19 Jan Productivity made possible with the Cloud
In the previous article we highlighted that most businesses made a transition to Cloud computing at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic – unfortunately for most that transition was rushed. Businesses have managed rather than thrived and that needs to change.
Along with this rush came an influx of IT support companies that claimed to give you the best support in the business, a quick and catered approach etc, when in reality they weren’t prepared for the influx they experienced, most grabbed all the tools you use and threw them on the Cloud, anything that got left behind in the process was forgotten.
The majority of business owners chose the Microsoft suite of tools to provide their team with the tools they need to successfully complete their work day.
Due to its very extensive range of tools, 365 can lead to a lot of frustration surrounding its use – many don’t know how to achieve value from the platform. Many don’t realise that most of the tools in the Microsoft 365 suite have multiple uses – lets take a look at some of the Microsoft features that are capable of more than you might think, and some that you may not have heard of at all. Hopefully once having learnt about the tools you will realise that you can remove some of your existing apps making for a smoother workflow process.
Microsoft Teams has a daily user average of an astounding 250 million people so I would be surprised if you haven’t heard of it already. Let’s look at some of the more intricate features of Teams that make it so popular – and hopefully you haven’t heard of.
Teams within Teams
Teams within Teams allows you to build-out a digital footprint of your business. You can group access to files, folders, and other resources within Microsoft Teams, this all takes place within the section identified as ‘Teams’.
How you choose to create Teams is down to you, a popular method is by functional department such as Sales, Marketing, or Purchasing for example. How you do this all depends on you, the way you and your team like to work, and your business goals, keep in mind that what works for some may not work for others – spend time assessing what will work best for you and your team. To enable and be in control of access, each team will have only appropriate users assigned to it, in the process keeping files and sensitive conversations related to that individual Team ring-fenced to only the users that require it. You must ring fence, the last thing you want is a team member to have access to somewhere they shouldn’t.
A Channel is a subdivision of a team and is a place where more focused conversation can take place. Channels can be made accessible to whoever you like, again it is completely down to you and is fully customisable. Channels are a great way of sticking to an access, when necessary, protocol.
Another feature of Teams that is particularly impressive, and has been the saving grace for many remote working teams, is Teams Co-Authoring. Using Co-Authoring will allow you and your team to achieve levels of collaboration and productivity that rival the office setting from anywhere in the world. Let’s see how it works.
Teams Co-Authoring – How it works
1.Open a document of your choice in Word.
2. Then put the document into the Cloud to allow for co-authoring. Navigate to the top right of your screen and click ‘Share’.
3. An option will then appear in the centre of your screen to upload to OneDrive.
4. Select OneDrive, the document will be downloaded. You can now share your document with others.
5. You can then apply controls to the document, such as who can view the document, passwords, etc.
Once having finished the above instructions you can co-author with your colleagues – upon opening the document take a look at the top of the page, there is a list of who is co-authoring the document with you. You can take this one step further by finding their cursor, this will highlight what part of the document they are working on.
With our teams spread out around the globe, co-authoring can assist you in achieving advanced levels of collaboration and productivity.
Teams features are endless, we could talk about their worth all day, but let’s take a look at another tool in the Microsoft suite, a tool that makes it possible to automate mundane processes in turn allowing your team to be more productive with their time.
Power Automate makes it possible for your Cloud services to work together – you can create a workflow with a multi-step flow across a variety of applications.
Power Automate is a revelation, it can be hard to visualise where it may help so let’s say for example that your business is in the midst of a growth spell, you have suddenly amassed a social media following that are constantly tweeting your business – this is of course a good thing, but it does take one of your vital team members away from their normal daily duties to converse with them, like the message, and follow them back – monitoring socials in the modern world can be a full time job.
With Power Automate you can set up a flow that follows the potential client, sends them a reply, and adds them to a spreadsheet which is emailed to you for your approval. Your team will then be able to continue working as they normally would and you have no concern that your client base is being ignored on social media.
Automation is the future of business. It allows you to remove mundane tasks from the hands of skilled employees and instead allows you and your team to use time as effectively as possible.
We hope that you are now familiar with the Cloud and what is possible if you use it to its full potential.
Modern technology to help you thrive securely
Technology is pivotal to your business and we want you to understand the value it provides when it is allowed to work seamlessly with your operations on the most updated tools available. Apogee values transparency and simplicity – we provide the IT support you need when you need it. Within this support is the guarantee that your technology is secure against all manner of cyber threats, that it is operationally beneficial to the way you run your business and is always updated to the latest version. We will work alongside you and guide you into a secure, brighter future with technology as your ally. Contact us now to find out how we can help you.