With a program as powerful as Microsoft, business owners are able to organize and implement campaigns in a more efficient manner. The different branches allow for connectivity within the company, making communication and workflows a unifying experience. Tying all of Microsoft programs together is Microsoft 365, the homepage to their universe of features. Considering Microsoft wanted to build apps that would fulfill every user’s needs, there might be some features you didn’t know existed. And we’re not here to talk about Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. We dove into the Microsoft 365 and found apps that are worth looking into and using on a daily basis. Here’s what we found:
1. Microsoft Bookings
This handy-dandy feature allows customers to schedule appointments with your employees. Instead of having to email back and forth multiple times, they can go online and block out time for you to devote to them. Bookings includes a customizable web page that customers can use to schedule your business’s services or coworkers blocking out meetings within the company. For example, you can schedule meetings with your accountants to cover billing and budgeting, or prospects can plan a meeting with you to learn more about your company and provided services. To manage appointments, there’s a dedicated calendar that simply organizes your employees availability in a professional manner. Offered on a mobile app for easy access, it contains the customer contact list, and sends out automated reminders to reduce no-shows.
2. Microsoft Delve
Delve is a useful tool that allows you to manage your Microsoft 365 profile, while also showing the documents your coworkers are working on. It never changes any permissions, so you will only see files you already have access to. Your private documents will not be seen by others and will remain secure. If you see files that apply to you, go ahead, and add it as a favorite or to a specific board so you can easily return to it. There’s also a search bar to find people, documents, or certain boards. This feature is useful for small businesses because you can save important documents that could get lost in the shuffle. You’re also able to track the progress of documents your team members are completing for your project.
3. Microsoft Lists
Lists is a pretty self-explanatory feature. While you might feel tempted to overlook this app, it can actually be a powerful tool in a variety of contexts. In Lists, you can track work, inform, and visualize data with your team all in one place. You can create an employee onboard checklist to make sure your new person has all the information they need. Or if you’re hosting an event, you can use Lists to create an event itinerary.
Additional bonuses within the app are the conversion of a list created from an Excel file, or you can use other imported documents to track data or progression. You can also create rules to automate processes based on your listed data, which will notify you if any changes have been made. This flexible feature, though simplistic, empowers SMB owners and employees to become more organized with their work and content.
4. Microsoft Power
Like the gravity that holds our universe together, Microsoft Power features were built to provide rich business logic and workflow capabilities, all to work into a digital, automated process. They bring your company to a new level, offering services that organize your structure to looking more professional to your customers, employees, and your shareholders. They are known as Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI.
Because phones are one of the easiest ways to engage with your target audience, Microsoft Power Apps allows you to create a customizable app for your company. When you first log in, you are immediately given tools to learn about how to make an app that best fits the needs of your business and your customers. You can insert your data through SharePoint or Excel to create a three-screen app, connecting with other cloud storages like Google Drive or Dropbox. If your goal is to engage with your audience in a whole new way, this is the route to take!
Microsoft’s efficiency feature, Power Automate, helps you create automated workflows between your favorite apps and services. They possess the ability to synchronize files, notify you and your employees, and collect data overtime. You have control over the entire workflow process and can even catch a peek at the generated code to customize as needed.
Short for Business Intelligence, Power BI was created to help business owners have an easier time making decisions from the in-depth data insight BI provides. You are able to create data reports that are easy to read and understand, leaving no room for misinterpretation. With those data sets, you can connect and promote them across organizational channels while keeping everything accurate and up to date. Considering how valuable your data is, BI includes protection that continued to work, even if the information is shared outside your organization through formats such as Excel, PowerPoint, or PDF.
5. Microsoft Stream
While there are many social media platforms that offer live streaming services, none compare to Microsoft Stream. Not only can you create a live event, you can also connect with different channels and groups across the program for information and tips. Stream is a secure video service that allows you to manage who views your video content, and how widely you’d like the video shared within your business. For organizational purposes, you can place certain videos in channels you’ve created so information isn’t lost
6. Microsoft Sway
Tired of giving out boring, unoriginal presentations and newsletters? Microsoft Sway is an innovative and entirely new way to display your handouts. From proposals to press releases, you can design files and documents that come with unique visuals and transitions to continue keeping your audience engaged and involved. With ready-made templates available for whatever theme you need, customizing your documents to fit your company is easy and user-friendly.
7. Microsoft Visio
Coming up with content ideas to roll out for your business is one thing, but it’s the execution that takes time and money. That’s where Microsoft Visio comes in. You can create a variety of charts, such as flowcharts or org charts, to plan out your steps for a campaign or create a floor plan for implementing social distancing in the workplace. You can collaborate in real time with other coworkers on different projects to increase productivity and complete projects in an efficient manner.
Bonus App: Microsoft Vivia Insights
While the other tools are meant to power your business, Microsoft Viva Insights looks at the overall efficiency as you work. Viva Insights helps you thrive within your business by taking in data and creating recommendations to improve productivity and wellbeing. You can get personal insights, manager insights, leader insights, and advanced insights, all providing different resources to make your workday and calendar more productive and effective. Viva generates a briefing email through Outlook, you can adjust your habits and meetings accordingly to produce the most productive day.
Bonus App: Microsoft Yammer
While Microsoft Teams provides a professional environment for your employees to accomplish projects, Microsoft Yammer is a fun way for your employees to interact and engage with their coworkers. Similar to other social media platforms, you can give a variety of reactions to posts, comment, and even give rewards. You can also get involved with other communities, create virtual events, and receive feedback from posted polls or quizzes. It’s a more casual way to connect and engage with those you work with.
Microsoft Teams Consulting Services
Each of these featured apps could push your business towards success, but the best app to learn more about is Microsoft Teams. Our experts will help you maximize your business productivity, specific to your industry, as you work. With CoreTech Consulting and Training, we can align with your business goals to help you use Teams at its fullest potential. Reach out to us today and learn more about our consulting services!