How to Identify Copilot Bullsh*t

A person fighting through a dense crowd of people trying to sell them Microsoft Copilot consulting services, as origami, created by Microsoft Designer
A person fighting through a dense crowd of people trying to sell them Microsoft Copilot consulting services, as origami

Copilot is here, and Copilot is everywhere. Or copilot. It depends on the context. (But definitely not CoPilot, Co-pilot, or variations thereof.)

Beyond being pedantic about product naming, spelling, and capitalisation of letters – what exactly is the Copilot bullsh*t that I’m referring to?

Is it Microsoft, and their desire to attach Copilot to every single app, product, service, and licence?


It’s the Microsoft partners.

It’s the content creators – IT professionals, corporate bloggers, and in some cases, even MVPs.

What am I calling BS on?

Their expertise and knowledge in the area of “Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365” (which is the new name for what was previously called “Microsoft 365 Copilot” – not to be confused with “Microsoft Copilot”, which is the new name for Bing Chat).

BS #1: amount of experience

You see, the problem is that up until Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 (right, I’m going to call it M365 Copilot for brevity) became publicly available in November it was only available to a very small number of customers, and by extension a small amount of Microsoft partners.

Fortunately, with my work we had early access to it both by extension of one our customers who was in the Early Access Program, as well as in our own environment. However, the product has already changed and adjusted a number of times throughout our limited exposure period, some things are clear and some things are still a dark art.

Therefore, it is most likely anyone who says they’ve been using it for a while, has not.

So if you’re a Microsoft customer and talking to a partner about M365 Copilot – ask them how long they’ve actually had their hands on it.

BS #2: product access

Beyond the fact that the product has barely rolled off the shelves, is the fact that the product is damn expensive and carries a minimum purchase quantity. We’re talking a minimum of 300 licences – which amounts to USD ~109k.

Many Microsoft partners, IT professionals, and those calling themselves experts, do not work for organisations that meet the minimum seat count, nor are prepared to spend the hefty investment.

I’ve been seeing many blog posts, webinars, conference sessions, and other content about Copilot readiness. Unfortunately for many, they are simply regurgitating Microsoft website content and not actually bringing anything unique to the table.


What’s my point?

There’s a saying in IT (and I’m sure many other industries too) that as a consultant you only need to be 1 page ahead of the customer. I’ve always hated that saying, because it’s flat-out deception.

In taking this stance, “professionals” are effectively comfortable with deceiving the customer about their level of knowledge – and in some cases this can lead to disastrous results such as data privacy breaches. And in the scenario where organisations are giving “AI” access to their content and information, it’s an incredibly dangerous thing to do.

I want to be clear here: I’m not saying that only my employer can help customers because of our experience, access to, and knowledge of M365 Copilot. That would also be BS.

What I am saying, is that if you are looking for a partner or consultant to help you with M365 Copilot in your organisation – challenge them to prove their knowledge and experience. Challenge them to show unique value that goes over and above what is publicly available with a basic web search.

Right now, the commoditisation of “AI” and M365 Copilot is a veritable gold rush.

Just make sure that you’re not being taken for a ride by someone who has read slightly further than you have.

Also published on Medium.

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