Finding the right tech solutions for your small business can be trying, especially when you feel like you’re working every hour of the day.
Your mind may have jumped to Microsoft first – it’s one of the best-known names on the market. We explore why Office 365 should be the go-to for your company.
Pay for what you use
Office 365 has three business plans – Business Essentials, Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Business.
If you have a set team and you want them to have certain functionality, you can pay the fixed annual price of the plan you choose.
However, your team size may fluctuate. If you bring in extra staff for larger projects, for example, you can add on extra plans or services to meet your needs. Once they leave, you can cancel their subscription and cut your costs.
Your cash flow plays a major role in which package you choose. Learn more about how to manage it.
Each plan comes with varying Office applications and other productivity tools (like OneDrive, SharePoint and Microsoft Teams). You can customise by adding other Microsoft apps to your account like Visio or Project, only paying for the tools you need.
If you’re still flitting between tech solutions, you can try Office 365 free for one month.
Access your work from wherever you are
Cloud storage is standard in the way we work now. You and your staff will be in all sorts of different places, depending on the nature of their work – they could be in the office, at home, at a conference or even on another continent.
It’s vital to be able to share what your team is working on wherever you are. It’s not just Word documents, either: Office 365 enables you to share spreadsheets, presentations and chat threads.
‘With Microsoft Teams, you can join meetings using any device’
Each user has 1 terabyte (TB) of cloud storage – that’s around 60 million one-page (20KB) Word documents and 2 million photographs.
With Microsoft Teams, you can join meetings using any device, even if your smartphone is all you have access to. You can upload photos or stream video into the meeting too.
To give your meetings some oomph, use whiteboard, polls, Q&A and built-in instant messenger so that colleagues can participate however they like.
You can refer to what you discussed after the meeting with the meeting record function, which automatically uploads your recording into Microsoft Stream and saves it into the chat thread.
Improve productivity for all
Productivity isn’t just a case of doing more – it can often be about doing things differently.
Office 365 is filled with tools to help workflow such as calendars, meeting schedulers and to-do lists.
Microsoft MyAnalytics can reveal what you need to do to make you and your employees more efficient. These productivity analytics give you insights into communication and collaboration trends. You can see how much of your time goes on meetings and email.
On top of that, Microsoft Flow lets you automate tasks like emailing a team member when something is updated in SharePoint.
Built-in intelligence, design and data analysis can shave some extra time off tasks too. For example, with eDiscovery you can search for relevant information in mailboxes, Office 365 groups, Microsoft Teams and OneDrive for Business.
Office 365 is also integrated with LinkedIn so you can see a People card of the colleagues and clients that you’re connected with. People cards show what people are working on across your company and beyond. Quick actions let you contact them quickly through email, chat or call in a single click.
To get your conversations going, share data, news and resources with your contacts too.
All in all, Office 365 products are built in a way that ensures every employee is able to work in the way that suits them.
Simplify your booking system
Microsoft Bookings is a collection of online booking systems. Customers have access 24/7, with confirmation email and calendar invitation as well as the flexibility to cancel or reschedule.
You can use Bookings to organise customer information – emails, meetings, calls, notes, tasks, deals, deadlines – in one place.
If they prefer to book over the phone, an employee can enter the customer’s details to set up confirmation emails after they have booked.
This info can be shared with team members if different employees are dealing with the same client.
Your booking form web page can be customised to reflect your business’ personality.
Protect against data loss
With a rise in security breaches, protecting data is paramount.
Office 365 doesn’t allow end users to send sensitive information to an email address outside of the company domain or to a public cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive. Any malicious or accidental attempt to send sensitive information out of the company network will be blocked and logged.
The technology uses rules and policies to determine which files and data are confidential, critical or sensitive. This protects files from being shared or transmitted.
‘Any malicious or accidental attempt to send sensitive information out of the company network will be blocked and logged’
There’s no data loss from the Office 365 environment. Three copies of your data are kept in Microsoft’s primary data centre and another back-up in a twinned data centre. If you ever need the latest back-up of data, it can be accessed quickly and easily. Consultants are also on-hand to help with back-up.
Get essential insights into your business
Find out how your business is doing without hiring an extra person or spending a load of extra money.
With Microsoft Power BI, you can access multiple-data resources and keep them refreshed in real-time. Each account has a live dashboard connected to multiple data sources, interactive reports, charts and data.
Present this data to others by transforming into accessible graphs.
Migration is easy
Moving over to Office 365 is also easier than you might expect. This includes migrating your existing company mailboxes, documents and calendars.
Plus, Office 365 updates automatically so there’s no need to waste time on multiple migrations.
You can sign up to Office 365 in minutes with the click of a few buttons or you can sign up to a free 30-day trial instead. If you’d like to find out more about how the features work, visit the Office 365 training centre.
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