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5 Apps you may not have come across in Microsoft Office 365

We’ve all been there, new software gets implemented throughout the workplace, and in the initial stages there’s an excitement and optimistic expectation to find out more and learn as much as possible. The next thing you know 6 months have gone by and you’ve not thought of it again.

In my experience, this is especially the case when organisation’s move to Microsoft Office 365. The intention is to explore and utilise all the Office 365 applications to streamline operational efficiencies. Unfortunately, the reality is users gravitate towards the familiar confines of outlook and their office suite, then everything settles back to the old status quo.

Whilst some of the bigger and more ‘enterprise’ scale applications such as SharePoint or Dynamics 365 do require careful planning and configuration, Office 365 offers a range of applications that can be used without the complexity. Better still, they are just sat there waiting to be utilised, almost no configuration necessary. How good is that?

Outlined below, I’ve handpicked 5 ‘no so known’ Office 365 applications, that you could get started with today!

 1.Microsoft Forms

Simple to create and easy to complete forms that can used for quizzes, polls or surveys. Use a form to request feedback from a customer on how they have found your service, or to poll staff opinion on locations for a team function.

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A form can be restricted to staff only or made available to be completed by anonymous users.  Responses are collated automatically and displayed in an easy to interpret manner, so trends can easily be identified.

Forms can be embedded in webpages, inside Sways, or a direct link to the form can be included in an email.  Great for simple follow up emails as part of a case closure or request completion.

 2.Microsoft Planner

Planner is a simple but effective way to manage work within the team.  Ideal for smaller teams, the visual representation of the progress of tasks and the drag and drop method of updating the status mean that Planner is extremely easy to use. 

Tasks are arranged in ‘buckets’ and allocated to users, along with a due date.  Tasks can be dragged from a “To-do” list to “In Progress” and “Done”.

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Planner can be viewed and managed directly from Teams which allows a Plan to be tied directly to a given Team or Channel.

3.Microsoft Stream

Stream is like YouTube for your Business.  Videos can be uploaded and arranged into “Channels” or categories.

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Stream is great to post company wide updates from senior management, or to provide a powerful training tool.

We all know that watching a 2-minute video on how to achieve a task, or follow a process is easier to create, and learn from, than a document containing text and screenshots.

 4.Microsoft Sway

Sway is a cloud-hosted service that allows the creation of modern stylish and more importantly in today’s technology driven world – mobile friendly content that breaks from the PowerPoint model of designing presentations.

Add Images, transitions, videos, embed external content and even Forms to a presentation that is easily accessible for consumers, whatever their device, or screen size.

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Sway presentations can be shared either just with colleagues, or with the outside world.

 5.Microsoft Teams

A team comprises a group of Office 365 users who are working on a given task or project.  Creating a new team is just a few clicks and you can invite internal staff as well as external users. 

An Activity feed allows for a chat style communication for quick, and informal sharing of ideas and instant feedback from customers.  Behind the scenes a separate Office 365 group allows for all communications to be tracked (emails and chat feeds) as well as a SharePoint document space. 

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A OneNote is also provided to allow shared note taking.  Further links to Planner, Stream, and external applications allow Teams to be the centre of communication and collaboration for a project.

I’d love to hear how you are using Office 365 to help your business to grow! What are your favourite hidden gems amongst the Office 365 applications?

Vinergy are specialist IT consultants and Microsoft certified partners. We are experts in Office 365, if your business is considering migrating to Office 365, we’re here to help

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