Microsoft 365 is the most widely used cloud service by user account. For instance, one in five corporate employees uses a Microsoft 365 cloud service.
Launched in June 2011 as Office 365, the recently-renamed Microsoft 365 bundles familiar applications like Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and other perhaps less familiar applications into a subscription service, accessible from anywhere in the Cloud with web-based access or with installed software. Amongst other things, this keeps the software constantly updated, so you no longer need to roll out new versions every couple of years.
This article looks at some of broader capabilities of Microsoft 365 which are sometimes under-utilised, and the potential benefits on offer.
Familiar Microsoft 365 Functions
The four applications mentioned above are well-known and some of the most-used Microsoft 365 apps, along with Publisher and OneNote. As you probably know, Publisher is used for creating professional collateral such as brochures, booklets, and newsletters, and OneNote is a powerful note taking tool that synchronises across devices and between collaborators.
By industry, financial firms and law firms are some of the heaviest users of Microsoft 365 applications, where Microsoft 365 is a natural fit for sensitive data given Microsoft’s cloud services are compliant with FISC and GDPR data protection requirements.
Microsoft 365 also has a high rate of adoption in the manufacturing industry, where one of the most utilised applications is the OneDrive app for synchronised cloud storage, as well as in the healthcare industry, where Microsoft has a dedicated in-house team to serve its unique needs.
Other Powerful Microsoft 365 Apps
Many organisations using Microsoft 365 don’t use all of the applications available to them in their subscriptions. Partly this is because they have no use for some of the apps, but it is also sometimes due to a lack of awareness of what’s possible with some of the apps.
Here’s a summary of some of the other powerful Microsoft 365 apps that are sometimes under-utilised:
- SharePoint: For backend information and document management, including intranet portals, collaboration, and internal social networks.
- PowerBI: For intelligence-gathering through collecting, sorting, and presenting intelligent data, powering both efficiency and strategy.
- OneDrive: Cloud storage for saving, syncing, and sharing files anytime, anywhere.
- Teams: For workplaces to chat, meet, call, and collaborate all in one place, no matter where everyone is located.
Organisations that are leveraging the more advanced aspects of Microsoft 365 enjoy benefits that others aren’t – here’s an example from our case studies.
HIC Services: Reduced costs and increased efficiency with hybrid cloud Microsoft 365 and on-premise environment
HIC Services provides industrial solutions to mining, agriculture, construction, and power generation industries. After outgrowing their earlier IT and telephony solutions, they contacted us seeking a more advanced and efficient solution.
To meet their requirements, we implemented a hybrid cloud Microsoft 365 and on-premise environment involving SharePoint Online, resulting in:
- Digitised manual processes, bringing governance to previously manual processes.
- Quicker access to working documents with local storage of files.
- Disaster resilience with isolated applications and duplicated data between the sites.
- Reduced capital costs.
Hardware for Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 is available as lighter-weight apps for mobile devices in addition to the full version laptop and desktop applications.
To harness the full version power of Microsoft 365, some of the devices we strongly recommend are from Microsoft’s new Surface Pro range, which offer genuine 2-in-1 capability with a powerful tablet computer that transforms into a fully functional laptop with a keyboard attachment. They provide the interactive user experience of a touchscreen with the power of full version laptop and desktop apps, such as the Microsoft 365 suite.
Some other useful features of the Surface Pro range include the following:
- 10.5+ hours of battery life.
- A new USB-C port (in addition to the preexisting USB-A port), making for easy connection to an external monitor or other USB accessories.
- With the free Microsoft ‘Whiteboard’ app that’s specifically designed for a Surface device & Pen, workers can collaborate using a virtual canvas which can be sketched & written on simultaneously by multiple users.
“Microsoft effectively figured out what Surface Pro should be like with the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pro 5 (2017). Since then, it has been merely tweaking it in all the right ways. Surface Pro 7 is an extension of that. No other manufacturer has been able to make such a compelling 2-in-1.” Windows Central
The Microsoft Surface range is available through Forsythes Technology at competitive prices, plus we can handle the setup for you.