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July 19, 2023
When Microsoft added generative AI capability to its Bing search engine in February, it set the stage for the introduction of something viable for the commercial world, resulting in the launch of Bing Chat Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Copilot. Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled Bing Chat Enterprise, which will allow natural language searches natively with various M365 applications, such as Teams, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Microsoft demonstrated Bing Chat Enterprise during its annual Inspire partner conference, and announced that the preview is available immediately. The service will be available at no extra cost for those with Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium licenses. Eventually, Microsoft intends to offer Bing Chat Enterprise as a standalone offering for $5 per user per month.
Like the general-purpose Bing, Bing Chat Enterprise uses OpenAI’s ChatGPT generative AI technology and will work wherever Bing chat is supported, including bing.com, the sidebar in the Microsoft Edge web browser, and eventually in Windows. But unlike the general-purpose Bing Chat, the new enterprise version will offer commercial data protection, meaning data won’t leak outside an organization. Microsoft emphasized that Bing Chat Enterprise doesn’t save data, nor does it have access to it or use any form of data to train models.
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Microsoft’s Satya Nadella
“This is the moment in some sense that every CIO CISO business user has been waiting for,” Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said during his keynote.
Microsoft 365 Copilot will also add generative AI to applications, but besides commercial data protection, it will offer enterprise security, privacy and compliance.
“This means that Copilot inherits your existing Microsoft 365 security, privacy identity and compliance policies, those things you already have set up,” Microsoft corporate VP for work and business applications Jared Spataro said during a Microsoft Inspire conference breakout session.
Microsoft’s Jared Spataro at Microsoft Inspire 2023.
“Your data is logically isolated and protected within your M365,” he added. “The tenant is always within your control. And at the tenant level, Copilot respects individual and group permission policies.”
Further, Microsoft 365 Copilot utilizes the Microsoft 365 Graph to provide content and context and will work with Microsoft 365 Apps. Microsoft revealed Copilot in March and launched the Copilot Early Access program in May. Microsoft said Copilot will work with Outlook, OneNote, Viva Learning and Loop. Also, Microsoft said by integrating DALL-E, OpenAI’s image generator, into PowerPoint, users can create custom images.
Microsoft 365 Copilot will cost $30 per user, per month for Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium customers. Microsoft hasn’t announced a general release date but plans to provide more information in the next few months.
In March, Microsoft introduced and released the preview of Dynamics 365 Copilot, which provides AI-based assistance to CRM and ERP applications. It adds natural language processing to Dynamics 365. It also works with Microsoft Viva Sales, which is included in Dynamics 365 Sales and is available for other vendors’ CRM systems, including Salesforce.
At this week’s Microsoft Inspire conference, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Sales Copilot, an AI-based assistant designed to help salespeople customize deals. Microsoft Sales Copilot interfaces with Outlook and Teams, and also interfaces with Salesforce and other CRM systems.
“Whether it’s from Salesforce or whether it’s from Dynamics 365, to be able to complete your task without having to go out of band through your system of record, that’s the dream that we’ve been waiting for, for a long, long time,” Nadella said. And I think every SaaS application category is going to be fundamentally rewired.”
Spataro added that Sales Copilot is the first of what Microsoft calls “role-based copilots” with skills tailored toward specific roles and functions.
“It has domain-specific knowledge and skills, so it understands and can respond to commands,” he said. “For us, Sales Copilot is just the beginning. We look forward to introducing additional role-based Copilots in the future.”
Read more about:MSPs
Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.
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