Unlock productivity with Jira Cloud plugin for Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 - Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program
Jan 30,2024

Unlock productivity with Jira Cloud plugin for Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365

A worker smiling at her desk with computer code on the monitor

There’s little doubt that AI is transforming the way we work across entire enterprise processes and the day-to-day digital experiences of employees. But what about the business value it represents?

According to a recent global study from IDC, organizations are quickly realizing rapid return on investment and significant increases to customer satisfaction, productivity, and market share that results from AI integration—especially when coupled with 40 percent of organizations reporting implementation times of less than six months and 92 percent of AI deployments taking 12 months or less.*

Source: *IDC Infographic, sponsored by Microsoft, The Business Opportunity of AI, IDC #US51315823, November 2023.

Microsoft Copilot is now available, bringing AI capabilities to Microsoft Teams and the broader Microsoft ecosystem. Independent software vendors (ISVs) using Copilot for Microsoft 365 can capitalize on this opportunity to start or grow their business by choosing to extend Copilot to their own Teams apps, utilize a third-party plugin, or create their own customized Copilot experience for their specific needs.

One partner who is realizing the business opportunity that Copilot for Microsoft 365 brings is Atlassian. Their product suite—including Confluence, Trello, Jira, and Atlas—focuses on improving productivity and collaboration. Atlassian company leaders saw the ease with which Copilot enables extensibility and multi-app orchestration to make their project management tools for software development even faster and easier to use.

The Atlassian agile software development app for Teams, Jira Cloud, already consolidates the capabilities of multiple tools into a single app experience for clearer communication and project management. As part of the Microsoft Copilot Early Access Program, Atlassian built enhancements to its existing apps, allowing them to serve as plugins, and added new capabilities using Microsoft Graph connectors. These upgrades empower users to seamlessly track tasks, resolve issues, and manage projects in their flow of work.

In this post, I’ll look at how the Jira plugin takes advantage of Copilot’s functionality to enhance the user experience by reducing context-switching and vastly speeding up common tasks, as well as providing insight into how Atlassian developed it and how it may evolve. I’ll also offer resources for how partners can opt into the public preview to get started on your own plugins and help your customers become AI-powered organizations.

Enhancing user productivity with the Jira plugin and Copilot

Available today, the Jira plugin for Copilot uses Teams message extensions in tandem with Microsoft Graph connectors to seamlessly connect data and systems—and even perform actions—with simple prompts in natural language. Creating plugins from Teams message extensions allows Copilot to interact with the Jira app and search for information in external sources. Graph connectors incorporate an organization’s external data into Microsoft Graph to enhance Jira’s knowledge layer. You can see a brief but exciting example below of how you can prompt Copilot to search for, display, and manage open Jira tickets, view assignments, and request summaries of weekly action items, all within a Teams chat. With a more detailed prompt, you could also have Copilot draft an email to communicate the actions you’ve taken.

A GIF shows Copilot providing a list of action items for the week, including a link to a Jira Cloud ticket, which the user can edit.

With Copilot, Atlassian was able to customize the interaction between external applications and knowledge bases to make issue discovery, tracking, and resolution easy and fast.

Articles touting AI-enabled efficiency are common, but what may be less commonly understood is just how simple Copilot makes it for organizations to leverage AI and unlock the type of productivity showcased in that Jira example.

The development process of the Jira plugin

With support from Microsoft, the enhancements to the Jira plugin and connector took just under eight weeks to develop through a process Atlassian described as “easy” and “fun.” They anticipate it could be completed much faster now that Copilot for Microsoft 365 is generally available. Beyond Teams, users will also be able to access and use the Jira plugin wherever Copilot for Microsoft 365 is available.

That’s because we’ve designed Copilot for extensibility from the start. The development of new AI-powered plugins to delight and impress users should be easy, and the end results are solutions that help you differentiate, innovate more quickly, and grow your business.

“AI is here to stay and will transform how we work,” says Suzie Prince, Head of DevOps Solutions at Atlassian. “We see our Atlassian Copilot integrations in Teams enabling a seamless combination of project management, information finding, ideation, scheduling, and reporting, freeing users to tackle more high-value work.”

The growth opportunities of plugins

Beyond the benefits to users, Atlassian sees the use of plugins as an avenue to organic growth. They plan to analyze early customer insights and requests from the Jira plugin to determine what new functionality to build next—and they have the lead time to analyze, react, and even pivot to best meet those end user needs due to the rapid pace of development and deployment for the initial plugin. That’s not only a great way to help future-proof solutions against greater customer expectations for AI integration, but also a means to grow use cases and therefore the customer base.

“Copilot helps users get more out of Jira’s project management capabilities while using Teams, and this is just one potential avenue by which we believe we can increase value for all of our users,” says Suzie Prince.

The future of AI integration

The window to integrate AI early as a competitive advantage remains wide open. As the AI ecosystem evolves to allow for easier and cheaper integration, analysts expect a tidal wave of adoption. Of over 2,100 enterprises surveyed, IDC found 71 percent of respondents are currently using AI tools in their organization, with 22 percent planning to do so within the next 12 months. This monumental shift represents quite the growth opportunity for organizations able to pioneer novel use cases for their customers.

When asked whether Atlassian sees the integration with Copilot as a key value-add, Prince says, “We estimate creating plugins for Copilot can take as little as four weeks, which many organizations can accomplish easily. Evolving your app integrations and plugins to power advanced applications of AI can be a key differentiator for customers evaluating your product.”

I found this answer insightful and useful as a guide for organizations also considering how to build plugins and Graph connectors. The business benefits are both clear and accessible, but it’s what you’ll build on this foundation that will define your place in the era of AI.

Learn more about extending Copilot and helping your customers harness AI

Partners can read our recent blog post about how to capitalize on the expanded opportunity to serve customers with Copilot for Microsoft 365 and review these resources for more information on Copilot, Teams apps, and Microsoft support:    

Eager to explore what Jira Cloud can do for your project management and software development? Learn more about how you can utilize the Jira Cloud app for Teams and explore its new plugin for Copilot, if available to your organization.

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