Since its debut in 1992, the Microsoft Office Suite has evolved and transformed the way we do business on a daily basis. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 90 percent of organizations today provide Microsoft Office to their employees. The newest evolution, Office 365, brings powerful accessibility with familiar tools such as Word, Excel and Outlook, and a few you may not have heard of yet. Without getting too technical, let’s look at 5 reasons Office 365 is right for your business.
Office 365 is based on a subscription software model rather than a one-time pay and download. A definite advantage of the software subscription model is your ability to use its programs on the web with a username and password. You don’t have to download the software to your computer to access it. This comes in handy when you need to access or documents on a computer where the software is not installed. Even mobile devices such as tablets and phones can be used to access the programs and its files.
Would you rather use the Office programs in the traditional way? No problem. In addition to online access, you can also download the software so you can use them offline. An added bonus to this option is the ability to download on up to 5 PCs or Mac computers. Below is a screenshot of the portal’s homepage.
Sharing information is a breeze with the cloud-based apps included in Office 365. SharePoint, OneDrive and OneNote provide document sharing capabilities from anywhere with an internet connection and username and password. SharePoint allows companies to store documents in a centralized location that can be accessed and shared by its employees. This program is useful for storing company wide forms and documents, and to share specific files and folders with teams.
OneDrive enables you to store your personal documents in one location that can be accessed from anywhere with a browser or mobile device. OneNote is your portable online notebook that’s also accessible the same way as OneDrive. No longer do we need to email documents back and forth as we save changes and different document names to our hard drive. Changes are now synced back to the original document.
One of the greatest innovations of Office 365 is its integrated collaboration tools. Skype for Business brings employees together via VOIP and video calls that can be scheduled as meetings all within Outlook. The integration also gives attendees the ability to share their screens with a click of a button.
Yammer is Microsoft’s new Enterprise social networking tool. Employees have the ability to connect with each other through this networking platform by posting comments to the Discovery feed. Yammer also includes an instant messaging chat box to help you stay in touch with your co-workers. Think of it as your businesses own social network, minus the cat videos and solicited news feeds. Since your social network on Yammer consists of people within your organization, you may actually get some work done with this one.
The latest tools added to Office 365 offer you powerful project management capabilities that resonate with team members looking for easy ways to start, manage and finish a project.
Groups combine email and file sharing to give you a more seamless experience while working with together as a team. Each Group created has its own internal email address and is accessible directly in Outlook. Creating a new Group also creates a Group calendar to schedule meetings, a OneNote notebook that’s shared by the Group and a SharePoint folder to store documents.
The Planner app, released less than 10 days ago, integrates with Groups and brings teams together through a visual platform where they can work on tasks, collaborate with team members, share information and track progress. The Planner Hub organizes your Groups into Plans. Within each Plan you have the ability to create tasks, share files, view and edit the Group’s notebook, check the calendar, create a meeting, create a chart, and view conversations. The functionality of these new Microsoft tools enables organizations to work faster and smarter.
Last but not least on the list of the 5 reasons Office 365 is right for your business is automatic updates. Instead of having to buy a newer version of the software, Office 365 will push through updates that are automatically added to your portal as they become available. It’s all included in your monthly subscription.