Getting the most from Microsoft Office 365 - March 2016 Update

I was recently invited to present at a conference to talk to an audience that we had recently migrated onto Microsoft's Office 365 cloud platform. Rather than discuss the basics of the cloud, Office 365 or any of the Microsoft Office products, we got straight in with a deep dive into some of the power packed tools and features that some people may not have been familiar with.

It was a fantastic session with a massive amount of discussion and knowledge sharing around how the tools and techniques presented could be integrated into people's daily duties to streamline and automate tasks.

I've made available below for viewing and download the slide deck from this presentation, along with some summary points of what was discussed.








Skype for Business allows you to connect with your team anywhere using our mobile apps across Windows, iOS and Android, or bring remote participants into meeting spaces of all sizes with Skype for Business Room Systems and Surface Hub.

      • Saving contacts in groups helps keep organised
      • You can easily engage with people outside your organisation
      • It will be possible to replace your entire voice system just with Skype for Business
      • Multiple participants
      • Video calls let us experience body language, micro expressions, etc

Various ways of engaging with someone:

      • Start with chat
      • Escalate to Voice, Video, etc



Yammer is your company's private social network that helps you and your teams stay on top of it all. Start conversations, collaborate on files, and organize around projects so you can go further—faster. Yammer makes it easy to quickly bring your team together so they can have conversations, collaborate on files, and more.


 Use a Yammer group to bring people, conversations, and data together so you can get work done anytime, anywhere.

      • Loop relevant people into conversations to facilitate teamwork.
      • Streamline projects by looping customers and vendors into conversations, so the whole team can work together in one place.



Your stuff travels with you on your computers, tablets and phones. Get OneNote for any of your devices or use it on the web.

      • Get things done with your friends, family, classmates and colleagues.
      • Share your notebooks with others for viewing or editing.
      • Use OneNote at home, school and work to capture thoughts, ideas and to-do's.
      • Find all your notes quickly in the recent view.
      • Clip any web page to OneNote and view it later, online or offline.
      • Send emails to and we'll put them into your notebook.
      • Take great looking photos of documents and whiteboards on your phone and tablet with Office Lens.


Office Web Apps






Create with confidence using familiar apps: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more.

      • On your PC or Mac, on tablets and smartphones, and on the web: Office works wherever you like to work.
      • Save documents in OneDrive where security is built in.
      • Your files are easy to find, edit, and share with friends and coworkers.


Office Mobile Apps


From work to your favorite café, Office 365 keeps you connected to what’s important—friends, family, projects and files. Access the Office apps you use and the files you need seamlessly from your desktop to your mobile devices.

      • 1 TB OneDrive cloud storage keeps you connected to important files—anywhere, on any device.
      • Unlock advanced editing, formatting and co-authoring features on your device.
      • Install Office on your desktop, with Office 365 auto-updates you’re always up to date.








Outlook Web App

      • Outlook Web App is useful when not near your own computer
      • Some extra features such as ‘Sweep’ which creates rules to help keep folders tidy



      • Sweep creates automatic rules for keeping the chosen folder tidy
      • Helps you delete all the messages you don’t want–—past, present and future—from one sender.


Auto Responders

      • Auto Responders are a powerful way of keeping others informed when you won’t be responding to email as usual
      • Rules – EG: forward specific emails to a co-worked for action in your absence


Outlook Rules

Outlook Rules can do some amazing stuff to help streamline and automate parts of your workflow

      • Basic rules can move emails between folders based on simple criteria
      • More advanced rules can be triggered by a wide range of conditions
      • Once triggered a rule can execute a number of actions
      • Define any exceptions to the rule

Idea:- Play the Darth Vader theme song when you receive an email from your boss

Idea:- Print all attachments from an email then file the email automatically


Attaching Files

      • The new way of adding attachments to an email automatically shows the last few documents that you have worked with


Quick Steps

      • Quick Steps can provide a super useful way of executing frequently used actions, such as moving an email to another folder



      • Helps you filter low-priority email, saving time for your most important messages.
      • The email server keeps track of the email you read and the ones you don't.
      • Once you turn it on, Clutter is automatic. As new email comes in, it takes messages you're most likely to ignore and puts them into the "Clutter" folder.
      • The more you use it, the better it gets.
      • If you find Clutter isn't for you, you can turn it off.


Outlook Mobile

      • The new and improved Outlook app unifies your email, calendars, cloud storage and contacts, so it's easier to get things done.
      • Outlook Mobile App has long provided similar functionality to clutter, although here it’s called your Focused Inbox.
      • Manage emails with simple swipe gestures and share availability with your contacts effortlessly on the new Outlook app.





Tell Me

      • Tell Me is a quick way to access features you need, but can’t quite remember where to find them.


Smart Lookup

      • Smart Lookup does an internet search on words that you have highlighted.


Cloud Sharing and Co-Authoring

      • Sharing documents via the cloud is a great way to avoid version conflicts when working on a document with others.
      • When you and your colleagues want to collaborate on a document, use real time co-authoring to see everyone’s changes as they happen.


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When not looking at ways to use technology to create a competitive advantage for his clients and build better businesses, Ben is a husband, busy father of boys, avid gardener, and keen runner and cyclist.

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