Office 365, simply put, is all the traditional Office apps like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook combined with cloud-based services that enhance users’ communications, sharing and analytics in a secure environment. It is all designed to enhance the user experience and accessibility allowing people to collaborate, work and connect across devices and locations.
As Office 365 is a subscription service it gives organisation the flexibility to purchase the exact services that, they need to suit their users’ roles and requirements. For example, a frontline worker on the move might only want online apps to use via a mobile device. Whereas a project manager might use the full suite to collaborate with many different colleagues, utilise a large storage capability and access to high performing analytics.
What’s in Office 365?
As mention, Office 365 comes with all the traditional Office apps, Outlook, Excel, etc which can be an online version only or as desktop version as well. This depends on the type of license you buy.
The big differentiator of Office 365 is its cloud services. Here we will look at some of them:
- Teamwork and communication
- File storage and sharing
- Security and compliance
Teamwork and communication
Microsoft have developed two collaboration platforms, Teams and Yammer.
Teams is a great tool for bringing people together to collaborate on projects big or small. You can quickly communicate with colleagues, internally and externally, using calls and chat (instant messaging) both allow you to share screens and documents. You can create channels for different projects or teams where you can store, share and work on files as well as hold conversations and set up meeting, where you may have used email in the past. This allows you to only have a single version of a document that is always up to date and available to everyone rather than having several different versions floating about. To allow Teams to do all this it is linked to SharePoint and the calendar feature links to the users Outlook, where you can join meeting directly from Teams.
Yammer is a social network, similar to Facebook, but for private enterprise customers and is a closed and secure community. Yammer lets employees share information, ask for assistance and make announcements. They can also create groups specific for departments or projects which can be public or private. Yammer is an ideal platform to use for internal communications and company wider announcements.
Outlook comes as standard with Office 365 and Exchange Online is the cloud-based service host of Microsoft Exchange Server. As you’d expect it gives users access to email, calendar, contacts, and tasks from any device via an app or the web. Users get a far increased mailbox size, usually around 99GB. It also fully integrates with Active Directory, whereby administrators can set group policies, as well as utilising other administration tools for managing Exchange Online features across their organisation’s environment.
File storage and sharing
Office 365 has two apps that lets users store and share direct from their Office 365 accounts. Both OneDrive and SharePoint permits users to create links to documents and files and share them with people within their organisation. As with Teams, this allows multiple people to work on a single version of a document.
OneDrive for Business
OneDrive for Business is a simple-to-use cloud storage platform. It has the same look and feel as My Documents and server-based files, however, unlike other cloud storage providers, Microsoft have provided most of the advanced enterprise-focused features in OneDrive for every subscription type.
As a cloud-based service, SharePoint servers are no longer deployed on-premises, and are available to any organisation that has an Office 365 plan or a standalone SharePoint Online service. This removes hardware and its associated costs. Employees can create sites to share documents and information with colleagues, partners, and customers.
Security & compliance
Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection
Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is an email filtering service that adds a layer to your cyber security helping protect your organisation and users against cyber-attacks. It provides robust zero-day protection and includes features to safeguard against harmful links. In addition, ATP has reporting and URL trace capabilities that gives administrators insight into the kind of attacks happening to your organisation.
Understanding data and behaviour is now an established best practice and Office 365 allows users to do both.
MyAnalytics uses data from Microsoft Office 365 and gives users insights into their behaviour allowing them to work smarter and become more productive. My analytics shows them information such as how much time they spent in meetings or the people they collaborate with the most.
Power BI is an exciting tool that draws upon data from a variety of sources and creates user-friendly dashboards, interactive reports, and excellent visualisations. It allows everyone in an organisation to access the data they need when they need it, whether that is past performance or in real time.
Deploy and adopt
If your organisation is looking to get started with Office 365 or has purchased licenses but yet to roll Office 365 out across your users, then you can take advantage of Microsoft funding which help you deploy and adopt the technology. Trustmarque are a top Microsoft FastTrack partner. FastTrack is a Microsoft-funded programme that is specifically designed to shorten the deployment and adoption time scales so that using your software and cloud services quickly and more effectively.
See how we helped Oasis Fashions FastTrack their adoption of Microsoft 365
Oasis Fashions (Oasis) began their journey to Office 365 around three years ago, moving on-premise email infrastructure to the cloud. Following a successful migration, they wanted to expand modern workplace adoption to tap into the new solutions and initiatives that the broader Microsoft 365 portfolio could offer.
As a highly respected Microsoft partner, and one of only a few Microsoft UK FastTrack partners, Trustmarque was recommended to Oasis Fashions by Microsoft directly.