There’s no doubt that in the last few years we have seen a dramatic shift in the way businesses and their teams manage their working schedules. Maintaining connections with teams working both remotely and on-site has become a focus for most businesses and finding a solution that allows teams to collaborate effectively regardless of their working location is key to achieving this. Microsoft 365 is exactly that solution.
While investing in new technology can be costly, especially for smaller businesses with tighter budgets, Microsoft 365 is an affordable cloud-based platform that contains all the tools you need in terms of productivity, connectivity and collaboration all in one place.
In this article, we highlight 13 ways that Microsoft 365 can benefit small businesses.
What is Microsoft 365?
First, let’s take a glance at Microsoft 365 and what it has to offer.
Microsoft 365 is a bundle of services that also includes Office 365, which pretty much everyone is already familiar with. The whole package has now been rebranded as simply Microsoft 365 and is essentially a cloud-based suite of apps and services that are all centred around business productivity.
The suite includes a host of well-known apps such as Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Teams.
The beauty of Microsoft 365 is that it also includes Windows 10 Enterprise, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), and machine learning – but it is worth noting that only certain Microsoft 365 licenses include these features. Like the former Office 365, there are multiple plans to choose from depending on your needs, which is ideal for small businesses that need to keep the cost down.
The services included in Microsoft 365 are also available as separate licences. If you’re a small business owner, you’ll definitely want to read on to see the wide range of benefits that Microsoft 365 can offer you and your business.
How does Microsoft 365 benefit small businesses?
1. Helps with maintaining a remote workforce
In this current working landscape, flexibility is important for your employees. Microsoft Teams is an excellent tool which facilitates a more varied workforce. Users can host conference video and conference phone calls allowing easy communication between multiple users and real-time collaboration.
This is also beneficial for the customer, who expects a seamless personalised service.
2. Get the best out of your existing workflows
Too many changes in business operations can be overwhelming for your team. With Microsoft 365, you can continue to use your existing workflows and improve them.
Microsoft offers over 600 different integrations so you can still use all of your favourite apps including Mailchimp, Trello, Slack etc.
3. Simplify project management to ensure business continuity
When various project management tools are being used, it can be a challenge to track projects. Microsoft 365 allows for your project details to remain in one place, simplifying the process.
With Microsoft Teams, users can keep project-specific tasks, content, and communications on the Microsoft Teams channel, which allows for collaboration in real time on any device from any location. Shared Calendars, automatic emails and other features ensure projects can stay on track and teams remain connected.
4. Strengthen your online business culture
The post-pandemic era has seen a huge rise in remote working. Creating an environment which fosters inclusivity for all is more important than ever. Using engagement tools such as polls and surveys is a great way for employees to interact with each other, for management to gather feedback and to help build a good remote-working culture.
Microsoft Teams can also be used for social gatherings offering an opportunity for team bonding which may be lost due to remote working.
5. Attract and retain a quality workforce
Employee retention in the digital age is a challenge. With the increasing move to virtual workforces, having seamless and streamlined remote working processes is an excellent way to attract and retain talent from a wider pool and support staff retention.
6. Boost employee productivity and satisfaction
For employees, lack of connection with their colleagues and customers coupled with frustrations with technology can take its toll on their mood and productivity levels.
By investing in Microsoft 365, you’re giving your employees all the tools they need to do their job efficiently, which will encourage them to work harder and improve team morale.
7. Create a Microsoft 365 learning hub for your team
With Microsoft 365, you can train your team on the software immediately. Creating a learning hub using the resources within Microsoft 365 makes staff training an easy process, through video tutorials, step-by-step guides and a free downloadable Microsoft Adoption workbook.
8. Secure data storage
Storing data securely is essential for collaborating teams. Included in Microsoft’s 365 packages is Microsoft OneDrive – cloud storage enabling storage of up to 1TB of data securely and safely.
OneDrive allows easy but secure access to files for individuals and shared work files regardless of their working location.
9. One single licence for your company
For small to medium-sized business owners’ software licensing can be a nuisance – it can be difficult to manage and navigate, not to mention expensive.
The Microsoft 365 licence fees cover all of the software solutions that you need, leaving it much easier to manage and scale, as well as being more cost-effective.
10. Best-in-class word processor
Did you know that Microsoft Word is the most common and best-known word-processing software out there? Hardly surprising when we consider its user-friendly design which allows users to create, organise and write documents efficiently.
When it comes to Microsoft 365, Word documents can take collaboration to the next level. Multiple team members can work on the same document, at the same time, without any risk of losing your work because you forgot to save your changes.
11. Microsoft 365 means enhanced email facilities
The Microsoft 365 email facility, Microsoft Outlook is one of the best-known and preferred email clients. It comes as standard with Microsoft 365 and can be paired with Microsoft Exchange, an email server that is optimised for your business email requirements.
This provides secure email delivery, automated & synced calendars, a 50GB mailbox and cloud-based management to name but a few.
12. Advanced cyber security software
Microsoft 365 offers always-up-to-date antivirus software through Microsoft Defender. This tool provides a high level of security, keeping your system safe from the cyber threats of today, including ransomware, phishing, viruses, malware and general spam.
13. Build your own intranet
Take collaboration to the next level with Microsoft SharePoint. With this tool, team members can create intranet sites to share work internally, which allows for teams to engage and collaborate on projects whether working on-site or from home. You can also use this tool as a secure place to organise, share, access and store information from any device.
And these benefits are only scratching the surface of what’s possible with Microsoft 365!
Calnet IT Solutions – your Microsoft 365 provider
For all businesses, having the right tools in place is essential to improving the employee and customer experience.
Having the best-in-class suite of business productivity tools at your fingertips is made possible with Microsoft 365. You and your team can have access to tools such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook from anywhere, and on any device, all supercharged by the cloud.
By choosing Microsoft 365, your business can be more flexible, more productive and more cost-effective, which is an important factor, particularly for small businesses.
At Calnet IT Solutions, we have an experienced team who are highly knowledgeable on Microsoft 365 and our team has deployed Microsoft 365 for thousands of business users across Dublin and Ireland.
We understand the importance of finding one affordable solution to suit your business needs which is why we bundle Microsoft 365 licences with proactive, reliable support for an affordable monthly cost and specialise in seamless migrations to the cloud.
Get in touch to speak with our team today about what Microsoft 365 can do for your business.