Microsoft 365 or M365 is an unified and integrated cloud offering by Microsoft. It includes different services and products which were earlier known as Office 365. Microsoft enabled employees of organizations of different domains and sizes by enhancing collaboration, communication and productivity.
Microsoft is the reigning leader in business collaboration and productivity. Over 400,000 companies worldwide use Microsoft products and services. Over 100 million monthly active users use SharePoint.
Microsoft as the leader in the provision of content services platforms that focuses on the following key areas:
A content management solution (also sometimes known as Enterprise Content Management or ECM) lets you store, manage, and optionally share an organization’s content, which includes documents and/or web pages. Microsoft’s first true CMS came with WSS 3.0, a product that later came to be known as SharePoint, which soon became a widely popular document and content management platform. While SharePoint serves as the document management solution for a team, OneDrive for Business is meant to host and manage employees’ personal files.
Collaboration is the exchange of information and ideas between collaborators within or even outside an organization. More recent advancements in technology allow for those collaborating to be located across different geographical locations and still be able to effectively work together as if they were collocated. SharePoint and Teams, coupled with your ever-favorite Office apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and so on, are a few of the Microsoft solutions around to help boost business collaboration.
Communication is vital to every business. It reflects the culture of an organization and helps align the goals of individuals within an organization toward a common objective. To effectively communicate with employees, organizations should offer multiple channels for both formal and informal communication.
Besides communicating the organization’s vision and goals, these channels can be used to update their employees on news, events, and policies to prepare them for a crucial situation, ensure safety, or effectively listen to the opinions and ideas of other employees. Microsoft has several apps that offer communication channels for different engagement levels, such as the following:
- Outlook: For formal communication
- Teams: For instant communication
- Yammer: For communication between interest groups
- Kaizala: For first-line workers
Process automation is the use of technology by the businesses to execute repeatable tasks or processes. It helps accelerate and standardize business processes, thereby improving the quality of the outcome while reducing costs at the same time.
You can streamline both simple and complex processes, such as employee onboarding, accounts payable, contract management, time management, and more.
Microsoft provides the following selection of apps, grouped under the Power Platform umbrella, to help you build business process automation apps.
Power Platform lets the experts in the subject build no-code business solutions using the following:
- Power Apps: To build online forms
- Power Automate: To automate repetitive processes, Power Automate is also known as MS Flow.
- Power BI: To analyze and visualize data
- Power Virtual Agents: To build chatbots
Besides the applications mentioned previously, there are several other applications that target specific use cases, which can be broadly divided into the following categories:
- Office Online: Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to author and share content
- Project and task management: Using To do to manage personal tasks, Planner to manage simple project tasks, and Project Online for more complex scenarios
- Digital forms: Using Power Apps to build online forms and Forms to build surveys
- Video streaming: Using Stream to upload and manage videos
Microsoft 365 is a SaaS and PaaS offering by Microsoft and all Microsoft 365 applications can be accessed online at www.office.com.