Charting the Microsoft 365 Copilot Implementation Lifecycle – Part 3: The Deploy Phase

Our previous two posts got us halfway through the four-part journey of Organize, Assess, Deploy and Manage that financial firms should ideally pursue to implement Microsoft’s new 365 Copilot AI assistant. With the initial discovery of the Organize phase and implementation planning from the Assess phase now complete, let’s turn now to the critical Deploy phase – where ECI has mapped out the keys to success as organizations actually roll out Copilot in their enterprise IT systems. 


Deploying Copilot in Enterprise Systems Comes with Challenges

It’s one thing to plan for implementation of a new technology or application, it’s another thing to actually deploy it in your production IT systems, where IT teams encounter unexpected compilations and countless configuration choices. These challenges are even more daunting when the technology happens to be an AI assistant like Copilot, which is designed to take some of the workload off of human analysts.

When deploying an AI assistant, the risks go beyond just a system not functioning; there’s also the risk of dysfunction as the AI assistant takes over processes that were previously done manually. Poor deployment of Copilot can result in a modern version of the classic “garbage in, garbage out” scenario – where the AI assistant may still operate, but do so in a way that creates inefficiencies, errors, knowledge gaps and security issues. 

This can spell trouble in several ways. Just like a poorly trained or misinformed employee, a poorly deployed AI assistant can make mistakes that slow down operations and degrade workflows. And this can negatively impact not just performance but also compliance, since rules by the SEC, GDPR and other regulators are the same regardless of whether a human or AI application is breaking them. 


Key Activities in the Deploy Phase

While the previous Assess phase addressed some of these concerns by clarifying in advance the factors and considerations most likely to affect the implementation – including aligning Copilot with an organization's data loss prevention (DLP) and governance, risk and compliance (GRC) programs – the task of actually deploying Copilot is where this meticulous planning meets reality. 

The Deploy phase is where we apply changes to the production environment – including updating permissions and access protocols, setting up compliance reporting and implementing new metadata tagging through Microsoft’s Purview solution for unified data governance. It’s where hypothetical planning and alignment strategies become real-world configuration and implementation choices – many of which may be novel or unexpected, since Copilot is a brand-new application.

Against this backdrop, ECI is proving to be an invaluable partner to alternative investment firms. As an MSP, our unique combination of deep domain expertise in the financial sector and our Microsoft Gold Partner status pays dividends when it comes to deploying Copilot. That’s because Copilot is, after all, part of Microsoft 365, and a facility with the larger Microsoft environment is essential for proper Copilot deployment. 

At ECI, Microsoft technologies are leveraged in our cloud solutions and services to provide Business Applications via Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise. And we are supporting clients with modernizing their Applications and Infrastructures by moving to Microsoft Azure and utilizing the associated Azure tools, monitoring and more. All of this comes in handy when deploying Copilot, since Copilot works best when it’s fully integrated within the larger Microsoft environment. Learn more about how ECI is helping clients implement and manage Copilot for maximum efficacy and ROI by contacting

Microsoft 365 Copilot

Speak With One Of Our Experts Today

Learn How ECI Can Unlock Real Value For Your Firm.