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4 Ways Small Businesses Can Leverage Copilot for Microsoft 365

What are some of the key differentiators that can propel small businesses forward? They include efficiency, productivity, and innovation. Microsoft has expanded the availability of one of its most dynamic tools to SMBs. A tool that can be a real game-changer for growth.

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is a powerful new addition to the M365 suite. It was first offered to enterprise customers only. But Copilot is now open to businesses of all sizes. As long as they have Microsoft 365 Business Standard or Business Premium.

Microsoft has positioned Copilot to revolutionize the way SMBs work. This innovative AI tool empowers users to generate creative content. It also streamlines workflows and unlocks new levels of productivity.

Let’s explore the exciting possibilities Copilot unlocks for your growing business.

How Copilot Streamlines Workflows

Copilot leverages the power of large language models (LLMs). LLMs are AI models trained on massive datasets. This enables Copilot to understand natural language and generate contextual responses. It offers intelligent suggestions and content within your Microsoft 365 applications.

Here’s how Copilot translates this technology into real-world benefits for your small business:

Effortless Content Creation

Struggling with writer’s block or repetitive tasks like email writing? Copilot can suggest text responses and complete sentences. It can even draft entire emails based on your initial input.

With just a few guiding prompts, your team can:

  • Craft compelling marketing copy
  • Write concise customer service responses
  • Create dynamic PowerPoint presentations

Enhanced Productivity

Copilot automates repetitive tasks and streamlines workflows by offering intelligent suggestions. This can free up valuable time for your employees. It allows them to focus on more strategic initiatives. As well as high-value projects or core business activities. Imagine automatically generating reports or automating data entry tasks. This unleashes your team’s energy for creative problem-solving and innovation.

Improved Communication and Collaboration

Clear and concise communication is vital for any successful business. Copilot facilitates this by doing things like:

  • Suggesting relevant phrases
  • Correcting grammatical errors
  • Ensuring consistent messaging across different applications

Improved communication fosters better collaboration within teams. This can lead to streamlined project execution and enhanced client interactions.

Reduced Learning Curve for New Technologies

Copilot provides context-aware guidance and suggestions. All while you work with your familiar Microsoft 365 applications. This can significantly reduce the learning curve for new employees. It allows them to become proficient in using the full potential of the suite more quickly. Imagine onboarding new team members with ease. As well as empowering them to contribute meaningfully from day one.

Real-World Applications of Copilot within Your SMB

Copilot’s capabilities extend beyond generic productivity enhancements. Here’s a glimpse into how different roles within your SMB can leverage Copilot:

Marketing and Sales Teams

Generate compelling marketing copy for social media campaigns. Craft tailored sales emails with targeted messaging. Develop engaging presentations with Copilot’s creative text suggestions and language model capabilities.

Customer Service Representatives

Respond to customer inquiries with increased efficiency and accuracy. Use Copilot’s AI-powered suggestions for crafting clear and concise responses. Imagine resolving customer issues faster and fostering a more positive customer experience.

Project Managers

Develop comprehensive project plans. Automate progress reports with a few text prompts. Collaborate seamlessly with team members using Copilot’s intelligent features. Streamline project management. Ensure everyone is on the same page from conception to completion.

Content Creators

Overcome writer’s block and generate fresh ideas for website copy. Teams can leverage Copilot’s help in brainstorming and content creation in many areas. Imagine producing high-quality content consistently. All while keeping modern audiences engaged and driving brand awareness.

Finance and Accounting Teams

Automate data entry tasks and improve data analysis with Copilot’s intelligent features. Generate reports with prompts for enhanced clarity. Imagine no more struggling to create reports. Gain valuable insights from data faster.

Getting Started with Copilot for Microsoft 365

The good news is that Copilot for Microsoft 365 is readily accessible to SMBs. It integrates seamlessly with your existing environment. Here’s how you can empower your team to leverage this powerful tool:

  • Ensure Compatibility: Copilot is currently available for businesses with Microsoft 365 Business Premium or Business Standard.
  • Activate Copilot: Buy the Copilot add-on to your subscription. Then, as needed, contact your IT support team for help using it within your Microsoft 365 apps.
  • Explore and Experiment: Microsoft Copilot offers intuitive features. All within your familiar Microsoft 365 applications. Start experimenting with its capabilities. Discover how it can enhance your workflow and productivity.
  • Invest in Training: Copilot is user-friendly. But you should still consider providing brief training sessions for employees. This helps ensure they understand the tool’s full potential. As well as assists them with leveraging its capabilities effectively.

