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Microsoft MVP Warns of Inexperienced Professionals Cashing In on Confusion Around AI and M365 Copilot

The recent surge in interest around artificial intelligence (AI) has triggered a gold rush of sorts, with a new breed of self-proclaimed “experts” flocking to capitalize on the hype. This trend is particularly concerning in the context of Microsoft’s M365 Copilot, a powerful AI-powered tool that’s still in its early stages of adoption.

Key Highlights:

  • Demand for AI expertise outstrips supply, creating fertile ground for opportunists.
  • M365 Copilot’s complexity fuels confusion and potential for misleading claims.
  • Vetting supposed “experts” crucial to avoid wasted resources and failed projects.
  • Inexperienced professionals are jumping on the AI bandwagon, offering dubious solutions and inflating expectations.
  • M365 Copilot’s multifaceted nature and evolving capabilities make it easy for consultants to overpromise and underdeliver.
  • Organizations must be wary of consultants who rely solely on basic web searches and lack hands-on experience.
  • Strant emphasizes the need for rigorous vetting, including requests for proof of knowledge, concrete value propositions, and case studies.

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Loryan Strant, a seasoned Microsoft 365 MVP and product and innovation lead at Rapid Circle, recently issued a stark warning on his blog: “The commoditization of ‘AI’ and M365 Copilot is a veritable gold rush.” He argues that the current market is saturated with individuals lacking genuine expertise, leading to confusion and potential harm for businesses seeking to leverage AI effectively.

Strant isn’t just concerned about protecting his own turf. He genuinely fears that businesses will be misled by empty promises and end up wasting valuable resources on ineffective AI implementations. He points to the “commoditization of ‘AI'” itself as a major culprit. The term has become so ubiquitous that it’s lost its original meaning, making it easy for anyone to slap an “AI” label on any technology and claim expertise.

M365 Copilot exacerbates this issue due to its inherent complexity. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, and its capabilities are constantly evolving. This creates fertile ground for consultants to make grand pronouncements about its potential, often without a deep understanding of its inner workings or best practices.

Strant urges organizations to be extremely cautious when evaluating potential M365 Copilot partners. He recommends asking pointed questions about their specific experience with the tool, requesting concrete examples of successful implementations, and demanding a clear value proposition that goes beyond generic “AI” buzzwords.

The bottom line is this: while AI holds immense potential to revolutionize businesses, the current gold rush mentality is creating a breeding ground for misinformation and opportunism. By approaching AI implementations with a healthy dose of skepticism and a commitment to thorough vetting, organizations can avoid the pitfalls of the “bullsh*t” and unlock the true value of AI-powered tools like M365 Copilot.