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7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Office 365

When you implement a trusted cloud solution like Microsoft Office 365 in your business, you are definitely taking a prolific step towards success, enhanced productivity, and accessibility.

Office 365 is a pioneering productivity suite that streamlines the overall business process and promotes a smooth communication flow. Sadly, most of the businesses don’t use the comprehensive range of Office 365 tools and this indeed hinders their productivity and efficiency.

Being a powerful digital platform, Office 365 tools can lower the overall operational costs, boost productivity and at the same time improve the way you work as a team. As per the research done by Skyhigh Networks, a majority of workplaces use only a few Office 365 tools such as Outlook, OneDrive and other basic apps such as PowerPoint, Excel, Word etc. Also, in the companies having a workforce of more than 100 employees, less than one-third of the employees are reported to actively use the entire range of tools offered by Office 365.

In this piece of content, we unveil how businesses can make the most of their investment by leveraging the comprehensive suite of Office 365 tools.

1. Understand all the tools of Office 365 and use it extensively 

Pros – Office 365 encompasses an extensive set of productivity tools that drive business proficiency and development. It makes overall business operations much easier.

Cons: It comes with functional offerings that are often hard to understand. Here are a few tools listed below that can benefit your organization big time.

We tried to summarize it succinctly so that organizations can learn more about these tools and understand which applications are the best suited for their needs.

Communication 

Yammer is a business communication tool that helps the employees attach files, create team chats, use hashtags for making the content more searchable and interact with each other seamlessly. This promotes ease of communication workflow.

Skype for business – It is yet another communication and collaboration tool that lets you interact with employees through mobile or the web.  Using Skype for business, you can add up to 250 people in online meetings.

Skype for Business is backed by enterprise-grade security apps. Employees can send instant messages, initiate audio or video calls and send attachments on-the-go.

MS Teams – is a chat-based workspace that brings people, conversation and content on one platform. It is integrated with the Office applications – OneNote, Delve, Skype for Business, Planner etc.

Summary: Office 365 offers a wide array of chat tools that allow the organizational staff to share information and files on-the-go. It changes the way how a business communicates internally.

Collaboration

Collaboration tools not only simplify the working process within a business but also allow teams and departments to work unitedly on a common project. It brings work, operations, and people in one place.

Exchange Online –is an email and calendaring application designed to store your important emails, calendars, tasks and contacts securely on the cloud.

SharePoint – is a powerful and productive collaboration tool that allows you to automate forms, manage documents and timelines, track tasks, co-author documents and more. Used by millions of businesses, it is used to store, organize, manage and collaborate all facets of your business on one platform.

Summary: Office 365 has substantially changed the way in which organizations collaborate internally. It brings everything on a single platform and makes every task easy and convenient.

Business Intelligence 

Add life to your business data with Power BI. This is a business analytics service that can convert data into interactive reports and visualizations like graphs and charts. Using Power BI, you can connect to your SQL or access database, create dashboards and reports without the help of an IT expert.

Apart from the aforementioned tools, –there is also Microsoft Planner, which helps you manage tasks and Power Apps which allows you to build customs apps.

2. Get your Office 365 apps in one place

Every business has its own intranet that is built as per their specific requirements and needs. With Office 365, you can consolidate all your apps and tools in one place. Instead of toggling between various apps, it is more efficient to have it all in one place; this not only saves time and effort but also provides a unified working experience.

By using SharePoint and other SharePoint based tools, you can have a consolidated view of the entire range of applications offered by Office 365. It helps you to:

– Plug in all the apps on one page so that you can use them without navigating away from SharePoint

– Pull information from different tools to create a dashboard of information Many out-of-the-box SharePoint tools can integrate with Office 365 and other corporate applications.

3. Maximize your disparate applications and systems by using Office 365 

Organizations invest in various business systems and productive platforms to achieve their future endeavors. On a small scale, businesses may require limited resources and tools to meet the needs. However, as the business evolves and grows, these systems may fall short in terms of features and capabilities and may become a hassle to manage. It may be possible that-

– Your business uses a variety of tools to manage sales, CRM, project management, finance, reporting and other departments

– Your documents and files are stored on different platforms

– You are manually consolidating the data and reports that are generated in the organization

In this technological era, consolidating disparate systems and reports is quite an outdated and expensive option. Office 365 tools are designed to consolidate your business apps, data and other documents easily and automatically. SharePoint and SharePoint-based products can bring all these applications together and contribute in easy and smart working. On the other hand, Power BI can bring your data to life and turn it into easy to understand visuals and graphs. Yammer and other communication tools make sure to unite the organization and make communication and file sharing convenient.

4. Use Power Apps

MS PowerApps is designed to help businesses create custom apps that can meet their specific requirements. Without having to write any code, you can build your own customized application that can solve pressing business problems. For example, if you have created an Excel sheet on OneDrive that is accessible to many users, then you can create a custom made tracking application to keep a check on this sheet when you are on-the-go.

Power Apps provide pre-built templates that you can choose from and you have the option of publishing the app for mobile devices or the web. PowerApps is an underutilized tool that is easily accessible.

5. Fully embrace the cloud 

The Cloud is a secure place for your data. There are many Office 365 users who have not completely embraced the cloud and still are hesitant to use it. It goes without saying that Office 365 provides the highest degree of security to your business data. There are many benefits of using the cloud – it not only stores everything on a secured platform but also empowers your team to communicate and collaborate efficiently. This saves time required for finding files, updating computers and maintains your in-house security and infrastructure.

6. Encourage your mobile workforce to use Office 365 

Many organizations around the world rely on virtual teams. These teams are made up of employees who work remotely from different locations, have flexible work from home arrangements and travel frequently. Considering the growing mobile workforce, it has become a priority for companies to meet their needs. It enhances business productivity and employee efficiency.

With the mobile solutions offered by Office 365, your employees can access the important business files, documents, calendars, directories and policies from any device. It allows you to collaborate with employees and clients irrespective of time and distance. Inspire and encourage your staff to use Office 365 mobile solutions for utmost ease and convenience.

7. Makes IT management simple 

With cloud solutions, there is no need to manage IT in-house. Use cloud-based Office 365 and let your business take the advantage of free and automatic updates. This saves on IT expenses, and frees up resources and time to focus on your business’s bottom line.

These are just a few ways that can help you leverage Office 365 extensively. It takes some time and in-depth knowledge to make the most of Office 365, but the time and money spent doing so is well worth it considering all the benefits you reap.

 
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Shivani Shelke is a well-versed content writer who is passionate about writing on a variety of topics such as technology, entrepreneurship, communication,Office 365 Intranet and so on.

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