Webinar Recap | Microsoft 365 + AI | Tap into AI and Slay Productivity Paranoia

Thanks for your interest in “Microsoft 365 + AI | Tap into AI and slay productivity paranoia.” If you were able to join us for the webinar, we sincerely thank you for being there. We hope you had as much fun getting to learn about Microsoft 365 and AI as our speakers did sharing their knowledge with you.  

Didn’t get a chance to catch our session live? We’ve got you covered. 

This session:

The concept of AI can sometimes feel lofty, even otherworldly, but AI is so much more than Meta. Microsoft is leaning into AI, funding billions in R&D, and recently investing in ChatGPT to harness AI’s true powers. But how can you tap into this for your business today? Join us as we walk you through the practical application of AI—we’ll show you how our organization and clients are using AI today to bring more productivity to their teams. Discover how you can unleash artificial intelligence to take care of the mundane, so you can get back to working on the stuff that we humans do best!  

Episode takeaways:

  • Discover what AI opportunities are at your fingertips with Microsoft 365:  
    • ChatGPT, Viva Topics, Microsoft Graph, Power Virtual Agents, AI Builder, and more!  
  • Learn about AI-driven takeaways that will help you and your team: 
    • Increase productivity  
    • Bring visibility to employees’ work   
    • Automate/supplement work using machine learning   
    • Compile data and derive insights to improve work processes   

Key takeaways:

10:10 What is AI?

10:15So a very high-level definition: when software or applications make decisions beyond mathematical or logical computations, that’s artificial intelligence. AI can take many forms and software, and lots of things that we do all the time are currently using AI. When you’re doing online shopping, and there is a personalized shopping recommendation, that’s AI bringing that information into your shopping experience. Spam filters, with email – over time, spam filters have to learn and understand what email might be spam, and that’s using AI. One of our main goals today is to show that Microsoft 365 has been using AI elements for quite a few years.”

 12:50 Microsoft Graph

12:50Microsoft Graph is a Microsoft API developer platform that connects multiple services and devices. It provides a unified programmability model that you can use to access the tremendous amount of data in Microsoft 365, Windows, and Enterprise Mobility + Security.”

13:14 “Microsoft Graph is a great place to start because it’s been around since 2015. At its core, it has AI that’s driving a lot of its data. This is all about compiling data and driving insights. What’s interesting about graph is the underlying technology within M365 that pulls together your M365 data, and it’s then available through a programming model through an API that Microsoft uses that we can tap into as well.”

14:20 “Microsoft Search is driven heavily by graph and if you want to extend search, where you want index completeness across your org, this is all done through these graph connectors and this allows you to just have Search really pull together everything. Once it’s in Graph, more insights can be derived for you by Search itself.”

15:03 “Graph is also helping pull together information around news and documents and people. It’s learning from you how you’re using M365, how you’re using the ecosystem, and attempting to pull together who you’re working with the most. These are the people you may want to talk to, these are the documents that you’ve been using the most. It’s attempting to bring that relevant data to you quicker.”

16:10 Microsoft Syntex

Microsoft Syntex is a Content AI that helps organizations transform and automate content processes. Rather than clicking and sorting through thousands of files, Syntex automatically reads, tags, classifies, summarizes, and translates various types of content in a matter of seconds so that your team can dedicate their efforts elsewhere.   

16:31 “Microsoft Syntex used to be called SharePoint Syntex, and it’s basically a content AI. It’s a knowledge management system that uses intelligent document processing, content AI, and a lot of machine learning to help organize and transform a lot of our data and to help automate the processing of content.”

17:20 “Syntex allow us to create models when we give a learning document, and we’re basically able to say based on this document here’s what that kind of data may look like, connected to entities, and then tie it back to that model. Once we do that, anytime we add a file or a document to that document library Syntex will start working through and will attempt to pull out that data into a knowledge management system.”

18:48 In-context information with Viva Topics

Information workers can use Viva Topics to search for and find information more efficiently. Instead of scouring databases, folders and files to identify information on a topic, Viva Topics is available to provide definitions and explanations for unfamiliar terms. 

19:00 “Viva Topics is included in the Viva subscription, it does cost more money for it, but what it’s doing is using AI to help identify topics within your org.”

19:35 “What’s cool about topics is that once a topic is created and published, it has a topic page, and it pulls together all the information about that topic, the people, their documents. It’s a place where someone could create more, could post more information on that topic, but then that topic is now findable throughout M365. The promise here from Microsoft is, let’s just say something like Project X is a topic – anytime Project X is referenced in context, say in Teams or Outlook or on a SharePoint page and if the viewer has a Viva Topics license, they will get an action item on that topic right away. So as they’re reading it, they don’t have to go open up another window and figure out, what’s this Project X again, who’s involved, and they can go to the topic page and get a lot more information on it. So, AI is helping pull all that together and help surface it in the flow of work.”

20:38 Demo: Graph, Syntex, and Topics

Check out the recording to view the demo. 

30:57 Optimize processes with AI Builder

AI Builder enables your business to use intelligence to automate processes and derive insights from your data in Power Apps and Power Automate. 

31:06 “There are prebuilt AI models that can help optimize business processes, and they can help derive insights from your data into Power Apps and Power Automate. But you can go beyond the prebuilt models and build custom models that can get whatever you need. This is integrated both in Azure AI information and also can use it in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and can be powered using Dataverse.”

