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Microsoft Build 2024: Create custom copilots from SharePoint

Welcome to Microsoft Build 2024! Whether you’ll be joining us live in Seattle or online, get a look at how Microsoft AI innovations can help you unlock opportunities and drive productivity.

Microsoft SharePoint is the platform trusted by countless organizations for storing, managing, and sharing content. In the face of growing content repositories, how do you ensure you’re getting answers based on the most accurate information? How can you share that knowledge with others without overwhelming them? The answer lies in harnessing the power of AI to refine workflows and foster collaboration that’s tailored for your team or organization. This allows you to concentrate on actual work rather than sifting through content to find what you need to accomplish your tasks.

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We’re excited to introduce the ability for anyone to create custom copilots from SharePoint. In just a few clicks, you— whether an admin or business user— can create and share a copilot from SharePoint that’s grounded in the curated, authoritative content you choose. Since you rarely work alone, you can also easily share your copilots with others in Teams chat, email, and more. It’s like a subject matter expert ready to help you, your team, department, or even the whole company while respecting all your existing security settings and permissions.

Every SharePoint site comes with a copilot

Site owners can enable any site to get a built-in copilot, scoped to the content of that site. This copilot is a new way for users to interact with the content on the site and can be shared to other Microsoft 365 apps and experiences.

Imagine you’re on the Marketing team, which has a SharePoint site that stores all the materials for an upcoming product launch— content such as demo videos, spec sheets, pitch decks, and press releases. This copilot for the site gives organizations or groups, like yours, specific and trustworthy responses to questions like, “what is the final decision on the product launch date?”. Because the copilot is scoped to the content of this site, you’ll get the latest, most accurate answer about the project based on your permissions.

If the copilot’s default scope doesn’t work for your site, you— as the site owner— can customize this copilot by changing the content, identity and behavior. You can also choose a copilot that you’ve created through Microsoft Copilot Studio or Visual Studio to be the default copilot for this site.

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Built-in custom copilot for this site

Anyone can create copilots from SharePoint in a few clicks

Beyond only site owner or admins, anyone who has edit permissions on a site (such as a site member) can create a copilot for the site with a few clicks, no coding skills required.

Creating a custom copilot from SharePoint is a simple starting point for users looking to use AI tools to efficiently collaborate for a particular purpose, such as a specific project or topic, or users that want to spend less time looking for information, and more time focused on more meaningful work at hand.

Continuing the scenario above with the marketing site for the product launch, a cross-functional team of 20 people across marketing and engineering are working together with you to launch a new product. You are collaborating together via this SharePoint site that has a document library with the most accurate and up-to-date information.

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Create a custom copilot from a file selection

As a member of this site, select “Create a copilot” and choose the folders or files that you want your copilot scoped to. The copilot will reason over only this content when providing responses.

You can start using this copilot immediately or make lightweight customizations, such as adjusting the identity, sources, and behavior of the copilot.

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Custom copilot is pre-populated with information from the file/folder selection

The copilot has a default folder name, branding, description, sources you’ve selected, and other fields already. You can keep these fields and parameters as-is, or easily update them.

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Customize the identity with a name change

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Customize the grounding knowledge

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Customize the behavior

This newly created custom copilot is now ready to use. It can answer your questions, summarize information, or find files, all based on the selected, authoritative content to give the most current and accurate response available. If you need deeper customizations for your copilot or to automate workflows, launch Copilot Studio directly from SharePoint. 

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Custom copilot with customized name, sources and start prompts

Share your custom copilot with the team

While you can use custom copilots on your own, they’re also shareable with your team, so you can interact with and learn from the same authoritative sources of information. There are a few ways to collaborate and share knowledge using these copilots. With the copilot that will be part of every SharePoint site, these are automatically scoped to the site content. You and your teammates can ask questions in the sidebar chat interface as soon as you visit the site.

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Use the copilot on the SharePoint site

You can easily share this built-in copilot and your own custom copilots with others in the same way you would share a link to content in SharePoint by selecting “Share”.

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Share the copilot

Just like other Microsoft 365 productivity apps, you can select “Copy link” and drop the link to team members in an email or select “Invite” to have an email auto-sent to them. The recipient can open the copilot in SharePoint.

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Copy link or Invite to share

For real-time group collaboration, you can also easily share copilots in Microsoft Teams. You’ll take the same copied link and paste it in a Teams chat, and the copilot becomes part of the chat.

For example, you can share the custom copilot with your core launch team in a Teams group chat, where everyone already interacts with one another in the thread. Your teammate can ask the copilot in this chat, “What is the list of contacts?” This ensures that we can all, together, get up to speed quickly on the latest details of the product launch.

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Drop the link in chat to collaborate with your team

The custom copilot follows existing SharePoint user permissions, so it’s accessible by those who are already permissioned and there’s no risk of oversharing information.

You will also be able to use your custom copilots or ones shared with you in Microsoft Copilot, as they will appear with your recently used copilot extensions.

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ReleCloud Delivery Drone copilot could be used in Microsoft Copilot

Integration with Microsoft Copilot Studio

If you need to expand the content that this copilot is grounded on beyond SharePoint, you can add additional data sources in Copilot Studio with over 1,000 different data connectors. For example, if the launch team needs to add a structured database that maintains customer leads, they can add this source. You can also add actions to automate workflows, such as updating customer lead records and notifying human agents on promising leads.

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Tap “Add advanced customization in Copilot Studio” to launch Copilot Studio

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Continue customization in Copilot Studio

When these advanced customizations are ready, you can publish via Copilot Studio, as usual, so the updated copilot is available across SharePoint, Teams, and Microsoft Copilot for your organization.

Next steps

We can’t wait to see the custom copilots our incredible SharePoint user base will create! Everyone will now be empowered to create, use, and share copilots for better collaboration and knowledge sharing —always with the trusted Microsoft governance capabilities you already have.

Sign up for the private preview today and stay tuned for the public preview coming later this year.

Don’t miss us this week at Microsoft Build in Seattle and online, May 21-23, 2024, to learn more and chat about creating copilots from SharePoint and other AI innovations we’re bringing to our maker community.

KEY01: Opening keynote with Satya Nadella, Kevin Scott, Rajesh Jha, and me.
BRK144: Integrating your bots and Copilot experiences natively into SharePoint and Viva Connections
BRK210: What’s new with Microsoft Copilot Studio
• Expert Meet-up station (Expo Hall, in-person only)

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