Office 365 is so common in the modern workplace that we tend to assume we’re using it to its fullest potential. The truth is, it’s easy to overlook ways that Office 365 can improve efficiency and networking throughout your organization.
Let’s take a closer look at Exchange, SharePoint, Yammer and Skype. Each of these are powerful programs by themselves, and the seamless integration they have as part of Office 365 ups that power to the next level.
Exchange – Exchange is all about integration, bringing together Outlook accounts, contacts and calendars company-wide. Exchange offers features like email chain grouping, so you can easily follow complex communications between multiple users. Viewing someone’s calendar and requesting a meeting is as easy as clicking on their email, and calendar sharing is just as easy.
SharePoint – SharePoint creates a centralized home for projects. Because SharePoint is integrated with Exchange, it can be used to locate employees with the knowledge and skills you need, and invite them to join a project team. When integrated with Exchange a single project calendar is all you need to stay on the same page. By using SharePoint in conjunction with OneDrive, you can share Excel, Word and Access files instead of emailing or passing around paper copies. These files will be living documents, with one version anyone on the team can update.
Basically, SharePoint is a collaboration powerhouse that can keep your entire team connected no matter where they are. The trick is to make sure that it’s set up correctly. The better the set up, the more efficiency you’ll get, so don’t be afraid to bring in the experts.
Access – Excel is great for managing data, but its bigger, more powerful cousin Access is how you get the most out of that data. Its ability to compile and display relational data goes well beyond the scope of spreadsheets. Information updated in Access is mirrored across the company. In addition, Access integrates with Bing to map your customer data in powerful ways.
Yammer – Think of Yammer as your company’s in-house social network. You can set it up so that a corporate email is required to join, and even create a secondary, external network for customers to access. And teams can create sub-groups within Yammer, which means that a given project will have one centralized communication hub. Yammer supports file attachments, including video, and each sub-group sports its own file database to keep things separate and secure. Hashtags and mentions make it easy to search and compile information within a conversation. Yammer has suggested that customers who make full use of it may actually reduce their email by as much as 40%.
Skype: In addition to Skype’s obvious conferencing features, running the Skype for Business client on your desktop will allow Skype to integrate with Exchange and SharePoint, so you’ll have access to team members’ out-of-office messages, calendar availability, and online presence.
While Skype and Yammer are basically out-of-the-box offerings, SharePoint, Access and Exchange should be set up by IT professionals. Fortunately, that’s not as crazy as you might imagine. Take our Simple SharePoint Set-up (S3) offering. The S3 program uses a three phase process that takes your company from nothing to complete SharePoint employee portal in no time. And the first phase is completely free! Click here to find out more.