Have you ever wondered how other businesses utilise their business software? The Office 365 suite offers so much capability in powering up your business with a great range of tools available, sometimes all it takes is to have a wider knowledge on how to utilise them. Watch our webinar replay to see how other businesses are using Office 365 to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
In this webinar, Mia McIntyre talks about case studies of real businesses who efficiently make their existing Office 365 tools work for their organization, rather than having to pay for external subscriptions and remember multiple logins. Have a watch of the replay, and there are further notes below.
How Other Businesses are Using Office 365
For File Storage and Sharing:
Sovereign Property Development (Property Development Firm)
- 15 staff and growing
- Were paying Monthly or Annual payments for Dropbox accounts
Having to share files throughout the team and to external parties can be a tough job and an expensive one too. However, Microsoft’s solution to this is Sharepoint (for business files) and OneDrive (for personal files). These tools only require a single log in and let you efficiently and securely store, manage and share your files in the cloud, through to the organisation and to external people.
A lot of people get confused with the functionality of these two tools. They are both cloud storage options and are very efficient with file sharing but their difference lies on their purpose:
- This is where business data is stored
- It lets you choose who has access to the data
- It is a single source of truth - only one true document, rather than multiple versions
- Can be an alternative to your internal hard drive storage (Local Disk C:)
- Can be automatically synced to your local storage
For Feedback Forms and Surveys:
Healthy Helpers (Health Consultancy)
- A team of 42
- Uses a paid SurveyMonkey subscription to send feedback forms to clients and exports results into Excel
When it comes to capturing feedback from our clients, the Office 365 solution is Forms, with the additional functionality of Microsoft Flow to export the data into other programs. These apps are already included in your Office365 suite.
- Simplified form creator
- Offers Anonymous feedback
- Automation tool
- Captures form information to bring into another environment (e.g email, newsletter, document, etc.)
For Managing Tasks:
Good Change (Not-for-Profit Organisation)
- Many volunteers and staff
- Currently uses Trello to track team tasks
When it comes to task management, there are a lot of tools that stand out and there is one in your Office 365 suite. It can be a headache to set up a new account to track the tasks of a fresh employee onboard but Office 365 has a solution --that is Planner. With a single login, you eliminate the risk of forgotten login details. Planner uses Kanban methodology that helps provide an easy and intuitive view of your tasks.
- Manage and Monitor Tasks for the Team
- Assign and track tasks of team
- Collaborate tasks with the team
For Education and How-to Documents:
Moving Forward Logistics (Logistics firm)
- Onshore and Offshore staff
- Struggling to manage onboarding with regards to training
In an organisation that is rapidly growing, it is vital to keep track of company systems and processes and enable new staff to be onboarded easily. Office 365 offers Stream and Sharepoint to keep track of these systems easier. Sharepoint lets you store and manage your content to share with whomever you want, so it's a great place to store company procedures and other documentation. Having Stream is simply like having Youtube exclusively for your business, which means that it is well suited for recording and storing training videos for your team.
For Managing Communication and Meetings:
Change Solutions (Consulting Firm)
- Global staff
- Currently using paid Slack for communication, meetings and sending files
How many of us are using paid meeting tools? What if there is another option that won’t cost you an extra buck? We’re talking about Microsoft Teams here, which allows you to either internally or externally set meetings and communicate with the people in your organization. Another good thing is that it is fully integrated to the rest of your Office 365 tools so all your data, such as files, chat conversations, plans and videos, is fully accessible within Teams.
- Schedule Meetings for video or audio calls
- Record video and audio during meetings and save to Stream
- Create Teams where you can communicate as a group chat
- Connects to Sharepoint so data is integrated
For Simple Application and Automation:
Home Helpers (Carers Agency)
- 20 carers
- Quoted $50,000 to get various apps for logging job information
Who would’ve thought that a simple process of trying to know when carers clock in or clock out could cost so much? Having to plan and build an application from scratch is a long process and by the time they’re done, they might not be as flexible to the changes in processes and technology as they should be. Microsoft provides a solution for this –Powerapps and Flow. With Powerapps, you can create form-style apps that can integrate with Flow for actions. And this is cost-effective and adaptable to your future changes.
- Create simple business apps using templates and point-and-click design
- Easily connect your app to data and use Excel-like expressions to easily add logic.
- Publish your app to the web, iOS, Android, and Windows 10.
- Create action from the Powerapp
What is an Online Environment?
Put simply, “because it’s online, it’s essentially like Googling your files” (Mia McIntyre). In a modern world of IoE, it’s no surprise that it also influences how the modern work environments are set. Nowadays, you can access the whole lot of your organisation's documents, files, processes and even teams in just one click of a mouse.
You can create a company dashboard that has your Vision, Mission and Values plus anything you might be needing for your team. It’s endless what you can do, just limited to your imagination!
Q: Does Forms offer an option for anonymous feedback?
A: Absolutely. There are two options in creating forms, a) create an anonymous form; b) shows your Office365 login
Q: Do volunteers need a paid Office365 account on your domain to access Teams and Planner?
A: You can have external users in those environments but, Microsoft is still a money-making business so even if it can be done, some features may be unavailable. Security-wise, no one can anonymously access the account randomly therefore, it still requires an active log in.
Q: With Teams Meetings, do all attendees need to have Teams set up or can their Skype for Business link into the Teams conference call?
A: Yes, it’s linked at the moment but, remember that Skype for Business is being discontinued in the future so you can’t guarantee the experience.
Q: Is Teams a practical, direct replacement for Skype for Business or should they co-exist?
A: The change management plan is to completely replace Skype for Business with Teams.
Q: Can OneNote be used with Flow?
A: You can connect documentation in OneNote with Flow but, it would be a lot of setup. Our advice would be to capture your information in Powerapps by Forms not in OneNote.
Q: What can you recommend as alternative to Microsoft Project?
A: There is no clean replacement for it.
Q: Where does Outlook Customer Manager fit into all this?
A: Customer Manager is a plugin that you get from a business premium account. It is tied into everything. A plugin that sits in Outlook that allows you to capture information around a client based on their email address.
Now that you can see how other businesses are using Office 365, you must be filled with ideas on how to improve the utilisation of your own Office365 business tools. Were all your questions answered? If you do have additional questions or points that weren’t discussed in this webinar, we’d be happy to have a conversation with you.
Want an assessment on how you can power up your Office 365 usage? Talk to us today to see if our Power Up Package is right for you.