Improve Your Team’s Use of Microsoft 365

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is not just another software update. It’s a game-changer for small businesses. By embracing this innovative AI tool, you can unlock a new level of efficiency. As well as empower your employees to achieve more.

Need some help from Microsoft 365 experts? Our team can guide you in using this resource to the fullest.

Contact us today to learn more.


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from .

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Introducing the New Microsoft Planner (Everything You Need to Know)

Calendars, task lists, and project planning are important business tools. Many people use Microsoft’s apps to power these processes. Including Planner, Microsoft To Do, and Project for the web.

These tools help keep processes on track and enable task accountability. But they’re separate apps. Switching between apps can be cumbersome. It adds more complexity to a workflow.

On average, employees switch between 22 different apps 350 times per day.

Microsoft is putting a dent in app overload. The company is rolling out a brand-new version of Microsoft Planner in early 2024. It’s packed with exciting features designed to simplify your project management journey.

What apps does the new Planner include?

The new Microsoft Planner combines:

  • The current Planner’s collaboration features
  • The simplicity of Microsoft To Do for task management
  • The capabilities of Microsoft Project for the web
  • The automation of Microsoft Copilot (the company’s AI companion)

The new Planner promises to be a powerful tool for staying organized. As well as boosting collaboration and achieving your goals with more ease.

Unifying Your Workflow: Tasks, Plans & Projects in One Place

Say goodbye to juggling several apps and hello to a streamlined experience. The new Planner goes beyond basic to-do lists. It seamlessly integrates tasks, plans, and projects under one roof.

This means you can manage everything from large to small. Including simple daily tasks to complex multi-phased projects. And do it all within a single, intuitive interface.

You can use the new Microsoft Planner from within Microsoft Teams or via a web browser. Here are some of the exciting things you will be able to do with it.

Enhanced Collaboration: Working Together Made Easy

Collaboration is key in today’s fast-paced world. Working remotely has become the new normal. Meaning tools need to keep people coordinated wherever they are.

The new Planner empowers teams to work together seamlessly. Real-time updates ensure everyone stays on the same page. Features like shared task ownership and comments foster clear communication and efficient collaboration.

AI-Powered Insights: Your Smart Copilot for Success

The new Planner incorporates the power of AI with Microsoft Copilot built in. This intelligent assistant helps you stay on top of your work. It can suggest relevant plans, tasks, and goals based on your needs and context. It can even analyze your progress and suggest adjustments to keep you on track.

Scaling with Your Needs: From Simple Tasks to Enterprise Projects

One size doesn’t fit all. The new Planner understands that. It offers flexibility to cater to both individual needs and complex enterprise projects. Microsoft Planner can adapt to your specific requirements. It’s flexible for use to fill big or small needs. Use it for managing a personal grocery list. Or to plan and deploy a large-scale company transformation.

Pre-Built Templates: Get Started Fast & Save Time

You don’t have to start from “square 1,” unless you want to. Microsoft Planner provides several ready-made templates. You can use these to get started on a new project or goal quickly.

You’ll see templates for things like:

  • Project Management
  • Software Development
  • Sprint Planning
  • Marketing Campaign
  • Commercial Construction
  • Employee Onboarding
  • and more

Here’s a sneak peek at some key features of the new Microsoft Planner 2024:

  • Improved Navigation: A redesigned interface makes finding what you need faster and easier.
  • Enhanced Task Views: It has different views, like grid and board views. These let you customize how you see and organize your tasks.
  • Microsoft App Integration: Planner integrates with many Microsoft tools. Including, Power BI, Teams, Microsoft Viva Goals, Power Automate, and more.
  • Customizable Fields: Add custom fields to tasks. Use them to capture specific information relevant to your project needs.
  • Goal Setting: Define clear goals and track progress visually within your plans.
  • Critical Path: Identify the essential tasks needed to complete your project on time.
  • Improved Search: Find the information you need quickly and easily. The app has powerful search functionality.

Access and Availability

Mark your calendars! The new Planner will be available in preview in early 2024. It will become generally available soon after. Some features will roll out later in the year. You can visit Microsoft’s site to sign up for updates and see a feature roadmap.

