Office Hours for Office 365 (Webinar Recording)
Ziad: Hello and welcome everybody. Thank you for joining us at our webinar series for Office 365. My name is Ziad Paracha and I am an Account Executive at Encore Business Solutions. Now, this is the very first of the Office 365 webinar series and the presentation should be around 30 minutes to provide you with an understanding of exactly what Office 365 is, the service and application offerings as well as some of the benefits that you will gain from subscribing to office 365. Now at the end of the webinar, there will also be a quick demo and a question-answer session, so stay tuned for those, and let’s dive in and get started. So, historically, Office 365 or office was known as just Word, PowerPoint, Excel, you know, software that you take out of a box and you install it onto a PC, and this conventional method of installation or updates was literally to upgrade the software for a higher more expensive license that you’d have to purchase. Now, this was a completely ineffective and inefficient process. That means you wanna pull out your hair and join some therapy sessions, but times have changed.
Indeed the world has, what we call, “digitally transformed” and to keep up, more efficient processes needed to be in place. And like the business world, your company is also changing, evolving, perhaps even transforming, and every day your businesses are balancing the pros and cons of that change. The uncertainty, the requirements as well as the costs that are associated with that. In fact, 3.5 million small medium-sized businesses used instant collaboration applications in 2018, and 71% of those businesses believe that mobile applications will entirely replace the traditional solutions that we see in the near future. In this era of digital transformation, your employees and customers rely on you to give you the best. And dare I say it, Office 365 is that best.
One where all of your familiar applications in Office 365 are still included, like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and they can be accessed in a dynamic way to communicate and collaborate with your team. This is Office 365. Office 365 plans include an automated softwares that are automatically updated with no additional charge.
In Office 365, they provide tools to empower your employees, essentially, optimizing your operations and transforming your products that you’re better able to engage with your customers. Digital transformation has gone mainstream, and we find ourselves in new opportunities. So the success of a business, therefore, arises when you leverage these opportunities of change. Microsoft Office 365 has improved collaboration, business functionality, and the way that you do your business has also essentially improved to be more productive, because of these applications that are included, that make life easier. Office 365 have content creation applications that you and your customers have already previously used like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, but more so it offers a great set of services that enable communications and collaboration using Outlook and Skype for business as well as storage across all of your devices using OneDrive for business.
The functionality between these applications is very, very intuitive, very integrated and inclusive across all of the other Microsoft products out there.
Office 365 is your productivity tool that’s powered by the cloud. You could install it on multiple devices but you still have control over all of the data access. Your private information and any sort of assets are not in the public for everyone to view. Essentially, Microsoft Office 365 enables enterprise-level technologies to be available for a business of any size. What used to be a service that you only provide large corporations with deep pockets, now is available for small-medium sized businesses as well as growing businesses in a bundled offered for a fraction of the cost. So what does it really mean for you and your in your business to be on the cloud? Usually, organizations run all of their applications on a main data server owned and operated by themselves. With Office 365 you don’t have to worry about these servers or backing them up. In fact, Microsoft allows you to simply subscribe on a monthly or annually commitment, and that agreement allows you to just start using immediately.
You have online access, mobile editing. It’s always up to date, the software. You don’t have to worry about any sort of document delays or anything to do with un-updated softwares in any of your applications.
It’s easy to scale and subscribe to. You can add additional licenses as well as reduce them as you need. There’s obviously a reduction of IT costs by a huge percentage within your business as well. The idea here is to provide ready-to-use and consume solutions that people can use from anywhere on multiple devices. So let’s go into that a little bit and that the services that are offered are actually on a cross-platform experience where on a user basis where you can access all of these applications, the full Office experience on, you can install it on your iOS. You can have it on your PC, your Macs, your tablets. The user base software license has the ability to be downloaded on up to 15 devices so that means five different phones, PCs and five different Macs.
