How to get the most out of your Microsoft 365 subscription.
What is Microsoft 365?
Almost all of us are already familiar with Office 365 and it’s instantly recognisable favourites like Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It is reported that the software is used by over 1.5 billion people worldwide. Well, after a lot of brainstorming, the creative geniuses at Microsoft have now decided to change its name to ‘Microsoft 365’. It will still include everything you expect from your Office 365 package – and more!
Millions of businesses already rely on M365’s tools, however there is so much more to the subscription based ‘Office in the Cloud’ than many realise.
Think of the M365 packages as the engine, or in today’s world, the battery. It works beautifully, however if you start adding wheels, a body, comfy seats etc. you can start to achieve more than you previously thought possible! M365 can allow you to build the Office of the Future but to fully utilise its capabilities, you need to explore the realm of additional features it has to offer.
With M365, your desk is no longer an obstacle. When paired with Microsoft Teams, you can have meetings, chat, take calls, share files and collaborate in real time whether you are working remotely or onsite.
I know what you are thinking, “everyone knows you can do calls in Teams.” But did you know that Teams can be utilised to completely replace the need for a landline telephone?
The M365 phone system allows you to make and receive traditional phone calls from Teams, Outlook, or a mobile device! You can even use your existing telecommunications providers by directly connecting their SIP trunks to Microsoft Teams.
These kinds of innovations are making it more likely that in the future, many of us will be able to carry out our entire workday from our mobile phones!
Teams allows you to find, share and edit files for well known apps like, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from inside Teams itself, in real time!
Also, thanks to being platform independent, no longer are we going to be constrained by the chunky desktop computer we sit next to all our working day.
If you fancy nipping out to your local café for a change of scenery, but you have already used up your allotted break time; take your work with you on your trusty tablet or smartphone!
It doesn’t even matter if you are switching between a Windows, Apple or Android device, Teams does not discriminate!
Thanks to OneDrive Cloud Storage, you can access, share and collaborate on all of your files from any device, anywhere. Helping you stay productive no matter where you are working. Have an urgent assignment to complete but cannot access your desktop? With M365, you can use your mobile or tablet to access all your files and continue working seamlessly.
Data is now the World’s most valuable commodity! The World is becoming more and more interconnected at an ever-increasing rate.
Did you know, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced by humans every day?! I find that statistic completely mind boggling. 1.7 MB of data was created every second by every person during 2020.
Data is an extremely valuable asset for a business, and it has become more important than ever that this influx of data is protected and secured.
It is worth noting though, that standard M365 packages do not come with Cloud Backup, leaving your data at risk. Something as innocuous as an employee accidentally deleting a file and then closing the application can mean that data is lost.
Alternatively, the situation could be far more serious. If someone were to gain unauthorised access to company data and delete files they could potentially be lost forever if no one was to notice in time.
They are many different options to acquire Cloud Backup services for your M365 subscription; one example is StorageCraft’s Cloud Backup package that provides you with automated daily backups of data, protecting you against user errors, malicious attacks, and system errors.
When you have a backup in place, it is simple to restore your M365 data when necessary. A disaster recovery plan will give you the piece of mind that your business and its data is in safe hands. With the number of daily ransomware attacks ever increasing, it is more important than ever that your data is safe.
Security & Reliability
According to Fundera, 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses. Large businesses are pouring more and more money towards toughening up their cyber-security, and as a result. cyber criminals have started turning towards small businesses, particularly the finance departments.
As workers are spending more time away from the office, many of them are using unapproved devices in addition to the tools provided by their company. For example, sharing documents with colleagues via mobile devices! There has been a vicious rise in the number of mobile phishing attacks worldwide sparked by the increase in remote working, cyber criminals are targeting both Android and IOS phones.
M365 Business Security Centre aids you in overcoming the challenge of Managing Security. The security centre allows you to monitor your security, configure devices, users and apps. 3 of the main features Microsoft mention are, protect against security threats, protect business data against leaks, and control who has access to business information.
M365 Business contains features to help you maintain compliance and regulatory standards, such as Exchange Online Archiving, Sensitivity Labels and Data Loss Prevention (DLP).
We have all sorts of information saved automatically into our browsers. Can you remember the last time you had to physically enter your password for something? Personally, Google enters all mine for me; and it is the same with bank details, etc.
Fortunately, M365’s DLP feature recognises sensitive information and takes the relevant steps to help prevent the unintentional or accidental sharing of the sensitive information.
In the case of an email containing sensitive information, DLP will log the event for auditing purposes, display a warning to the end user who is sending the email or sharing the file, and actively block the email or file sharing from taking place. Phew!
Office of the future
The Work From Anywhere (WFA) movement has been bubbling softly under the surface for a few years now. The COVID pandemic caused it to boil over and suddenly, we are learning that most of us can perform our jobs without the requirement to be on site or contained inside an office with our colleagues. In fact, with M365, many of us can do our jobs from our mobile phones, from anywhere in the world (providing there is an internet connection).
Finding a work life balance is much more achievable with WFA. In days gone by, employees were not able to work from anywhere but the office, however thanks to the improvements in technology, that is no longer the case. The mental health benefits of finding a work life balance are huge. Productivity rates increase thanks to employees being able to put the time they save from their commute, back into their personal lives.
Not everything is sunshine and rainbows with WFA. It is worth noting that working side by side with your colleagues in the real world allows great collaboration to take place. Working in an office is a great way to meet new people and make friends, and whilst for some it can be distracting and reduce productivity, for others it helps them to achieve their work goals more effectively and efficiently.
The modern way of working means that no matter where you are, be it at home or staying with a friend/parents, you will have the ability to attend meetings online, share files and be productive, no matter where you are based.
The onus will now be on employers to create environments that employees want to spend their time. They will need to tempt workers away from their homes and back into the office. Offices will become ‘destinations’, desirable locations where we choose to be for all the right reasons.