Matthew is a University Student up in Coventry studying Media Production. Having him part of the team allows us to have a good knowledge of the media industry and have an experienced employee in the field of video making.
Microsoft Office has been the staple for people looking to do things from word processing to creating spreadsheets for over 20 years. The product portfolio has long since grown into Office 365, with a huge range of apps, tools and functionality. However, partly due to the sheer breadth of the app portfolio, and partly to the historic view of Office as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, many of the tools are under-used or not used at all. From automating workflows, to customer surveys, to video libraries, Office 365 has tools that will make your staff more productive by giving them some of the best tools in the industry.
What do your customers think of your service and/or business? Feedback is key on knowing what you could improve on. Microsoft Forms is an app that allows you to build polls, quizzes and forms (of course). These forms can be sent inside and outside of your organisation and you can view the answers on Forms. It integrates with Excel so you can view it on a spreadsheet format.
It also integrates with Teams: meaning it’s easy to get internal feedback as well as making a poll on what you’re having for lunch.
You know when you’re working and there is a repetitive sequence you must follow. It’s taken so much time and there should be something to do it for you. Well, Microsoft Flow is here to make you life so much easier!
Flow is a tool that automates simple tasks between different programs. You can configure your own flow to fit your needs, for example, you can ask Flow to create tasks in your To-Do list when you receive an email from a VIP. As the name suggests, its a great way of setting up workflows, including approval workflows across platforms.
When collaborating with your co-workers, you usually move between different platforms to send messages, send documents and have a video conference. What if there is a platform that does all of that and more?
It’s mad to think that Microsoft Teams is an underused app! It’s such a useful business tool that makes working in a team so much more efficient. You can assign tasks, host conference calls and document share BUT what’s point when we have Skype, SharePoint and Planner. Well, Teams integrates with so many Office 365 apps that makes work more efficient. You can also connect non-Office 365 apps and bots.
Like YouTube, Microsoft Stream is a video-based platform for business where you can upload video content and say which certain groups can watch what, for example, if you can have training videos catered for different roles, you can assign the videos to certain users. It also integrates with Teams; meaning it’s a great way to manage your training on one platform.
Microsoft PowerApps is a platform that allows you create custom business apps. You can pick a sample app or template to get started OR you can build your own from scratch. This service is a great way to create apps for the web, smartphones and you can even embed them into Microsoft Teams and SharePoint. We all like to have time off but requesting it can be challenging/ long winded. PowerApps is the perfect solution to create an app that employees can request time off. It integrates with Flow; meaning it designs the logic of what happens in your app and then allows your app to go through procedures for certain tasks.
Sway is a web-based presentation builder that is free to use and has some smart features that helps you build your presentations, for example, you can upload a Word Document directly into Sway and it will form the basis of the presentation for you from what’s on the document. It also integrates with OneDrive; meaning it will allow you add content you have saved from there.
It sounds a bit like PowerPoint… and the concept is similar. However, it it offers different layout options for how your want to present your work (Vertical Scroll, Horizontal Scroll and Slideshow), which allows you to use it in different ways to a slide deck. Its even good for things such as internal newsletters, or quickly creating a short training course. Using the in-built AI functionality, you can even give Sway a subject and it will build the start of a presentation for you.
There isn’t a clear suggestion on whether to use PowerPoint or Sway. It all depends how your want to build your presentation and how you want to present it.
How to get started
Most businesses using Office will be using it as Office 365 - the good news is that you probably already have access to these tools. If you do not have access, please talk to your system administrators to get things going, or give our friendly team a call for more help. If you have a legacy version of Office, speak to our team and we can talk to you about upgrading to Office 365, including providing a one month free trial.
I find their approach to our relationship very professional whilst being refreshingly realistic. We now consider them to be part of our teamTechnical Director, Bainbridge International