Microsoft 365 has a goldmine of features and assets that many may not be aware of. Even if you’re using G-Suite, you should be aware of what Microsoft’s flagship cloud solutions have to offer.
Microsoft offer a month-to-month subscription option with their licensing which has the flexibility to scale up or down depending on staffing requirements. This prevents paying for excess licensing and provides the ability for more accurate budgeting in line with staffing forecasts. Especially in a world with ongoing lockdowns and uncertainty, the ability to scale your needs up and down on an as needed basis can help you free up cashflow quickly.
An added bonus to many of the subscription models is that you will also have the latest version of the Microsoft Office apps. You will also receive the new versions automatically for the life of the subscription which not only helps you stay up to date however also ensures you remain current and supported.
Aside from this, two of the main reasons to use, or start using Microsoft 365 is for increased productivity and security. Microsoft spends billions on research and development every year so you can rest assured that you are working with the industry leading productivity platform.
Collaboration – As Microsoft 365 is primarily based in the cloud, it allows for colleagues to collaborate on tasks and projects at the same time with the co-collaboration feature. There is also the option to track any changes made to the document so you can see who made which change at what time. It also offers instant messaging abilities via Microsoft Teams which is a tool used for collaborating, file storage and conference calling, bringing the team closer together and more productive.
Accessibility – One of the many perks when using Microsoft 365 is how easy it is to access your data and systems whenever you need it on any device. Its multi-platform access means that whether you’re in your office, at home or on the road, you have access to the apps via laptop, tablet or mobile.
Online and local apps – As noted above, most Microsoft 365 plans offer both online and local applications to do your work. If you don’t have your usual device with you, you can connect via the online platform to access the range of online apps and your data stored in the cloud. Alternatively, if there were to be an internet or power outage, having the apps installed locally means no loss of productivity until things are up and running again.
SharePoint Document Management – SharePoint online is one of the core functions within the Microsoft 365 platform. This document management tool has the ability to replace many other legacy Document Management solutions and for those looking to migrate to the cloud can also provide a nimble solution to your data storage requirements. SharePoint also has some great features like automatic version history which means you can do away with creating multiple copies and versions of the same document.
Spam filter – Exchange Online, Microsoft’s email service, offers a built-in spam filter that can read and quarantine any emails which appear suspicious or have malicious documents attached.
Microsoft Defender for 365 – Previously known as ‘Advanced Threat Protection’, Defender for Microsoft 365 is effectively an advanced spam filter that can be enabled with the relevant license. Thisfeature (included with selected plans) can scan the attachments you receive in emails and open them in a sandbox environment to check for malicious code. If it finds anything, Defender will remove it and leave you a message to let you know what happened. This is great for when your team accidentally click on a suspicious link. In most cases this feature will avoid being compromised.
Access to documents – Another great feature about SharePoint is that it allows you to dictate who has access to your documents as well as giving you the option to lock them down i.e: a colleague or third party might be able to view your document but not have access to download it. The external sharing features also mean that you can securely share specified information outside of your organisation and revoke access when required.
Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) – Microsoft have their own app (although you can use others) for multifactor authentication. MFA protects your business from unauthorised log ins by requiring the use of the multi touch login approach.
Device management – Microsoft Intune is a mobile device management tool that provides a strong ability to control how your data is accessed and stored. Should you lose your device or have a staff member leave unexpectedly, the tool lets you wipe the data from the device remotely, keeping your data out of the wrong hands. This is especially useful when your team use their own devices.
Data Loss Prevention – In the Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance centre, you can set policies that prevent users from sending out private or sensitive information (such as health records or credit card details etc) you can also receive an email notification with a link to the policy it pertains to. This helps keep businesses compliant with relevant industry laws and regulations.
A lot of the security features that Microsoft provides come with the licenses that you purchase and are just waiting for an admin to turn them on. You can talk to your IT provider or give us a call today if you are unsure whether you are making the most of your Microsoft 365 subscriptions or are thinking about migrating over to it.
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