Microsoft 365 Business is the new name in town, and includes Office 365, Windows 10 along with Enterprise Mobility + Security. Whether you have a full subscription at the Business or Enterprise level, this article will focus on one of the first investments, Office 365.
Alone, all of the technology included in Office 365 is intimidating, and most organizations aren’t using it as effectively as they could — and it’s not benefiting their productivity and return on investment.
Through our many engagements over the years, we’ve noticed that more often than not, the setup of important capabilities within Microsoft’s applications is neglected during most initial implementations. These capabilities aren’t add-ons or extras but are native features of Microsoft 365 Business that organizations already pay for as part of their plan. We’ve compiled a few recommendations on which parts of the Microsoft 365 platform that we advise companies on taking full advantage of.
Microsoft 365 Business Applications That Your Organization Needs to Use
Now that we’ve cleared up the nomenclature, let’s talk about the application features of your Microsoft 365 Business (or Enterprise) subscription that your organization should be using.
Microsoft Outlook: the email application that (almost) pays for itself
One of the most compelling reasons to move to Microsoft 365 is the massively reduced year-over-year costs of using Outlook as an organization’s email client. With basically unlimited email storage and archiving, what’s not to love? Email migration, while complicated in the past, has become much more simplified. There are now three ways to approach migrating to Microsoft 365 Business email; tackle it in-house, engage with a partner like Withum, or reach out to Microsoft directly.
Once the migration to Outlook is complete, then what? It’s important to communicate the switch along with everything it entails to end-users. This is especially vital when migrating to Outlook because there are a variety of native features that most organizations opt to turn off — either because they’re skeptical of the cloud, or they just don’t feel like dealing with them. Unfortunately, this makes for a frustrating and confusing user experience since some of the features, even when disabled, still show up in the interface. This disconnect is also often misinterpreted by end-users as an error with the Microsoft 365 platform and prompts them to submit unnecessary support tickets that result in a waste of everyone’s time.
Microsoft OneDrive: gets you close to fully leveraging MS 365 but not quite
Microsoft OneDrive is arguably one of the most powerful and secure cloud storage platforms available today. Since it’s cloud-based, all in-house costs related to building, storing, and maintaining servers on-premise are eliminated — potentially saving tens of thousands of dollars. Plus, with over 1 TB storage per user and SSL encryption included, employees have the freedom to work anywhere, anytime, from any device. Worried about offline access? Don’t be. With OneDrive, employees working in remote locations can still access everything they need.
Microsoft Teams: a powerful sharing and collaboration tool that produces ROI
Of all the applications included with Microsoft 365 Business, Microsoft Teams is the newest most underutilized, yet provides the most value from a productivity perspective. It’s a comprehensive chat and online meetings platform, built to scale with a fluid user experience. It enables employees to securely host and record audio, video, and web conferences with anyone, both inside or outside your organization.
Teams makes collaboration simpler and easier than ever. Individuals, whether on-premise, or working remotely, can coauthor and share files within applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, and Power BI. Teams also offers a wide selection of integrations with popular programs like Google Analytics, Adobe Creative Cloud, MailChimp, and Salesforce.
Once you’ve purchased a Microsoft 365 Business subscription there’s little reason to work outside the ecosystem. It gives employees a central place to communicate, collaborate, and interact, making them more efficient by eliminating unnecessary tools, providing structure, and allowing them to share and receive only the information that’s most relevant to them. Initiating a push to more fully utilize platform applications now will only make it easier for everyone to adapt to new, more powerful apps in the future. So, if you’re already paying for Microsoft 365, why not really use it?
Whether you already have an Office or Microsoft 365 subscription, or you’re looking to migrate over, we can make sure your business is using each application to its full potential.
Want to get in touch with a consultant? Fill out our form online, or give us a call at 240.406.9960.