Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) has become a staple part in most of our lives, and for many of us, the Microsoft suite of tools has been there since the very beginning of our experiences with technology. This familiarity obviously comes with many positives, including reduced learning times and ‘expert’ level confidence in their tools (to name just a couple), but what some don’t consider is the negatives to this familiarity. Knowing the tools so well could lead you to be a little less likely to explore what else they offer; many make this mistake in regard to Microsoft and their suite of tools. Everyone knows Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook, for example, but what about their vast range of other tools, and discovering how they can help your business thrive?
Let’s look at some operational challenges that those in all industries face alongside some of the tools from Microsoft which are capable of remedying them.
Business challenges solved by Microsoft
1. Connectivity with the team at all times
With the world just recovering from the worst effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, new ways of working have emerged. During the peak of the Coronavirus many business owners chose to adopt an at least partially remote working team in order to keep the business running. This has made connectivity essential, with different members of the team spread out all over the place, so it is essential that everyone is connected in order to achieve the best results possible. You need to have full access to your colleagues no matter where they are in the world.
Microsoft Teams makes this possible. Through Cloud computing, Teams allows you to keep in contact with your team no matter where they are in the world. ‘My phone can do that through text message, what’s the difference’, I hear you say, and you would be right. What makes Teams unique, and what makes it stand out from the crowd?
Microsoft Teams – with its collaborative capabilities alongside SharePoint and OneDrive allowing file-sharing – is a marvel in modern connectivity and production improving apps. It has video conferencing capabilities as standard, and the fact that Teams is intrinsically woven into other platforms makes Microsoft Teams a revelation when it comes to applications of its kind.
2. Efficient time keeping and meeting of targets
The world of work never seems to slow down. As you know, we live in a world that operates on demand – if a customer wants something then they want it when it was promised and not a minute later. This can be hard for some businesses to achieve, especially when it comes to monotonous tasks. Let’s use an example to explain this one; we’ll say that your business is going through a period of growth, but due to this growth your social media is getting a lot more interaction than it was before – this means that one of your team now has to dedicate a lot of their time in managing those social media channels, liking and following those that tweet your business, for example. That member of staff wasn’t employed to do that, and in all likelihood, was employed due to other skills they have, skills that are now not being used because they are wasting their time on mundane monotonous tasks.
Microsoft Power Automate is the solution. When someone tweets about your company it is essential for you to at least show recognition that you have seen the tweet in a timely manner, and of course this isn’t always possible – what if they tweet in the middle of the night, for example? Power Automate allows you to set up a workflow that follows them, sends a reply, and also adds their details to a spreadsheet that is emailed over to you automatically for your approval. Power Automate allows your skilled members of staff to continue the good work that got you that social media following, as opposed to filling their time with the mundane – yet essential – task of following your customers back and recognising their presence and interest online.
The modern world of work requires an organised and planned out approach. It is not helpful to arrive at work without a structured plan of how your workday will play out. Of course, we can’t always stick to these plans, but it is essential that you start the day off with the right intentions. Not having a clear vision for what your day, week, or month has in store for you could lead your business to suffer in the long term, as the service you offer your customers is likely to suffer as a result.
Microsoft To do is a cloud-based task management app. It allows your team to manage their tasks from a smartphone, tablet, or computer. To Do has the power to revolutionize your workplace, – with clear task management your team will always know what they need to do be doing in order to achieve their goals.
4. The ability to freely – but securely – share files when working remotely
Many have realized – as we have already explored – that working from home doesn’t mean that no work gets done. That team member cannot just sit back and relax so they still need access to all of the files they would normally use, all whilst maintaining the levels of security achieved in the office. This can be difficult to achieve; Microsoft’s offering is only part of the solution.
Microsoft OneDrive offers a one stop shop to store, share, and sync your work files. The app – as we mentioned earlier – connects with Teams and allows for unrivalled access to your entire team no matter their geographical location. You have full control – you can grant others permission to access, edit, and work on files simultaneously with other members of the team. OneDrive makes it possible for you to access your files anywhere in the world with an internet connection – and you don’t even need that if they are synced to your PC or Mac.
5. Cyber Security
This one is very broad, and every organization will be different as to what levels of security they are going to require. It all depends on the data they hold, the industry sector their business resides in, and a variety of other factors. Cyber security – in the modern digital age – should arguably take pride of place above even your physical security as the main business concern you face. Cyber criminality is on the rise and the likelihood of your business being attacked and potentially incapacitated by a business defining cyber attack is growing by the day. This is why you need the right tools in place to defend your system. Microsoft doesn’t offer a solution that guarantees cyber security, or that your business will never come under attack, but it does offer a tool that – alongside other tools and the correct education of your staff on cyber dangers and correct practice – will be a good start to a cyber secure future.
Microsoft 365 security defaults define security parameters for all of your users no matter their geographical location, which can be activated to enforce a number of procedures automatically. The particularly good part about this feature is that it comes at no extra cost, because Microsoft provide security defaults for free (at minimum, the free tier of the Azure Active Directory service). As we said, it isn’t the saving grace to fix all of your cyber security worries but it does start you off on the right foot toward a much more secure future.
We understand that making a move to these Microsoft alternatives can be a daunting task – a daunting task that is made even harder when having to complete it alone, our expert IT support team can help you to be sure that you are using the tools at your disposal effectively, ensuring that you get the best results possible from the tech in your organisation.
Since 2009, BoldTech Solutions has been delivering state-of-the-art services to small and medium-sized businesses in Vancouver. We operate under one slogan: Making IT Work For Your Business. To do so, we’ve built a team of highly qualified IT specialists that are well versed in a wide array of tech solutions such as VoIP, virtualization, and managed services, and can increase productivity and profits. Our team also proactively manages your IT infrastructure and is always available to fix issues, enabling your technology to always work for your business.
Over the years, we’ve served clients from numerous industries, including manufacturing, biotechnology, education, and health care. This has allowed us to understand that every business is different and therefore requires different solutions. So, no matter what the issue is, rest assured – with us you will receive a solution tailored to your needs.