Copilot for Microsoft 365: expanded partner opportunity
Within our expansive portfolio, AI intersects with virtually every product, industry, and solution area, and we anticipate that it will bring about a fundamental shift in every software category, unlocking a new era of productivity growth. Our commitment is to empower partners to harness the potential of this innovation for the benefit of customers worldwide, assisting them in navigating through this emerging technological landscape.
Since launching Copilot for Microsoft 365 for enterprise customers in November, partners have been supporting customers to define, activate, and deliver their AI strategy. Building on this momentum, we are taking the next step, expanding access to more customers, and creating more opportunities for the partners who serve those customers.
Today, we are announcing that as of January 16, 2024, Copilot for Microsoft 365 is generally available across all sales channels including Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) new commerce.
- Commercial customers with Microsoft 365 E3/E5, Office 365 E3/E5, and Microsoft 365 Business Standard/Business Premium prerequisite base SKUs will be able to purchase the Copilot for Microsoft 365 add-on SKU across all sales channels – CSP, EA, MCA-E, EAS, and direct from Microsoft online.
- Education customers with Microsoft 365 A3/A5, and Office 365 A3/A5 will be able to purchase through EES.
- We are removing the minimum seat purchase requirement for Copilot for Microsoft 365 across all channels and segments; however, customers must have a product license of one of the prerequisite base SKUs for each seat of Copilot for Microsoft 365 they purchase.
- To help every customer get AI-ready, Office 365 E3 and E5 licenses will include Semantic Index for Copilot. Semantic Index for Copilot is critical to getting relevant, actionable responses to prompts in Microsoft 365 Copilot.
- Partners can refer to the announcement in Partner Center (available January 16) for more information on how they can transact Microsoft 365 Copilot today.
Copilot is everyone’s opportunity
The demand for Copilot presents a meaningful opportunity for partners to help customers, regardless of their size, to become AI-powered organizations.
Here is what some of our partners are saying:
“As the world of work evolves, we are at the forefront to harness the power of generative AI through Microsoft 365 Copilot. Including Copilot in the CSP program is an advancement that promises to unlock unprecedented productivity across entire organizations. This integration is not just about staying ahead, it redefines how every Microsoft customer, regardless of size or industry, can leverage AI to be more effective. We’re seeing first-hand that the demand for Copilot is not confined to the enterprise space. Small and medium-sized businesses and SMCs all know the transformative potential of Copilot and our pipelines are filling with customers eager to capitalize on its capabilities.”
– Melissa Mulholland, CEO of Crayon
“We’re delighted with the launch of Copilot for CSP. It means we can offer organizations across sectors and sizes additional services and end-to-end support to give them a more assured transition to AI. Companies will now be able to harness the power of Copilot to deliver incredible customer and people experiences, all while knowing that the right security and governance policies are in place. In this new chapter of a successful and longstanding partnership, we’re excited to be working with Microsoft to unleash the potential of our joint customers.”
– Andrew Caprara, President & CEO of SoftChoice
“As a leader in digital workplace and Azure services and an early adopter of cutting-edge technologies, we’re experiencing a surge of customer interest in Copilot for Microsoft 365. This enthusiasm is coupled with a keen desire for guidance on maximizing the value of technology. With Microsoft’s support through comprehensive bootcamps and a wealth of learning resources, we are not just adapting to AI advancements but are at the forefront, winning projects across the globe, and guiding our customers through a well-informed Copilot implementation journey.”
– Brian Duffy, CEO of SoftwareOne
“The expansion of Microsoft Copilot to cloud solution providers is an important milestone to support the 625% increase in resellers who say they offer or plan to offer AI solutions, according to the annual TD SYNNEX Direction of Technology Report. At TD SYNNEX, we continue to lead the way in empowering partners across the channel to capitalize on AI opportunities, providing the tools, training, and support they need to deliver great outcomes with technology.”
– Rich Hume, CEO of TD SYNNEX
Next steps: what you can do today
The first step is to introduce your customers to Microsoft Copilot. Copilot with commercial data protection is available at no additional cost to all Entra ID users. The Copilot adoption starter kit and the Copilot for Microsoft 365 partner page provide helpful guidance and resources to use with customers and explain the difference between Microsoft Copilot and Copilot for Microsoft 365.
Next is ensuring your customers are eligible for Copilot for Microsoft 365 by getting them onto the prerequisite base SKUs. Keep in mind that Microsoft 365 offers comprehensive security and management features across identities, endpoints, information protection, and threat protection, which are crucial for a secure AI rollout.
Additionally, there are great new resources and training offerings to get AI ready and build your Copilot for Microsoft 365 practice and sales pipeline. This is your chance to expand your business portfolio to include AI advisory, data governance, user adoption and change management services customers can leverage to benefit from Copilot for Microsoft 365.
If you are not using Copilot internally, now is the time. Embracing Copilot not only enhances your development capabilities but also allows you to share the value of your experience with customers. It reinforces your commitment to innovation and excellence, setting you apart in the competitive Microsoft partner landscape.
For more details on this milestone announcement, read the blog by Jared Spataro, CVP, Modern Work & Business Applications.
Copilot for Microsoft 365 is a major opportunity for partners in this new era of AI. To help you get started on defining your strategy, developing your skills, and operationalizing your sales engine, I recommend you follow these steps:
- Build your practice and develop your customer offerings. Visit the AI-Powered Future of Work site for guidance and resources to help you define your strategy, develop your skills, and prepare to go to market.
- Learn more about the Copilot for Microsoft 365 services and solution opportunities.
- Help your technical and sales teams build their Copilot for Microsoft 365 skills by signing up for a Microsoft 365 Product Bootcamp to build foundational skills and the upcoming CSP Masters Sales and Technical Bootcamps to learn about how to build a successful practice, land your first Copilot for Microsoft 365 sale, and manage and deploy your first Copilot for Microsoft 365 customer in CSP.
- Tap into key marketing resources, including the new “Era of AI” marketing campaign in a box, and a suite of ready-to-go marketing assets, designed for whether you are looking for a ready-to share marketing campaign in a box or want to customize your own demand-gen marketing campaign.
- Join our Copilot for Microsoft 365 CSP Acceleration Moment on January 18th, where Microsoft leaders will share more about the Copilot for Microsoft 365 partner opportunity and what comes next: 9AM PST Option | 5PM PST Option
- Start using Microsoft 365 Lighthouse. Today we are also announcing new GTM experiences to support partners in driving successful renewals and sales of Copilot for M365, while making Lighthouse more accessible with insights and signals you need to drive impact. For more details read the Lighthouse blog.
- Stay connected and join the Cloud Service Provider partners discussion board and/or the Copilot for Microsoft 365 Partner Community.
The path to success involves more than just selling a new solution; it’s about business transformation, responsible AI use, and delivering value through high-value scenarios. Explore our advisory, readiness, deployment, adoption, and change management resources to elevate your Copilot for Microsoft 365 practice.
We are excited to have partners contribute to this milestone moment that will help redefine the future of work with AI.