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Less than a year after Microsoft made its ten-billion-euro investment in OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, the software giant has started to integrate generative AI into its product range in order to support users. Microsoft’s established productivity tools are becoming more intelligent thanks to AI-supported assistants – also known as copilots – that promise to deliver productivity and efficiency gains in numerous areas in your day-to-day life at work. This is especially true in regulated industries where you will find many recurring tasks and large amounts of data. What are the copilots you use now and how do they help you in your day-to-day work as a financial advisor at a bank or as a claims manager at an insurance company? I would like to provide some basic answers and encourage you to consider using AI-supported assistants. I will focus on Copilot for Microsoft 365 and its role in the banking and insurance space as an example in this blog post.

The global hype surrounding generative AI all got started with the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Its combination of chat interfaces and large language models (LLMs) made it possible to ask anything you wanted to know. On our GenAI website you will find everything you need to know to successfully implement GenAI at your company. Microsoft’s major investment in OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, has also led to AI being integrated into well-known products of Microsoft. The company uses the name ‘copilot’ to refer to its AI-supported assistants, which Microsoft now offers for nearly every product it offers to answer questions users may have, create content or execute tasks. The aim is to make our work easier, perform tedious routine tasks for us or inspire us with new topics and ideas.

All organisations worldwide have been able to use the various copilots on offer since 1 November 2023. You can find an overview of the copilots that are currently available in the diagram below:

Overview of the copilots that are currently available at this time

Copilot for Microsoft 365: the AI assistant that delivers gains in productivity and efficiency

Copilot for Microsoft 365 was rolled out and has been tested by 600 companies (including 30 in Germany) since March 2023. The impact it has had on user productivity is massive. According to the latest Microsoft Work Trend Index, 70 per cent of copilot users state that they have become more productive and 68 per cent report that the quality of their work has improved and their creative processes are faster than before. Overall, more than three out of four users (77 per cent) say that they no longer want to do without their copilot. Copilot for Microsoft 365 combines the performance of large language models (LLMs) with Microsoft Graph data (business data) and Microsoft 365 apps. Natural language input (text commands, for example) enables millions of people to increase their productivity at work every day by using Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams and Outlook.

Components of Copilot for Microsoft 365 (own illustration)

Copilot use cases for banks and insurance companies

Copilot for Microsoft 365 can revolutionise day-to-day work in underwriting, claims management, loan processing and financial consulting by bringing together natural language input (questions or commands) with the applications people use every day (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) and the company’s own data and documents. Initial findings and experience working with Microsoft 365 Copilot point to the following potential applications for it:

Claims management

Microsoft Copilot can help insurance companies optimise their claims management processes by generating automated responses to policyholders’ questions or providing real-time information on claims processing, to give two examples. Copilot offers recommendations based on historical data and best practices to speed up claims settlement and improve customer service.

Document assistant

In the financial sector, new, complex documents such as financial reports and contracts are created every day. Copilot can support employees by making text and formatting suggestions in real time, correcting technical terminology and suggesting standard clauses for contracts based on the context, making it your professional co-author when creating and editing documents.

Simple data queries

Copilot provides direct support when analysing and interpreting data. Corporate client consultants, for example, can get the information they are looking for by entering a natural language query and submitting it to Copilot, instead of using complex database queries or a range of different tools as had been the case in the past. For the task ‘Show me the total deposits of my customers from region X in the last quarter, compare this with the previous year and create a forecast for the next two quarters’, Copilot retrieves the required information or shows the bank employee where he or she can find it.

Compliance controlling

Insurance companies, banks and other financial service providers are subject to strict regulations imposed by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) in Germany. Under these regulations, any communications by these companies in whatever form this may take must fulfil the regulatory compliance requirements laid out by BaFin. Microsoft Copilot can help the company meet these requirements by flagging potentially non-compliant terms or information in communications (public statements, internal communications) and notifying an employee that they are not in compliance with the regulations.

Onboarding and training of new employees

New employees usually go through an extensive onboarding process when they join the company in order to become familiar with the bank’s internal processes and work practices as well as the products and services it currently offers. Copilot is the chat-based trainer that helps get new employees off to a good start at the organisation. It accesses the company’s data and documents and provides new staff with quick answers to their questions or recommends experts who can help them out on the specific topic where they might have questions. There is no need to waste time leafing through manuals and documentation, and new employees can make a meaningful contribution to the company’s bottom line much more quickly.

Loan processing

Loan processing involves a complex workflow that requires data-driven decisions, from the time the application is submitted to the time the line of credit is extended. Microsoft Copilot can be used to retrieve the customer’s financial data required to make the loan, provide information on his or her creditworthiness or suggest suitable banking and insurance products. This both simplifies and speeds up the loan approval process.

In addition, Copilot can be integrated into many different Microsoft applications at the bank or insurance company. This creates even more synergies and opens up even more use cases in underwriting, customer service and fraud detection, to give a few examples. There are virtually no limits on what is possible here. The technology is now available, and it will change how we work forever.

adesso – experts in copilot readiness

You need to take a practical approach when it comes time to roll out and deploy copilots at your company in order for the enterprise to succeed. As an experienced Microsoft partner, adesso recommends that you first establish copilot readiness before you get started. By this we mean the targeted review of the databases to be used ( data grounding) and creating a clear role and authorisation concept for the use of copilots. In this way, you can avoid the worst-case scenarios early on in the process, where users might unknowingly access sensitive data that is not intended for them when they submit a query to Copilot. Copilot readiness is essential in a regulated environment in order to achieve the desired gains in productivity and efficiency and to fulfil the regulatory requirements set out by BaFin and in the GDPR when using Copilot.

We at adesso are experts in the integration and optimisation of Microsoft solutions in the regulated banking and insurance space as our customers seek to transform their digital workplace. Let us sit down and discuss how Microsoft Copilot can change the everyday work routine and improve the productivity of your employees and how you at your company can take advantage of the opportunities and potential offered by generative AI in Microsoft products.

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Picture Stephan Jager

Author Stephan Jager

Stephan Jager is a Business Developer in the Line of Business Microsoft at adesso. His focus is on the presales of Microsoft technologies in the finance and insurance industry in the area of conflict between regulation, security and innovation.

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