On this episode of The Six Five – On The Road, hosts Daniel Newman and Patrick Moorhead welcome Microsoft’s Colette Stallbaumer, General Manager, Modern Work Marketing for a conversation on the GA release of Microsoft 365 Copilot, harnessing the power of Generative AI responsibly, and unlocking productivity with Copilot during the Microsoft Event in NYC.
Their discussion covers:
- Microsoft 365 Copilot’s general availability release, coming November 1st
- The business value and use cases of Microsoft 365 Copilot
- Microsoft’s ability to help their commercial customers harness the power of Generative AI safely and unlock productivity in a secure way
- Microsoft’s plans to expand 365 Copilot to consumers and SMB
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Patrick Moorhead: The Six Five is live here in New York City at Microsoft’s AI event. As you can tell, a lot of excitement is going on. Microsoft brought out multiple AI tools, not just for consumers, but also for businesses. Daniel, here with my co-host. How are you my friend?
Daniel Newman: It’s great, Pat. It’s been a big year for AI. It’s been a big year. Microsoft’s been in the lead for a lot of this year. Whether it’s been Enterprise, Consumer or really the stitching that brings those things together, we are seeing a continuous run of innovation and exciting news. And the reaction from the audience today said so much.
Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, it totally did. And what I’m super excited about is I like to parse things into fads and trends. And generative AI is an absolute trend, but it’s also cool, but it just changes almost everything. And like I said in the run-up, not only for consumers, but also for businesses. And with that, I’d like to introduce Colette. How are you?
Colette Stallbaumer: I’m good. I’m good. Thank you for having me on the show.
Patrick Moorhead: Congratulations. Welcome to The Six Five.
Colette Stallbaumer: Thank you very much.
Daniel Newman: Yeah, what a great day. I can tell you from the first time, whether it was on an analyst preview call or there was some publicity that came out around 365 and Copilot, I was dying to try it.
Patrick Moorhead: It was literally one of those must use things.
Daniel Newman: Yes. I never want to build a PowerPoint by myself again. I want a Copilot to do that.
Colette Stallbaumer: Of course you do.
Daniel Newman: But in seriousness, whether it was helping to write texts, whether it was how we are able to build our presentations, I think a lot of people have been waiting for this, Colette. And today the company was able to really on an accelerated timeline, but finally let the world know. November 1st. Here it comes. Anybody that Wants it can have it. This was a big moment for our customers, for your partners, or for investors. Talk a little bit about what’s driving this moment, the excitement, the business value, and why today was such an exciting moment for you at Microsoft.
Colette Stallbaumer: Yes. I mean, we’re moving fast but responsibly. Right, on this whole AI journey. And so yeah, we started an early access program in July and we started with 20 customers, expanded to 600 customers, and we’re talking to those customers every day. And working with them and understanding what they’re learning as they’re using Microsoft 365 Copilot in their organizations. And so yeah, we’re excited to move to make it generally available to enterprise customers on November one.
Daniel Newman: I love that you’re moving quickly. And all the Advice I’ve been giving to Microsoft, I think you paraphrased quite well, which is let’s responsibly move quickly. And that’s important not just for consumers, but for your constituents on the business side. And in fact, I had the real honor of speaking with Satya today and I even asked him, “Hey, the Cloud’s been around for 14 years, but 75% of the data is still on parameter or on a device.” So there’s a lot of discussion and we get a lot of questions as analysts on data privacy and data security. And I’m curious, what have you learned over the past few Months? And by the way, Microsoft at its core is a business company. So these questions about data security and privacy are not new. What’s the feedback you’re getting? What are you doing to assure businesses that their data is protected, that they want to be protected? And here’s the kicker, the data that they want activated upon is activated upon.
Colette Stallbaumer: Yes. Yeah, I mean I think it’s right up there with the number one questions we’re getting from customers on Microsoft 365 Copilot all up. And I think what is great about the way our approach that we’ve taken to this is that really Microsoft 365 Copilot respects all of the enterprise grades: security, compliance, privacy, identity, responsible AI that we’ve been building on for years. And so I think customers are really glad to know that it works just like everything else. And their Microsoft 365 enterprise tenant. It all starts with the tenant and users and groups, permissions, all those things that it has set up. That’s how Copilot works in your enterprise. And so that I think is very reassuring to enterprise customers looking to put this technology into the hands of their employees.
