Welcome to the Cloud Wars Minute — your daily news and commentary show, guest-hosted today by Kenny Mullican. Each episode provides insights and perspectives around the “reimagination machine” that is the cloud.
This Cloud Wars Minute provides a CIO perspective on Microsoft and its multifaceted approach to generative artificial intelligence (AI) copilots. Microsoft is the #1 vendor on the Cloud Wars Top 10 list.
This episode is sponsored by Acceleration Economy’s “Cloud Wars Top 10 Course,” which explains how Bob Evans builds and updates the Cloud Wars Top 10 ranking, as well as how C-suite executives use the list to inform strategic cloud purchase decisions. The course is available today.
00:37 — Copilots embed generative AI into a workflow, offering real-time assistance that makes tasks smoother and more intuitive. I’m focusing on Microsoft Copilots due to their vast reach and implications for large and small businesses.
01:14 — GitHub Copilot is Microsoft’s most mature copilot. By assisting developers as they code and suggesting or even completing functions based on their input, it makes their work more efficient. Developers say this really helps, with the caveat that sometimes the code may not work or may be wrong.
01:55 — Microsoft 365 Copilot is integrated into Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams. The most revolutionary development is within Teams; after a meeting, you can ask the copilot for key points discussed in the meeting or tasks that need to be assigned.
03:36 — Microsoft applications operate these features within a protected environment, safeguarding your proprietary data in a secure sandbox. That addresses a key point I’ve emphasized about using tools like ChatGPT: you want to put in generic information that wouldn’t necessarily lead back to data that’s private to your company.
04:19 — Windows 11 Copilot brings chat features into the Windows environment; this function is early in development and a work in progress.
04:39 — Dynamics 365 Copilot can automate functions — think CRM and sales data — by creating email drafts or automating marketing campaigns based on data insights. The true power of copilots lies in their ability to redefine productivity. But with many of these in preview stages, a note of caution is appropriate. I advise measured integration into business processes as the tech matures. Latency that can occur with requests to cloud servers can impact the performance and turnaround time of requests.
06:32 — The promise of copilots is that they function right alongside your apps, working alongside you, without requiring you to exit the app to use another AI tool.