Everything You Need to Know About Microsoft 365

Posted by Sophina Dillard on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 0

As corporations spread and branch out across the globe, it’s clear that the modern workplace is transforming. Employers are looking to adapt with solutions that will empower their people with innovative technology to address the growing demands and challenges of the Digital Age.
Seeking to address the commercial needs of businesses of all sizes — from the largest enterprise to the smallest business — Microsoft recently announced Microsoft 365, a complete business solution bundled with Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security.

Microsoft 365

The business-only package (sorry consumers, this is not for you) comes in two versions — Enterprise and Business — for large organizations and small-to-medium size businesses (SMB) respectively.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise

The enterprise option comes in two versions as well (E3 & E5). Built on the foundation of the Secure Productive Enterprise, 365 Enterprise replaces it and empowers employees to work creatively, efficiently and securely.

Straight from Microsoft’s blog, Microsoft 365 Enterprise:

Unlocks creativity by enabling people to work naturally with ink, voice and touch, all backed by tools that utilize AI and machine learning.
Provides the broadest and deepest set of apps and services with a universal toolkit for teamwork, giving people flexibility and choice in how they connect, share and communicate.
Simplifies IT by unifying management across users, devices, apps and services.
Helps safeguard customer data, company data and intellectual property with built-in, intelligent security.

"We use Microsoft 365 Enterprise to foster a modern and highly secure workspace for employees empowered by teamwork and collaboration—everything we need to succeed in a global, digital market." - Bobby Berry, Senior VP, Business Solutions, Fruit of the Loom

Microsoft 365 Business

The SMB option, made for smaller organizations, supports up to 300 users, integrates Office 365 Business Premium, and includes three new applications that are part of the Business Premium pack. We’ll get into these shortly, but for informational purposes they are: Microsoft Listings, Microsoft Connections and Microsoft Invoicing (additionally, MileIQ, Microsoft’s mileage tracking app, will also be included). 
Also from Microsoft’s blog, Microsoft 365 Business:
Helps companies achieve more together by better connecting employees, customers and suppliers.
Empowers employees to get work done from anywhere, on any device.
Protects company data across devices with always-on security.
Simplifies the set-up and management of employee devices and services with a single IT console.
"We need creativity to push that next thing. We use Microsoft 365 Business, it’s all the things we need in one place." - Heyward Garner, Chief Operating Officer, Garner Food Company.

New Applications Coming to Office 365 Business Premium

Let’s get acquainted with the three new applications bundled with Office 365 Business Premium and, by extension, 365 Business.

Microsoft Listings

It’s a fact that a good way to get discovered is by listing your business online. Unfortunately, the listing process is time consuming. Here to help you out, Microsoft Listings lets you publish your business information on top sites like Facebook, Google, Bing and Yelp, and will help “get your business discovered online by new customers.” And when you update your information, the changes automatically occur across the different websites.

Microsoft Connections

Microsoft Connections is an easy-to-use marketing service that will help you “drive more sales with simple email marketing tools.” As we know — or should know — email marketing is of great use in lead generation and closing sales. Well, with Connections you’ll be able to create professional-looking email marketing campaigns, manage subscribers by segmenting them into different target groups, and track open rates, clicks, new sign-ups, new customers, and more.

Microsoft Invoicing

A very important part of running a business is time management. You have to get estimates and invoices out on time, and you also have to account for other things like pending payments and their processing. The problem comes when your information gets jumbled in all the different systems you have to use. With Microsoft Invoicing, you can create professional invoices and “get paid fast with hassle-free invoices and online payments.” It works with PayPal and, by using a connector to QuickBooks, can sync customer and catalogue data and even transfers invoicing information to your account.

Extra: MileIQ

MileIQ, Microsoft’s mileage tracking app (iOS and Android), will also be included with Office 365 Business Premium. This tool is especially useful for those whose occupation requires travel with their personal cars, such as those who make customer visits or attend partner meetings, as its automatic drive detection and mileage logging allows for a hassle-free experience.

Extra: Office 365 Business Center

Sort of an extra but not really, Office 365 Business Center offers a central location where you can manage your applications. It provides easy access to your business applications and data with a unified dashboard where you can view key metrics such as total outstanding invoices, number of appointments, invoices and payments being created or updated by employees, impressions and more. It also has an activity feed that lets you stay up-to-date with everything and, even better, once you connect an app and sync information, the same is automatically recognized in other apps.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to grow your business, Microsoft 365 is there to help you out by simplifying your sales process and increasing your revenue. You’ll be able to virtualize your desktop with intelligent applications while safeguarding your corporate data on all devices. More than that, you and everyone you work with will be empowered to be creative and work together, securely. 
For additional benefits of adopting Microsoft 365, take a look at the Forrester Total Economic Impact Study (commissioned by Microsoft) for Business and Enterprise.

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