Copilot for Microsoft 365 vs. Copilot Studio: What's the difference?

3 min read
Header_blogpost_M365 Copilot vs Copilot Studio
3 min read

No one likes to be confused. When it comes to the plethora of AI tools at your disposal, it’s not always easy to stay updated with the latest and greatest. For example, do you know the difference between Copilot for Microsoft 365 and Copilot Studio

While these two Microsoft solutions harness the power of AI to enhance productivity and collaboration, they also serve different purposes and cater to different needs. In this blog post, we'll explore the key differences between these two AI solutions and how Rencore Governance can help organizations effectively govern and manage their use. 

What is Copilot for Microsoft 365? 

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is an AI-powered assistant integrated into Microsoft 365 applications. By using natural language processing, it helps users interact more effectively with their Office applications.  
For many business users, Office applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams are an inherent part of daily operations. Reports, emails, presentations, video calls – these are the tasks at the heart of every business. Copilot is there to boost efficiency and productivity in these apps; generating content and insights with short prompts and the click of a button.  

Key features 

Integrate with Microsoft 365 applications

By embedding AI capabilities into Office applications, Copilot assists users in drafting documents, generating insights from data, and automating routine tasks. This boosts the user experience by providing AI-driven suggestions and automation to everyday tasks that are essential towards meeting long-term goals.

Supercharge productivity

From generating text and creating presentations to summarizing emails and analyzing data, Copilot significantly reduces the time spent on routine tasks. This allows users to focus on higher-value work. In fact, according to a report, 70% of Copilot for Microsoft 365 users said they became more productive after using it. 

Enhance collaboration

Collaboration is at the heart of modern work environments. Copilot significantly enhances collaborative efforts by providing intelligent suggestions and automating repetitive processes. This fosters better collaboration among team members, whether they are in the office or working remotely. 

Benefits for users 

Increase efficiency

Automating routine tasks leads to substantial time savings. And remember, time is money. Employees can waste up to 40% of their time on manual tasks. Think of where those extra hours could be spent. For example, within Outlook, Copilot aids in email management by summarizing long email threads; suggesting responses and automating meeting scheduling. This reduces the time spent on managing communications and helps maintain better organization and productivity. 

Access comprehensive data insights

Data-driven decisions are imperative in today’s world. Having visibility of advanced analytics, and data processing capabilities, are key drivers. But so is making sense of your data. In Excel, for instance, Copilot can handle complex data tasks, from cleaning data to creating pivot tables and charts. It can even provide narrative explanations of data trends, which is invaluable for long-term strategic decisions by senior stakeholders. 

Improve document quality

Maintaining quality and consistency across documents is not easy. Copilot, however, can lend a hand. For example, in Word, Copilot assists with drafting documents, offering real-time suggestions for grammar, style, and content. It can help generate entire sections of text based on prompts, making it easier to create comprehensive reports, proposals, and other documents. Plus, Copilot can learn the tone of voice and best practices based on prompts – leading to generated text that sounds just like you. 

Democratize AI in the workplace

Not every employee is a technical expert, and Copilot knows that. Anyone, no matter what their skillset, can easily use Copilot to type in prompts, generate results, and enhance their productivity. The interface is simple to navigate, and users can keep adjusting their prompts with ease until they get the content that they want. 

What is Copilot Studio?  

Part of the Microsoft Power Platform, Copilot Studio incorporates Virtual Agents, expanding the capabilities for developing low/no code solutions. This makes it an accessible and versatile option for businesses looking to leverage AI for various tasks and workflows.  

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Not every organization has the resources or budget to invest in coders for comprehensive solutions. With Copilot Studio, they can now make their resources go further by taking the burden off IT and empowering business users and power users to create the solutions they need to get their jobs done. 
Copilot Studio enables business to avoid this pitfall and empower their teams to build solutions easily with no coding knowledge. 

Core capabilities 

Build custom AI assistants

One of the primary strengths of Copilot Studio is its ability to help organizations build AI assistants tailored to their unique requirements. From automating repetitive tasks like data entry and scheduling to creating AI assistants for specialized functions like customer service and HR management, Copilot Studio enhances operational efficiency and productivity. 

Empower teams with low/no code development

The feature is designed to be user-friendly, allowing individuals without extensive coding knowledge to create powerful AI tools. This democratization of AI development makes it accessible to a broader range of users within organizations; and saves on investing in more subscription platforms and more resources. 

Advantages and impact 

  • Address specific business needs: Custom copilots can help businesses overcome key challenges that are affecting their operations. From customer service via chatbots to complex workflows, manual tasks and more, Copilot Studio can bring efficiency to where it’s needed most. 

