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Articles / Business & Professional Services / SaaS

6 fantastic features of Office 365 you must be knowing little about

“In the private sector, there is always innovation. There’s always change. There’s always improving productivity, and if you’re not leading that, you’ll be passed and ultimately go out of business. So there’s an urgency to constantly update and renew and to rethink your enterprise.” – Mitt Romney, Former Governor of Massachusetts

It’s true that we all strive to be more productive in our professional lives to meet the changes brought about by the technological innovations – they are transforming the way businesses worked traditionally. We are now witnessing a highly unstable, dynamic world that’s going through the fourth industrial revolution – where there’re new technological innovations each day. When we operate at maximum efficiency, we are able to meet our goals faster. But the challenge comes when we want all the teams in an organization to be more productive.

Today, not only the top rung, but all the employees – at any stage of their career, want to be more productive, improve their time utilization, get flexible work schedule, inspiration inducing workplace and the abilities to collaborate with each other faster, anywhere, anytime.

So, the question is how to increase collaboration at work to drive productivity and is there a best way to do it? The answer is in the phrase- “Work smart not hard”. To stay competitive today, a business needs intelligent online productivity tools that can fulfill the demands of Gen X and the millennial workforce, while enabling the organization to meet its security policies and restrictions.

With millions of active users across the globe, Office 365 productivity suite – the communication software based on cloud, empowers teams, individuals and enterprises with extensive tools for enhancing collaboration and productivity.

Office 365 business plans, designed to meet needs of any sized business, come at a price point that makes it easier to buy Office 365.

Microsoft Office 365 – A facilitator of business collaboration and communication

Office 365 is conceptualized to meet the work styles and unique needs of different business verticals. It offers a number of purpose built services and apps to provide users with flexibility and choices to connect, share documents, and communicate.

The tools include, but are not limited to:

  • Outlook for enterprise-grade mailing.
  • Skype for Business for instant messaging and HD video conferencing.
  • OneDrive for cloud based storage.
  • Planner for efficient work management.
  • Flow for workflow automation.
  • PowerApps for mobile and web application development.
  • Microsoft Teams – the secure chat-based workspace to make team communication better.
  • Sway for web expression of ideas.
  • Forms – the new assessment tool.

There are a lot of other tools available with different Office 365 plans. However, their availability may vary from one plan to another.

These tools bring new ways to work better, smarter and improve efficiency levels dramatically – and thus, improves the bottom line of an organization.

6 fantastic features of Office 365 you must be knowing little about

  1. Microsoft Planner – The task management tool to organize teamwork

    With this work management app of Microsoft Office 365, schools and organizations get a visual method for staying organized and easily improving their teamwork . It enables users to work as a team without any hassles and keep a track of their progress from anywhere, anytime and on any device of their choice.

    The Planner app leverages boards and cards for organizing huge volume of work and structuring the tasks into buckets – larger columns.

    Benefits of Microsoft Planner

    • Easy and better organized teamwork

      With Planner, you can plan projects, build teams and assign tasks to each team. You can further attach files, photos, or links; add a checklist to each task, set a preview picture for a task, add comments; flag your tasks with labels; and set as well as update a task’s progress.

    • Transparency and visibility

      Planner gives a chart view of all the plans and tasks and hence provides increased visibility into progress of assigned tasks and accurate client communication. All team members can see the task’s progress and know who is working on what.

    • Effortless collaboration

      Microsoft Planner helps you in file sharing and updating status, and have easy conversations around different tasks.

  2. Forms – Online assessment and survey creator tool

    Microsoft Forms allows organizations to create surveys, polls, and quizzes and view their results. This assessment solution saves precious time and provides all the users with real time personalized feedback and functionality of automatic grading.

    Benefits of Microsoft Forms

    • Easy to use

      With Microsoft Forms, you can organize team events, collect customer responses/ feedback in actual time and measure the employee satisfaction. It enables users to create quizzes and measure knowledge, evaluate progress, and focus on the topics that need improvement as well.

