So your company is considering buying Office 365 or perhaps you already have it but are unsure how to utilize it effectively for your specific business needs.
What do you need to do? Well, the key first challenge is to get your employees on board with the fact that the cloud is transforming how we work. The second challenge is to really invest in Office 365 and realise the tremendous value it can provide to your business. And if you still need further convincing then let’s examine 5 ways in which your business can not only maximize business productivity with Office 365, but change how you do business forever. A bold statement? Yes, but hear me out.
1. Set the Example
Let’s face it, people quite often behave like sheep – it’s in our nature to follow. So those who lead within your organization really need to set the example and use the platform. And when that’s done, they should promote it. When that's done they should see the huge value residing within it and if there is still resistance (and there will be as employees don’t like change) then insist on it. A month or two will pass and your workforce will wonder how they lived without it.
Tools like OneDrive for Business (OD4B) and SharePoint (SP) are real game-changers when it comes to internal collaboration. It’s as simple as a user uploading a file to a document library and sharing it with selected other users or groups enabling them to work together on the project, and at the same time if needs be. No more endless email chains or saving multiple versions of a document for every minor edit.
Users can also work securely from any device with browser-based versions of whatever Microsoft app they need and the next time they are online they can simply edit or upload any changes they have made. In short, OD4B and SP will allow users to collaborate anytime, anywhere in any app, on any device with any other user. Flexible or what!
3. Office 2016
Office 2016 is more than the same applications you’ve always been using. It should be viewed in the context of the larger Office 365 infrastructure, and all the expanded connectivity contained therein. Files can be shared quickly and easily to the cloud, and the enhanced cloud integration features should herald an end to the days of users saving files locally and clogging up hard drives with files that are vulnerable to corruption, theft or are simply inaccessible to all but the device user. With a learning curve that is almost flat, apart from finding where your options and settings are located, Office 2016 has the potential for users to work smarter, faster, safer and more in tune with one another than ever before.
If you ever travel on public transport these days you’ll notice that necks are being strained downwards wherever you look. Everyone has a mobile device these days and we are long since past the point that mobile usage of the net has surpassed desktop. So it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that you’d be a fool to overlook the mobile capabilities associated with Office 365 and they are many. Firstly users can access resources from any of their mobile devices as MDM (mobile device management) is included as standard in Office 365. And if you're worried about connectivity or security issues then worry no more as MDM has you covered on those. However, if anything does go wrong you don’t need to seek out the grumpy IT guy anymore as the burden of responsibility is now with the SAAS provider(Microsoft) or their partner (Codec) to fix whatever issue you are experiencing.
5. Skype for Business
Rather than ask what Skype for Business can do for your business it might be more pertinent to ask what it can’t do.
Whether it’s videoconferencing, file-sharing, group chats or instant messaging you can do it all with Skype for Business and the application is versatile enough to fit your specific business needs perfectly. Skype for Business goes far beyond the expectation that it is a simple messaging tool. Did you know you can talk back and forth on your phone or PC via Skype and at the same time make edits on a file as you go, or return to older versions of the document as the need arises. This is just one of the many practical features available with Skype for Business and if you weren’t aware of that feature then you’re not using it properly and you really need to watch the video below: