Are You Utilising the Full Power of Microsoft 365

A powerful tool, M365 is packed full of clever solutions designed to address and solve the pain points commonly experienced in a growing organisation, yet many customers are simply not utilising the bulk of products and features that are bundled into their subscription.

The author of this page: Conall O'Kane
Conall O'Kane, Modern Workplace Team Lead Feb 01, 2022

With Microsoft set to increase M365 license costs for the first time in years, is your organisation missing a trick when it comes to maximising return on license costs?

Introduced in late 2017, Microsoft 365 bundled traditional Office 365 features with Enterprise Mobility, Security and Windows 10 to provide a complete cloud productivity solution. While many upgraded to avail of this added functionality, the reality is there are a host of often underutilised O365 apps and features that can deliver value to your business.

To help tap into this potential, let’s look at six commonly underutilised apps.

To-Do

A cross-platform task management solution, Microsoft To-Do makes it easier than ever before to create, organise and keep track of your tasks.

The “My Day” feature, helps users maximise their day by focusing in on daily tasks with intelligent suggestions providing task recommendations for each new day based on upcoming items, flagged Outlook emails, Microsoft Planner tasks or old entries. Lists can be created to group tasks by type allowing you to manage work and life seamlessly across any device.

Using Cortana? Add to and hear notifications across any list you may have created from any Cortana enabled machine.

Planner

Not quite ready to invest in a project management solution, yet looking for a way to take the chaos out of teamwork? Consider Microsoft Planner.

A team-work orientated tool available to premium, business and educational subscribers, Planner provides a simple, visual way to organise your teams. With 'boards' for each plan and ‘buckets’ for grouping tasks, you can quickly and easily categorise, assign and organise each task by simply dragging and dropping between columns to ensure everyone involved in a workstream has visibility on what tasks they are responsible for and when they are due.

A cloud-based solution, Planner can be accessed across all your devices, helping keep you and your team updated wherever, whenever. Plus, with native integration to Microsoft Teams, it's never been easier to collaborate regardless of your team's physical location.

Yammer

An enterprise social network, Yammer provides employees with the ability to share ideas and updates, seek solutions and build relationships with their peers. Historically many organisations have overlooked the potential benefits of such systems, however, the rise of remote and hybrid working has reinforced the need to foster business culture both in-person and online.

Similar to Teams, Yammer focuses on facilitating communication, and to understand the difference it is important to consider the ecosystems each platform is best suited to serve. Your inner loop consists of fellow team members and the people you work with regularly; these are the people you communicate with using Teams. Your outer loop on the other hand is everyone in your organisation with whom you might have shared interests or simply want to connect with. Designed for larger group numbers and lower-velocity communications, Yammer is the platform of choice for outer loop conversations such as company announcements, asking for help from colleagues outside your immediate department or group and collecting feedback on company-wide initiatives.

Power Apps

Is your organisation considering low-code? Using PowerApps within the context of Office 365 is included in the service at no additional cost, enabling business users to build, configure and integrate apps that are custom-built for your organisation. From simple surveys to inventory management, PowerApps can greatly increase ROI and business process efficiency.

With hundreds of templates from which functionality can be easily configured and seamless integration with other Office 365 products such as SharePoint, Teams and Power BI, the possibilities are endless.

Forms

From customer feedback to employee satisfaction, your business relies on data to succeed. Gain valuable insights with forms, polls, and surveys all without adding yet another software license, thanks to Microsoft Forms.

An online survey creator, Forms allows users to create surveys and quizzes with automatic marking. Choose who can access your survey at the click of a button with both internal and external access controls, while the platform aggregates data in real-time and shows your results visualised in charts. Need to dig deeper? Simply export your data to excel.

With effortless integration to Teams, increase engagement and capture employee sentiment on the world’s leading communication platform.

My Analytics

Tracking behaviour insights about your employees, MyAnalytics helps increase efficiency by focusing on two core productivity factors: who users spend their time with and how they spend it.

A personalised tool, MyAnalytics provides your employees with recommendations on how to be more productive with privacy at the core – personal insights and data can only be accessed by the individual. Focus areas include protecting work-life balance and reducing overdependence on meetings, which are proven to have a negative impact on organisational productivity when overused.

Weekly digests are stored in your Outlook inbox to provide a summary of the previous week and help you map out Focus time in the coming weeks. The dashboard displays statistics like productivity insights, work habits and suggestions for improvement while online suggestions and insights available directly in Outlook help boost productivity on the fly.

At Storm, we work with companies across the island of Ireland to realise the full potential of their investment in the Microsoft technology stack from usage assessments to solution design and development. To find out how we can help your business, get in touch today.

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