There’s a hidden secret amongst some of the most commonly used software today.

Do you use Microsoft Office 365?

Have you heard of it before?

If you haven’t Microsoft Office 365 before, it’s basically a subscription service that provides you with access to a range of Microsoft software applications. You may already be using it to access popular Microsoft programs such as Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.

It may also power your email. You may be sending and receiving email via Office 365.

For many companies, that’s where the use of Office 365 ends. However, some of even the most basic subscription options give you access to additional tools that have the power to transform your business.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best tools. These tools come as part of a Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials, Business Premium or any of the Enterprise subscriptions.

Luckily, most businesses are signed up to one of these so you should have access to most of the items below.

Microsoft Forms

I’m amazed at how many companies still rely on paper forms or forms in Microsoft Word that are difficult to use and complete.

This is where Microsoft Forms makes a real difference. It is essentially, an online form builder which allows you to create a form for anything (e.g. booking a training course) and receive notifications every time it is filled in.

The great thing is that Microsoft Forms also contains some advanced features. For example, you can use branching to determine which questions get asked based on previous responses. It will also collate all responses and allow you to download to a spreadsheet.

Simply create your form online and share the link with anyone that needs to access it.

Microsoft Stream

Stream is a bit like a private YouTube platform for your company.

It’s an area where you can upload videos for everyone in your company to view. It’s great for training videos or company announcements.

One of the features I like best is the transcription feature. Stream automatically transcribes the audio of each video, giving you a ready to use written version of the content.

Stream also contains basic editing functionality if you want to trim down videos and you can also create video groups to order your content.

Microsoft Teams

If your business is split across various offices or if you have people out on the road then Microsoft Teams can transform how you communicate!

Teams is a chat-based environment that allows you to collaborate on content too!

Core to teams is an instant messaging tool that you can use to speak to colleagues in a different location to you. However, if you would prefer to switch to a video or audio call just click a button and hey-presto!

In that sense, it’s very similar to WhatsApp.

There is more though, you can also collaborate real-time on documents or even share your screen with colleagues to show them what you’re working on. You can even take control of someone else’s pointer which is very useful for training situations.

What I really love about Microsoft Teams is the ability to send gifs, emojis and stickers. You can really build morale by using a well-placed gif in a conversation to make a point!

These are just a few examples of what is available. If you would like to know more about how to make these tools work in your business don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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