Exploring Additional Microsoft 365 Apps

Over the past few years, Microsoft 365, the cloud-powered version of Microsoft Office has become the standard in UK businesses. While users love the fact that you can now use your Office apps from any device, many of them haven’t explored the full potential of the software that comes bundled with Microsoft 365. There’s much more than just Word, Excel, and Outlook. 

Let’s take a look at the other parts of your Microsoft 365 subscription.

Additional Microsoft 365 Apps

Microsoft Exchange Online
Exchange Online is the cloud-hosted version of Microsoft’s email/messaging platform. Unlike earlier versions of Exchange, which were hosted on on-premises servers, Exchange Online servers are housed in Microsoft’s data centres and are accessible to users on almost any device with an internet connection. This means there’s no server hardware that you need to purchase or maintain. 

Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a chat application. If you’ve ever used apps like Skype before, Microsoft Teams works in a comparable way. You can chat via text, video, or voice call with other users inside your organisation. You can chat one on one, or in a group chat. 

While the concept of a chat app isn’t new, what makes Microsoft Teams a better choice than alternatives like Zoom or Skype is the way it connects to other 365 apps. For example, each group chat can have its own dedicated SharePoint folder for swapping documents. Users on a call can open Microsoft Word, Excel, and other Microsoft file types directly within Teams without ever needing to leave the application. 

Teams also connects directly to Outlook, allowing you to schedule and join video calls directly from your Outlook calendar. 

An increasing number of businesses are putting Microsoft Teams at the heart of their workforce’s communication and collaboration. 

Microsoft OneDrive
OneDrive is a storage location for your own personal work related files, backed up to the cloud. By default, OneDrive will backup files from your machine’s Documents folder, Pictures folder, and any files saved directly to the desktop. You can access this from the menu on the left-hand side of the screen, just select OneDrive. Just like your SharePoint files, changes you make to your files in OneDrive will be automatically synchronised between your machine and the cloud. 

Once your files are in the cloud, you can view, and edit them from any device with a web browser. This includes your mobile, meaning that you’ll always have access to your files, even when you’re out of the office. 

Microsoft SharePoint
SharePoint is a cloud platform for storage which synchronises with Microsoft 365. In its most simple form, it can be used for cloud storage of data. However, there is a lot more that SharePoint can be used for. For example, our team can use SharePoint to build you a custom company intranet or wiki. 

SharePoint helps teams collaborate, allowing two or more people to edit a document online in real time. You can also view and edit your SharePoint files from any device with a web browser, including your mobile. 

Users outside your organisation can also be granted permission to access SharePoint on a document-by-document basis.

Microsoft To Do
Like the name suggests Microsoft To Do is a super-powered to-do list. You can set up different task lists and share them with other users in your organisation. You can use this by yourself to keep track of tasks, or you can use it collaborate with the rest of your team on a larger project. 

You can order your tasks by due date, set yourself reminders, and pin important tasks. 

Because To Do is a part of Microsoft 365, your task list is stored in the cloud and can easily be called up in other applications. For example, your task list will automatically appear inside of Outlook under the Tasks tab.

Microsoft One Note
A smart note taking app that goes far beyond just a text box. You can add images, drawings, and tables to your notes. As the user makes changes to their file, OneNote immediately saves it to the cloud. 

The experience of using One Note is very free-form. It has a nearly unlimited document window that allows users to click anywhere on the canvas to add a new text box. It’s more like writing or sketching on a real notepad than just opening the Notepad app.

Microsoft Forms
If you need to quickly create a poll, survey, or feedback form or quiz, Microsoft Forms makes it easy. You can view the results in real time as recipients fill out the form. As well as having powerful data analytics tools built into Forms, you can also easily export the data your form gathers into other applications like Excel for further analysis.

Microsoft Bookings
Microsoft Bookings is a favourite of small businesses which need a reliable system for managing bookings. It allows customers of small businesses to book appointments with the company. It also integrates with Microsoft Teams. 

To streamline your staff’s schedule and provide your clients the freedom to book at a time that suits them best, Bookings includes a web-based booking calendar and connects directly with Outlook. Notifications via email and SMS text help increase customer satisfaction by reducing the number of no-shows. By reducing repetitive scheduling tasks, small business owners don’t have to spend as much time doing admin.

Microsoft Power Automate
Formerly known as Microsoft Flow, Power Automate is a software tool for automating repetitive tasks. By setting up a Power Automate workflow, tasks like saving email attachments can be automated in a few minutes. 

There’s no coding knowledge needed, as flows can be built from predetermined blocks.

Microsoft Power BI
Power BI is an analytics and visualisation platform for your data. Organisations which collect and analyse data about how they are operating are in a better position to streamline and secure their business.

Organisations can utilise the charts and models produced by Power BI in a variety of ways, such as to visually communicate scenarios to employees, customers, or investors. Power BI reports can also help with forecasting how potential changes would affect your business and its workflow.

Not Using Microsoft 365 Yet? Carden IT Services Can Help

As an experienced managed IT support provider, helped a lot of businesses to migrate their on-premises data to the cloud and unlock their potential using Microsoft 365. If you’re looking to upgrade to Microsoft 365 or learn more about how you could be using it to its fullest – speak to our team today. 

Author: Dave King

Dave King is the Co-Founder and Director of Carden IT Services and the wider Carden IT Group. Dave has over 18 years’ experience in business IT networks with a focus on IT consultation and disaster recovery planning/testing.