Microsoft Previews Copilots for Viva Engage and Power BI

Microsoft this week released new Copilot generative artificial intelligence (AI) previews, this time for Viva Engage and for Power BI.

The previews come on top of a new Copilot product release, Copilot Pro, aimed at consumer users, that also was announced this week.

Copilot in Viva Engage Preview
Copilot in Viva Engage is now available as a public preview release, Microsoft announced on Wednesday.

Viva Engage is Microsoft's social networking-like application used for organizational collaborations. It was commercially released about 1.5 years ago as part of the Viva Suite "employee experience platform" product offering, where various apps surface through the Microsoft Teams collaboration service. Viva Engage has a "Storyline" LinkedIn-like capability for discovering personal information, as well as a "Stories" feature for sharing quick videos or image-based posts. Viva Engage replaced Microsoft's other social networking app, the Yammer Communities app.

The Copilot generative AI addition to Viva Engage, now at preview, mostly seems to be an aid for discovering organizational collaborations and improving personal communications. Users provide Copilot with prompts to that end, or the app will suggest prompts, based on user behaviors. While that sounds simple, the service has lots of inputs and outputs, with calls to the large language model used for generative AI, as well as a summarization service. Microsoft illustrated the flow in this document.

IT pros with the Global Admin privileges will have to activate Copilot in Viva Engage, if wanted, via the Viva Engage Admin Center portal. It gets activated for "all users in the tenant with a premium license," the document explained. However, some controls will be added later when Copilot in Viva Engage reaches general availability.

Here's how the document put it:

When Copilot is generally available in 2024, admins will be able to control Copilot for users or groups and set different policies for user groups. Additional controls for AI summarization will enable the same.

The preview of Copilot in Viva Engage will require organizations to have a "Viva Suite or Communications & Communities license, or a trial version of one of these," the document added. Microsoft Teams also must be in so-called "native mode" to use the preview. Microsoft previously explained native mode as meaning that the app complies with the organizational boundaries followed by other Microsoft 365 apps.

Currently, the Copilot in Viva Engage preview is just fully supported in the English language, with "partial support for all other Viva Engage supported languages," per the announcement.

Copilot in Power BI Preview
Copilot in Power BI is now available as a preview release to organizations with "Premium/Fabric capacity," Microsoft announced this week.

Organizations can use Copilot in Power BI to create reports based on data, along with charts or graphs. To manage it, IT pros can create "security groups" for data access, which sets up Copilot in Power BI to be "tailored to the needs of different groups within your organization." Currently, if an organization's data is located outside of the United States or France, this preview will be disabled by default. However, IT pros can change a setting to permit access, the announcement explained.

The preview of Copilot in Power BI is just one of the generative AI tools in Copilot in Fabric, which is also at the preview stage. Copilot in Fabric needs to be enabled by an IT department to be available, Microsoft explained in this document. There's no free trial.

"All customers with a paid Fabric capacity (F64 or higher) or Power BI Premium capacity (P1 or higher) have access to the Copilot preview," the document explained.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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