Daniel Newman: I love the fact you don’t have to create a new security genre or regime or tool that’s an additive. They can literally plug into what they have with Microsoft today.
Colette Stallbaumer: That’s right.
Daniel Newman: That the right people have the right access to the right data. Those who shouldn’t have access to it don’t.
Colette Stallbaumer: Correct.
Daniel Newman: Love that.
Colette Stallbaumer: Correct.
Patrick Moorhead: So, it’s very interesting to look at this inflection between productivity and efficiency. When people saw these new tools and Copilots come out, people were going, “Well, can we get the first reaction?” Remember there were some companies that came out and said, “AI is going to enable us to cut 10% or 50% of our workforce.” And you know how poorly that was reacted to in the market. And so I always say, is it all about one 10th or 10 x? And I feel like this moment is really about 10 XC or growth or more productivity. I heard you talk about it in the analyst Q and A. Satya talked about it in the analyst Q and A, but this is something that is really teetering on the lines of getting productivity, staying Secure, Driving business forward.
You mentioned earlier you’re having a lot of conversations. What are customers telling you about productivity gains and how are you able to help quantify as I’m imagining that’s going to be a big part of getting scale, is when customers are coming out and saying, “Look, we’re 27% more efficient in our marketing department. We’re 50% faster to respond in customer service.”
Colette Stallbaumer: So here’s the good news. I love what you said about 10 X. I mean, the customers in our early access program that we’re talking to, really the questions we’re getting are really about how can I help my employees be more empowered in their role today? Feel more fulfilled? Are they more motivated in their work? Are they energized? So they really are first and foremost focused on helping their people do more, not just a more is more way, but right?
Patrick Moorhead: More. Exactly.
Colette Stallbaumer: And then of course, you do get the efficiency side of things as well. And a lot of those conversations are really in the business process space. So, we want to give, there’s going to be a Copilot for every employee, that’s going to be Microsoft 365 Copilot. That helps every employee get a headstart on whatever it is they’re doing and how much time can be reclaimed each week through processing email faster or more efficient meetings or getting the two minutes of insight out of a 60-minute meeting that I wasn’t able to attend.
Patrick Moorhead: Love that feature.
Colette Stallbaumer: Yeah, exactly. A lot of people do. And then across every business function, we are getting those questions as well, how will we make sales more efficient, operations, finance, et cetera? I think it’s both empowering everyone and also looking for those efficiency gains.
Patrick Moorhead: So, I love all those arguments. And 30 years ago we had the same arguments on going from COBOL to more structured and easier languages, which we didn’t need programmers anymore. And then IDEs came and then we’re still not going to need any more programmers anymore. And then the citizen program, but we still don’t have enough programmers. So, this multiplicative awesome effect of technology on the positive front.
Daniel Newman: Let’s shift gears a little bit here. So you do modern work, but surprise, as we’ve learned and matured, consumers actually get work done too and they want to be productive. And all workers are consumers. But there was a little bit of, “Hey, we’re going to separate these.” Can you talk a little bit about broadening Copilot and 365 to both the office, well, not even the office worker. The business worker, and the people at home?
Colette Stallbaumer: Yes. Yeah. I mean, I think that’s one of the big things we really unveiled today is our vision for how we believe that everyone will have a Copilot. It will be your Copilot across your whole life, right? Work and life. And then of course, as soon as I say that, you get the enterprise customer questions of like, “Wait a minute, what does this mean for security and all those things I care a heck of a lot about?” And so I think as we realize this vision, we will be very conscious of how we do this in a way that enterprise customers are comfortable with, right? First and foremost.
And so Satya talked a little bit about, I believe the way we’re thinking about this is you’ll have a Copilot for your whole life, but that Copilot will have special skills depending on you and your job and your priorities and what you need. Microsoft 365 Copilot is the general Copilot for every employee. But if you are a sales professional, you will need special skills for that. And when you’re signed in with your work account, you’ll be able to invoke the Microsoft 365 Copilot skills that are treating the data inside your company in the right way. And so that’s work we still have to do. How do we help every customer understand that framework? But that’s how, that’s the vision.
