7 reasons why you should move to Microsoft 365

1. It’s efficient, intuitive and easy to use

You are probably already using or are familiar with the productivity apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, Outlook and Microsoft Teams, so using Microsoft 365 is not so much a change of scenery, more of a chance to broaden your horizons!

Take for example the real-time co-authoring feature that empowers multiple users to work simultaneously within the same document. It also eliminates the inconvenience associated with working on local versions, as being constantly connected to the cloud ensures you are always working on the definitive source of the truth. There is also an optional autosave feature, which will regularly save your progress to the Cloud as you go along, protecting your work even if you forget to save or if you are on the move. When those inevitable typos and human errors occur (such as a colleague deleting a section by mistake), we can rely on  persistent versioning to take us back to an earlier, correct version of any saved document – it’s certainly saved my skin a few times!

Office Apps

Access all your files and apps from a desktop ‘Office’ app. Source: Microsoft Tech Community

The Office Suite applications are just one part of Microsoft 365 – the platform is filled with multiple workloads that can really help drive modern workplaces. Take the Power Platform, for example, which allows you to create reliable, yet code-free, applications and processes that help streamline the very way you work as an organisation. The Power Platform is made up of the following services:

  • Power BI – you can develop and share interactive reports and dashboards, that allow you to access up to date business intelligence metrics and derive clear, insightful trends and projections. Why not extract even more value from the data that your organisation already possesses?
  • Power Apps – you can quickly and effectively create no-code/low-code solutions to help streamline the way you capture, share and use information. From digitising the forms that you use to make internal requests, right up to building enterprise applications that are central to your core line of business, Power Apps provides a rich and intuitive tool that could easily benefit every organisation.
  • Power Virtual Agents – an easy way to introduce ‘chatbots’ into your organisation. Underpinned by Microsoft’s impressive Language Understanding capabilities which interpret the meaning of a user’s question and provide automated answers from pre-defined selections, Power Virtual Agents provide a superb option for providing users with services to triage tickets and answer some of your frequently asked questions. While designed to live in Microsoft Teams, we’ve been playing with extending the capabilities of Power Virtual Agents so that your Microsoft 365 chatbots can be extended into other channels, from Facebook to custom apps.
  • Power Automate – automate your repetitive processes such as communication, data collections, decision approvals and many more. With a whole range of handy connectors to integrate with other programs such as Mailchimp, Zendesk and even custom APIs or SQL databases, Power Automate is the perfect workflow engine to power your core Microsoft 365 business processes.

The Power Platform is, as the name suggests, truly powerful.

  • Power BI
  • Power Apps
  • Power Virtual Agents
  • Power Automate

Microsoft has worked really hard to enable citizen developers to create their own apps, Power BI reports, chatbots or workflows (and many more), so you don’t need to be an IT pro to build solutions for your organisation. Feeling stuck? Visit Microsoft Learn, which offers a variety of free learning courses for all Microsoft 365 tools with fictional scenarios to bring the ideas to life. Master your Microsoft 365 skills and bring innovation and change to your organisation’s processes! Intelogy is always happy to help if you need any assistance.

2. The 3 Cs – Create, Collaborate, Communicate

With Microsoft 365 you can create documents in Microsoft Teams; collaborate in real time with your colleagues; host video meetings; hold one-to-one calls; and send instant messages. In addition, the interconnectivity of services such as the Calendar in Outlook (Exchange) and Teams enables you to stay on top of your agenda for the day and send meeting invitations to clients or colleagues within seconds. Working together has never been this easy!

Having trouble finding what you are looking for? Top tip: click Files in Teams to uncover all documents that were shared with you. You can also click Files in a conversation with a specific person to scope it down to only documents shared between you and that person, as well as documents shared specifically to Teams.

Prefer to collaborate outside of Teams? Not a problem at all! Gone are the days of sending huge email attachments and consuming valuable storage space. Microsoft’s sharing capability makes it easy to provide colleagues and guests with access to these files instead. Thanks to the ‘Share’ option across all Microsoft 365 Apps, your staff will be far less inclined to download or attach different copies of the same file.

Collaboration

Source: Microsoft Tech Community

If you are looking for a more advanced and structured solution for your organisation, you may want to think about building your intranet on SharePoint. It allows your employees to have wider visibility of your organisation’s content, knowledge and applications, and with modern UI you can deploy it within weeks, not months. Empower people to seamlessly collaborate across your organisation and utilise SharePoint Cloud storage, in addition to OneDrive, to allow for more governed and simplified information sharing across the business. Microsoft 365 makes it easy to define and control permission models centrally, which can be mirrored throughout your tenancy, allowing tight controls where needed and delegated management access in less controlled workspaces – simplicity and consistency is what we love the most!

I’m pleased to witness the quiet revolution that is empowering individuals to work together by making Microsoft 365 more accessible. By implementing functionalities such as Narrator, automatic transcriptions during video conferencing and videos, dictation and Focus assist, Microsoft aims to provide meaningful support to differently-abled individuals in the workforce. It’s exciting to see these boundaries can dissolve and everyone can come together!

3. All your apps in one place, on any device, anywhere

It doesn’t matter whether you work from home, office or complete the majority of your tasks on-the-move, as Microsoft 365 Apps can be used on the web, on desktop, from a mobile app and within Teams. Never again will you have an excuse for not getting your work done 😉.

