This month, Microsoft announced several updates to its Copilot platform, introducing key features, improvements, and enhancements. These changes focus on bolstering security measures, improving reporting functionalities, and expanding accessibility to businesses of various sizes. 

In this blog, we will dissect these key announcements to provide a comprehensive overview of licensing models, the integration of Microsoft Purview for bolstering data security and compliance, and Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) availability.  

Our goal is to offer investment management professionals a variety of valuable insights into the implications of these changes, helping you understand Copilot better before considering incorporating it into your operations. 

Copilot’s Evolution: Not Just Another AI Tool 

Since its release, officially announced in September 2023 with general availability, Microsoft Copilot has evolved beyond traditional AI capabilities, earning its designation as “Your everyday AI companion.” 

It now empowers users to comb through extensive work data, solve complex problems, and connect dots across content. The integration with various business applications makes Copilot an invaluable tool for running effective meetings, staying informed, and enhancing communication across Microsoft 365 applications. 

For an extensive overview of Microsoft Copilot, encompassing what it is, its impact, roles, and how it works, read our previous article titled “Revolutionizing Work Productivity: A Dive into Microsoft 365 Copilot.” 

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Top Highlights from Microsoft’s Latest Copilot Announcements 

Since the start of January 2024, Microsoft has been releasing announcements on Copilot. Below is a summary of the announcements. 

1. Licensing Updates  

Effective January 15, 2024, Microsoft has eliminated the 300-seat purchase minimum for Copilot. This allows qualifying organizations the flexibility to license from one to an unlimited number of add-on licenses.  

It’s important to note, however, that Copilot customers are required to possess a product license for one of the prerequisite base stock keeping units (SKUs) for each seat of Copilot for Microsoft 365 that they acquire.  

Microsoft is making a concerted effort to help every customer become AI-ready by integrating Semantic Index for Copilot into Office 365 E3 and E5 licenses. This crucial feature ensures the acquisition of relevant and actionable responses to prompts within Microsoft 365 Copilot. 

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To avoid potential impacts on operations and subscription models, it is imperative to understand the intricacies of the updated licensing structure. As such, be sure to lean on the resources Microsoft has available for more information, and next steps.  

2. Data Security Enhancements 

Microsoft has introduced important capabilities and updates aimed at enhancing security measures and safeguarding customers’ tenants. Notably, a new multi-factor authentication (MFA) Statistics page is now available, showcasing the number of partner tenant admin and non-admin users with MFA enabled.   

Additionally, starting in March 2024, security defaults will be enabled on all CSP partner tenants not already utilizing security defaults, conditional access, or a third-party MFA solution. The Insights workspace will soon feature a Customer MFA Statistics page, offering insights into MFA adoption across a partner’s customer base. 

In terms of available features, the Compliance admin role in Partner Center allows partners to designate a point of contact for compliance-related matters. Partners are urged to assign this role and keep the contact information current. Furthermore, Microsoft encourages partners to enhance their Partner Center Security Score, providing a summary of security requirements and recommendations. Effective device management, beginning January 31, 2024, will require granular delegated admin permissions relationships, with Microsoft suggesting the Directory Reader role for this purpose. 

In addition to the above, Microsoft recently shared information on Microsoft Purview data security and compliance protections. Microsoft Purview is necessary to strengthen data security and compliance for Copilot users by providing sensitivity labels and restricting files. For those seeking a deeper understanding of Microsoft Purview’s data security and compliance features, read Microsoft’s article titled “Microsoft Purview data security and compliance protections for Microsoft Copilot.”  

3. CSP Availability  

A major highlight is Microsoft’s decision to make Copilot generally available through Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs). Commercial customers with specific base SKUs, such as Microsoft 365 E3/E5, Office 365 E3/E5, and Microsoft 365 Business Standard/Business Premium, can seamlessly purchase the Copilot for Microsoft 365 add-on SKU across multiple channels, including CSP, EA, MCA-E, EAS, and directly from Microsoft online. Education customers with Microsoft 365 A3/A5 and Office 365 A3/A5 can make purchases through Enrollment for Education Solutions. 

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As CSP’s have quick Copilot access, Managed IT services stand to gain efficiency and flexibility, catalyzing a seamless integration experience. This presents a significant opportunity for partners, like Agio, to assist firms of all sizes in becoming AI-powered, with resources available for strategic planning and sales operationalization. 

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Stay Abreast of Microsoft’s Evolving Landscape with Agio 

Microsoft 365 Copilot reflects Microsoft’s dedication to fostering a secure environment for collaborative innovation, emphasizing AI protection, user data ownership, robust security controls, and more. This commitment ensures that Copilot enhances productivity within a secure and privacy-conscious framework, differentiating Microsoft in the competitive landscape of collaborative tools. 

At Agio, we remain vigilant about Copilot’s changes, aiming to understand how to bring the latest innovations to our clients. While we continue to monitor the availability of Copilot, our end-user services encompass Microsoft 365 through our partnership with Microsoft. 

Crafted by Agio’s IT Advisory Services team, our Microsoft 365 solutions exceed industry best practices, seamlessly integrating value and expertise into your Microsoft 365 service administration.  

Contact us today to unlock the full potential of Microsoft 365 for your firm and stay informed by connecting with us.