Microsoft 365: More than just office applications

In 2017, Microsoft 365, the successor to the long Microsoft Office product family, was launched. Alongside the name change came many new cloud features and capabilities empowering users to be more productive and collaborative, whilst improving security for a business’s entire IT environment. Since then, Microsoft has continued to develop the product set to meet market demands. Even with these changes, many businesses still view Microsoft 365 as a suite of Office applications. In this article we will discuss why a Microsoft 365 subscription is more than just these applications. 

Collaborate, Communicate and Work Together from Anywhere

Many features within the Microsoft applications suite are designed to allow users to collaborate, communicate and work together. As all traditional office applications have moved to the cloud, it means that multiple users can work on the same document in real-time, on any device. The advent of hybrid work has shown how important remote collaboration is for all businesses.

Another hybrid work challenge is communication whilst employees work in different locations. This is easily solved with the implementation of Teams. With Teams, employees can meet, chat, call and collaborate all in a single application. For many businesses this has negated the need for office phone systems, as Teams is a fully functional unified communications platform. As the modern workplace has evolved over the past two years, Microsoft has consistently updated its product set to make the change as seamless as possible.

Microsoft Power Platform

Some lesser-known products within a Microsoft 365 subscription are Power Platform applications which enable employees to create code-free applications and processes that streamline the way businesses work. The three Power Platform applications in a Microsoft 365 subscription are Power Apps, Power Automate and Power Virtual Agents.

Power Apps is a tool that allows teams to build and launch apps using prebuilt templates, drag and drop simplicity and quick deployment. These apps can connect to hundreds of data sources, including other Microsoft 365 subscription applications.

Power Automate is a tool designed to enabled users to easily streamline repetitive tasks with automation. Similar to Power Apps, Power Automate is a low-code solution, with drag and drop tools and pre-built connectors, allowing employees of all skill levels to automate repetitive, mundane tasks.

Power Virtual Agents is an app in Microsoft Teams, where businesses can easily create their own chatbots that answer questions posed by other employees or team members. This can create a better employee experience, whilst increasing productivity and information accessibility. 

Mobility and Security

A Microsoft 365 subscription includes many security features to protect a business’s Microsoft estate, as well as employees’ devices. A Microsoft 365 Business Basic and Business Standard subscription includes Basic Mobility and Security. With this, businesses can secure and manage mobile devices with management policies and access controls.

A Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscription includes Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS). EMS have advanced security features, including endpoint protection, mobile device management, Conditional Access and more. Recently Microsoft Defender for Business, which enables businesses to use Microsoft 365 as their security ecosystem, has been added to a Business Premium subscription, which includes web content filtering, automated investigation and response and endpoint detection and response.

Productivity Galore

The office applications within the Microsoft 365 suite of applications are designed to increase productivity, however Microsoft has also included other productivity applications, such as Planner, Whiteboard and Lists.

Microsoft Planner is a visual task management solution that organises teamwork and increases productivity. In Planner users can create Kanban boards with content rich cards including files, checklists, and labels.

Microsoft Whiteboard is an infinite virtual whiteboard designed for effective meetings and engaging learning. It is now built into Teams, allowing multiple users to write on the whiteboard for brainstorming and group planning.

Microsoft Lists is technically a software designed to create lists but is so much more than that. Lists allows users and teams to easily track information and organise their work. A key Lists feature is the ability to start a list based off a pre-built template. Some of these templates include issue trackers, event itineraries, asset tracking, project planner and social media calendars.

Getting the most out of your Microsoft 365 subscription

These are just some of the many features packed into a Microsoft 365 subscription. If you want to find out more, or if you would like a license review, contact us today.