Since its initial release in 2011, many businesses have looked to take advantage of Microsoft’s subscription-based Office 365 offering. In fact, recent estimates suggest that more than 214 million users have subscribed to the cloud-based service – more than the number of subscribers for popular entertainment platforms Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Spotify combined!
However, despite such an impressive uptake, it might surprise you to know that the average Office 365 subscriber uses just 25% of its functionality. There’s a whole host of incredible features already included within Office 365 that could transform the way you work without costing a penny more than you are already paying. Here’s how you can get the most from your investment:
1) Understand what you’re paying for
When most people think of Microsoft Office they picture a core group of business productivity apps. Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook are mainstays of the working world, and in the past, these accounted for a great deal of what licenses provided. With that in mind, many businesses have the misconception that Office 365 is simply a like-for-like replacement for these mainstream apps, but the reality is that your subscription entitles you to use a whole host of innovative tools that you might not even be aware of.
It’s absolutely vital therefore that you make time to explore the additional functionality available to you so that you can begin to understand what you already have at your disposal. It might be that you’re currently paying for a third-party application that you actually don’t need, just because you didn’t know a suitable alternative was already available to you in Office 365.
2) Assess how you want to work
To harness the full potential of Office 365, you first need to properly understand the way your people are currently working. Are they working on tasks individually, or collaborating with each other? Are they typically communicating through email, or via other channels such as instant messaging? In a lot of cases, users will often continue to do things ‘the way we’ve always done them’, despite this not being the most efficient process with the tools at their disposal.
Once you better understand how your people work today, you can start to identify which Office 365 tools will complement their working style and provide the most value. It might be that your users would love the opportunity to collaborate on projects together in real-time but simply aren’t aware that this is something they are able to do using Office 365.
Ultimately, a deep dive into the real work your users are undertaking every day will shed some light on the tools they are currently using and will guide you towards new and unexplored tools that could offer additional benefit.
3) Take a look at Teams
Utilising Office 365 more effectively will ultimately help to streamline your processes and bring your organisation closer together. A key aspect of this is Microsoft Teams. With Teams, you can combine all the individual applications your people use every day within a single platform, creating a native experience inside one easy-to-use productivity tool.
You can continue to create Word documents, presentations, or spreadsheets in the way you’ve always done, only now you can easily collaborate with your colleagues, exchange instant messages for faster communication, and quickly schedule meetings or video calls with those working on the same project.
What’s more, you can keep important communications away from email, avoiding cluttered inboxes and delayed responses to important questions.
As a leading Microsoft CSP, we have extensive experience not just in helping customers onboard to the Office 365 platform, but delivering the best experience possible. It’s not just about a successful migration, but selecting a plan that’s the right fit for your business so that you don’t end up paying for lots of things you don’t need.
Importantly, we always ensure that our customers know exactly what their license entitles them to and help them to understand how these new tools could change the way they work for the better.
To learn more about Office 365, the functionality available, and how this could be better utilised within your business, get in touch with a member of the team.