Daniel Newman: It’ll be really interesting to see this kind of continuum. So you started with a rollout to, would you say about 600 larger enterprise customers? We talked a little bit about consumers, and then somewhere in between, there’s also the SMB, which, I have to imagine, does comprise a large percentage of Microsoft’s customer base because there’s just so many of them. So, while it’s easier to land lots of seats or lots of consumption in a big enterprise, there’s millions of small businesses and they all have to be looking at this, Colette. We can, because these are the companies that don’t have the people. We Don’t have a PR department to write a press release.
Colette Stallbaumer: That’s right.
Daniel Newman: We don’t have a big marketing team to do a cut sheet or a product spec sheet. And all of a sudden you go, “Wow, we know what our product is. We’ve got this document or a drawing somewhere, a napkin that we sketched this.” What are you seeing? Just kind of about that bridge? Are you seeing these small businesses now as you’re moving towards GA for November 1 GA, more small businesses being really strong proof of concepts and adoption cases?
Colette Stallbaumer: So, the other thing we announced today was that we are expanding the early access program to a select group of small business customers and consumers. And so we are. We definitely see what you’re talking about. I think, yeah, if you’re a small business owner and I’ve been one myself, you get to wear all the hats. And so that’s…
Patrick Moorhead: Here we go.
Colette Stallbaumer: That’s right. And so I think when we talk about Copilot giving people superpowers, who needs those more perhaps than a small business where maybe you don’t have all those skill sets? Maybe you’re not a data analyst, maybe you’re not the best PowerPoint designer. Copilot is going to, I think, really help in the small business arena so that they can focus on the things that they uniquely need to do, what they need to focus on, right? What’s their growth strategy for their business? And so I think we see a lot of opportunity there, and again, moving as quickly and responsibly as we can to put it in the hands of more customers. And then I’m sure we’ll learn a lot from those customers too.
Patrick Moorhead: So, as Industry analysts, right, it’s our job not just to say N equals one. This is what I think, this is what I feel for me. But, when you start talking about small businesses, and Dan and I both run small businesses, I am super excited to start using it. I am part of the early adopter program now.
I’ve been on the road for five weeks, but getting back next week and I’m going to dive right in with my team and going to be using that because I want to use Copilot for my business as a way to grow my business, to do what Dan talked about. I don’t have a PR department, I don’t have the resources at hand, but I want to deliver those types of capabilities. And this really gets back to probably 12 years ago when I started my business, when I didn’t need to set up an email server. I didn’t need to set up a data server and I took pretty much everything out of SaaS. So that’s the type of force multiplier and growth that I think we’re talking about on a market level. And I’m super excited about it.
Colette Stallbaumer: Awesome. We are too.
Daniel Newman: Colette, I want the one that allows me to go on vacation. Is there a Copilot that gives me time off or forces me to block my calendar?
Patrick Moorhead: Exactly.
Daniel Newman: But in all seriousness, it’s been a lot of fun talking to you, Colette. Thank you. Congratulations on the GA announcement.
Colette Stallbaumer: Thank you.
Daniel Newman: You’ve been moving very fast. But, we do appreciate the responsibility. We do look with a scrutinous eye. That’s what our job is as an analyst. But it’s been very encouraging to hear from you, from your leadership. Yusef, Jared, of course, Satya. And congrats again and let’s have you back soon.
Colette Stallbaumer: Thank you very much. Thank you. It was great to be here.
Patrick Moorhead: Appreciate that.
Colette Stallbaumer: Thanks a lot.
Daniel Newman: All right, everybody. We’re here in New York City at Microsoft’s AI event. I wanted to say it was top secret. It was secret-ish.
Patrick Moorhead: The first one was.
Daniel Newman: But there were so many announcements. It was an action packed day. Check out all of our Six Five videos here from the event. And of course, check out all of our Six Five videos all the time because they’re great. But hit that subscribe button. We appreciate you joining our community here. We’ll see you all soon. Bye-bye now.