You might have heard a lot about Microsoft’s Office 365 service without knowing exactly what it is. We’ve helped dozens of businesses make the move to Office 365, and users are often surprised and delighted by some the features of this thoroughly modern software suite.
It might seem like it’s just a new way of paying for Office (there’s a small monthly subscription fee instead of a large one-off cost), but in reality there’s a lot more to Office 365. It’s evolved from the ‘classic’ desktop software we’re all familiar with into a tool with the power to transform how your office works.
Here’s some of our favourite features an Enterprise subscription to Office 365 gives you.
Access your files from anywhere
Replacing the traditional shared network drive, OneDrive securely hosts all your business’s files in the cloud. It seamlessly integrates with Windows and automatically synchronises files across multiple devices. That means that, wherever you are, you can access the same files.
OneDrive is packed with other features, such as sharing files over the web, and being able to roll back to previous versions of the same file. Microsoft’s built-in security and backup, which complies to international standards, means you’ll also never need to worry about securing and backing up your data – it’s all done for you.
Compliance is also not an issue, with the ability to set rules determining what can and can’t be shared outside your organisation.
Many colleagues, one document
On first look, the file editing apps you get with Office 365 the same as ever – Word, Excel and PowerPoint are all there, and all work just as you’d expect. But a lot of building has gone on behind the scenes at Microsoft to add some genuinely useful collaboration features.
Because the Office apps are now fully integrated with OneDrive, they allow multiple authors to work on one file at the same time. For example, three colleagues could be editing the same document in Word simultaneously, and everyone’s changes would be visible to the group as they happened.
For those who have used Office in the past, you can say goodbye to “This document is locked for editing” errors. The upshot is that there’s no longer any need for multiple drafts, versions and changes – just one document that everyone can contribute to and pull together. You can even see who else is editing, and start a conversation with them right from within Office.
Find that file!
Taking advantage of the fact that all your organisation’s files are in the cloud, Delve is a tool which lets you search through them all instantly and intuitively. Just type what you’re looking for – like “budget spreadsheets by John from April 2015” – and it’ll find it.
For those of us who have spent hours hunting down files in the past, it might seem too good to be true. But it’s there, and it works.
Keep in touch
Formerly known as Lync, Skype for Business combines instant messaging with voice communications and the ability to share ideas, files and screens in real-time.
Skype is integrated with the phone network, and lets staff call each other, place external calls, create virtual meetings, and divert their work calls to wherever they are. It can completely replace your traditional office phone system.
Take Office everywhere
Because Office 365 is based on an ongoing subscription, all the features and apps are included for as long as you are subscribed. When Microsoft updates their apps, you will get the upgrade at no additional cost. And it means you can install Office wherever you work – and even on your phone or tablet.
Not only has Microsoft created Office 365 apps for most systems and devices, but they work really rather well. Whether you’re on Windows, Mac, iOS or Android, there are Office apps available that will connect to and work with Office 365.
These are only the basics of what an enterprise Office 365 subscription gives you. Try out Office 365 E3 Enterprise today, for 30 days with no obligation (up to 25 users) and find out what it’s all about. Click here to get started.
If you’d like to speak to us about what Office 365 can do for your business, please get in touch – we’d be delighted to answer your questions.