21 Jun Enhance your Microsoft 365 Environment
Drive your business to success with the Cloud
Now that you’re up and running with cloud computing, you can now move to maximise the benefits of your new cloud technology. Microsoft 365 is a leading cloud working platform that offers a range of tools that work together live from the cloud. These include team conferencing, data analysis, Outlook for emails, PowerPoint for presentations, Word for documents, and Excel for spreadsheets, amongst other tools in this formidable toolkit.
Whether you have adopted the Cloud in an attempt to keep up with trends or because old servers were desperately in need of replacement, is now essential to tap into these cloud technologies. Microsoft 365 is one of the best ways to do that, so in this particular guide we will focus on how you can leverage Microsoft 365 to drive growth, efficiency and seamless collaboration in your business.
All businesses have different challenges they must overcome, but they all share two; document management and communication. When Covid-19 struck and the urgent need to transition to remote working kicked in, these two facets become an urgent topic to address; organisations needed to ensure that they could access documents and collaborate just as well, if not better, than before.
We will now explore some parts of the Cloud that you may not be fully aware of to help you to get more value from these invaluable tools. We will share our opinion on three key features that we believe to be a must for enjoying the potential of cloud technology, the advantages of those features in 365 and how they can help to drive efficiencies, collaboration and security within your business.
OneDrive is essentially your personal space in the Cloud where you can upload and organise files and folders. While it is typically personal to you, it is at the very core of the Cloud’s capabilities; it is a platform that allows you to store and access individual files from anywhere. The best features of OneDrive are that you can do it all through a browser, and instead of having to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network), you can easily access files through a shared folder based in the SharePoint library.
SharePoint in Microsoft 365 is invaluable for businesses of all sizes. Any business can subscribe to a Microsoft 365 plan and include it as part of their subscription. Like other MS 365 tools, it does not require an on-premises installation. Sharepoint is quite like OneDrive, but instead it makes it possible for your team to share documents and information with colleagues, partners and customers alike, from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Let’s break down some of the reasons why SharePoint is a great tool to use:
1. Improved data management
Today’s workforces are steeped in data that runs along their processes right up to and beyond the finished services and products. Most of this data consists of emails, figures, customer data and support requests, marketing reports, and other documents. When an attempt is made to organise everything, this can create an overwhelming working experience. You can create a file system on your desktop to keep track of your documents and that’ll work, but what if one of your remote workers needs access to a file? There will be no way for them to gain access without a manual intervention.
The data that your organisation receives varies and comes in different formats, from different sources, about different subjects, and belongs to different teams, so it makes sense as to why it can feel impossible to organise and keep track of everything, when we’re trying to do this manually. SharePoint makes it possible to take control of the exact data you need and its accessibility within the organisation – when documents are collaboratively shared in a shared library like Sharepoint, it means a lot less time has to be spent sifting through documents and requesting them.
Team size is irrelevant in the modern world of work. Whatever the size, it is essential that your team knows how to communicate and collaborate effectively. When teams are less effective than they could be, the ramifications echo throughout the organisation in the form of errors, misalignments and delays.
For example, when one member of your team sends a document over to another member for review and then remembers that something needs adding to the document. You can get a predicament where neither the sender nor the recipient knows which is the most up-to-date version of the document. There are version controls in SharePoint as standard – it will track every single edit made to a document, the time it occurred, and the person responsible to make it. This greatly enhances efficiency, transparency and collaboration abilities throughout the organisation.
Teams – The Teams function in Microsoft Teams (a bit of confusing naming there, we know), allows communities, groups, and teams to join shared communication channels through a specific URL or invitation link, that must be sent by either a team leader or administrator. These teams may be dedicated to particular clients or projects for example. The teams function is designed as a place for everyone to consolidate their information and easily find client information.
Channels – Within a Team in Microsoft Teams, members can set up one or more Channels. Channels are conversations that allow team members to communicate without having to use emails or a group message. Users can reply to Channels posts with text as well as images, GIFs and emojis amongst other features that create an efficient and engaging collaboration experience for employees. It is also possible to store and share documents.
Chat – Chat is a place for individual and group conversations that are usually of a more dynamic and informal nature compared to channels, this is where live collaboration tends to occur within a Team (e.g one dedicated to a client project). Within Chat you can flag a message as important or urgent for your colleagues and – impressively – can share files that can be collaborated on in real time. Being able to do all of this in one easy-to-use place is invaluable to a business.
These are just a few of the reasons how using Microsoft Teams can really help you to use your Cloud platform to its full potential.
Microsoft Teams is by far one of the most popular Cloud tools on the planet. A combination of its friendly interface, its document management capabilities, and the communicative possibilities it allows, makes it a common platform of choice for many business owners.
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