Office 365 is everywhere. The functionality it brings to the corporate environment through the use of email, instant messaging, and the stalwarts of the Office suite like Word and Excel is invaluable to business users. It’s because of these rich features that it is becoming one of the most widely adopted enterprise cloud services in the world. At the start of this year, it was officially crowned the most popular service amongst users and is currently on track to surpass 100 million of them. At their Build 2016 conference, Microsoft revealed that 50,000 SMBs were being added to Office 365 every month; considering May’s Build 2017 saw them announce that subscriptions had risen by 15 million users, we can only imagine what those figures look like today! With results like that, it’s hard to deny that Office 365 plays a highly influential and truly key role within the modern enterprise.
What’s interesting to note, however, is that in spite of its sky-rocketing popularity, it remains an untapped well of potential innovation and productivity. The problem is that we’re all so familiar with Microsoft’s more renowned pieces of software that we can sometimes forget or neglect the fact that there is in fact a whole line-up of new apps and exciting features that now exist within the Office 365 portfolio. As a result, it’s likely that many organisations and their users are missing out on a wealth of opportunities to work smarter, achieve more and collaborate better inside and outside of the business.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 6 features of Office 365 you might never have even considered using:
This is a really nifty piece of the Office 365 puzzle that could eventually end up replacing Microsoft PowerPoint. Cloud-based presentation software Sway allows you to truly unlock your creativity when producing content such as interactive reports, newsletters, and of course, presentations. It enables you to build customised documents from scratch, including the ability to add in all kinds of different media, from videos to social media feeds, to complement your finished product. You can even hit ‘Remix!’ to provide you with an infinite selection of randomised design templates for you to experiment with.
Sway has also been integrated with Bing search engine, granting users the full scale of Bing’s image results to accompany their ‘stories’. This connection goes one step further, seeing Bing even suggest image searches that are relevant to your written content, making the process run a lot smoother and speeding up the time to a finished product.
- OneNote integration with Outlook
OneNote is a fantastic tool for taking notes, capturing your thoughts quickly and providing you with the scope to organise those thoughts in whatever form best suits you. But did you know how easy it is to transfer certain aspects of these notes directly into Outlook? You don’t even need to switch between the applications! You simply select whichever part of your notes you want included in your task list, flag a reminder for this, and it will be added straight into Outlook. Likewise, any meeting details you need to refer to or add to such documents as agendas can be pulled across from your Outlook calendar and inserted into OneNote with one easy click.
OneNote is also a great platform for collaboration, and allows users to share and exchange their notes with colleagues so that they can contribute to the conversation.
- Co-authoring in real-time
Possibly one of the most useful features of Office 365 is that of co-authoring. No more waiting around for various drafts of documents or spreadsheets to bounce between a load of different stakeholders – users can now actively collaborate and comment on live projects simultaneously, all in real-time. Sharing documents is also made easy by the provision of live links that can be emailed to colleagues via Outlook for immediate editing permissions, so that there is no reason to sift through hundreds of separate drafts – all changes are captured within a single document.
Microsoft Delve is essentially a newsfeed dedicated to your workplace. Based on your personal activity and interests, it generates a feed of content from within your organisation that is most relevant to you. This content is displayed on interactive cards that indicate which user created it, and what type of document it is. It also enables you to quickly enter the document, edit it, or make comments to share with any other colleagues working on the piece. You can readily view a log of all of the recent documents you yourself have created, too, via the ‘My Work’ tab. Just like Twitter Streams, you can even set up ‘Boards’ that allow you to collate certain insights on specific topics, depending on your preference.
Just like Delve, Yammer is also a tool for interaction within your organisation, but instead of being a newsfeed of work, it is an internal social network encouraging collaboration on a less formal level. It introduces functionality like instant messaging, and even welcomes collaboration from external parties, such as vendors or partners. Similar to Delve, Yammer has a Discovery feed, which surfaces any relevant conversations between colleagues that may be of interest. You can also define different Groups specific to campaigns, departments, events, you name it – so that you always have a clear overview of any ongoing projects.
- Laser mouse
This feature is an oldie, but you’d be surprised how many Office users don’t know that this is possible. When viewing presentations in PowerPoint, by beginning the SlideShow and holding down Ctrl and the left mouse trigger, your mouse cursor instantly becomes a laser pointer. So if you ever find yourself presenting without the support of your trusty laser pointer, never fear! If you’re feeling particularly creative, there is even a menu option that allows you to change the colour of the pointer.
There are many more hidden gems buried deep inside Office 365 just waiting to be discovered. That’s why we’ve partnered with LightUp 365, an online platform dedicated to training on Office 365. It gives our customers the chance to expand their knowledge of the Office 365 suite and enable staff to take advantage of the many apps and features at their disposal. Through access to over 2000 training videos, users can begin to feel the full benefits of their Office 365 investment.
To discover more about the features of Office 365 your organisation could be utilising, or else if you are interested in a free trial of LightUp 365, get in touch with our team.