I have been working with Office 365 for a couple of years, and while Office 365 discussions have been dominated by migrating email to the cloud, conversations have now started to turn to “What else can I do with Office365?”
After most companies have dipped their toes in the water, most of them are ready to jump in and start using more of the suite. If they are looking at using SharePoint, I will be the first to admit that I am the wrong guy to be asking about SharePoint. I can give them the 10,000 ft. overview, but if they want to really get into it, I’d refer them to our resident SharePoint expert. If they want to look into other parts of the suite, then I am your guy. Let’s take a look at some of the other offerings from Office 365.
Skype for Business
Skype for Business always seems like a no brainer to me, but I have been using instant messaging since I signed up for my first ICQ account, (I hope I haven’t dated myself too much). But surprisingly a lot of businesses are not using instant messaging or think it’s not for them. My first question to them is “Do you text message?” Of course everyone does these days, but why? Because it is easier than calling someone for a quick answer. This is the same for instant messaging, I want to communicate with someone but don’t want to fill up my inbox with quick one line questions or answers. There are many other reasons but this is one that gets people thinking about it. Communication is key in all businesses and Microsoft’s Skype for Business provides a feature rich instant messaging program that is included in most Office 365 subscriptions.
OneDrive for Business
OneDrive for Business seems to come up in more conversations when users discuss pain points when trying to manage documents. More and more users are working outside of the main office and want a better way to have access to their documents. Users want access to these documents from a verity of media; Laptops, Tablets’ and Smart Phones, and are now capable of opening and working on documents remotely. Telling users, they can only use a VPN to connect to their file server is getting harder and harder to justify. Just think if you still had to VPN to get your email. Those days are thankfully behind us. OneDrive is a good way to have mobile access to your documents without giving up security concerns. You can also share these documents with internal and external users.
Yammer, Planner, Delve, and Teams
Once you have documents online you can start using more of the Office 365 Suite to collaborate and work on documents as part of projects or together in teams. With Products such as Yammer, Microsoft Planner, Delve and now Microsoft Teams, you can now keep all of your documents and conversations organized and in one place. Think of the way we collaborate on documents now, most of us will email a document back and forth to each other. This causes multiple copies of a document, both on your file servers and residing in your inbox and sent items. Why manage so many copies when only one is valid? What if you bring in a new team member or add someone to the project, wouldn’t it be nice for them to go to one place and have access to all the documents and communications?
While living in Office 365 is quite a different mindset than how most of us are used to doing things, if you are willing and open to change, you can see the benefits that the Office 365 suite can bring to your organization. Give your inbox’s a rest and learn how to effectively work as a team.
To learn more about how to fully utilize the Microsoft Office 365 suite to collaborate with your company, department and team, watch Corey Stoner's nVision Microsoft Office 365 presentation. He covers the different Office 365 suite products and how they work together as well as a case study with a client that proclaimed “I feel like we are finally working together.”
Contact us to learn more about how to utilize Microsoft Office 365 in your business.