    • Flexible, easy to customize

      This quizzing platform adapts itself to every screen and works on all web browsers, with different themes and question branching and can also be used to create surveys, requisitions, assessments and more.

    • Built in analytics

      It offers data visualization capacity to its users with the help of charts and allows them to collect and evaluate responses by using powerful and simple analytics.

  3. Sway- Digital storytelling tool for interactive reports, presentations.

    Designed on the theme Reimagine the way your ideas come to life – Sway, a new Office 365 app gives its users a new way for creating and sharing interactive, engaging and presentable web-based expression of their ideas, either from phone or browser or tablet.

    Benefits of Sway

    • Interactive web based canvas

      With just drag and drop, create and share anything that is web based – reports, presentations, newsletters and more. Sway is cloud native and thus, it makes it easy to collect and add content from different sources within it like OneDrive, social networks or other sources.Best part about it is, it fits in the device on which it is viewed on either large or small screen, making your ideas always engaging and interactive.

    • Effortless design

      Its built-in design engine handles all the hassles that arise out of formatting with the help of a cohesive layout when you create it. Also, Sway is designed in such a way that you do not need to worry about exact pixel heights and widths or design chops that you need to keep things looking good.With Sway, you get different layouts – traditional linear, scrolling vertical and horizontal layout, high level concepts, flashcard and more for different requirements.Sway also makes it easy to adjust and customize the formats and for your adventurous ideas, it offers Remix. Remix! button helps you quickly find a design and layout of your choice.

  4. Microsoft Teams- Digital workspace to empower the art of teams

    Microsoft Teams is a group chat software that enables teams to collaborate easily and achieve more. It enhances collaboration capabilities of teams – brings people, content and conversations together and offers tools to collaborate.

    Benefits of Microsoft Teams

    • Persistent and threaded chat

      Microsoft Teams enables users to remain informed, engaged and gives capabilities for private chat.

    • Extensible & customizable

      With Teams, the users can customize their online workspace, include important cloud services and get updates from the apps that the teams use daily. Create custom channels, add Bots, build custom integrations to your current processes and do a lot more.

    • Enterprise security

      Microsoft Teams encrypts data, in-transit or at-rest, and includes multi-factor authentication to enhance identity protection.

  5. PowerApps- A SaaS solution to build fast and efficient business apps

    PowerApps is a forms and app platform that allows businesses to create, connect and share their business apps that run in a browser or on any device (Mobile, Laptop, Tab).

    In PowerApps, you can generate an app automatically, customize it as per requirement or if required, you can create an app from templates, and share and run the apps- it doesn’t require deep technical knowledge or programming skills.

    This enterprise service combines visual drag-and-drop concepts from PowerPoint with Excel-like expressions for logic and working with data.

    Benefits of PowerApps

    • Built in advanced data service

      Get in built secure business data platform with PowerApps. It comes with hundreds of defined business entities, so now all your apps will share the same definition of “customer,” “product,” “lead,” and more. You also get workflow automation with Microsoft Flow with PowerApps.

    • Publish apps to the web or mobile without delay

      Publish your apps as soon as they are ready, no app store is required. You can run them both on web and mobile, on any device – laptops, tablets, and phones and on any OS – Android, iOS, and Windows.

  6. Flow – Automation of tasks and processes

    This Microsoft Office 365 tool helps you build automated workflows across services and apps, without the need of coding. Automation thus helps the users spend less time on repetitive tasks, and focus more on business generation activities.

    What you can do with Flow?

    • Covert repetitive tasks into multi-step workflows.
    • Quickly respond to process requests.
    • Connect safely to on-premises data and cloud based services.
    • Leverage built in or customized data loss prevention policies and protect your crucial data.

    How Flow works?

    Thus, Office 365 is an affordable and highly useful tool for enterprises that can help them take their productivity and team work to a completely new level.

    Let us know what you think via comments.

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