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What is Microsoft Copilot Studio?

19th Jun 2024 | 7 min read

What is Microsoft Copilot Studio?

Since AI exploded onto the scene, it has been proven to bring substantial benefits for business, including improved productivity, reduced costs and advanced automation.

Despite this, many businesses have failed to get properly started with AI, with issues around understanding AI, identifying the best uses and defining the strategy.

Another core obstacle is the fact that many AI tools are one size fits all. This doesn’t account for the different needs and risks facing businesses, including protecting sensitive data.

It also takes time to get AI to understand your processes, data, users and so on, which prolongs your wait to generate value.

But imagine your own AI assistant that’s already tailored to your business. It knows how to automate your process, according to your required steps and objective. It utilises and protects your organisational data. Most importantly, it delivers quick value.

Microsoft Copilot Studio helps you to create these bespoke AI assistants. We delve into Copilot Studio’s capabilities in this blog.


What is Copilot Studio?

Microsoft Copilot Studio is a low-code platform for creating and managing custom copilots. It enables users to design intelligent, connected AI assistants for employees and customers. These copilots are inherently tailored to your business needs and data.

Copilot Studio uses leading conversational AI technologies, working alongside Azure AI Studio and other apps. It leverages a centralised admin centre, giving you one place to view analytics and optimise copilots.

Within Copilot Studio, you can:

  • Create copilots from scratch, like chatbots with internal knowledge and data
  • Customise Copilot for Microsoft 365 to better automate internal processes

Copilot Studio also employs the highest standards of governance, trust and data controls, as per Microsoft’s policy of responsible AI. This is coupled with a user-friendly interface, allowing anyone to create their own AI assistants.

Other benefits of Copilot Studio include:

  • Empower staff: By seamlessly creating and deploying copilots within Copilot Studio, you can empower your employees with advanced capabilities. By automating menial work, you can drive their productivity and give them time to focus on value-adding tasks.
  • Tailored solutions: Custom copilots allow you to design AI that supports specific groups and departments, from customers to employees and partners. You can build copilots that assist different teams across your business, enabling them to benefit from AI experiences and drive your overall performance.
  • Multichannel reach: Copilots built in Copilot Studio can reach users on multiple channels including the likes of Microsoft Teams, internal websites, mobile apps and social channels. This improves accessibility.
  • Control over conversational flow: You have the flexibility to design specific conversational flows for critical topics, aligned to your internal processes. For instance, you can handle account management, authentication and interactions with order management systems following a specific sequence of steps.


Who can create with Copilot Studio?

Anyone can create custom copilots with Copilot Studio. This includes:

  • Non-technical users, thanks to the low-code interface and drag-and-drop functionality. They can start with simple examples, like small chatbots, and explore advanced features as their confidence grows.
  • Developers and IT professionals. Even those comfortable with coding can benefit from Copilot Studio. It offers the flexibility to design intricate conversational flows, integrate APIs and handle complex logic within your copilots for better experiences.

Better yet, users across your business can benefit from custom copilots to streamline their processes, regardless of their department or function.


Custom copilot examples_

Wondering what a custom copilot example could do for your business? Here are some quick examples of what different teams can create in Copilot Studio:

1. Customer service chatbot_

Using Copilot Studio, you can develop AI-powered chatbots to handle customer enquiries. These chatbots can be programmed to answer frequently asked questions, provide product information and even escalate complex issues to human representatives.

For example, a retail company could create a chatbot that assists customers with product queries or order tracking. It frees up time from customer service agents, while enabling customers to get answers fast.


2. HR chatbot_

Another example of a custom chatbot is one to answer HR queries. Using internal data, such as company benefits and policy information, employees can ask questions. They can then get tailored answers, including being directed to internal forms and policies.

It saves employees time searching for the information they need while making sure key HR information is easily accessed.


3. Marketing copilot_

A common challenge for marketing teams is ensuring people using the right assets and terminology across the business. However, it’s possible to overcome this with a marketing copilot which directs people to what they need, such as document templates and logos.

You can also embed tone of voice and brand identity guidelines to educate users and ensure everyone is consistent.


4. Product knowledge bot_

Another common obstacle for businesses is ensuring everyone has up-to-date product knowledge. You can create a chatbot that offers this information, helping users – such as sales teams – to get accurate details.

Using the latest product documentation, you can drive knowledge across your business and allow people to have their questions answered.


These are just some examples of helpful copilots you can create in Copilot Studio – but the possibilities are endless!


How do you build your own Copilot in Copilot Studio?

With Copilot Studio, creating custom AI assistants is easy. Here is how it works:

1. Pick your data_

To create a custom copilot, you must ground it in relevant data. This allows the AI to generate answers based on your internal information.

This data can come from various sources: local files, SharePoint sites, public websites or even your custom backends. The exact source will vary depending on the purpose of the copilot. For example, if it’s for product knowledge questions, you might use your public website’s product pages or technical documentation.


2. Design conversational flows_

Next, design the specific conversational flow you want your copilot to follow. You need to ensure it answers users thoroughly, so think about how they might ask questions or process information.

You have two options for your conversational flows, based on your preference:

  • Visual authoring: Use a visual interface to map out the flow
  • Natural language: Define the flow using natural language


3. Leverage generative AI_

Generative AI allows for new outputs based on your existing data. Any copilots created in Copilot Studio will use large language models to provide intelligent responses.

This means that as users interact with your copilots, they’ll receive clear responses that are tailored to their questions.

You can also create a conversational flow that follows a specific sequence of steps, which can help align the AI to your internal processes.


4. Deploy your Copilot_

Once you’ve finishing designing your copilot, you can deploy it to a test page. This allows you to test content changes in real-time.

If you’re happy with the performance, you can then push it live, whether that be on a website, in an app or within Microsoft teams.


5. Review and optimise_

After deploying a custom copilot, it’s crucial to regular track performance and optimise performance. Copilot Studio gives you a centralised view of analytics so you can gain insight.

With this, you can routinely analyse the performance of your custom copilot and fine-tune it as needed to provide better experiences.


How can you get started with Copilot Studio?

Copilot Studio is available as both a standalone web app and as a discrete app within Teams.

Prices start from £164.40 for 25,000 chatbot messages per month. It’s also available as part of a Microsoft 365 Copilot licence, which is priced from £24.70 per user per month.

You’ll need to explore Copilot Studio to understand how it can provide you the most value. We recommend starting with a simple copilot, experimenting with how it works and experiencing the initial benefits.

You can then scale up. Remember to talk to teams across your business, as this can help you to determine use cases that support their existing processes.

If you’re looking to learn more or get going with Copilot Studio, we can help. We’re using Copilot Studio in our own business, and we’d love to discuss our findings with you.

We can also support your business in AI adoption, including identifying the best use cases for your goals and understanding your AI readiness for a smoother transition.


Get in touch to take your next step.

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