Office 365: 10 Benefits of Working Together in the Cloud

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Office 365 brings a whole new dynamic to collaborating with others to complete tasks.

The landscape in the professional world has changed drastically by moving so much into cloud technologies, forever changing how companies do business. Only in the last few years has there been a surge in the implementation of mobile devices for business use, and not just in the office.

The ability to take your work with you and collaborate with others has changed what it means to collaborate, and Microsoft Office 365 is at the forefront of bringing businesses the tools they need to streamline processes, increase profitability, and maintain competitiveness in their respective markets.

A Canadian study performed by Harris/Decima and ICTC in 2013 found that adopting mobile technologies for business improved operations remarkably by increasing efficiency by 64%, reducing operational costs by 50%, and boosted productivity by 28%.

The Office 365 app suite includes such classics as Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint with some new ones such as OneNote, Access, and Skype for Business that boost productivity and add more possibilities in how you work within your company.

A 2015 Spiceworks survey claimed that of the cloud-based productivity suites used in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Microsoft Office 365 lead the charge significantly by half over Google Apps with 36% percent of polled businesses already using it and another 23% planning on using it within the next 12 months.

Below you will find ten benefits of using the apps within Office 365

Increased Team Productivity & Efficiency

Businesses have found that by putting their projects in the cloud, everyone can get a real-time sense of progress and not waste time on wondering what everyone else is doing. Everyone involved with a project has access at any time and therefore can focus on accomplishing tasks in tandem with others more efficiently.

Office 365 can give your business’ productivity a boost by giving everyone a clear view of task assignments, workloads, timetables, and more so that each team member is in the loop on a project’s status to avoid frivolous meetings and other things that can slow a project down. A survey conducted by Atlassian found that on average, 60% or less of work time is spent productively, and Office 365 can help you change that.

Mobile Access to Shared Work

With the advent and growing popularity of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets in the workplace, the mobility of work has increased exponentially. Team members can check email, edit documents, and access shared cloud information at any time from virtually anywhere from their chosen mobile devices; this allows them to make efficient use of their time and continue tasks away from their desks and out of the office. 

A 2014 Dimensional Research survey done on business applications and tablet adoption in the workplace for small to medium-sized businesses found that 97% of companies said anytime, anywhere access to data and applications make employees more efficient. Office 365 supports sharing files across all Windows, Apple, and Android devices so you can take your work with you anywhere.

Synchronized Information Across All Devices

Any business that wants to see real growth knows that communication with clients no matter where they are in the world is paramount to success; this means being able to effectively stay in touch with customers that may be across different time zones and countries. Whether they are in your state of halfway around the world, clients require pertinent information on their schedule without delay. 

A 2014 survey conducted by Harris Interactive found that 41% of users who utilized cloud computing reported easier file sharing and peace of mind regarding data backups, and cloud storage is gaining popularity at a significant pace. Office 365 offers businesses cloud storage capabilities that allow your clients to see the latest version of documents, files, and other relevant information in real time so that everyone stays on the same page on multiple devices. All updates made are automatically synchronized to the cloud, so you never miss a change. Office 365’s cloud storage also comes with a high level of security and access control tools to make sure only the right people can see your information.

Office 365 offers businesses cloud storage capabilities that allow your clients to see the latest version of documents, files, and other valuable information in real time so that everyone stays on the same page on multiple devices. All updates made are automatically synchronized to the cloud, so you never miss a change. Office 365’s cloud storage also comes with a high level of security and access control tools to make sure only the right people can see your information.

Share & Communicate with Team Members

Part of accomplishing tasks in today’s work environments means collaborating with other team members from within or outside your department, so having a reliable system for sharing work is essential to reducing confusion and improving workflow. Office 365 integrates Microsoft OneNote to provide users with a centralized shared space where all team members can track and share their contributions to projects to keep everyone involved up-to-date on current progress. Contributions can include documents, photos, videos, web pages, notes, and more. Once a change has been made, OneNote updates in seconds to provide the latest version for everyone.

Office 365 has also integrated Yammer, an enterprise-level social platform, to allow team members to communicate with one another no matter where they are seamlessly. This communication platform can also be extended to partners and clients outside your organization for a much more fluid means of keeping in contact and increasing the satisfaction of your clients. Yammer’s 2013 Business Value Survey concluded that 68% say that Yammer simplifies the process of communicating with colleagues in different locations or departments, and 80% are more informed with what is happening in their organization.