The cloud is basically where Microsoft provides the computer power and storage to organizations, and therefore you don’t have to manage that at all yourself. You have the consistent experience for all of your devices and it makes it easier to be productive and more collaborative. So what are some advantages of being on the cloud?
Really, to migrate yourself and your business to the cloud means you have more flexibility, you have a flexible style that works for you and your business. It’s accessible. All of your information is accessible across all of the interfaces for all your devices. It allows storage capability so you no longer have to run out of storage and have to manually clean out inboxes or anything of such sort. It’s very, very manageable because Office 365 is current and always up to date. Like I said, you don’t need an upgrade anymore with Office 365. You won’t ever see those days where you weren’t able to open up a document that was sent to you because you have a different version than the sender.
Having the full version of office suite installed or even online, it makes you worry free and as a guarantee for increased productivity. Office 365 is obviously reliable 365 days a year. In fact, it’s backed up financially for 99.9% uptime guarantee. This way all business owners with Office 365 installed in their organization can sleep soundly at night knowing that Microsoft’s got their back. Office 365 is also very, very secure.
You have a built-in data compliant security tools that enhance and ensure that Microsoft 365 is allowing your data to be safe. Two of those include, for example, the multi-factor authentication for each user to secure access to sensitive data. As well as Microsoft has data loss prevention policies that allow you to control and monitor your information. So really what you’re achieving with Office 365 here is a modern office experience where, you know, you have the same experience across all your devices that you know and use comfortably.
You can access it via its Cloud capabilities or have it installed on your devices with the different, sort of, plans that are out there. So let’s dive a little deeper into what these applications are and services are, starting with SharePoint. SharePoint initially launched in 2001 as a web-based collaborative platform, and is primarily used as a document management and storage system. SharePoint is highly, highly configurable. You can collaborate with teams. You can share reports with partners, connect with customers from any device.
You don’t need to be at your desk to review or use the files. You can review them online and offline. Everyone can literally work on the same document at the same time. And SharePoint also is used to create website or portals that you can share, store, access and organize information at any time and the only requirement really here is that you have an active web browser that you can use. It provides content management capabilities where the dashboards that are created employees can sign on to and view company pages that are updated with any news or announcements.
Basically, anything that you want your company to see can be managed within SharePoint. It increases collaboration with team members because employees can actually navigate to other department sites and locate documents that they need or perhaps that reminders for notifications, and even collaborate with co-workers based on availability. It essentially engages your organization to build a very cohesive environment and informs your employees across all the organization. You can also create workflows and to increase efficiency, for example, setting up automated actions and creating lists of information for different areas for various users and various roles.
So SharePoint is actually an enterprise level product given to you on a per-user basis, which allows you to get things done simultaneously and essentially increases your productivity within your organization. And another tool that really helps with that is OneDrive for business. OneDrive is a storage hub for content. You can store documents, you can save them, view, edit, share and co-create them and with the one terabyte of personal data storage that’s available per user, it really allows you to, you know, be very informed of anything that’s around there. You can drag and drop files from your browser without having the fear of overloading your servers.
Now all of the changes saved to OneDrive when you are online in one device will automatically change or adjust and save, all of the other devices will update at the same time as well, which is really, really cool. You have to worry about constantly going back and forth on multiple devices or different sign-ons to do that. As well, to do business, you need to get the right people in the right room and Skype for business allows you to do that.
It’s a tool that is adapted to the changing modern world that we live in. Basically, it’s an instant messaging or voice video calling platform which previously was known as Lync. Now Microsoft has migrated that to be updated to Microsoft Teams which we will have more webinars moving forward towards deeper discussions on teams. So stay tuned for our series but essentially Skype for business makes life easy by allowing you to join and create meetings online from anywhere. You can check presence and availability. You can send quick messages that are less formal than a phone call, and more quicker in response or faster in response than perhaps an email. You can also turn messages into conversations that are on the phone call or video conferencing where you can host up to 250 people by just simply sharing the link to join. You can manage content in real time, upload presentation.
