Andre Vaux | Managing Director at claireLOGIC
The modern workplace is a distraction – mobile phones, social media and a plethora of other communication tools. It can be a spectator sport just watching colleagues collaborate effectively on the latest project!
You may hate the phrase as much as us, but time is indeed money. So, how can we focus hearts and minds to deliver the goods in an enjoyable way? That is the question. The answer? Technology – namely apps, moreover, joined-up ones.
Now, Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint maybe something we all love, or maybe something that we all want to try and get away from. But now, used in conjunction with their Microsoft 365 lesser-known bothers and sisters – new life could be breathed into the way your team could collaborate.
Let’s take a look at the lesser-known, yet powerfully productive, siblings of Outlook, Word, Excel et al:
Microsoft has developed a clever tool that lets you manage your Microsoft 365 profile – and it’s called Delve. It curates content that is going to be of most interest to you and displays it in a modern and exciting way. The dashboard pulls together relevant and personalised content based on what you are working on and who you are working with – based on cross-app content from your Microsoft 365 world and current workflow – it makes project research and discovery exciting; all delivered in a very accessible way.
Microsoft Teams, for Microsoft 365, is a communication and collaboration platform which combines workplace chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files), and application integration. Think Zoom, think GoToMeeting etc, and you’re nearly there – however, because of its inherent integration with your other 365 apps – the experience is a much more coherent one.
An oldie, but a goody, Microsoft 365’s Yammer is an enterprise social networking tool which is bespoke for your organisation. It has gone through many transformations over the years’ it’s recent reinvention is now gaining popularity. Yammer combines typical chat messenger functionality with additional collaboration tools from its 365 partner apps – and arranges your content and communications into a familiar social-media-style stream environment.
We all need BI – and we all need it in real-time. Microsoft 365’s Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools which connects to hundreds of data sources – internally and externally. Power BI pulls it all together into powerful reporting and easy to tailor personalised dashboards. So when you need an aerial view of your business data, Power BI could be your new best friend. Microsoft has worked hard on the security and data governance of this product and it is winning fans as a very powerful buddy to Excel and external data points. It also pings your mobile with data notifications, so you get all the alerts in real-time!
What it is says on the tin, Skype but for business! A more informal telephony app, Skype is a great tool for chat, video and traditional audio calls. Screen-share now works well with (connectivity depending) little or no latency. It’s now a very accessible bed-fellow to Yammer and your off-365 world, namely your trusty mobile, as the Windows Mobile, iOS and Android phone apps work well…
Once a upon-a-time OneDrive was a dirty word, clunky and troublesome, well, not anymore. This out-of-the-box-ready file storage and sync app is both super secure and super easy to navigate allowing users to share files and documents with internal and external collaborators quickly, securely and easily. As imagined, OneDrive hosts your content in the cloud but it feels close-to-hand; and quick. This tool also allows real-time multi-user editing like never before. Files and folders can be accessed via the drive directly, or via an accompanying SharePoint site if this takes your fancy…or not.
Like OneDrive, SharePoint was, for a while, a bit of a Marmite app. However, Microsoft have worked incredibly hard to get this web-based platform for document management and storage system right. SharePoint might be just what you need. It is a great tool for document management, storage and collaboration. SharePoint could be your new powerful intranet portal where you can manage and search through your internal communication and data. SharePoint is highly configurable, and with a little effort up front could be a powerful tool within your organisation.