Here’s the deal: Microsoft 365 Copilot has the potential to revolutionize work productivity, but like any AI platform, it’s not without its risks. And, unfortunately, there are some Microsoft partners out there who haven’t done their homework when it comes to understanding the risks. That’s right, we’re talking about Copilot bullsh*tters—the ones who talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.  

However, we’re here to empower you with the knowledge necessary to identify these individuals and ensure that you’re partnering with a provider who genuinely understands Copilot. We’ll also outline eight essential questions to ask your provider, or any provider that you’re evaluating, to gauge their expertise. So, if you’re ready to navigate the path towards Copilot readiness and implementation, let’s dive in. 

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The Proper Steps to Microsoft 365 Copilot Readiness and Implementation 

Before we get into the fun part of identifying the Microsoft 365 Copilot bullsh*tters, let’s make sure you’re armed with the proper steps to demonstrate Microsoft 365 Copilot readiness and implementation.  

Here’s a breakdown of what you should keep in mind: 

  1. Do your research: Take the time to research the tool, its capabilities, and its potential risks. Familiarize yourself with Microsoft’s documentation and best practices to confirm you have a solid understanding of what Microsoft 365 Copilot entails. A great place to start is Microsoft’s Learning Site. Having basic knowledge of Copilot not only gives you an advantage but also empowers you to recognize when a provider may not be as knowledgeable as they claim to be. 
  2. Consider firm size: Assess your organization’s IT and structure to determine how Copilot will fit into your existing workflow. Consider factors such as the number of users, the complexity of your IT infrastructure, and any regulatory compliance requirements that may impact implementation.  
  3. Assign a compliance role: Designate a dedicated compliance role within your organization to oversee Microsoft 365 Copilot implementation. 
  4. Look into Purview Premium: Take a look at Purview Premium, Microsoft’s advanced data governance solution, to complement Copilot and enhance your organization’s data management abilities. Purview Premium provides an “end-to-end workflow to preserve, collect, analyze, review, and export content that’s responsive to your organization’s internal and external investigations”, as per Microsoft.  
  5. Lean on the right provider: When selecting a Microsoft partner to assist with Microsoft 365 Copilot implementation, choose wisely. Look for a provider with extensive experience in deploying and managing Microsoft solutions with particular success in data governance and compliance. Remember, the right provider can make all the difference in this journey.  

Now that you are armed with some of the first steps for determining Copilot readiness, let’s cover eight questions to ask a provider to see if they’re really the expert they say they are.  

Top 7 Questions to Ask the Alleged Microsoft 365 Copilot Guru 

1. How long have you been actively working with Microsoft 365 Copilot, and how many projects have you completed using it? 

When it comes to selecting a Microsoft 365 Copilot partner, experience matters. Asking about the provider’s history with Microsoft 365 Copilot and their track record of completed projects gives you valuable insights into their expertise and proficiency with the tool.  

  • A red flag answer might be a provider who has only worked with Microsoft 365 Copilot for a short period, has not completed any substantial projects using it, and even worse, doesn’t even use the tool internally. 
  • A green flag answer would display a provider with a proven track record of success, backed by certifications, training, and hands-on experience with Microsoft 365 Copilot. At Agio, our experts have actively engaged with Microsoft 365 Copilot since its inception, continually testing its evolving features. Furthermore, they regularly participate in training sessions and certification courses to enhance their proficiency with the tool, ensuring they can address any client inquiries effectively. Insights gleaned from these courses are disseminated throughout our organization, ensuring our entire team remains up-to-date with the latest enhancements and updates to Microsoft 365 Copilot. 
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It is crucial to select a provider with a proven track record of using Copilot to deliver successful solutions, as this demonstrates their expertise and ability to use the tool effectively.  

2. Can you provide specific examples of how you successfully implemented Microsoft 365 Copilot? 

This question aims to validate the provider’s practical experience and success in implementing Copilot. 

  • A red flag answer would be a provider who cannot provide concrete examples or details about their Microsoft 365 Copilot implementations.  
  • A green flag answer would highlight specific client projects where Microsoft 365 Copilot was effectively utilized, including details about the challenges addressed, solutions provided, and measurable outcomes achieved.  

In choosing a provider, you must seek a partner who can demonstrate a track record of success with Copilot in real-world scenarios. Therefore, you can see their ability to translate their expertise into tangible, measurable outcomes.  

3. What unique insights or expertise do you bring to the table when it comes to Microsoft 365 Copilot that sets you apart from other MSPs or consultants? 

This question helps gauge if the provider is surpassing industry standards. You seek a provider who exceeds expectations, maximizing the benefits of Copilot. With both you and your provider possessing only basic knowledge, you risk falling behind on the latest features crucial for your firm and teams. 

