Streamline Your Employee Communications Using Microsoft Office 365

Posted by Jim Richardson on Sep 9, 2016 4:05:07 PM in Office 365

office-365-collaborationEmployee communications is no doubt a hot button topic for you and if you rely on segmented services like email, web conferencing, or isolated web portals, you may find that it is creating more problems than solutions. Unfortunately, the previous piece meal strategy of pulling separate programs together causes employee communication capabilities to be anything but intuitive or collaborative for today’s digital economy. There is a solution that allows for smooth implementation and brings amazing capabilities for collaboration and boosts productivity.

Perhaps you know about the cloud by now and have heard about how it brings you technology to scale your business and improve internal communications. The challenge is finding a truly flexible cloud solution to meet your needs, offering flexibility, a sound integration, and mobility all while avoiding interruption to employees work.

Part of a smooth transition is having a solution that's familiar for your employees, and at the same time keep your IT group happy with a high level of available integration.

Office 365 is the answer these to your communication problems thank to easy mobile integration and with the web. Let's take a look at how to streamline your employee communications with Microsoft Office 365.

Productivity While On the Go

As part of the Office 365 suite, Microsoft Outlook provides a comprehensive communication tool that includes features well beyond just a standard email tool, including a comprehensive calendar, access to documents, ease of scheduling, and updating meetings with colleagues or clients. In addition to use on Mac or PC desktops, all of these features can be used on any mobile or tablet device, making collaboration a breeze for today's on-the-go mobile workforce.

With the Groups function, Outlook provides flexibility to set up communication portals for specific teams or departments for quick communications to discuss and track communications for specific projects.

Extending the mobility capabilities, employees can utilize Outlook to collaborate in real-time, access and share all files from OneDrive cloud storage, or even initiate a video conference call with Skype for Business. The latter helps with urgent decision collaborations, or last-minute meetings, but there are a number of capabilities that Skype for Business offers that are worth exploring.

 

Connect & Collaborate From Anywhere

skype-collaborationSkype for Business provides the ease of a face to face meeting with up to 250 people, bringing together a team quickly for meetings that can't wait, for clients to meet with their team for a more personal experience and resolves having to delay scheduling trying to get everyone to the same location. Using Outlook or the Outlook Web App, with one to two clicks HD video meetings can be scheduled the same way you'd normally schedule, and with the dial-in conferencing installed, the meeting request will automatically include the dial-in number and conference ID.

The Skype Outlook integration provides the synergy necessary to provide the employee communications for better productivity because it offers the convenience of one system that employees already feel comfortable using. With the video, audio and web conferencing that Skype for Business provides on any device--from PCs and Macs to smartphones and tablets, and even meeting room devices--it answers the call for simplified mobility. Not to mention that it makes it easy for video to be part of everyday business activities with the collaboration goes beyond the visual video aspect.

It's one thing to see those in the meeting and talk about actionable steps, but what about completing those changes for deliverables in real time while on the video call? With Outlook's Skype integration, employees can focus on what they're doing together with desktop and application sharing, real time co-authoring of documents, as well as full Powerpoint Presentations. Never hear that there was no way to get in the same room, or that it was delayed until a team member was back from a business trip because Skype for Business means the office meeting is right in everyone's hands.

Understanding that not all connections require a virtual video meeting, Skype for Business in Microsoft Office 365 offers a cloud PBX feature which can also be used as a phone system, as well as for instant messaging. This feature is perfect for small to medium sized businesses, branch offices or for remote employees that work out of a home office.

Just like the dial tone you'd have if you have a landline installed, everyone is connected to the public switched telephone network (PSTN), users in your organization will have voicemail, can hold conference calls, hold and resume while on a call, and just like any landline, they can transfer calls to any Skype for Business contacts, which of course includes those contacts within the company. As if that isn't convenient enough, everyone can do all of this comfortably using their keyboard and mouse, or even their touchscreen laptop or Microsoft Surface. 

 

Get Personalized Work Information Without Research

Delve is a program within Office 365 redefining research for your employees. It's a program that's intuitive and personalizes for each individual person's work life, as it provides information on the projects and the people with whom they are collaborating so the information and connections provided are relevant. With Delve, you move away from a general one-size-fits-all interface, providing employees with the information they need, when they need it.

No other tool on the market can bring intuitive research to your workers with the same accuracy rate. This immediately enhances productivity and saves valuable research time. It also gives faster links to leads so you speed up the sales funnel.

Real-Time Co-Authoring of Documents

As part of Microsoft's focus on real-time collaboration, Office Online offers real-time co-authoring for employees as if they were sitting directly in front of one another. This completely alleviates delays or confusion for document editing and collaboration due to travel or distance between employees.

When you have to travel individually for business, working collectively on an important project was once impossible. Even if mobile technology could once do some of this, it wasn't until recently when real-time editing on documents became available.

With Office Online, employees have access to Word Online, Powerpoint Online, and Excel Online, with all edits synced to the files in the OneDrive cloud storage for 24/7 accessibility. This means that as changes are made to the documents, co-workers can see the updates immediately and make their collaborative edits as well. With this syncing capability, it won’t matter if you’re working on a computer in the office, or an iPad out in the field.

If you're wondering about transforming your business using the cloud, learn more about how to successfully manage the change in your company by downloading our free Guide to Digital Transformation. If you have specific questions or want to have a deeper discussion about how Microsoft 365 for Business can help your employee communication and collaboration, we invite you to have a free, no obligation consultation call with one of our specialists.

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Jim Richardson

About the Author: Jim Richardson

Jim is the owner of Finchloom and known as the Cloud King due to both his experience and passion for cloud services.

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