Use Teams on your mobile to call or chat to your colleagues when on the go, get notifications when you are mentioned, collaborate on content, and access other apps that your organisation has tied into Teams such as Power Apps or Yammer (the social platform for Microsoft 365 users). The possibilities of extending Teams are endless with regular updates released by Microsoft!

Microsoft 365

4. It’s safe

Microsoft’s intelligent security is built-in across platforms, uses AI and automation to protect you from emergent cyber threats, and is unified across people, devices, apps, and data.

Accessing, creating and retaining all the documents in the cloud, using your organisation’s credentials, reduces the risk of your content accidentally leaking outside of the business environment (for example on external drives, or personal desktops). The use of Microsoft 365’s Data Loss Prevention helps ensure that confidential content isn’t accidently exposed to the wrong audience, while Microsoft 365’s Sensitivity Labels apply organisational controls to files, even once they are outside of the organisation. For example, one of your files might be shared or attached to an email, then opened by a third-party, but your Sensitivity Labels will persist with the file, and apply your controls onto the content – potentially preventing it from being downloaded, copied, forwarded or even printed. Not only is keeping the content within your environment the most secure way to operate, but also it allows much easier knowledge retention, a key organisational driver.

Sensitivity labels

Source: Microsoft Tech Community

Thanks to Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), your accounts are up to 99.9% less likely to be compromised. In most identity thefts, it doesn’t matter how long or complex your passwords are, but when using MFA (such as Microsoft Authenticator, or SMS codes) even if your credentials are known to the hacker, it’s almost impossible to bypass all the security steps.

5. Save time, space and eliminate errors

Do you ever get tired and frustrated with sending emails back and forth when you need to communicate with a colleague? Think about how much time you can save if you eliminate emails as part of your routine communications with colleagues. If you think slashing the number of emails landing in your inbox by half is impossible, then you probably have never used Teams before. Microsoft Teams allows for sending instant messages, scheduling and joining calls and video-calls, tagging colleagues in Teams channels and many more. With many user-friendly functions such as quick reaction Emojis you can share your opinion with a single ‘thumbs-up’ click. The recently launched Together Mode in video calls will allow you to feel closer to your office friends.

Together Mode

Source: Microsoft Tech Community

You can also take meeting notes, use the whiteboard and share files all within a single meeting window in Teams. Attendees have access to all of these during and after the meeting. If you are already thinking Teams is a great app, this should seal the deal – you can now see which of your colleagues are currently available, busy, in meetings, presenting or out-of-office. With the direct connection between the calendar in Outlook and Teams (via Exchange) the status will automatically change based on the items that are in your calendar for the day (but can also be manually set). You also have visibility on whether a colleague has read your message and see when he / she is typing back – it functions in a very similar way to WhatsApp and Messenger, but personally, I find the integration with the rest of Microsoft 365 really makes Teams an even better tool for instant messaging. So, remember this: choose chat over email when you can – it’s easier, reduces clutter, is less formal and almost always guarantees a faster response!

Teams Chat status

Source: Microsoft Tech Community

Microsoft Graph, “the gateway to data and intelligence in Microsoft 365”, provides rich interconnectivity between Microsoft services such as Apps, Edge, Enterprise Security + Mobility and Windows 10 environment. Apart from capabilities such as automation of user onboarding using workflows, which frees administrators’ time for core business tasks, Microsoft Graph also allows you to effortlessly find all the assets you need using intelligent search. Don’t ever spend your time searching for information, when you have more pressing tasks to complete.

If you are a nature lover and an environment freak (like me) the fact that you can become paperless whilst also keeping your data safer, all just by moving to the cloud, might very well make you love Microsoft 365 even more ❤️. We’ve managed to successfully minimise our paper use at Intelogy – it’s now a rarity to see the printer being used – why not get in touch to see if we can help you to digitise and go virtually paperless too?

6. Get new features when they are launched

Microsoft is continuously launching new functionality and products. Subscribing to one of the available plans will ensure you can make use of them the day they launch.

Here are just some of the features I love the most:

  • Design Ideas in PowerPoint – suggests ideas for your slides based on your content and is driven by machine-learning, which means that apart from providing original layouts, it also examines the content to select the most relevant artwork.
  • Ideas in Excel – analyses your data and provides suggestions for charts, tables and pivot tables, and formulas answers that you can use in your workbook. It also allows you to ask specific questions (using Natural Language Queries) about your data to uncover insights even quicker.
  • Office apps on mobile – collaborate on documents on the go with a single mobile app to view, create and edit documents, presentations, and workbooks. Extract text and tables from your scans and pictures, sign documents, scan QR codes and much more.
  • Polls in Teams, Yammer, Outlook – set up an organisation-wide poll to make decisions based on people’s needs and wants in multiple apps.
  • PowerPoint Live Captions and Subtitles – turn them on when presenting for a seamless, inclusive audience experience, where nothing is left to interpretation.
  • Resume Reading – allows you to pick up where you left off last time regardless of the device you were using.

If you have ground-breaking ideas for features that would be useful, but don’t exist just yet, you have a chance to submit your feedback to the appropriate Microsoft service on UserVoice. It’s that easy.

7. It’s cost effective and tailored to your needs

You will find a perfect plan for you, whether you are a small, medium or enterprise business. Each plan can be as basic or as advanced as you need it to be, and nothing stops you from having a mix of different plans within your organisation if some employees need more, or less functionality.

Curious how your organisation can benefit from Microsoft 365? Are you looking for more than just licensing? Get in touch and Intelogy will tailor a solution for you!