proper functioning of Copilot requires having the latest version of Outlook deployed, at least for now. This can be a problem since many organizations have not taken this step yet, and the fact that it is such a new platform, which has even caused some issues for users, makes large organizations wary of deploying it massively.Update Management: Copilot requires corporate update management to be done through System Center and in the current channel or the monthly enterprise update channel (starting December 2023). This can be a major problem, although trying to see it from the positive side, it could be a good opportunity to consider a transition to Intune or the execution of updates directly from the cloud.

Conclusion and Future Perspective

Implementing Copilot is just the beginning. Proper preparation and proactive problem-solving are essential for successful adoption. In future installments, we will delve into how recommended practices in security, identity management, and data sharing can further reinforce Copilot’s success in our organization.If you want to know how Artificial Intelligence can be integrated and give a boost to your company, do not hesitate to contact us.

    Guillermo Tato

    More than 10 years of experience in Digital Transformation processes, working in various roles within the process of creating solutions; from development to sales, through consulting, functional analysis and even change management processes.

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