Make the most of your Office 365 Subscription

Many small businesses have replaced their on premises Exchange Server with Office 365. In a lot of cases this change was driven by the need to replace an ageing Microsoft Small Business Server installation. A common migration scenario is to move mail to Exchange Online (part of Office 365) and then replace Small Business Server with either Microsoft Server Essentials or Microsoft Server standard. Some may opt for no server at all depending upon the requirements of the business.

Once the migration has been completed and staff breath a sigh of relief that the disruption caused by change wasn’t as bad as they had feared, work carries on as normal. But there is much, much more to Office 365 than Exchange Online. Let’s take a look at the additional Office 365 features that are included with most subscriptions.

Most people think “email” when Office 365 is mentioned. There is no doubt that Exchange Online is one of the foundations of the Office 365 service. It is almost certainly the reason that most businesses move to Office 365. There are many other features in Office 365, though, and most of them have a similar purpose – making it easier for you to work with other people. Those people may be your colleagues but increasingly will included people from clients, suppliers and other organisations that you deal with. Let’s name the services first, and then I’ll look at one in more detail to illustrate how you might benefit from using it.

Most Office 365 subscriptions include:

Skype for Business

Many of you will already be familiar with Skype and know how useful it is to keep in contact with friends and family. Skype for Business takes this several steps further by adding to the familiar Skype features.

Using Skype for Business you can communicate with groups or individuals using:

  • Instant Messaging (IM)
  • Voice calls
  • Video calls
  • Online meetings

You status and availability can be linked to your Outlook calendar. For example, if you schedule a meeting with a client your availability will automatically show “In a meeting” during the scheduled time in your calendar.

Using a combination of the features you could, for example:

  • See when your work colleagues are available. This is particularly useful if your business has multiple locations
  • Communicate with a group of colleagues using instant messaging, voice or video calls
  • Work with colleagues on a shared whiteboard
  • Share documents (there are multiple ways to do this in Office 365)
  • Share your desktop

Skype for Business is just one of the included Office 365 features that could increase the productivity of your staff and possibly reduce your operational costs.

Give us a call to find out more about how you can take advantage of the additional features built into the Office 365 subscription you already have.

Posted in Office 365, Skype For Business, Software.

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