  • A red flag response may involve generic statements or a lack of concrete examples that differentiate the provider from others in the field. And if they’re spitting back information, you already know through your own research, that sounds the BS alarm even more.  
  • A green flag response would signal specific experiences, specialized training, or innovative approaches that set the provider apart and add value to Microsoft 365 Copilot implementation projects. Additionally, if the provider can identify a feature tailored to a specific use case within your firm, that’s a plus.  

4. Given the recent release of M365 Copilot and its limited availability, how have you managed to stay ahead of the curve in terms of understanding its capabilities and best practices? 

Just like having unique insights, staying ahead of the curve with Microsoft 365 Copilot is crucial as far as implementation goes. The last thing you want – or need – is getting everything set up, just to find out your provider missed a key feature that you know your firm could use. 

  • A red flag response would be an indication of limited knowledge or a lack of proactive measures to understand Microsoft 365 Copilot’s capabilities and best practices despite its recent release. Additionally, if the provider doesn’t have any content they can share with you or get you in contact with an internal expert, be cautious. 
  • A green flag response would demonstrate proactive efforts, such as participation in training programs, engagement with Microsoft resources, and ongoing research to be prepared for Microsoft 365 Copilot implementation. If the provider has articles they had written on Copilot, that’s a good sign as it represents dedication to staying ahead of its advancements. 

5. Beyond regurgitating Microsoft website content, what value-added services or solutions do you offer to clients seeking M365 Copilot readiness and implementation? 

Beyond surface-level information, discovering the value-added services offered by M365 Copilot providers is crucial for selecting the right partner.  

  • A red flag response includes a lack of differentiation from standard services or an inability to articulate specific value-added offerings tailored to Microsoft 365 Copilot readiness. 
  • A green flag response would showcase innovation, customized approaches, or additional support services to provide tangible benefits to clients. Agio developed a robust framework tailored for financial services firms gearing up for a Microsoft 365 Copilot rollout. Our Microsoft 365 Copilot Readiness Assessment is your key to evaluating your infrastructure’s readiness for seamless Copilot implementation. With this service, our experts work with your organization to maximize Copilot’s potential, seamlessly integrating it into your daily operations. 
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Choosing a provider that goes beyond the basics to offer value-added services will drive creativity and innovation within your business framework. 

6. How do you ensure that your team stays updated on the evolving features and functionalities of Microsoft 365 Copilot, considering its dynamic nature and frequent adjustments by Microsoft? 

Inquiring about a provider’s strategies for staying updated on Copilot’s features and functionalities is essential given its dynamic nature.  

  • A red flag response might involve reliance solely on outdated information or a lack of established processes for continuous learning and adaptation. If you’re met with an explanation on how they share Microsoft articles to the org, and that’s it, you may want to keep your options open. 
  • A green flag response would highlight proactive measures such as regular training sessions, subscriptions to Microsoft updates, and participation in community forums to ensure up-to-date knowledge and expertise. At Agio, we adopt a collective effort to stay abreast of Microsoft 365 Copilot. From leveraging the tool to summarize meetings to participating in sessions exploring its latest functionalities, we are committed to staying informed about its evolving features. 

Partnering with a provider committed to ongoing learning and adaptation guarantees that Copilot implementation efforts remain aligned with the latest advancements and best practices.  

7. How do you educate your clients about the potential regulatory implications and risks associated with implementing Microsoft 365 Copilot, and what steps do you take to ensure they fully understand the privacy and security considerations involved? 

Understanding how a provider educates clients about regulatory implications and privacy considerations associated with Copilot is crucial. 

  • A red flag response might involve vague explanations or a lack of clarity on the provider’s approach to educating clients about regulatory risk and privacy considerations.  
  • A green flag response demonstrates a structured approach to client education, including clear communication of regulatory requirements, privacy implications, and steps taken to maintain compliance. A bonus? If the provider has material they can share, events and sessions you can attend, or case studies.  

Choose the MSP that prioritizes client education and transparency regarding regulatory implications and privacy considerations to foster a collaborative and compliant Microsoft 365 Copilot journey.  

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Cut Through the BS 

Don’t just accept a partner’s claims about their Copilot expertise at face value. To make sure you are working with a provider who truly understands and can effectively leverage this complex emerging technology, you must ask these questions to find all those who both talk the talk and genuinely walk the walk. 

Take the bull by the horns and conduct a thorough vetting process to avoid falling victim to empty claims and baseless assertions. Copilot’s potential is immense, but only when it is in the hands of a provider who has demonstrated a deep commitment to understanding its intricacies and applying it to deliver real, measurable results for their clients.  

Do not settle for anything less than a partner who can provide concrete evidence of their Microsoft 365 Copilot expertise. Demand specifics, challenge their assertions, and distinguish between the genuine practitioners from the pretenders. Only then can you be confident that you have found a partner who can truly help you harness the full potential of Copilot while proactively mitigating risks. 

If you’re ready to roll out Microsoft 365 Copilot, get in touch with our experts today and discover how we can evaluate your IT infrastructure and ensure a seamless deployment of Microsoft 365 Copilot.