Microsoft Office 365 is used by over a million companies worldwide. However, most businesses aren’t using it to its full advantage…

There’s much more to this innovative platform than meets the eye. Most organisations pay for an Office 365 subscription to allow employees to access their emails from different devices and on the go but overlook the bank of other resources they can access with their licence.

So, what valuable features can you find in some of Microsoft’s most popular applications — and how can you harness them to boost collaboration and productivity within your business?

Ensure data privacy in Outlook 

Does your business routinely handle a lot of financial data or personally identifiable information (PII)?

If you have Outlook as part of an Office 365 subscription, you could benefit from Microsoft’s advanced compliance controls.

Microsoft’s data loss prevention (DLP) policy allows admins to alert email senders within their network that they might be about to share sensitive data with a malicious or unauthorised identity.

For example, say your employee is targeted by a phishing scam that asks the recipient to send their credit card details or share a customer’s account information. Admins can program Microsoft’s Policy Tips tool to detect this activity and inform your sender that they’re about to divulge confidential information with an external user, causing a potential infringement of your privacy policy.

As a result, DLP is an excellent platform for automating risk management inside your email communications environment. It also provides an easy way to raise awareness of cyber security best practices within your organisation — especially as more staff work remotely on unsecured devices.

Enhance collaboration within Teams 

Are you one of the 280 million people who use Microsoft Teams every day? Then, you’re probably already familiar with its video conferencing and messaging tools.

However, thousands of other third-party apps are available through these platforms, offering additional functionalities to enhance collaboration within your business….

Live captions and real-time translation

Teams generates live captions through its built-in captioning software to ensure every attendee can follow and participate in every meeting for inclusive collaboration.

Users can even provide a real-time translation of what’s being said by turning on live caption translations, allowing for international and multi-dialect collaboration and inclusivity. Meeting participants can then download a complete transcription of a recorded session to refer back to or share with colleagues.

Plus, if an employee is reluctant to show themselves on camera, the Teams Avatars feature can enable them to maintain a physical presence in video calls without feeling uncomfortable.

Breakout meetings and advanced activity visibility

The Teams breakout room feature can level up collaboration by allowing meeting attendees to split into smaller groups to brainstorm ideas.

Microsoft Viva Insights can also help employees improve their performance independently by providing advanced visibility of workplace activities, communication behaviours and collaboration patterns.

And for anyone who needs a more efficient way to record and recap previous meetings, Microsoft Stream acts as an integrated video platform where you can exchange feedback and search transcripts for specific topics.

Cloud-based phone solutions

If you’re already using Teams to collaborate with your colleagues, why not harness its cloud-based phone solutions as well?

Office 365 can provide a hosted phone system through Teams for users within your organisation. Employees need only download the app onto their phone or laptop to dial up an instant connection.

Microsoft also offers various calling plans that provide added benefits like personalised phone numbers and hunt groups for an additional fee. And if you want to make calls on the public internet or the BT open network, you can buy a calling plan that’ll allow you to do that, too.

Simplify user experiences with OneDrive

If you have a Microsoft 365 licence, you can access a wealth of functionalities embedded into OneDrive: Microsoft’s file hosting solution for sharing and editing documents in a centralised server.

These bonus features are exclusive to Office 365 — enhancing user experiences within Word and other Office apps to simplify day-to-day workloads.

Immersive Reader

This intelligent software is especially valuable within education, helping students with dyslexia and other neurodivergent conditions boost their confidence with powerful learning tools.

For example, Immersive Reader can highlight different parts of speech to improve reading speed and comprehension or read equations aloud to develop maths understanding.

Plus, with the ability to automatically detect and translate language and paste words onto coloured backgrounds to suit reader preferences, this tool can improve inclusivity across the board.

Version control

For companies such as legal firms that are required to track all document changes and subject to strict compliance and governance frameworks, OneDrive’s version control feature can be a real game-changer.

This reliable tool automatically saves every keystroke in a shared file, making it easy to view previous versions of a document and check who’s made changes to it.

Version control capabilities are incorporated into Teams with an Office 365 subscription. So, if your business is currently paying through the nose for third-party document tracking software, this innovative OneDrive feature is well worth knowing about!

Are you struggling with your IT strategy? TMT is the trusted technology partner for Managed IT, Cyber Security and Communications solutions within the Solent region and beyond. For more information about our Professional IT Services, contact our team at 0800 988 2002.

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