IBM Consulting bought into Microsoft's Copilot – now it'll help customers do the same

It's called Copilot Runway, not run away

IBM Consulting has boarded the Microsoft Copilot bandwagon with Copilot Runway, a service aimed at assisting businesses to integrate their own AI assistants into their workflows.

The Big Blue division has already bought into Copilot – it purchased Copilot for Microsoft 365 for its practitioners – and is keen to inflict the AI-powered wizardry on its customers.

Microsoft unveiled Copilot Studio at the end of 2023 as a way for businesses to create custom Copilots that work with their own processes and data.

A custom Copilot can be pointed at an organization's data and given guidance on conversation flow and responses (for example, where there might be legal or regulatory concerns). Well over a thousand data connectors are available to access information in systems such as Salesforce, Workday, and others.

IBM Consulting's approach involves three distinct paths: the Copilot Runway Adoption Framework, the Copilot Catalyst, and pre-built custom Copilots.

The former helps organizations deploy Copilots at scale and prioritizes use cases by return on investment, while Catalyst is an accelerator for building and deploying Copilots. Examples of pre-built custom Copilots include a Procurement and Finance Contract Copilot to extract insights from contracts, a Customer Service and Field Service Copilot to give agents access to self-service options, and an Employee Experience Copilot "designed to enhance employee engagement."

IBM Consulting did not say if the latter would be handy for persuading employees to line up for voluntary redundancy.

According to IBM Consulting: "Generative AI is not only generating significant revenue for tech companies, but it's also yielding tangible benefits."

Which will be music to Microsoft's ears and those of other tech companies faced with investors wondering when all the AI investment might start paying off. Meta was pounded in the markets after admitting that it might be a while yet until those tangible benefits made their presence felt. Microsoft's Jared Spataro was similarly circumspect during a discussion with business leaders earlier in 2024 before extolling the virtues of the technology this week with Microsoft's newly released Work Trend Index.

As well as equipping its practitioners with Copilot for Microsoft 365, IBM Consulting has also set up its first IBM-Microsoft Experience Zone in Bangalore, India, "a dedicated space where clients can explore how generative AI, hybrid cloud and other Microsoft products and technologies can help them accelerate their business transformation journeys and gain a strategic advantage."

We've asked Big Blue for further info. ®

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