You can switch presenters and share screens, record meetings so you can view them later as well as you can join through any of these Skype apps that are available as well. So really gives you a very inclusive collaborative and communication tool to use within your organization that, and it’s all synchronized with all of the other Microsoft products that are out there as well, so it really makes it very seamless to use.
As well as, Exchange Online is another service application that’s there as well. It’s kind of the one-stop shop for your email calendars and all sorts of tasks. Within that, there is the outlook desktop application which you can also use a browser version of that called Outlook Online through the portal online and I’ll show you that in the demo as well. You can view and scheduled meetings and appointments in your calendar, and rest assured that anything that you edit on one device will automatically be updated on all of the devices. You can easily find and save contacts in the address book, set up automated replies when you’re not available and even share your calendars actually with those who you work closely with within the organization. So that way you can always schedule meetings based on availability to get things done.
Another really cool application is Yammer, which is kind of a corporate social worker, corporate social network that works as Facebook for business where you can privately share and encourage positive corporate culture. You can create and follow teams, share ideas, provide feedback through your comments.
You can interact and collaborate basically in a very secure environment that’s managed by the business. Yammer allows users to work in different groups and discuss various aspects such as projects. You can give feedback, review documents right within that portal, and basically connects a very distributed workforce through the same network. And through this open communication it allows, you know, employees to share more ideas within their teams, create more transparency and essentially helps the organization to listen, adapt and grow, you know, stronger communities within in more than one way. So instead of sending out an email to 30 people who are attending the meeting and having to reply all and losing track of the conversation, Yammer allows people to just share ideas, be engaged and get your questions answered faster in an open community.
So what are some of the advantages? There are many more applications that are there. This is just the gist of it but, you know, essentially what it allows you to do is that allows you to get work done the way that you want, and you can access those files wherever you are on any of those devices. You’re never behind, you’re always up to date and it’s consistent.
The interfaces across all of their applications are consistently the same. Everything is seamless and integrated between different applications and of course it makes it for a more flexible and a more collaborative environment for your organization where you have control and access to all the data, and you get to control what your employees and users can see, view and edit. And so this entire, kind of, process allows you to be less worried, work easier and work together which are the pillars of Microsoft and some of the advantages there as well with the modern, kind of, desktop. So let’s dive into the demo here and then we will just show you. Right, give me two seconds. Perfect. So this is kind of the online portal, how it looks like when you sign into the online URL here.
It’ll give you all of your applications right here as well as additional applications that you can explore and install as well and you can have it on your main portal right here. There are recommended, you know, frequent sites that you visit and recommended applications and documents that you can edit as well.
So today I’m gonna be Megan Bowen here, and you could see within the demo here all of the applications are present, so it’s just one click away opens into a new application, new windows where I can look at, for example, the outlook for mailbox, all my inboxes are here. You could see sent emails, deleted emails, groups that I am following and part of the team’s that I’m part of and all the kind of notifications that are coming out of there. As well, you could see the calendar which I was mentioning is that you can share calendars within your teams, and really have an up-to-date schedule of what your day or week looks like. This would be my calendar here whereas you can also invite other people to view your calendar as well. That way they can book those meetings with availability that works best with you. You can add more calendars in here. You can share this calendar like I was mentioning as well, and straight from within the app, you can actually go into Skype and have, host a meeting as well.
There are many more capabilities within that and we’ll dive a lot, you know, deeper into that when we do some more of those demonstrations. OneDrive for business and application.
Again, very similar and very easy to go into. Where you dive right into the storage space here on OneDrive for business, you can see all the recent files that you’ve uploaded as well as you can create or add new files as well within this capability. And it’s easy as, you know, opening up one of these files and it opens up for you within the online application tool that’s available. And you can access data, edit the data here and rest assured that that data will be saved automatically onto your OneDrive as well. You can go in toward right away, create a new template and start, you know, working from here and then updating that right on to OneDrive, so everything kind of goes hand in hand, right? And you can save that automatically as you can see. It’s saving onto and you have exactly the trail of who’s editing and what’s going on, so this document would already have been saved as well.
