Microsoft Ignite has been among the world’s most exciting events for developers and IT professionals since it was introduced (as TechEd) nearly three decades ago. Each year since then, the conference has showcased the latest features, product enhancements, and technological advances from Microsoft, helping customers, partners, and everyday users gain more value from the technology leader’s comprehensive solution suite.
The 2023 conference did not disappoint. The news from Microsoft Ignite this year was as captivating as ever, with many of the sessions highlighting how Microsoft is infusing AI across its product suite to enhance productivity and enable entirely new ways of working. Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI has enabled it to integrate ChatGPT capabilities into its productivity, search, and collaboration software, and sessions also discussed how generative AI is beginning to help Microsoft cloud customers optimize how they’re configuring—and using—their Azure infrastructure along with the software running on it.
AI is making headlines and generating buzz across industries, but Microsoft isn’t merely jumping on the GenAI bandwagon. Instead, it’s at the forefront of innovation, helping its customers infuse AI into workflows in ways that empower people to be more creative and impactful, and to focus on the work that only humans can do.
Microsoft’s Copilots are generative AI-powered chatbots that can help users with an enormous variety of tasks. They can answer questions, craft emails, generate images, and even write code. As the number of available Copilots continues to grow, with capabilities extending across nearly all Microsoft applications, these AI assistants are making it easier than ever to take full advantage of every feature that Microsoft’s products have to offer.
Microsoft Ignite 2023 featured a great deal of news about AI innovations, including new and upcoming Copilots:
These are only a few of the Microsoft Copilots that are either currently available or are coming soon. Microsoft also offers a Copilot dashboard, which enables enterprise leaders to see how end users are leveraging Copilot—where they’re taking advantage of it, where they’re increasing their productivity, and in which areas they may need more training.
Many of the new Microsoft Copilot capabilities represent a quantum leap in terms of innovation. Whether it’s automatic visualization of conversations—built-in whiteboarding—in Microsoft Teams, or help triaging cybersecurity alerts for security operations center (SOC) analyst teams, these capabilities are intended to help employees understand more, achieve more, and make better decisions—faster.
However, generative AI’s responses are only as good as the data provided to the models. If they’re not trained on high-quality datasets, you can’t expect high-quality results. This means that organizations will need to build and maintain the appropriate data management infrastructure to ensure that their Microsoft Copilots are being “fed” with the clean, accurate data that they need to deliver real value. Organizations may also need to build connectors if they’d like to connect third-party line of business apps to Copilot, so that the data within them can be used by Copilot.
In addition, the adoption of genAI can raise security and ethical concerns. How can organizations ensure that AI assistants won’t inadvertently reveal sensitive information to people who shouldn’t have access to it? How can they guarantee that their intellectual property won’t be used to train models that don’t belong to their company?
Leveraging Microsoft Copilot securely will require building out role-based rules governing information access. It will also demand end user training, so that employees understand how to make the most of all the capabilities that Microsoft offers.
Microsoft Ignite wasn’t just about Copilot, though generative AI did take center stage at this year’s conference. Other announcements included new virtual reality (VR) meeting experiences within Teams, enhanced virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) capabilities within Windows 365 Cloud PC, and new Microsoft-built custom chips designed to be used with large language models. They’re already in use in Microsoft Azure data centers, and enterprise customer demand is high.
How can your organization get ready to benefit from these innovations? Netrix is a Microsoft 365 Copilot Jumpstart partner and a Microsoft Security Copilot Jumpstart partner. This means that we have the expertise you need to not only deploy generative AI for your enterprise’s most relevant, highest value use cases, but to do so with careful attention to security and data privacy risks.
To learn more about how Netrix’s expert team can help you adopt Microsoft Copilot the intelligent way, get in touch with us today.