Short on Time Summary

Microsoft Inspire 2023 focused on the latest advancements in AI, showcasing their own revolutionary Copilot solution. It explored the practical applications of these innovations to accelerate business growth and transform modern workplaces.

In this article, we round up the highlights from the conference. We discuss the new solutions available, what’s coming soon and the licensing costs. Also featuring thoughts on the transformative age of AI and what it means for our clients from ThinkShare’s CEO.

What'Microsoft Inspire 2023 Copilot and AI Announcements - Woman sitting at desk looking at laptop

The future of artificial intelligence was the theme of this year’s Inspire event. Key leaders, including Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, shared their commitment to ongoing innovation, technological advancement and responsible AI. Discussions were centred around Microsoft 365 Copilot as a key part of a comprehensive strategy for practical AI implementation.

With Copilot, next-generation AI capabilities are embedded in the Microsoft 365 apps you use every day. It is an AI Large Language Model (LLM) tool that grounds responses in business data like your files, calendar, emails and contacts. This also combines with your current working context, allowing Copilot to generate highly relevant and accurate responses as you write emails, create presentations and more.

Microsoft have prioritised an intuitive user interface and natural language processing to help you streamline workflows, generate insights, spark innovation and promote effective communication across your business.

Microsoft 365 Copilot Pricing

Microsoft has revealed that Copilot will be available for $30 per user per month for users on Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium plans.

Currently, no launch date has been announced for Copilot.

Bing Chat Enterprise

Bing Chat Enterprise – the highly anticipated AI-powered chat designed specifically for work – is now available in preview.

It delivers verifiable answers with citations and can access workplace-specific information alongside web data for in-context responses. Also incorporating multimodal visual search so you can instantly analyse images and produce graphs and chart responses.

Unsurprisingly, governance and data security are a top concern for organisations adopting new AI solutions. The Enterprise version of Bing Chat addresses the concerns around privacy for businesses. The solution is built with commercial data protection and AAD authentication. Users can work confidently knowing their chat session data will not be stored or shared in any way and will not be used to train the AI model.

By logging in with your work credentials, you can access Bing Chat Enterprise securely through and the Microsoft Edge sidebar. Microsoft also plan to make it accessible from Windows Copilot at a later date.

Screenshot of Microsoft Bing Chat Enterprise

It is included at no additional cost with Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium licenses. In the future, other customers will be able to purchase a standalone subscription, priced at $5 per user per month.

Power Automate Process Mining

Power Automate Process Mining Copilot will be rolling out on August 1, bringing rich AI-powered analysis and insights to the Power Platform. This can be accessed from your existing Power Automate subscription.

Map out processes from finance to sales to HR and gain a deep understanding of your operations. Process Mining enables users to understand what is happening across the business, making it easier to identify areas where generative AI features can be applied to add value.

Now you can harness AI to get low code app and automation suggestions that will simplify complex business processes. Ask Copilot “What are the top insights for me?” to find and eliminate inefficiencies and bottlenecks, pinpoint areas for improvement and boost overall productivity.

Sales Copilot

One of the biggest announcements from Inspire was a role-specific AI-powered seller’s assistant. This new application brings generative AI into sales activities to transform both the seller and customer experience. Minimise seller workload and allow them to focus on what matters most – closing sales and building strong customer relationships.

By bringing CRM data from Salesforce and Dynamics 365 into the places your sellers are already working, you give them the tools they need to succeed.

Utilise actionable insights, AI-generated summaries, task automation and much more to make meeting preparation and customer interactions more effective.

Sales Copilot will provide information about real-time sales opportunities and provide in-context tips during meetings, for example if a customer mentions a competitor. With Sales Copilot, you will be able to access a comprehensive summary of highlights, recommendations, action items and KPIs that will improve your sales performance.

Screenshot of Microsoft Sales Copilot

“We have now found out the pricing for Copilot and the $30 price tag per user has come as a surprise to some. Organisations are unlikely to buy this for all users without a solid ROI and business case. A likely deployment scenario is to give heavy knowledge workers the licenses as a timebound proof of concept. Time savings can be proved, scenarios for user personas across an organisation can then form part of adoption and change management of a more in-depth rollout.  

Sales Co-Pilot will be similar and will be most useful for Sales professionals who are making a lot of calls and attending a lot of meetings per day.  

It remains to be seen how AI is going to affect how an employee undertakes their day-to-day work. For some organisations the first stages of Digital transformation are still underway but for pioneers the time of AI is upon us.”

Andy Hodges, ThinkShare CEO

We hope you found this update helpful. To ensure you stay up-to-date with the latest Microsoft solutions driving business success, follow us on LinkedIn and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

What's New in Microsoft 365 September 2023 - LinkedIn CTA banner