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Three months with Copilot for M365

Softcat has trialled Copilot across several teams over the last three months - here’s what we’ve learnt so far

Software Licensing Technology adoption

Reading emails
Bradley Howe headshot

Bradley Howe

Microsoft Modern Work Technologist

For the past three months, Copilot has been our trusty assistant on emails, Teams, and our, documents, helping us work smarter and faster. To set the scene, Softcat created a 50-strong test group for Copilot for M365, humorously called the Copilot… Pilot. This group were the champions of Copilot tasked with sharing our learnings and pitfalls, to support Softcat’s future ambitions with Copilot.

We tested Copilot within our C-suite (CEO, CTO, CCO, CIO etc.), Marketing department, Sales department, Specialist Sales teams, Advisory and Technologist divisions, team leaders and IT. We did this on purpose to understand our own use cases - this we found, is the best way to learn how your organisation can get the most out of Copilot for M365.

We also encouraged our teams to ask themselves, what are the processes that Copilot can streamline? For Sales for example, using Copilot in Teams and Outlook to take notes and structure follow-up emails has been successful. In fact, our sellers with Copilot for M365 have been our biggest adopters.

Copilot is my open-minded, personal soundboard

In my work life, change has been happening gradually and looking back over the past three months, there are still more changes to make in what, how, and when I work. Occasionally, I still forget to turn on Copilot in Teams when a meeting begins!

One thing I do well but could do better with is getting the right message across to the right people. I’m enthusiastic with Microsoft but not everyone needs the detail. With Copilot in Word, I can write out what I’d like to say, and then ask Copilot to help me rewrite it. In real time, this helps when learning how to write more concise emails and messages, with Copilot as my coach. My working habits are all new – Copilot is my open-minded, personal soundboard. When I have questions or would like to bounce ideas around, Copilot is there! Unapologetically approaching Copilot to purposefully fill gaps in my knowledge or a plan I’m building has become a natural part of my working day.

I’ve also never been faster at catching up after annual leave or a day of meetings. Copilot in Outlook and Copilot in Teams gets me caught right up on email threads and Teams chats - I can’t go back to no Copilot! Copilot for M365 helps me utilise the resources I have access to and it generates goals that haven’t been considered, that I can then transform into detailed plans.

What does Copilot not do?

There are two races here. The race to use Copilot first. And the race to use Copilot properly!

We can be confident in the knowledge that Copilot cannot do our jobs for us. Instead, Copilot can be used to question our documents and data to develop our learning – alongside us users questioning Copilot back, and demanding the bar be set high with the output it provides.

Copilot in Teams, by default (at time of writing), does not start when you begin a meeting. Transcription has to be enabled within the meeting for Copilot in Teams to function both during the meeting and post-meeting. In the meeting options, you can disable transcription as a requirement for Copilot to function, however it prevents post-meeting engagements with Copilot. It’s a double-edged sword. Copilot in Excel is still in preview, again at time of writing.

And finally, Copilot can promote lazy behaviour too. I’ve seen prompts from a number of users asking Copilot to “change the font size”, when the font size button right in front of them is faster than asking Copilot.

Overall, this is a journey. At Softcat we talk about training, security, governance, compliance, risk management and change management. Whilst immediate productivity gains are there, they are personal, just like your organisation is unique. I’ve never seen two organisations deploy Microsoft Teams exactly the same way, and Copilot will be the same.

Get started now with support from Softcat

You’re not alone in thinking “where do I begin with Copilot?”. If you’d like to know how prepared your organisation is for Copilot for Microsoft 365, Softcat’s Microsoft 365 Security Assessment is your square one! Additionally with the arrival of Copilot for M365 on CSP (Cloud Solution Provider Program) with no purchase minimum, we see organisations adopting around five licenses. To really see the benefits of Copilot for Microsoft 365, we recommend licensing a number of potential champions or pioneers within your organisation. This way you’ll find numerous use cases, this improves your realisation for ROI and learn faster. 25 licenses are a good start, but we’ve seen higher levels of development within organisations who have purchased more licenses, and they’re still only dipping their toes at this point.

For more information, please reach out to your Softcat Account Manager, or check out our shiny, new dedicated Copilot landing page on