Right, so you could see that the amount of functionality that’s available here is amazing. And again, you can go back into your portal and access any of these sites. So let’s take a look at some of the ones we have discussed as well such as Yammer. So Yammer, again, the Facebook for business as we said, you can see here whereas it loads that you can have multiple updates. So it’s kinda like the news feed here for Facebook where all of the new things that are happening within your organizations are coming up right away, right.
Any mail, any kind of notifications that you have in your inbox will pop up here that are linked directly to you as well as notification, something new that you perhaps might have missed will be right here. But what’s really cool here is actually the different kind of groups that can be created, and you can join to kinda be up to speed in an organized manner within your organization. So for example, here’s sales. Everything that has to do with sales with all the members that are joined in that group and you get to, you know, choose the groups that you join will be right here. And you can update and give feedback and keep track of all the conversations that are taking place as well as any of the files or documents that are stored within the sales department will be found here.
In this case, there are no files in sales and so on and so forth. You can have many different teams that would have that kind of system where you can actually see who was updated by when and the kind of files they are and easily access them on the go. As well, teams which we will kinda discuss over as well has actually now migrated from Skype, from business as we mentioned. A very, very configurable and very intuitive platform here to use within your organization and as soon as it starts loading up here.
Again, similar idea to how everything is kind of included within teams. You have all the activities that are taking place. You can instantly, you know, create a conversation within any of your team members that are available. So if I wanted to start a conversation, all of my employees that are there or are there through Skype, and I can have a conversation straight through here right, or I can simply type out a name here and be able to access that directory as well for all of my contacts.
If there is a search bar, which is really, really cool when you have a lot of information, just simply type in key commands and it will automatically provide all the documents that you’re looking for. There are various teams in different buckets for those teams to join. For example, there’s our business development team. You have various sorts of, you know, opportunities within that. Let’s look at opportunities for instance. There is our daily standup. All the events are updated on the go. Right. As well as meaning, so this is actually synchronized with your calendar. So you can see, for example, this meeting was set up by an organizer and I am or Megan is attending this meeting.
You can cancel meeting from right there. It tells you the exact time in your time zone and adjusts to that in your calendar to have that meeting set up as well. So very, very inclusive and integrated program here for you to use. Amongst other things as well, like I said. you can explore different applications that are there, so and that you can make use of that are included within your subscription as well as, like flow for instance. If you, you know, subscribe and have a subscription for Dynamics 365, forms that you can use and there are really, you know, the sky is the limit to the amount of applications that are there and that you can use.
There is Power BI, for instance, planner that you can use for projects, and so on and so forth, and the list goes on. So, you know, that’s kind of the gist of how things look here within the demo. Again, a very, very high level for you to kind of have a feel for what it looks like here, and again documents you can upload right from here. You can have new documents created immediately and, you know, be able to work in any of that environment.
So that’s kind of the demo. That’s what I had for you guys today. If there are any questions as well, feel free to message them onto the instant message here and we’ll address them at this time. As well, keep in mind that the recording will be sent out. Most likely it will be sent out today to all the registrants, so you can always look back and if there are any questions, you know, feel free to reach out to me. And here’s my contact information for you to see as well and, you know, you can go on from there. So thank you very much and that’s all I had for today.
Melissa: Great Ziad. I’m just having a look here, I don’t see any questions right now in there, but I will be sending out an email with this recording to everyone who registered and have your contact info there as well. Hopefully, think of something after the fact. So I think we’re good.
Ziad: That’s awesome. Thank you very much when joining today, and hopefully you guys subscribe to watch future webinars that are coming in within the series.
Melissa: Great. Bye, everybody.
If your business experiences these red flags, your diagnosis is clear: time to adopt the cloud!