Giacom and Microsoft reflect on Copilot launch and how to get the most from AI workplace assistant

Giacom and Microsoft reflect on Copilot launch and how to get the most from AI workplace assistant

Microsoft Copilot is revolutionising the way people work and collaborate.

From improving productivity to unlocking creativity and innovation, the early results from businesses which have adopted Microsoft’s AI-driven workplace assistant demonstrate its vast capabilities.

As one of the few Microsoft partners involved in the early access programme for Copilot, IT solutions provider Giacom is already helping MSPs sell Copilot to their customers, helping businesses save time, money and stress.

Giacom’s Head of Product, Carl Oliver, recently sat down with Nick Hedderman, Microsoft UK’s Senior Director, Modern Work and Security, to reflect on the first three months of Copilot since its general release.

Carl: Firstly, how has the launch of Copilot gone? Has it been as well received as you’d hoped?

Nick: Since launching Copilot, we’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers. Those customers include Visa, BP, KPMG and Clifford Chance, which is using Copilot to create the “law firm of the future,” helping its employees innovate, create and save time.

Visa are seeing positive productivity impacts from summarising meetings and creating action items to creating insights from documents and survey sentiment analysis.

Our research has shown 70 per cent of Copilot users said they were more productive, and 68% said it improved the quality of their work. Perhaps the most rewarding response was over three quarters of those surveyed saying once they had used Copilot, they didn’t want to give it up.

Nick: Giacom was one of our partners to be part of the early access programme for Copilot – what learnings did you take away from it?

Carl: As part of the early access programme, Giacom had access to licences prior to general release. We decided to align these licences to senior leaders across the business and created a Copilot steering committee.

Doing this allowed us to share experiences of what was, and wasn’t, working well for us. It helped each member of the early access programme get tips that they may not have received in isolation.

It also helped us understand the importance of data governance and data structure, before we rolled out to the wider teams.
There are so many ways in which you can use Copilot – I don’t think online training does the programme justice; seeing is believing and hands-on experience has to be the best way to learn.

Nick: And how did all of that knowledge help Giacom when it comes to supporting your partners?

Carl: It has helped significantly. Copilot is something new for everyone as it’s a new way of working and everyone is learning together. The best way to understand its full capabilities is to get hands-on experience and demo the capabilities to partners.

The best example we have is within Microsoft Teams. At the end of the any call we had with partners, we would instantly send across the meeting minutes, actions, and next steps that Copilot had automatically captured from the meeting. The meeting may not have been about Copilot, however as soon as those minutes are sent the first question is “how did you do that?” Partners were instantly sold on the benefits.

The partners that are now succeeding in selling Copilot are those that have rolled out internally and are using Copilot on a daily basis, as they are then doing the same with their end customers to show the instant productivity gains.

Carl: How important is it that MSPs and their customers have the chance to see Copilot and test its capabilities?

Nick: The platform shift to AI is underway and will completely transform the way people work. And for many, the fix can’t come soon enough. The pace and volume of work has outpaced our ability to keep up. And now, with Microsoft Copilot, everyone can have an AI assistant to help whittle down this digital debt.

Copilot frees people to focus on the most important work – the things only they can do. The things that are uniquely human. We spend so much for our day separating the signal from the noise…somehow, it’s easier than ever to communicate, but harder than ever to keep up. We believe AI can lift the weight of work, free us from this digital debt and fuel innovation within organisations.

Carl: If you’re an MSP or a small business looking at Copilot for the first time, where is the best place to start?

Nick: All work is iterative – whether you’re doing solo work, or working with other people, or working with AI.

When people start to work with Copilot and they get that, it’s like a light bulb goes off. They realise “I need to work with Copilot like a direct report, like someone on my team.” The more you can do that, work iteratively with Copilot, the more it starts to feel like a conversation, because it is. And that’s when the real unlock happens.

One more important thing to mention – the more specific you are, the more context you give Copilot, the better your results.

Nick: So what questions are MSPs frequently asking Giacom about Copilot? Have any themes and trends emerged?

Carl: I think the first big question is, what are the opportunities for the MSP? The opportunity is significant – the Total Addressable Market (TAM) for Copilot worldwide stands at 190 million seats and is valued at $8.8 billion.

Another question we hear a lot is, what functionality does it provide across Microsoft 365? MSPs frequently ask about how Copilot functions across various Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, Business Chat, OneNote, and Viva Learning. With us having hands-on experience through internal rollout, it allows us to demo this capability.

Other questions cover the risks around security, privacy and compliance. MSPs are reassured that Copilot works within the Microsoft environment, providing enterprise-grade security, privacy and compliance.

Carl: What advice should we be giving to MSPs to help them sell Copilot effectively to their customers?

Nick: Pretty simple really…you have to start with using it yourself. Once you have a number of lived experiences in your own day-to-day work life, it becomes very simple to share with your own customers how it could benefit them.

Carl: And how has Microsoft made Copilot accessible for businesses of all shapes and sizes?

Nick: To empower every organisation to become AI-powered, in January this year we announced expanded availability. We removed the 300-seat purchase minimum for Copilot for Microsoft 365 commercial plans, putting the power of generative AI into the hands of small businesses.

Second, we removed the Microsoft 365 prerequisite for Copilot — so now, Office 365 E3 and E5 customers are eligible to purchase. We’re also extending Semantic Index for Copilot to Office 365 users with a paid Copilot license.

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is now generally available for small and medium-sized businesses—from solopreneurs running and launching their first business to 300-person fast-growing startups.

Carl: For some businesses, Copilot will be a big cultural shift. How do we best support those companies through the adoption process?

Nick: We’ve created a Copilot Success Kit to ensure businesses are getting the most value from Copilot. The guidance integrates many resources to empower users to achieve rapid value with Copilot while enabling a progressive skilling journey with AI tools.

Nick: How is Giacom supporting its partners when it comes to Copilot?

Carl: All of our Cloud team members are now skilled and certified within Copilot, and we’ve rolled out mandatory training to provide them with hands-on experience.

To add an extra layer of expertise, we have also invested in Copilot specialist roles within our Modern Work practice team. Their sole purpose will be to support our partners with understanding and rolling out Copilot to their customers.

We will provide our partners with a list of customers they should target first based on propensity models. These models will look at what licences they are currently using and adoption of those licences. Once they have identified target customers, we will support the partner in Copilot briefings with their existing or prospect customers.