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Microsoft Ignite 2023: The Dawn of the Age of Copilots

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 Copilot: Expanding capabilities across the Microsoft product suite

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:

  • Copilot for Microsoft 365 went into general availability for enterprise customers on November 1 of this year. This Copilot is embedded into Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Excel, Teams, and PowerPoint, but can also synch data from calendars, emails, chats, and contacts to answer questions, draft content, source ideas, summarize previous conversations, and more.

  • Microsoft Security Copilot in private preview, assists security professionals such as those in a SOC, to respond much quicker to threats, and help assess risks prior to an incident.


  • Microsoft Copilot for Service is now available in public preview. Synthesizing data from relevant knowledge sources to provide role-specific guidance to customer service agents, this Copilot helps customer-facing teams deliver accurate, personalized responses to questions and resolve issues quickly. Copilot for Service integrates with widely used ticketing tools like ServiceNow and internal knowledgebases as well as CRM systems.

  • Microsoft Copilot for Sales integrates with Dynamics 365 and Salesforce (as well as other CRM tools) to help sales teams gain contextual insights about customers and prospects so that they can save time, better prepare for meetings, build stronger relationships, and ultimately close deals.

  • Copilot in Microsoft Viva draws on generative AI to help leaders better understand how to engage the workforce, improving the process of goal setting, suggesting next steps and follow-up actions, and facilitating check-ins—all so that they can improve the employee experience.

  • Copilot in Power Apps is now generally available. This AI companion empowers citizen developers to create their own apps even if they have little to no coding experience. By recording the steps that they typically follow in their day-to-day workflows, they can build out automation to reduce manual effort and accelerate productivity.

  • Microsoft Copilot for Azure, currently in private preview, helps organizations optimize resource utilization and configuration for all of their Azure workloads. By asking simple, natural language questions, users can get information on how to take advantage of the full functionality of Microsoft cloud infrastructure and services.

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.

Getting ready for Microsoft Copilot

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.

From VR in Teams to faster CPUs in Azure data centers

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.


Jay P. Parekh

VP, Strategic Alliance

Jay joined Netrix in 2015 to start the End User Compute practice as Windows 10 was about to be released. Within two years of starting that practice, Netrix became Microsoft’s Windows 10 Partner of the Year. Jay now has moved from engineering to a sales leadership role overseeing all aspects of the Microsoft relationship. Jay holds a Bachelor of Computer Information Systems Degree from Devry University. He is happy to be a proud parent of a young son and has married his wife, Manali, for over 20 years. Jay and his family like to travel, cook, and watch basketball and movies.