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Softchoice is building the transformation roadmap with Copilot

Generative AI is changing the way we work. Tools like Copilot are unlocking creativity, improving productivity and driving better business outcomes across organizations. A new report from Microsoft, conducted by Accenture shows generative AI can create seismic productivity benefits and help organizations gain the competitive advantage they need to succeed in today’s AI era. By streamlining tasks and spurring new innovative solutions, these tools can help us discover new possibilities, optimize our efficiency and accelerate our growth.

Softchoice is a Canadian company that has long recognized the promise of AI. A leading software- and cloud-focused IT solutions provider with more than 2,000 employees across the U.S. and Canada, Softchoice equips organizations to be agile and innovative, and people to be engaged, connected and creative at work.

Earlier this year, Softchoice went deeper into its own transformation journey, embracing generative AI tools at scale, for the benefit of both employees and customers. The organization implemented Copilot for Microsoft 365, designed to empower productivity and enable organizations to stay ahead in the digital transformation race. For Softchoice, embracing advanced gen AI was about leading by example and demonstrating how these powerful tools can create impactful outcomes for their customers, supported by firsthand experience and data.

Early on in our AI journey, we recognized the value of conversational AI tools and made sure to guide our team members to use these tools in a safe and secure way. Implementing Copilot for Softchoice employees was a natural extension of that. When it was released, we expanded our AI policy to allow our team to use these tools to transform their work in new ways, while ensuring they had the understanding, support and guidance needed through regular training sessions and feedback channels for success. – Matt Vasil, director of emerging technologies at Softchoice

To deploy Copilot effectively, Softchoice adopted a user-centric approach that involved examining their workforce as a whole and identifying the main skills and tasks where Copilot could benefit. As a result, they developed five key personas: the Seller who establishes and nurtures relationships with long term business and corporate clients; the Delivery Agent who analyzes complex problems; the Content Creator who develops content strategies; the Analyst who extracts and manages insights; and the People Manager who cultivates team collaboration and aims to bring out the best in each person across the organization. Across these personas, Softchoice enlisted more than 50 employees to use Copilot for three weeks for different use cases, to gain insights and share feedback on their experiences.

Their pilot was a resounding success. Softchoice found they cut down the time needed to make presentations by 62%, lowered time spent on developing eLearning modules by 70%, decreased review time on bid proposals by 50% and reduced time summarizing meetings and next steps by 75%.

However, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. What may have been the biggest realization was the human impact of introducing these tools for their team, the ah-ha moments their team discovered and the newfound insight and understanding that will carry on in their future work.

Amy Hansen, the “People Manager”

Amy Hansen has been with Softchoice for more than four years, overseeing customer success and advisory services and helping clients realize the value of their technology investments. Her team guides customers through technology implementation, adoption and achieving positive outcomes. Through the lens of her people manager-persona, Amy shares that using Copilot boosted employee engagement by freeing up time from administrative tasks and allowing time to focus on more complex activities that bring value to the customer.

Doug Vaz, the “Delivery Agent”

As a Customer Success Manager at Softchoice and an innovative thinker, Doug Vaz helps customers solve their current problems with technology. He says that Copilot is not just another AI tool, but one that can make a big difference in digital productivity.

Geoff Whalley, the “Seller”

And going back to Softchoice’s initial reason for adopting Gen AI, is the opportunity to provide first-hand accounts of its benefits for its customers through direct experience. Geoff Whalley, customer solutions lead says that using Copilot in client meetings for simple summaries has generated curiosity from customers and sparked further conversations about its value for their organizations.

Softchoice’s experience with Copilot vividly demonstrates how useful AI can be used to augment human ingenuity, creating a workforce that’s not only more efficient and effective, but that can spend more time on the things that matter to both employees and customers. To learn more about how organizations like Softchoice are embracing AI to transform productivity and offer new benefits to customers, visit Microsoft: AI in Action.