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Office 365, if you didn’t know, is a Cloud based subscription service in which you are able to access your email, Office suite and additional tools. Office 365 allows you to always be using the latest version of Microsoft’s products. Instead of having to make a big investment every couple of years in capital expenditure, Office 365 allows you to use an operating expenditure model so that your software is always using the latest version for a small fee per month.
We thought in this blog we would go through the main tools and applications that you get in Office 365. There are lots of different plans when it comes to Office 365 and the plan you choose indicates what applications and tools you have access to, so you need to make sure that the plan you choose has access to what you need.
Outlook is the one application that is available across all the Office 365 plans. The smallest plan you can opt for is Exchange Online which is essentially your emails hosted in the Cloud. With Outlook you are able to access your emails, calendars and tasks across your different devices.
Outlook provides business class email that is the hub of your working day. Shared calendars are a great feature of the application, enabling you to be able to see where everyone in your team is scheduled to be and when they are available. Outlook now comes with the Clutter feature which filters your low priority email based on your interactions in your inbox. If you always delete emails off a particular individual without reading them, Clutter will learn this and not put them in your direct inbox.
Office 365 comes complete with the applications that we all know and love from Microsoft: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher. The Office suite is now available across your devices, whether you are using a tablet, laptop or phone. Your documents will sync in Office 365 so you can hop from device to another with the same document and the changes will update across all devices as you go. If you’re without your personal device you can even access the applications through the Office 365 portal in a browser if you needed to gain access using someone else’s device. Office 365 also upgrades these familiar applications with real-time collaboration tools so that you can work on a document at the same time as someone else even if they are a 1000 miles away.
OneDrive is the core of Office 365 and is what makes the collaboration and mobility work so well. OneDrive is the personal storage for each individual user, a bit like Dropbox, and is where all the different devices you are using sync your documents from. OneDrive also makes it easier to share documents with your colleagues. Instead of having to have lots of different versions of documents being attached to multiple different emails, you can work from one document that is shared between colleagues and gets updated in real-time.
Skype for Business
Skype for Business provides several new communication options for your organisation. You can now instant message, as well as audio and video call. The conferencing abilities in Skype for Business mean that your team is now able to have meetings easily from wherever they are. Users can share their screens and upload presentations. You could even do the same as ACUTEC and use Skype for Business to provide webinars to your clients.
Teams is one of the many collaboration tools that comes with Office 365. Teams is essentially a virtual work space in which your team or department can share ideas and documents. The software also integrates with other applications like OneNote and SharePoint to create a seamless working experience.
Office 365 comes with its own internal social media network to help develop the relationships in your team. You can even extend the network in which you communicate by securely connecting with external individuals from partners your organisation may have. Yammer is great because it removes the formality of communication in the office. Some things are just not right for email and Yammer is a great alternative for a more relaxed conversation to take place.
Planner is the new version of Microsoft Projects. The application allows managers an easy and visual way of organising different projects and staff so you can keep on track of progress and who is dealing with what. Tasks can easily be assigned to different people and you can add deadlines, attach documents and notes.
SharePoint Online is the intranet application that comes with Office 365. Your organisation’s files are easily managed and accessible securely from wherever you are, yet you can also engage with your team by being able to post company news and providing updates. SharePoint Online is all about being able to access business content from one secure place.
We love OneNote at ACUTEC because it’s so flexible to how you want to work. You can create multiple notebooks with multiple pages and subpages. Within that notebook you can attach documents, record audio and video and even write freehand if you have a stylus. Like the Office applications and other tools in Office 365, OneNote is available across devices. You can make a note on your phone on the way to work and it will be waiting for you on the desktop version once you get into the office. The one feature we really like with OneNote is the ability to share notebooks. You can have notebooks for different teams and departments as a more fluid and flexible area to share ideas.
The applications that we have discussed in this blog are just the start of what is possible in Office 365. You could also experiment with Power BI, Delve or other tools in Microsoft’s Cloud product. If you are interested in finding out about Office 365 in more detail why not download our Cloud Guide that’s full of content on Office 365? You can download it here. If you want to find out more about how you get started with Office 365 in your business call us on 01675 469020, we would be happy to help.