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Microsoft Inspire Delivers Copilot AI Enhancements

The Microsoft Inspire event for partners was heavy on artificial intelligence (AI), including many "Copilot" AI announcements this week.

The Copilot AI brand has been stamped across multiple Microsoft products, even though it's mostly at the preview stage right now. And in case Microsoft's partners didn't notice this AI impetus, Microsoft announced a change to its partner program name. It's now called the "Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program."

Microsoft also floated a future price for the budding Microsoft 365 Copilot product, which is still at the private preview stage. It'll cost, $30 per user per month as an add-on license for "Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium customers," per Microsoft's Tuesday announcement. More about the support requirements for Microsoft 365 Copilot can be found in this Redmondmag.com article.

Microsoft Sales Copilot GA Release
Microsoft Sales Copilot in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales is now at the "general availability" (GA) commercial-release stage, Microsoft announced on Tuesday. It's available at no extra cost to Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise and Premium licensees. Microsoft also is selling it via a "standalone subscription."

Sales Copilot also has a few new features at its GA stage for Dynamics 365 Sales users, namely:

  • Automatically generated sales opportunity summaries, which also shows a campaign's "status, progress and highlights of key changes," plus LinkedIn bio information.
  • The ability to create contextual e-mails "that understands your products, your customers and details about the specific opportunity."
  • Customer meeting preparation compiled from "account information, recent notes, highlights of any issues or concerns, customer news and more."

Also, Sales Copilot will offer response tips during Teams meetings when competitor brands get mentioned.

Microsoft stopped short of describing Sales Copilot as being "Viva Sales," although it had explained back in March that Viva Sales had a Copilot capability, and that Viva Sales was included in its Dynamics 365 Enterprise and Dynamics 365 Premium licensing. Update 7/18: Microsoft did explain that "Viva Sales, the product experience, is being renamed Sales Copilot," in this announcement. Sales Copilot is a "role-specific Copilot that bridges a customer’s CRM and the Microsoft 365 productivity tools their sellers use," and it's designed to work with Dynamics 365 Sales or Salesforce 'out of the box,'" the announcement added.

Microsoft also has Sales Copilot tools that are built into Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Outlook, which coordinate with sales information.

Dynamics 365 Customer Insights AI Improvements
Microsoft described a few other AI enhancements that will be coming to Dynamics 365 Customer Insights users.

Dynamics 365 Customer Insights isn't new, but it will be getting AI improvements in a "new" subscription, which will be "generally available on September 1, 2023." It's not clear why Microsoft called it a new subscription, but Microsoft promised it will deliver "both customer data platform and customer journey orchestration capabilities as a single solution" to enable "real-time marketing."

Microsoft also promised to deliver two new capabilities at the preview stage next month. One of the previews will permit the use "natural language to easily orchestrate contextually relevant customer journeys across marketing, sales and service." The other preview will allow the use of natural language to "easily style your email, forms, and event registration pages to perfectly match brand guidelines."

Microsoft Security Copilot Early Access Program
Microsoft plans to open a Security Copilot Early Access Program to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint users sometime "this fall," according to a Tuesday announcement.

While Microsoft also touted Security Copilot use for Microsoft Sentinel customers, it appears to be slowly expanding this preview, and didn't indicate its availability for those customers. Microsoft had introduced Security Copilot back in March, and it's been at the private preview stage since that time.

Despite Security Copilot being at an early release stage, Microsoft suggested that its partners can prepare today to help "customers deploy Microsoft Defender for Endpoint and Microsoft Sentinel so that they are prepared to adopt Microsoft Security Copilot." To that end, Microsoft has established a new Security Copilot Design Advisory Council. Partners can "sign up to receive communications and to be considered" for membership in the council.

Bing Chat Enterprise Preview and Visual Search
Microsoft also announced the release of a preview of Bing Chat Enterprise on Tuesday. Bing Chat Enterprise offers AI-powered chat capabilities with the promise that "user and business data are protected and will not leak outside the organization."  Microsoft doesn't save an organization's chat data and doesn't have "eyes-on access" to it. It also doesn't use the data to train its large language models.

Bing Chat Enterprise can be accessed from Bing.com's chat function, as well as from the Microsoft Edge browser's "Sidebar" feature. Microsoft is also planning to add Bing Chat Enterprise to Windows Copilot at some point.

Microsoft will include Bing Chat Enterprise at no extra cost for "Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium" subscribers. It'll be offered as well as a "a standalone offering" at the price of $5 per user per month.

The free Bing Chat for consumers, based on Open AI's GPT 4 model, is getting the AI-enhanced ability to describe images, which Microsoft calls "Visual Search." The capability works with uploaded images, where "Bing can understand the context of an image, interpret it, and answer questions about it." Microsoft is currently rolling out Visual Search in Bing Chat to the "desktop and Bing mobile app." Visual Search also is slated to come to Bing Chat Enterprise, too, at some point.

Process Mining GA in Power Automate
Microsoft on Tuesday announced that Process Mining in Power Automate with AI capabilities will reach the GA stage "on August 1, 2023."

Microsoft had previewed Process Mining in Power Automate back in November 2022, which is designed to surface insights into process bottlenecks. It creates process maps using templates for "Finance including O2C and P2P, Supply Chain and other use-cases." Process Mining in Power Automate can tap AI capabilities using Microsoft Power Platform Copilot, the announcement explained:

With the general availability of Process Mining, Microsoft further expands its low-code offering -- providing customers with not only the most complete hyperautomation offering in the market -- but the most comprehensive low-code platform including Microsoft Power Platform copilot, the AI powered assistant in Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents and Power Automate.

In addition to the GA of Process Mining in Power Automate happening next month, Microsoft listed a bunch of Power Automate licensing changes also expected in August, namely:

  • The "Power Automate Attended RPA per user" license is getting renamed to "Power Automate Premium" with a price reduction to $15 per user per month (down from $40 per user per month).
  • The "Power Apps Per User" license also will get renamed to "Power Apps Premium," with no service plan changes.
  • A new "Power Automate Process" license will be introduced, giving access to an unattended desktop automation bot, with a price reduction to $150 (down from $500).
  • A "Power Automate Process Mining Add-On" license, featuring 100GB of storage, will be available for "higher volume use cases," and will cost $5,000 per tenant per month.

The process mining capabilities of Power Automate are further described in this "Get Started" tutorial.

Copilot in Power BI Private Preview
Microsoft also this week mentioned that Copilot in Microsoft Power BI is currently at the private preview stage.

Additionally, Microsoft touted the use of Copilot in Power BI with Microsoft Fabric, its AI-enabled collection of data platform tools (which includes Azure Data Factory and Azure Synapse, for example). Microsoft Fabric is now at the public preview stage, with a free trial.

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