31:48 Engage customers with Power Virtual Agents 

With Power Virtual Agents, you can create chatbots without the need for developers. You can build the conversation using Microsoft’s graphical editor, and your bot will be ready to tackle customer questions and requests.  

31:58 “Power Virtual Agents is where you can create chatbots where you give it specific directions and it looks for keywords, where if somebody types those keywords in using natural language, it will come up with the options that people can use. The integration with AI is really around making those decisions versus just A or B, and coming up with suggestions.”

32:43 “One use case is around creating a chatbot on an intranet to allow your team to access resources, or help. Another use case would be around service requests or ticketing systems. Another big use case is around HR self-help information.”

33:09 Demo: AI Builder and Power Virtual Agents  

Check out the recording to view the demo. 

41:20 ChatGPT

ChatGPT is an AI-driven natural language processing tool that allows users to have human-like conversations with it, ask questions and find the solutions to problems when prompted. ChatGPT has many functions that can allow you to work better and more productively. 

41:21 “It’s a natural language processing model. It’s capable of creating any form of written content and can go as far as writing code and complex essays.”

42:06 “It can’t generate new ideas, it can’t create strategies, but I know people have used it to actually say, what are good steps to create a website, what are good steps to create an intranet? It’s going to give you step one, two and three, but it’s not going to give you any kind of thing you have to think about.”

42:53 ChatGPT and Microsoft 

Word on the virtual block is that we should soon be expecting the integration of ChatGPT within Microsoft 365 and SharePoint. But what could this look like? In Microsoft Word, ChatGPT could help users write more accurately and professionally by suggesting alternative words and phrases in real-timeMicrosoft could also integrate ChatGPT in Outlook to create suggested replies to emails or summarize email threads. 

42:54 “We can expect there will be some integration coming pretty soon into Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint. We don’t know what it looks like yet, but there’s going to be some integration.”

43:29 “We might see suggestions show up in things like Word and especially Outlook with suggested replies, or maybe with Excel. If you’re working on something, maybe there would be a suggested formula that would show. But we’re kind of just speculating on that right now.”

44:07 Microsoft Teams Premium

Teams Premium saves you time so you can focus on more important things. It provides useful features such as live translation, meeting notes, and assigned to-do lists for Teams meetings. 

44:13 “Teams Premum was announced a couple of months ago, and it is generally available. This is something that you can now get, and it is $10 per month per user extra.”

46:30 “It has things like intelligent recap, so you get an automatically generated meeting notes with recommended tasks, and personalized highlights.”

46:45 “Take this scenario: you miss a meeting. You get a recording of the meeting, the meeting automatically has notes, to-do lists auto assigned to people that could be adjusted. Then, I get a transcript. I can get live translation for it if I so chose to – all included in Teams Premium. Not only that, but the meeting is then automatically broken up into chapters, and I have automatically tagged when I was mentioned. That’s really important. That, to me, is the value of AI in today’s life.

48:15 Microsoft Teams Premium Screenshots Talk-through

Check out the recording to view the talk-through. 

50:00 Bing & ChatGPT Demo 

Aside from improving the quality of your everyday meetings, Microsoft is also planning to revolutionize how people search for information. Satya has claimed the new integration of ChatGPT with Bing search engine is only the first step towards revolutionizing the future of searchCheck out the recording to view this demo. 

52:55 Key takeaways

53:25 Frontline Workers: “Frontline workers get a lot of value out of Power Virtual Agents. And not only that, but they can get data  not only to people they might be working with but they can get results, they can get insights, get can get things out of Power Virtual Agents that you’ve created for them, so that they have access to that knowledge in a more easily, readily digestable way. They have tech support internally in your org 24/7.

54:05 Information Workers: “Information workers almost can use everything that we’ve talked about. But lets think of some specific ones such as Viva Topics. As you are working with data throughout your org, to have that inline in context in the flow of work access into the important topics, the thing that your organization does, and to be able to go get the data on it, is really huge and helpful.”

54:53 “AI Builder and Syntex – information workers have to work with information to automate and supplement their work and to help automate some of those mundane tasks, so getting the data out can really help people unlock their potential.”

55:15 Managers: “A lot of to me on the management side is about getting insights as to what’s going on, and if you think about from the employee’s perspective, you want to show what it is that you’re doing because of the whole productivity paranoia that’s happening. As a business owner and manager myself, I do take a lot of responsibility in this. When I think someone’s not being productive, a lot of it is that I’m not asking the right questions or not leading properly.”

55:50 “Managers want to be able to understand what’s happening and help bring visibility to the work within their org as well. Think of this as a multi-directional thing and managers want to show what their team is doing up to their leadership and managers, so being able to get the data out is super powerful.

56:29 “Viva Topics and AI builder to help save time and resources. That’s a big one for managers, helping remove a lot of the mundane tasks that can be automated is huge. AI is there – within our orgs. it’s extremely powerful and should only be growing.”

And there you have it! We hope this recap gave you some valuable insights that you can put into practice. Check out the recording for more details! 

Make sure to join us at our next webinar on April 27th, where we’ll show you how to define success, what to track, and how to turn that data into action. 

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