At Microsoft Ignite 2023, we’re excited to announce Microsoft Copilot Studio, a low-code tool to customize Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 and build standalone copilots. Copilot Studio is included in Copilot for Microsoft 365 and brings together a set of powerful conversational capabilities—from custom GPTs, to generative AI plugins, to manual topics—allowing you to:
- Easily customize Copilot for Microsoft 365 with your own enterprise scenarios.
- Quickly build, test, and publish standalone copilots and custom GPTs.
- Manage and secure your customizations and standalone copilots with the right access, data, user controls, and analytics.
Copilot Studio exposes a full end-to-end lifecycle for customizations and standalone copilots within a single pane of glass—you can build, deploy, analyze, and manage all from within the same web experience. And since it’s a software as a service (SaaS), everything you create is live instantly.
Built on the foundations of Power Virtual Agents (and other Microsoft Power Platform technologies) and designed to meet the needs of both IT professionals and makers, Copilot Studio integrates with Microsoft Azure OpenAI Studio, Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Bot Service, and other Microsoft conversational AI technologies.
Copilot Studio is available today, and the integration with Copilot for Microsoft 365 is now available in public preview—get started with Copilot Studio.
Customizing Copilot for Microsoft 365
New data out today shows early users of Copilot for Microsoft 365 are more productive, creative, and fulfilled.1 Customers also want to be able to customize Copilot for specific enterprise scenarios and connect it to their systems of record—from customer relationship management (CRM) to enterprise resource planning (ERP) to HR—enabling Copilot to answer questions like, “What is my vacation balance?” or “Do I have any expenses to submit?”
Copilot Studio makes it simple and fast to build and publish a plugin directly to Copilot for Microsoft 365 using a drag-and-drop low-code approach that includes the logic and data connectivity to answer questions based on your business data and processes.
With the intuitive graphical builder, you can connect to your backend APIs and actions, create custom GPTs, build generative responses over your own enterprise knowledge—from your files, to SharePoint, to websites—and expose all of these capabilities into Copilot with a few clicks. In scenarios where tight business control is needed, you can even supplement these generative responses with your own custom, manually created topic flows through the graphical builder.
Makers can import or create new plugins from existing platform components including data sources, connectors, flows, AI prompts, and custom topics. With more than 1,100 prebuilt connectors, like SAP, Workday, and ServiceNow, organizations can easily connect to all their business data. And when you need to connect a data source that doesn’t have a prebuilt connector, no problem—it’s easy to build your own.
We will also make it easy to seamlessly integrate OpenAI’s services, and soon makers will be able to build their own custom GPTs right within Copilot Studio. OpenAI’s GPTs provide a new way for anyone to create a tailored version of ChatGPT that is more helpful for specific tasks.
Building your own standalone custom copilot
In addition to being able to customize Copilot for Microsoft 365, IT can also create and publish standalone custom copilots for your organization. These can be role and function specific, such as an IT support copilot, or a copilot to help your sales teams complete RFPs.
You can use the low-code graphical interface or natural language to build your copilot—and Copilot Studio will help you iteratively refine the conversation design. The product offers a host of features to streamline solution development, including collaborative commenting, graphical multi-authoring, and side-by-side coding views.
Copilot Studio offers several advanced features to enhance responses using generative AI, including responses over refined datasets, dynamically chained plugins, generative answers, prompt building, and prompt customization.
For example, “generative answers” enables multi-turn chat over diverse datasets—from files, to SharePoint sites, to websites, to data in your own custom backends. “Generative actions” also enables dynamically chained plugins and calls to key business systems to complete user asks. These features allow makers to dynamically generate multi-turn answers and dialogues that are relevant and engaging for users, allowing them to easily customize the copilot’s responses and behavior according to their preferences and business requirements.
Standalone copilots can be seamlessly published to internal and external websites, Microsoft Teams, mobile apps, and many more channels. Whether you want a copilot on your SharePoint to answer HR questions, or a copilot to help direct external customers on your public website and find the right product to suit their requirements, you can create and publish with ease using Copilot Studio.
Managing your copilots with one integrated platform
Copilot Studio comes with governance and control features that enable IT to centrally monitor usage and analytics. The integrated admin center also offers full visibility of both Copilot for Microsoft 365 customizations and standalone copilots. IT has full visibility and control across the lifecycle with the built-in analytics dashboard. And admins can control maker and user access, secure data using company-specific policies, and manage environments all within the admin center.
Get started with Microsoft Copilot Studio
To learn more about Microsoft Copilot Studio and how it can transform your organization’s productivity, visit the Copilot Studio website or sign up for our free trial today.
If you’re a professional developer, you can learn more about building standalone copilots and customizing Microsoft Copilot with Azure AI Studio. Microsoft Copilot Studio is already integrated with Azure OpenAI Studio and will continue to deepen that integration.