With 1 in every 5 corporate employees embracing Microsoft Office 365, it’s the most widely used cloud service by user count. Despite the significant increase in its market share from 34% in 2016 to 56% I 2018, most businesses don’t use many of the Office 365 tools and applications to the fullest and as a result, lack realizing its business benefits in terms of the productivity and efficiency.
Stats reveal that while there are over 155 million Office 365 business users in 2018, merely 90 million used Outlook mobile app in 2017 and 500,000 are using Microsoft Teams in 2019. If you are one of this lot, we can cover you by sharing the mantra to recognize the complete potential of Office 365.
Tips to Reap Office 365 Potential to the Fullest
- Understand various Office 365 tools for effective business collaboration
Office 365 comes with a broad range of enterprise-wide communication and collaboration tools that can help your business and employees to enhance productivity and efficiency by saving time and effort. Apart from widely used Office tools such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, whether it’s a social networking tool for your business such as Yammer, a chat-based workspace like Microsoft Teams, a real-time collaboration solution like SharePoint or an effective Business Intelligence tool like Power BI, there is hardly any arena for which MS Office 365 doesn’t have a tool for productivity improvement. Following are some of the handy tools offered by O365 that help improve your business efficiency –
- Edit documents with real-time co-authoring
Office 365 offers collaboration with real-time co-authoring in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. You can save your file to SharePoint or OneDrive where others can work on it with you. You can directly share the file from Word using the integrated sidebar. As a publisher, you can edit accessibility settings at any time. Further, the advanced version control that rolled out with Office 2016 co-authoring lets you see which contributor has made which changes at which time and lets you revert to a previous version of the document whenever needed.
- Get your Office 365 apps together
Office 365 offers you a single interface to get all your required business apps together by integrating them in one place. Whether a powerful intranet or workspace solutions, the apps can be quickly integrated into Office 365 to offer you a unified, seamless interface with time savings. For instance, SharePoint Out-Of-The-Box allows you to plug in individual apps on a page without navigating away from its interface besides creating a dashboard and displaying information by pulling it from various tools.
- Create business apps on the go
With Microsoft PowerApps, you can create custom business apps with zero coding. It offers pre-built templates by connecting to your system to create and publish an app for web and mobile devices. Thus, it’s an extremely powerful and largely underutilized tool that can offer a quick solution for a pressing business problem or data requirement.
- Maximize disparate apps and systems
Statistics from Smart Insights reveal that in 2017, 56% of the marketer perceived data integration from different systems as a major challenge. Most of the businesses use a range of applications for various functions including sales, CRM, finance, project management, reporting and HR management. With separate solutions, the relevant reports and information are scattered across locations and systems, sometimes mandating manual consolidation while representing data at the enterprise level. Maintaining separate systems has its share of downsides including data redundancy, cost-overheads, manual intervention and related human errors that can result in data sanctity issues.
Office 365 can come to your rescue by helping you consolidate your business applications, data and reporting. As mentioned earlier, you can use SharePoint to bring your applications together, Power BI to transform your data into visuals and graphs and Teams and Yammer for sharing insights with your employees quickly and easily.
- Work from anywhere, anytime
With Office 365 mobile solutions, your employees can access documents, calendars, policies and directories from anywhere, any time and from any device. Further, with effective communications and collaboration tools like Teams, they can work efficiently as one team from anywhere across the world. It’s especially required in today’s business world where a growing number of organizations are offering flexible working arrangements and have geographically dispersed teams working in different time-zones.
- Embrace Cloud adoption to the fullest
One way to enjoy full Office 365 potential is by embracing complete Cloud adoption. Many companies adopt Office 365 but hesitate to completely move their applications and documents on Cloud for many reasons. With a strong security offered by Office 365 and benefits provided by Cloud, it’s worth storing everything in one secure place, communicate and collaborate on one common platform, save time on updating computers and finding documents, maintain in-house security and infrastructure and realize the Cloud perks with simplified IT management, reduced overheads and enhanced efficiency and productivity.
- Plan for Office 365 tool adoption
You can enhance business benefits by encouraging an increasing number of employees to use Office 365 which can be achieved by following these three ways –
- Adopt phased strategy – With a clear goal in mind, you can decide to implement specific Office 365 tools first, based on your business needs and then keep on adopting additional tools. Alternatively, select group-wise priority for Office 365 tools and continue adopting the tool group by group for better management and monitoring success.
- Train your staff – Train your employees and users with group training. You can also achieve this by sending them short how-to videos online which can help them perform certain functions by watching them at their convenient time.
- Encourage advocates – Identify a few influential employees like business stakeholders or managers to set an example and motivate others to follow Office 365 tools adoption.
Microsoft Office 365 offers a plethora of tools and features, which if used wisely, can help organizations save on time, cost and resources and achieve productivity gain. All it takes is some time and education!
With our niche, experience and comprehensive Office 365 Consulting Services, we can be your right partner in adopting and maximizing Office 365 adoption and reap its business benefits. For more information, contact us today.