Box debuts Microsoft 365 Copilot plugin to help users access business data faster

Box debuts Microsoft 365 Copilot plugin to help users access business data faster

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Box Inc. is rolling out a plugin for Microsoft 365 Copilot, an artificial intelligent assistant that Microsoft Corp. introduced earlier this year.

The plugin debuted this morning alongside a number of other new features. Those features will make documents stored in Box more easily accessible from Microsoft’s Teams collaboration application and the desktop version of Office.

Microsoft 365 Copilot, the main focus of today’s update, is an AI chatbot that made its debut in March. It’s accessible in Teams, Word, Excel and several of the technology giant’s other productivity applications. Workers can use the chatbot to extract information from existing files as well as generate new documents.

Box’s new plugin extends the capabilities of Microsoft 365 Copilot to its cloud-based file storage platform. According to the company, it will reduce the amount of time necessary to extract information from business records.

Using the plugin, workers can launch Microsoft 365 Copilot within the Teams interface and have the chatbot fetch documents stored in Box. The companies say the integration will reduce the need to manually navigate Box folders. For added measure, Microsoft’s chatbot can also generate document summaries within the Teams interface.

When a summary is insufficient, users can have Microsoft 365 Copilot retrieve specific pieces of data from a document. A marketer, for example, could ask the chatbot to fetch the latest change to a spreadsheet that tracks ad campaign performance. Microsoft 365 Copilot can also retrieve multiple pieces of data at once. 

“We recently announced Box AI to combine foundational AI models with content stored in Box tounlock the value of this content,” said Box Chief Product Officer Diego Dugatkin. “Integrating with Microsoft 365 Copilot is a natural extension of our AI strategy, and our existing collaboration will allow joint customers to use Box and Microsoft 365 Copilot together seamlessly.”

Box detailed its Microsoft 365 Copilot plugin today alongside a number of other enhancements. They’re also designed to help users more easily access their files.

The first feature addition focuses on Box Notes, a document editing tool similar to Google Docs that Box offers as part of its platform. Documents created with the tool can contain not only text but also spreadsheet tables, videos and other elements. Customers are now gaining the ability to view and edit Box Notes documents directly in the Teams interface. 

The desktop edition of Microsoft’s Office productivity suite is also a focus of today’s update. The suite’s Version 2302 release, which became available in June, now integrates with a Box feature called coauthoring. The feature allows users to edit a document from Box in a desktop-based Office application and have the changes automatically synced to the cloud.

“Box and Microsoft are both essential parts of this equation, and the enhanced integration between these two platforms allows us to securely and productively collaborate from anywhere,” said Kathryn Dundas, vice president of technology at LPL Financial LLC. “We look forward to the continued interoperability between these two platforms, especially as we see AI become a bigger part of the future of work.”

Image: Box

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