O365 can make your business more productive - if you let it
By Craig Mitchelmore, Head of Intervate North at Intervate, a T-Systems company
One of the drivers of cloud migration is accessibility to cloud business systems like Microsoft Office 365 (O365). The idea of accessing office tools such as Word, Excel and others from anywhere and at any time, and the flexibility to add and remove users as required, is attractive.
However, many businesses already using the MS Office suite historically installed onto their employee laptops simply haven’t yet seen the benefits of moving to the O365 cloud platform.
There are a host of capabilities housed within O365 - beyond the typically used Mail, Word, Excel and PowerPoint - that can deliver far more collaboration, significantly increase productivity and enhance information visibility for businesses who move to the cloud platform.
Stuck in a rut
Companies often find themselves stuck in the rut of only making use of the solutions that they are familiar and comfortable with. Even organisations who migrate to O365 tend to stick to using the same tried and trusted programmes that they previously used on their regular Office suite, not realising that an entire business productivity and collaboration toolset lies at their fingertips, if they only tapped into it and had the courage to experiment with the magic of O365 in its entirety.
A combination of fear of the unknown and a general lack of awareness of the true power of O365 as a productivity suite keeps many organisations stuck in their comfort zones.
The fear stems more from the overabundance of new, unexplained software and updates that many users find themselves inundated with on a daily basis. When users are informed and taught about the possibilities and benefits of a new way of working collaboratively, it’s easier to take new approaches on board and with far more enthusiasm. And then, there’s the added benefit that O365 does not have those tedious, undefined updates all the time as they now happen in the background without impeding productivity.
O365 is not just a productivity suite; it’s a new way of working. When people unlock the possibilities offered by all the additional applications included in O365, they typically find that their entire operations are more productive, more agile and vastly more collaborative.
Mobile agility and seamless interaction across devices are the obvious benefits of O365 and helps organisations to move completely away from the 8am – 5pm rigid style of working, allowing employees to work when and where they are most productive. This mindset of mobility is enabled through the engagement, collaboration and interactive tools across the O365 platform.
Some of the lesser used applications offered by the suite that will undoubtedly enhance a business’ capabilities include:
• Power BI - a visualisation rich application for business intelligence that collects data from multiple sources to give dashboard insights for business to make informed - decisions.
• Delve - a smart tool that provides a personalised dashboard which displays recent and relevant collaboration on content, allowing for a quick snapshot of current workload, projects and people activity.
• Office Lens – A simple tool, yet one which users quickly find indispensable. Office Lens allows mobile users to scan any document or work surface and converts it into a PDF ready document for sharing and embedding.
• Sway – a powerful storyboard and content collaboration app which allows for easy content aggregation and enables more dynamic shared presentations.
• Stream – a video sharing app that not only enables simple video sharing, but also transcribes audio content to text from videos. Taking minutes in video recorded meetings is a simple as clicking a button, and freeing up people to be more productive
• Flow – an easy workflow app that automates tasks quickly and transparently.
• Teams – A unified (chat, voice and video) communication and collaboration platform that simultaneously includes other apps, such as OneDrive, SharePoint, Planner, etc. to enable instant, real-time communication and full visibility across the workspace
Microsoft Teams is a key application in O365 that many organisations underutilise. The app provides a virtual workroom for project collaboration, meetings and discussions, sharing and planning. It enables full traceability, document storage and visibility and could potentially replace the bulk of cumbersome email correspondence.
These are but a few of the handy tools that could transform an organisation, removing it from the mire of traditional, slow processes.
Embrace the new way
For businesses to realise the benefits of O365, ‘and other cloud business platforms’, they need to not only have seamless and responsive connectivity to the suite but must also actively drive its use. Intervate’s STICKi user adoption programmes is available to ensure employees are not only informed and trained, but actively enthusiastic to make full use of anything in O365 they are presented with.
The O365 suite will turn the way businesses currently operate entirely on its head. This is a daunting prospect for many organisations, however, the excitement of the opportunity to fast forward should supersede any qualms.
Rather than hesitancy, businesses should embrace the possibilities and find a way to encourage users to leverage these tools.