  • Drive scalability: As business needs evolve, custom AI assistants can be modified and scaled accordingly. They can be easily updated to reflect new processes, regulations, or business objectives, ensuring they remain relevant and effective.

  • Enhance innovation: Copilot Studio fosters a culture of innovation by enabling custom development of AI solutions. This empowerment leads to continuous improvement and encourages creative problem-solving within the organization. 

  • Integrate with existing systems: Copilot Studio provides robust integration capabilities, allowing AI assistants to work seamlessly with existing systems and applications in an organization. 

Three governance challenges you need to prepare for 

The adoption of Copilot for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Copilot Studio introduces several governance challenges. Each of these tools is very easy to use, but that can present issues with oversight and compliance.

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Organizations must address the following to ensure responsible, secure, and compliant use of these AI tools: 

Control and compliance 

Ensuring that AI tools are used responsibly and in compliance with regulatory requirements is critical to avoid legal repercussions and maintain organizational integrity. Conducting regular audits helps to identify any deviations from established policies and regulations. Meanwhile, implementing policies that outline acceptable use, data handling practices, and compliance requirements is beneficial to educating employees and ensuring adherence. 


Protecting sensitive data from unauthorized access and potential breaches is paramount when deploying AI solutions. Organizations must ensure that AI tools process data in accordance with privacy laws and internal policies, preventing data leaks and unauthorized access. Implementing stringent access controls helps limit who can create, modify, and use AI assistants. 


Maintaining visibility over the creation and use of AI assistants is key to preventing misuse or unintended consequences. Real-time monitoring can help identify potential security threats or misuse of AI tools early. Most importantly, establishing a governance framework that defines who is responsible for monitoring AI usage assists in managing compliance and addresses any issues that arise. 

Why Rencore Governance is the solution 

Rencore Governance is a comprehensive solution for governing both Copilot for Microsoft 365 and Copilot Studio. Here’s what it can do for both AI tools: 

Copilot for Microsoft 365 

  • Prevent internal oversharing: For Copilot to deliver on enhancing creativity and productivity, it needs to access content across your Microsoft 365 tenant. However, this access can sometimes lead to the risk of oversharing sensitive information. Rencore Governance detects and highlights areas where too much information is being shared inappropriately. This keeps critical data secure and only accessible to the right people. 

  • Stay clutter-free: With Copilot integrated into various Microsoft 365 apps, it's more important than ever to keep your online workspace organized and clutter-free. Rencore Governance identifies unused or abandoned resources and automates lifecycle management; managing the creation, use, and deletion of resources over time.

  • Monitor license costs and usage: Using Copilot means you'll have additional costs on top of your existing Microsoft 365 licenses. Rencore Governance helps you keep track of and manage your Microsoft Copilot and Microsoft 365 licenses, ensuring you only pay for what you actually use. 

  • Make sure everyone follows the rules: Managing the use of Copilot in your Microsoft 365 environment can be very complex. Rencore Governance automates governance processes to ensure guidelines are followed, keeps you informed with regular reports, and fixes problems automatically. 

Microsoft Copilot Studio (In Closed Preview)

Copilot_Studio_Overview_Dashboard (3)-1

  • Prohibit information and data oversharing: With Copilot Studio integrated into Teams, creating and deploying custom copilots has become very easy. However, this can lead to potential issues with sharing too much information internally. Rencore Governance identifies and resolves instances of data and information oversharing by scanning for custom copilots that use public websites or are shared publicly within Teams.  

  • Monitor Copilot Studio inventory: Copilot Studio allows you to create and manage independent agents that can automate complex business processes at the click of a button. Rencore Governance keeps track of all customized copilots, monitoring their creation, usage, and modifications, automatically managing any issues. 

  • Declutter custom Copilots: Having many custom AI assistants can lead to clutter and inefficiency. Rencore Governance manages the lifecycle of custom copilots, ensuring that only active and necessary ones are maintained. 

  • Automate governance processes: Managing governance processes tasks manually can be overwhelming. Rencore Governance automates several important governance tasks, making sure rules are applied consistently across the board and minimizing mistakes that could lead to rule violations. 

Choose the Copilot that works for you 

Copilot for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Copilot Studio can serve distinct purposes within your organization's AI strategy. While Copilot for Microsoft 365 enhances productivity and collaboration through integration with Office applications, Copilot Studio empowers your organization to create custom AI assistants tailored to your specific needs. 
Looking to adopt and integrate these AI solutions into your operations? Rencore Governance offers a critical solution that ensures compliance, security, and operational efficiency. Meanwhile, we recommend you download our latest whitepaper about the best practices to govern Copilot and learn how to start governing Copilot from the beginning. 

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