Use Resources More Wisely

Keeping track of your projects also means appropriately allocating resources to where they are needed most every step of the way. When communication breaks down, and team members don’t know where each other are in their tasks, poor allocation of time, money, and labor can lead to duplicated work and wasted efforts. By utilizing Office 365’s complete suite of communication tools, getting a realistic update of the progress of everyone involved can provide the decision makers with the metrics they need to allocate more resources to tasks that are higher priority efficiently.

Communicate with Others at Anytime, Anywhere

Having meetings with team members, clients, and partners is a fact of life in business, which can prove to be both a blessing and a curse, depending on your experience. Meetings can allow people to bring their ideas to the table to solve problems, but also have the potential to waste hours of time that could have been put to more productive use. Another issue with meetings is that often, not everyone needed can attend due to time constraints, scheduling, or proximity.

Office 365 now includes Skype for Business to bring in everyone you require to your virtual meetings. Virtual meetings provide an efficient and streamlined way of delivering updates, collaborating over distances, and being more proactive in conversations between team members. Skype sessions can be joined or shared on any iOS, Android, or Windows device.

Office 365 now includes Skype for Business to bring in everyone you require to your virtual meetings. Virtual meetings provide an efficient and streamlined way of delivering updates, collaborating over distances, and being more proactive in conversations between team members. Skype sessions can be joined or shared on any iOS, Android, or Windows device.

Another issue with meetings is that often, not everyone needed can attend due to time constraints, scheduling, or proximity. Office 365 now includes Skype for Business to bring in everyone you require to your virtual meetings. Virtual meetings provide an efficient and streamlined way of delivering updates, collaborating over distances, and being more proactive in conversations between team members. Skype sessions can be joined or shared on any iOS, Android, or Windows device.

Skype for Business offers full HD video calling, instant messaging, app sharing, co-authoring, presentations, and more to make the most out of your meetings.

Use Business Intelligence for Top Trends and Insight

What’s the secret to obtaining a competitive edge over competitors? There are a variety answers you’ll receive, but ultimately it comes down to being able to capture, calculate, and understand market trends. Business Intelligence (BI) can provide clear insights into a given industry, but the trouble is recording this information in a clear and comprehensive way for further study. According to the

According to the 2011 2nd Annual New Intelligent Enterprise Survey by MIT Sloan Management Review, the top three challenges to integrating data are difficulty in integrating essential data across silos, being too time-consuming or costly to perform all the analytics desired, and difficulty extracting and using information from unstructured sources. Office 365 provides one-click forecasting through new treemap and waterfall charts that can be published to Microsoft Power BI from Excel. These tools draw data from multiple sources and include Power Pivot, which allows users to organize diverse data sets in a drag-and-drop format. Once compiled, your data will be easily digestible for analysis and provide you with the information you need to make more informed decisions.   

Office 365 provides one-click forecasting through new treemap and waterfall charts that can be published to Microsoft Power BI from Excel. These tools draw data from multiple sources and include Power Pivot, which allows users to organize diverse data sets in a drag-and-drop format. Once compiled, your data will be easily digestible for analysis and provide you with the information you need to make more informed decisions.   

Work Together in Documents in Real Time

There are many times during a project that team members will need to work on the same document, but could only do so one at a time due to conflicting copies. Office 365 offers real-time co-authoring that allows team members to work and edit within the same document simultaneously to improve workflow and collaboration efforts. Every change or addition is automatically saved in real time and is observable by everyone currently working on the document and on any device.  

Reduce Operational Costs and Boost Profits

Moving your data workflows to a cloud storage system can have a significant effect on your bottom line. Rackspace and Manchester Business School conducted a joint effort survey of 1,300 businesses in the U.K. and U.S. from December 2012 to January 2013; the study found that 88% reported reduced costs and 56% reported increased profits. Additionally,

Additionally, Tata Communications reported in 2015 that of the businesses surveyed, 69% saw an increase in productivity, 65% gained better access to data, and 63% saw a reduction in costs. Reduction in costs can happen when you don’t have to enlist the help of IT staff to fix a server you don’t have to worry about, or spending extra resources on physical storage units on-premises. A boost in profits can be the result of streamlining communication and information sharing with client and partners, resulting in their increased satisfaction with services rendered.

Always Have the Latest Updates & Versions

The beauty of the subscription-based Office 365 is that you virtually never need to repurchase a newer version of the software because Microsoft will provide you with updates as they come to ensure you have the latest features and versions of your favorite Office apps. For one affordable price each month, you are always connected to the cloud and don’t have to wait for the newer software to be available.

For more information on the benefits of using Office 365 and collaborating in the cloud, contact My Choice Software at (800) 318-1439 or support@mychoicesoftware.com.


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