Promoting Collaboration with Office 365

Office 365 presents the perfect complement to the modern digital working environment where multiple people will often be working on the same projects. Most users are already aware of the powerful co-authoring feature that allows multiple users to access and edit documents simultaneously.

Nonetheless, that’s not where the powerful collaborative functionality of the world’s most popular office productivity suite ends. The platform provides several other useful features for helping your team prioritize tasks, communicate with employees regardless of their physical locations, create calendars, and more.

Keep Your Team Connected

Working effectively as a team, particularly when employees are in different places, is much easier when you have a centralized, web-based platform to work through. Office 365 offers a harmonious way for employees to work together on the same projects, while also allowing you to keep tabs on what your teammates are doing.

For example, the Office Delve feature allows you to search for employees, identify the projects they’re working on, and — provided you have the necessary permissions — jump in to help them out.

If you’re working through multiple channels, such as conference calls, instant messaging and email, any kind of collaboration is bound to fall apart once things start getting too complicated. Fortunately, the Office Groups feature makes matters easier by consolidating your communications into a single inbox that everyone can access (as long as you want them to).

By setting up groups, individual team members will also be able to share calendars, notebooks and file storage. And because Office Groups is all about cross-platform communication, it also integrates with third-party platforms like Salesforce and Google.

Share Files with Ease

Last May, Microsoft announced a new direction for sharing files and easing collaboration for Office 365 users. The cloud-based OneDrive platform is now fully supported by and integrated with the Office 365 suite, allowing team members to access the same files no matter where they are. At the same time, the old-fashioned file-browser has been overhauled to include “intelligent” tools that recommend relevant content based on user habits.

Furthermore, OneDrive now works with SharePoint (another Office collaboration tool) to further optimize workflows. For instance, a single team member might create a file and place it in OneDrive for other team members to view or work on.

However, if that same team member wants to make files available to a broader audience, files can be dragged from a OneDrive folder to a SharePoint document library lickety split. If your company uses SharePoint, this is a welcome reprieve. If you’re not using SharePoint, there’s no better time to start!

Realtime Co-Authoring

As digital communication increases the speed at which we do business, multiple people working on the same documents simultaneously has become a necessity, particularly for companies whose employees work remotely.

Real-time co-authoring allows anyone with the necessary access rights to work on the same documents in the cloud and even chat or hold conference calls while doing so. Productivity gets even better when you begin to delegate co-authoring functions such as read-only, comment-only and unrestricted access.

Obviously, co-authoring is available only for documents stored in the cloud (OneDrive or SharePoint), but participants can use local versions of Office to view and edit downloaded versions of a document. To start collaborating, all you need to do is open a document and click on the Share button in any Office 365 program, save it to one of Microsoft’s cloud platforms, and invite people to view or edit it.

SpectrumWise offers a wide range of cloud-based and IT support services to help drive your business forward with the latest technology. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your business get more out of its IT resources, give us a call today.


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