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January 07, 2020


5 Microsoft Technologies for collaboration


By SpiderGroup

 

Microsoft has a wide range of tools that provide a lot more than just word processing and spreadsheets. If you're already using Office 365 for a few elements of your business technology, it's easy to build in some even better, collaborative tools for your teams. 

SharePoint and Office 365 enable complete collaboration within business teams and departments. There are dozens of ways to use these platforms, whether you’re in content creation, management, or sales, to create a dynamic relationship with your employees.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams combines workplace chat, notes, meetings, attachments and calls. This makes it easier to communicate as a team, while providing a hub for teamwork. All the tools below are built into Microsoft Teams, so you can connect everything together. Handy, right?

We've effectively eliminated internal emails by using Teams to collaborate, providing a full paper trail of all discussions related to a team or topic. Within each team, we attach documents and links as required, so there's no need to use email for internal communication. In fact, using Teams means we're always up to date, and no one is responding to the first email in a chain when the discussion has already moved on - making collaboration easier and more relevant. 

Teams also allows you to add on extensions other than Microsoft ones, which comes in handy for all the Apple users who might need something else.

Power BI

Power BI is a great business reporting tool that enables you and your colleagues to collaborate on dashboards, reports and datasets. It automatically pulls data from platforms like Google Analytics, helping you to understand your data.

You can collaborate on dashboards and reports with other team members, and share them throughout Microsoft software so you’re all on the same page. Data is key for business - how can you improve how you're doing, if you don't have a clear picture of where you are now? With Power BI, you can create reports that reflect the exact, up-to-date situation, across a huge variety of business areas, so that your strategic decisions can be made with relevant and timely data. 

Delve

Use Delve to manage your Office 365. Think of it as your own dashboard of your whole cloud. The content shown is personalised to your own activity, suggesting documents and people that are relevant to you. You can also create boards related to keywords, helping you stay on top of your projects.

Click on a person to see what documents they're working on, favourite documents to find them quickly and easily in the future or add them to your boards, and search for people/boards/documents quickly and simply. 

People will only be able to see documents that they already have permission to view, or that you've shared with them, so you don't need to worry about your private documents being visible to anyone else. 

Everyone has their own profile page on Delve, so if you keep them filled in, you can use these pages to find out more about your colleagues and connect with them directly - perfect if you have a large business with a lot of disparate teams.

Office Online

Office online is exactly what it sounds like; it’s the Office suite you’ve grown used to but online. What does this mean to you?  Well, it makes sharing and working on collaborative documents a lot easier.

Office Online enables real time co-authoring, so you and your colleagues can edit documents at the same time - no more sending backwards and forwards numerous versions of the same document. Just invite them to edit your document, and start working together. The same is true for all of the Office suite, so your presentations and spreadsheets can be worked on simultaneously, too. 

You can tag people in comments on the collaborative documents so they'll specifically see what you've added. If you've been away from the document, the system will let you know when you next open it that changes have been made.

PowerApps

PowerApps is great for those with no prior app developing experience - you can easily develop your own apps to do all sorts of things, that run in a browser, tablet or phone.

PowerApps provides you with templates and sample data (much easier than starting from scratch), and works with drag and drop concepts for maximum simplicity. We use PowerApps to record mileage on our company cars, for example, so everyone can log in and see the data, wherever they are. You can create anything from annual leave tracking apps to apps that perform case management, track entries to a competition, manage invoices, and pretty much anything you can think of! 

Of course, if you have more experience, you're able to develop your apps from scratch.

All of these apps are integrated into Office 365, allowing for an effortless and smooth workflow, and- believe us - your employees will thank you.  As a Microsoft Gold Partner, SpiderGroup can help you decide which package is the best fit for your situation, help you with the installation of the Office 365 software and provide ongoing support to ensure that any questions or problems that come up are resolved successfully.

To find out more about how SpiderGroup can help your business you can call us on 0117 933 0570.

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