The Future of Tasks, Planning & Project Management

The new Microsoft Planner 2024 is an example of a trend we’ve seen in the digital world. Less is more. Meaning, fewer apps to juggle and more streamlined interfaces.

Planner’s powerful features make it an invaluable tool. One that both individuals and teams alike can leverage to streamline workflows. It also has an intuitive interface and AI-powered assistant to drive productivity.

Get Expert Business Software Support & Management

Managing both legacy and new cloud tools can be complex. Features often go underutilized. And security can be a big problem if it’s not done right. Our team of business software experts is here to help you.

Contact us today to schedule a chat.


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How Can You Leverage the New MS Teams Payment App?

Are you a small business owner or a freelancer who offers services online? If so, you might be wondering how to get paid by your customers in a fast and convenient way. You might have tried different payment platforms. But they often require you to switch between different apps or websites. This can be time-consuming and confusing.

There is now another option to streamline the payment process. Microsoft has launched the Teams Payments app. This is a new feature that allows you to request and receive payments from your customers. You do it within Microsoft Teams meetings.

The Teams Payments app is currently available in the United States and Canada. Subscribers to Teams Essentials and Microsoft 365 Business get it at no charge.

How Does the Teams Payment App Work?

The Teams Payments app is simple to use. You can get the app from the Microsoft AppStore. You add it to your Teams account and connect it to your preferred payment service. You can choose from:

  • Stripe
  • PayPal
  • GoDaddy

Once you have set up the app, you can start requesting payments from your customers in Teams meetings.

How Do You Send a Payment Request?

To send a payment request, you just need to open the meeting chat. Then, select the Payments icon from the messaging extensions. Then, you can fill out a simple form. It includes the amount, currency, description, and recipients of your request.

You can send the same request to several people if you want. The app will generate a card that shows the status of each payment, whether it is unpaid or paid.

Meeting chat

Image credit: Microsoft

Your customers will see the same card in their meeting chat. They can click on the Pay Now button to complete their payment. The system will redirect them to the payment service that you have connected to the app. There, they can enter their payment details and confirm their transaction.

Once they have done that, they will see a confirmation message in the chat. You will receive a notification that your payment has been processed.

Payments

Image credit: Microsoft

Benefits of Using the Teams Payment App

The Teams Payments app has many benefits. Both for small businesses and freelancers who offer online services. Here are some of them:

It saves time and hassle.

You don’t need to switch between different apps or websites. You can easily request and receive payments from your customers. You can do everything within Teams meetings. This makes it more convenient and efficient for both parties.

It increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Your customers will appreciate the ease of paying you through Teams meetings. They don’t need to create an account or download an app to pay you. They can complete their transaction in a few clicks right inside the meeting.

It boosts your revenue and cash flow.

You can get paid faster and more securely by using the Teams Payments app. You don’t need to wait for invoices or checks to clear. You can receive your money within minutes of completing a service. Either directly into your bank account or PayPal account.

It enhances your professional image and credibility.

You can show your customers that you are using a reliable and trusted payment platform. One built by a well-known company that has been a technology leader for decades. You can also add a seller policy to your payment requests. Here you can specify your terms and conditions, cancellation policy, refund policy, etc.

It helps you keep track of payments.

Keeping track of payments is crucial for financial management. With the Teams Payments App, you can track transactions in real-time. You’ll receive instant notifications for successful payments. It will help you maintain a comprehensive record of your financial interactions.

It’s seamlessly integrated with Microsoft 365.

The Teams Payments App seamlessly integrates with Microsoft 365. You can leverage the power of Microsoft’s ecosystem. Using it to manage your communications, collaborations, and payments together. No need for more logins or complicated setups – it’s all within one platform.

It increases productivity.

Efficiency is the key to productivity. You reduce the time spent on payment-related tasks by integrating Payments into Teams. This efficiency translates into increased productivity. It allows you and your team to focus on core business activities and driving growth.

The Teams Payments app marks a significant leap in digital business transactions. By leveraging this powerful tool, you’re simplifying payments. You’re also enhancing customer experiences, ensuring data security, and boosting productivity.

We Can Help You Get More Out of Microsoft 365

The Teams Payments app is a great way to simplify and streamline your payment process. It can help you save time, increase customer satisfaction, and boost revenue.

Need help with this or other Microsoft 365 tools? Our experts can work with you to help you make the most out of your Microsoft subscription.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat.


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.