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Office 365 – why should non-IT people care?

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Your IT manager may be very excited about Microsoft Office 365, but the thought of new software is generally far less thrilling for non-technical users. But the truth is Office 365 will make your job (and your life) a whole lot easier.

Here are three reasons you should look forward to using this particular software package.

1. Improved work/life balance
The pressures of the modern world require us to adjust home and work lives to meet the obligations of both. The good news is that Office 365 makes it much easier to work whenever, and wherever required.

Using Office 365 you can access all of your documents from virtually any device, including your smartphone. Whether you’re on the road or working from home, putting together a presentation or updating the latest sales figures spreadsheet, you will always have the tools you need at your fingertips.

And by being able to dip in and out of work, you can finally regain control of your professional and personal lives.

2. Making it easier to work together
Collaborating on documents is a total nightmare, especially once everyone begins emailing their own copy around the group. Office 365 has solved this problem by enabling true collaboration.

In future your whole team can work on a single version of the same file. Together. At the same time.

With Office 365 you have all the tools you need to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations as a team. You can see exactly what is being done in real time, and even discuss changes and suggestions using built-in chat tools.

The ability to work on the same file at the same time increases creativity, and dramatically reduces the time needed to secure approval for completed work.

These same collaboration tools are also available from any device too – so your team can work together, even when you’re not located near each other. Built-in communications tools like Outlook, Skype for Business and Yammer make it easy to stay in touch at all times – again using your PC, tablet or smartphone.

3. Working smarter, not harder
No longer a cliché, Office 365 really does allow you to work smarter. The suite is packed with time-saving features that may not sound earth-shattering, but all add up to make your life a little easier.

The Outlook email client has been redesigned so you can prioritise your most important messages for instance, using the ‘Focused Inbox’. And the more you use this priority filter, the more the system learns what is most important to you, filtering messages automatically. By focusing on priority messages, you are less likely to get caught-up in the more trivial details of your job that suck time away from more important tasks.

For Office 365 Enterprise subscribers, you also gain access to the MyAnalytics tool which allows you to see exactly how your day is divided across tasks. Using this automatically collected data you will know which people, meetings and projects consume most of your time – and whether it is actually being spent profitably or not.

A practical example
Let’s imagine you’re due to visit a client in London today. The meeting has been scheduled for weeks, but it also clashes with your month end routines. Worse still, your team is supposed to be doing a presentation to the CFO to secure funding for an additional project you’ve been planning for months.

Neither the meeting or the presentation can be put off – but Office 365 can help you get through both.

Working on the move
As you settle into your seat on the train heading into the city, you pull out your tablet and fire up the PowerPoint app. As you load up the finance presentation, you can see your team is already hard at work making some final tweaks. You update a few comments, and approve some of the changes, but there’s a problem with the third slide that seems to be missing some key input.

You add a few action points, tagged by the name of the team member who needs to supply the information, and move on to the next task – preparing for the customer meeting. Obviously you’ve already read through the relevant information, but figure that a quick review of the account won’t hurt.

Rather than trawling through endless email chains, you fire up the Delve app. This nifty utility surfaces all the most relevant documents and emails automatically – so you don’t have to waste time manually sorting information yourself.

A face-saving feature
As you hoped, that pre-meeting preparation has paid off. Everything goes smoothly until the client asks a particularly tricky technical question. You don’t know the answer – but you do know someone who does.

You pull out your smartphone and fire up the Skype app. Instantly you can launch a video call with the relevant product specialist who not only answers the question, but joins another colleague to the call so that they can give a live demonstration of the feature in question. Needless to say, your customer is suitably impressed – and you close the deal there and then.

On the way home you quickly check in to Yammer, your company’s social network. Judging from the messages of congratulations, your team also managed to secure the additional funding for your latest project. Office 365 has just helped you meet two deadlines today and secure the outcomes your business needed.

And that’s just a taster…

If that’s got your juices flowing and you want to find out more about how Office 365 can transform the way your employees work, why not attend our Office 365 workshop?

Register your free place here

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