People sometimes wonder, why bother switching from the “old” Microsoft Office productivity suite to Microsoft Office 365. After all, with the old way, you still have Word, Excel and PowerPoint. As we have come to discover ourselves, there are lots of reasons to make the change, but one of the best is team collaboration. What does that mean? Team collaboration: the ability of a group of people (a “team”) to work closely together no matter where they are. So, let’s say your company is working on a project that includes a Word document to discuss the project’s parameters, an Excel spreadsheet to analyze costs and potential revenue, and a PowerPoint to explain the project to your client(s), the media, financiers, etc.
With Microsoft Office 365, during the preparation phase, team members can work on and share all their files in real-time, with each making changes with notations, until the work is complete. They can communicate through Skype for Business, which features the ability to not only show a document on the screen, but for each team member to actually work on that document in front of his/her team members. Instead of everyone emailing files back and forth, making corrections, then making corrections to the corrections, and corrections to those corrections, ad infinitum, in a single Skype meeting, all the finishing touches can be added.
When it comes time for the presentation, again, it’s Skype for business, which can pull your completed Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents up on the shared screen for all to see. If changes need to be made to satisfy a client, you can make them then and there.
Collaboration works in other ways, as well. Do you have multiple offices with people of varying skill sets in different locations? This type of high-level, yet easy to use collaboration allows growing companies to take advantage of highly skilled people who are located in one office, but whose talents are immediately needed in another.
Here’s an example: a construction company has offices and projects in different states. The nature of their business is cyclical, depending on weather, project bids won, local economy, etc. By using the tools available in Office 365, this company can share the talents and skills of employees between locations, not only reducing the need for highly paid employees at multiple offices, but also decreasing seasonal layoffs. Effectively, this enables a company like this to move from a “divisional” model to an integrated operation, forming teams that include individuals who may be located at remote distances from each other. And depending on a given project, the teams can change at a moment’s notice.
It also gives the company the ability to unify business practices and processes, where in the past, each division might set its own parameters, methodologies and workflows. By integrating seemingly simple processes such as calendars and email, less time is spent figuring out how to deal with fellow employees, and stress levels are greatly reduced.
We at DynaSis have been Microsoft partners since 1993 and we believe that Office 365 is not just the latest Office upgrade, but a giant leap forward and would love to share this knowledge with you. Give us a call or email us and we’ll take you on a “tour” of Office 365.