Your Quick Guide to Microsoft 365 Technologies for the Modern Workplace - Part One

Welcome to our Modern Workplace blog series. Our first blog – The Modern Workplace Trends You Need to Know About, lists the five key trends influencing and reshaping the world of work.

Our second blog - Make it Happen: How to Drive Cultural Change in Your Workplace, shows how – by addressing five essential questions – you can improve your workplace's culture.   

In this three-part mini-series on technologies for the Modern Workplace, we share how to solve  common business headaches with Microsoft 365. These include how to:

1. collaborate effectively with your colleagues
2. communicate your brilliant idea 
3. keep pace in a world of information overload
4. find the information or experts you need without burning time
5. stay productive while on the move

So, grab a coffee and dive in. 

Challenge no. 1: How to Collaborate Effectively with Your Colleagues

Setting the right tone for how you and your teams communicate and exchange information is vital to productivity and a positive culture.  

Most of us have two distinct modes of collaboration: an inner circle of people we work with regularly and an outer loop we engage with sporadically.

The Solution

For those of you who frequently work together on high-velocity projects and core deliverables, Microsoft Teams is an ideal tool. Conversations, files, meetings and associated apps are held in a shared, structured hub that’s accessible to teammates both in and outside your organisation.

Your entire team - including external consultants and gig workers - can access everything they need to move a project forward, including the specific applications required for your projects such as Adobe Creative Cloud, SurveyMonkey and GitHub.

Microsoft Teams is integrated with Microsoft applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PowerBI and Stream, so everyone can collaborate and access information without leaving Teams shared work-space.

All files are automatically stored in SharePoint. Team members can even customise your intranet with project details and announcements for everyone in your organisation.

Download our eBook - Microsoft Teams: Your Definitive Guide for 2019

When connecting with people in your outer loop on a common interest or goal, Yammer allows everyone in your company to share information and find expertise. Groups and conversations are open by default, making them discoverable by everyone.

Useful Resources 

Challenge no. 2: How to COMMUNICATE Your Brilliant Idea 

How do you make your idea stand out and get your colleagues or stakeholders on board? How do you get input from others in the shortest, most efficient way?

The Solution

Microsoft has a few neat options for this.

It has tools to ensure your presentation meets the needs of your audience. For example, auto-translation allows you to display subtitles in up to 60 languages. Not only does this make your presentation suitable for an international audience, it makes it accessible to those who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

Make your presentation more compelling with cloud-powered design suggestions. Create polished slides and captivating motion effects in a few short steps.

Manage your files in the cloud with SharePoint or OneDrive without reconciling multiple versions of a document. Share content securely with anyone inside or outside your organisation and enable them to access files from anywhere.  

Artificial Intelligence. Enable new methods of creative input and feedback, such as dictation that can be transcribed and translated.

Useful Resources 

Here are handpicked links to authoritative resources:

Implementing collaboration and communication tools can be daunting. Check out Fresh – the intelligent intranet from Content and Code – an IT Lab company.

As an accredited Microsoft Partner, Content and Code’s consultants are expert across the entire Microsoft 365 stack

Challenge no. 3: How to Keep Pace in a World of Information Overload

We’re constantly bombarded with information and often pick up a lengthy list of to-dos at meetings. Efficiently recording and managing everything you need to keep on top of your job can be testing. 

The Solution

OneNote is your canvas to capture, organise and share your notes from any device. You can record or hand-write notes, annotate documents, and sketch out your next big idea with the natural feel of pen and paper and the power of digital ink.

You can even snap a photo of a whiteboard and Office Lens will digitise the notes for you. Built-in translation fosters collaboration. A powerful search feature allows you to scan voice-recorded, typed and even handwritten notes.

Useful Resources 

We’ve sourced the best reads, so you don’t have to:

Modernising Your Workplace With Microsoft eBook download link

Challenge no. 4: HOW TO Find the Information or Experts You Need Without Burning Time

How do you sift through thousands or even millions of documents to find the one you need? How do you pull in the right experts from inside and outside your company to get a project across the line?

The Solution

To find the information and people you need, Microsoft 365 provides a comprehensive search and discovery experience. It combines AI with company-wide data to help you discover relevant information, subject matter experts and trending topics.

By storing your files on OneDrive or SharePoint, you can search using natural language, just as you do on the internet. These file management tools can also identify text in images. With intelligent search, find whiteboards, screenshots and receipts without hassle.   

Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, AI-powered services allow you to import the information into Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

The tech giant has also integrated LinkedIn profiles with Microsoft 365 so that you can identify experts both in and outside your organisation with the click of a mouse.

Useful Resources

Here’s some of the best guidance we identified:

If you’re overwhelmed by choice, fear not. Our Business Performance Consultants can help you navigate your best options – pop your details into our contact form.

Watch this Space

Microsoft’s Tap feature for Word 2016 and Outlook 2016 isn’t yet available in the UK. Sign up for our updates (towards the foot of this blog post) and we’ll let you know when it’s released.

Challenge no 5: How to Stay Productive While on the Move

Almost half of professionals believe that the use of a mobile device is critical for productivity. How can you make your mobile working as efficient as it can be?

The Solution

Microsoft puts the workplace in your pocket by delivering applications like Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneDrive and Microsoft Teams to popular mobile platforms, including iOS and Android.

Create, chat, share and present – all from your favourite device - and access your company intranet wherever you are.  

A personal digital assistant – Cortana – helps Outlook mobile users stay on top of their day by providing reminders when it’s time to leave for an appointment. Cortana gives directions for both driving and public transport and includes real-time traffic information.

If you claim travel expenses, MileIQ enables you to track your mileage automatically and ensure you’re reimbursed.

Useful Resources 

CLosing words

The Microsoft Modern Workplace is your secure, integrated ecosystem. It’s simple for your user-base, and agile and scalable for your business. Check out parts two and three of our Microsoft 365 mini-series. 

How far is your organisation from the Microsoft modern workplace  ideal? Complete our complimentary online assessment to find out.

Office 365: What's ahead in 2019 eBook Link 

Written by Christine Ellis