03 Aug Exploring Microsoft Office 365 New Business Apps
The software engineers at Microsoft have been steadily adding new applications and services to Office 365. Office 365 is a Microsoft Cloud Software as a Service (Saas) that provides businesses with familiar business productivity tools. There are many good reasons to create a professional email account with Office 365. In addition, with Office 365 you can also get licenses for:
- Outlook Desktop
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel
Depending on the Office 365 licensing you choose, you can either use these applications in the cloud or in their desktop version, installed on up to 5 devices. When you login to the Microsoft Office 365 Admin Panel, you may find additional software applications that are less familiar to you than the standard Microsoft productivity tools listed above.
A Quick Overview of the Microsoft Office 365 Software Applications
NOTE: You may not be the IT Professional or have access to your company’s Office 365 Admin panel, but as a small business professional, it’s important to be aware of the options available to you.
Small businesses typically have multiple business systems, each containing its own “silo” of data. Microsoft is trying to bring many of these tools under their umbrella of small business software offerings. As a Michigan IT Services company, we can help you determine whether these tools will work to meet your business needs.
Office 365 Bookings is an online scheduling service that allows customers to book their time directly through your website, Facebook page or email. You create a calendar showing your staff’s availability, and customers can directly book appointments and receive email and text reminders.
Recently, Microsoft added a new Microsoft Business Center for Office 365 to cater to small businesses. In the Microsoft Business Center, you will find these new applications.
- Listings – Gets your company listed in the search engines and some social sites.
- Invoicing – Provides a simple way to get paid by customers
- Connections – Allows you to create simple email marketing campaigns to customers
- Bookings – Lets clients book their own appointments online
Links to your Office 365 calendar. You can request permission to view and edit other people’s calendars as well as manage company resources such as conference rooms.
Microsoft Delve is for businesses is like a company-only LinkedIn or Facebook profile, where employees share what they’re working on and provide colleagues access to documents they are working on. Documents must be stored in a shared location, such as in OneDrive.
Available for an additional fee, Dynamics 365 can help you track sales, service, financial and operational processes. These CRM and ERP software applications are typically used by larger companies looking for end-to-end business process management.
Flow is an automated workflow system to provide notifications, approval steps and synchronization across applications. You start with a trigger action “when X happens,” and build the “then X, Y and Z will happen.” Microsoft Flow will enforce this sequence of cascading tasks based on the Flow Templates you create. With 154 services available (including Twitter and Dropbox), Flow gives you the ability to reduce time spent on repetitive administrative tasks.
Companies running SharePoint can use the Newsfeed feature to start a conversation or share relevant articles.
This is your contact list. Microsoft will automatically show you the profiles of the people you interact with most frequently. You can the People this section to prioritize your connections, create groups and find your contact’s related social profiles.
Microsoft Planner is a light project management tool that allows employees to share tasks, files and update project progress.
Want to provide your employees or customers with a simple custom application that you can create for a phone, tablet or computer? You can even embed your app on your website or internal SharePoint site.
SharePoint primarily functions as document storage platform for companies and teams.
In addition to the software applications created by Microsoft, hundreds of additional solutions have been created to enhance the function of Office 365 solutions – or improve integration with non-Microsoft solutions.
Microsoft refers to Sway as a digital storytelling app. It allows you drag and drop images, videos and text into a project, and then share that story board with others.
Microsoft Teams is a chat-based collaboration workspace within Microsoft Office 365.
Yammer is an enterprise collaboration tool. Some experts believe Teams will replace Yammer. Others believe there is room for both products. Yammer is typically used by large corporations to help employees find the right resources, and connect with each other.
Which of these Office 365 apps do you need?
Should you get rid of Quickbooks and use Microsoft Invoicing? Or perhaps move to Dynamics 365? These are questions that are best answered in an IT Strategy session where we create a roadmap to align with your business strategy. Schedule a session today!