GTB IT Solutions

Coming soon: Your daily briefing email from Cortana

July 15th, 2020

As Microsoft prepares to ship it's daily briefing email from Cortana, GTB let's you know to expect it and to contact us if you want it turned off for your business/practice. We also point to this as indication of how AI is becoming more widespread. You might want to "watch this space" if you think this type of technology can work for you and your business/practice.

Daily briefing email arriving soon

If you are on Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) Exchange Online email and your language is English, then the daily briefing email from Cortana will be turned on for your business sometime between early August and late September 2020. By default, you and your staff will start to receive it.

Microsoft hope that this AI-driven feature will help you to work better, and we suggest it could be useful depending upon how you work. If you don't like it, your and your team can individually unsubscribe, or, you can ask us to turn it off for your entire company.

What it is it for?

Quoting from Microsoft:

"The Briefing email helps you stay in control of your calendar and be intentional about your day. Within the first two hours of your workday (as set up in Outlook), you’ll get an email about any relevant items to help you better prepare for the day ahead, including:

  • Outstanding commitments, requests, and follow-ups to and from other collaborators in email that might have fallen through the cracks.

  • Documents related to today’s meetings that you might want to review beforehand.

  • Suggested focus time you can schedule to help get independent work done."

To read more, check out the briefing email overview.

This is not the only feature being rolled out under the Cortana banner, for example you can read more in this recent article - Making it easier to stay caught up with Cortana in Microsoft 365.

What does GTB think?

You may find it helpful, or creepy - or both. An Artificial Intelligence reads all your emails (told you it could be creepy) and works out all the promises you’ve made (such as “I will send you” or “I will meet you”), and checks your calendar for upcoming meetings and outstanding tasks as well as protecting time for independent work.

As a Microsoft Silver Partner, we have been trialling this daily email for several weeks. Sorry, Microsoft, but this is not likely to be for GTB, at least not yet. Because we work in our own industry specific software, our work comes through that software and it's a distraction to get the extra emails which then have to be checked. Our Service Coordinator commented "I turned it off on day 2. I would have done it on day 1, but I was too busy!" Our technical Director will stay subscribed "It's sort of useful, a bit weird, but I can see where it is heading."

Whatever you think of this, you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be many more AI-driven features to come. And when combined with tools such as Teams, the days of your apps wanting to help you are well and truly arriving.

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