Are you making the most of your Office 365 software? Microsoft has recently introduced a range of updates to the Office 365 suite. In order to ensure you are getting the most out of your software, Ben hosted a webinar to give you an overview on the latest updates and features you can start using today.
Watch the replay of the webinar, and there are some notes below for your reference. Here’s a free notes page you can download and print if you’d like to jot down a few notes as you’re listening.
Latest Updates in Office 365
Here’s an overview on what was covered in our webinar:
- One of the most noticeable updates recently has been the new icons for each of the Microsoft applications, and a ‘simplified ribbon’ – the menu bar above the applications is a bit more simple and easier to read.
- There is improved integration between applications for more seamless collaboration
- The online version of Office 365 is accessible from a web browser, which is extremely useful when trying to access documents or data from the cloud
- The online versions are becoming more popular around frontline workers who can access the programs from mobile devices when they’re out of the office.
- Apps are getting progressively more useful and introducing more functionality, so there are less differences between the online and desktop versions.
- ‘Design ideas’ is a new feature whereby the program can offer ideas on how to layout your document based on what it thinks you’re trying to achieve (side note: does anyone remember “Clippy”, Microsoft’s Office Assistant in versions of Word?? #flashback)
Office Desktop (PC)
- Unlike previous versions of Microsoft Office where you have to wait for an upgrade to access updates (ex. Office 2013 to Office 2017), the modern day desktop version of Office automatically delivers updates as long as your subscription is active.
- Autosave functionality is now on by default and allows real time saving of changes on documents saved in the Office365 cloud.
- Updates on user interface for improved user experience.
- Some apps are starting to develop and improve some functionalities that are useful to hybrid devices (Tablet Laptops).
- “Any device, anywhere, anytime” is Microsoft’s main mantra at the moment.
- Outlook mobile has amazing built in applications, which you can download from the App Store and log in as you would to Office 365 online.
- Through a feature called Scanning, you can take a photo of a text or document written on any surface. You can then have the file saved as pdf with the correct orientation into your OneDrive file.
Sharepoint and OneDrive
- ‘Mentions’ are now available within Office documents for better collaboration – for example, if you are editing a document, you can insert a comment and tag a colleague by writing @johnsmith and John will be notified that there is a comment waiting for him.
- Create reminders for Sharepoint to keep track on which files or documents to update. For example, company policies or risk management assessments that are meant for periodic reviews.
- Sharepoint allows real-time file sharing that helps create a more efficient collaboration on document and content.
- There is now more control on how we can share and grant access to content and documents. For example, we can now issue access that blocks the ability for the reader to download the content.
Stream and Teams
- Microsoft Stream is a powerful video library for your business. It is now commonly being used effectively for training videos and job interviews. And with the other Office365 apps out there that it can be integrated with, there can be a lot of powerful uses for Stream.
- Speaker timelines are read with face detection powered by AI technology that detects which speaker is speaking.
- Speech-to-text functionality automatically takes all of the audio from your video then converts it into text or transcript. It will then be saved next to the video within the Stream application.
- Transcript search and timecodes is enabling users to search for certain parts of a video more easily.
- Skype for Business is now being phased out and is going to be replaced by Teams.
- Microsoft Teams is becoming a hub of where we do work. It is being integrated to most of the apps and features in the Office 365 suite. Also, more businesses are now using Teams as their telephones replacing previous methods of telephony.
- Staffhub is now replaced by Microsoft Shifts, a little feature in Teams that helps you coordinate your rostering of frontline staff.
- Microsoft To Do integrates with Outlook’s Tasks to help keep track of important reminders and notes.
- Planner is a task management tool based on kanban methodology that works on the concept of filling Buckets with tasks or, as Microsoft calls them, “cards.”
- It is a simple and powerful way to organize and keep track of tasks and jobs assigned to team members that allows real-time collaboration and content sharing.
Q: Is the Design Ideas feature available in the desktop version of programs as well as online versions?
A: Yes they are.
Q: Autosave. I assume from what you have said that this won’t work for Box-saved docs?
A: No, it’s just for documents being save to the Office 365 cloud. (Box is another cloud storage software)
Q: Outlook mobile app. Can I log in for my work email and my personal email separately?
A: Yes. You can have multiple email accounts sitting within Outlook mobile app.
Q: If we’re already subscribed to Office 365, do any of these apps cost over and above that?
A: All the ‘standard’ apps exist with your Office 365 plan. There may be additional costs for specialist programs such as Project and Visio, which you could buy on a single license basis.
Q: How do I best deal with tasks in Outlook on iOS?
A: You could use the Microsoft To Do app, as To Do items are now essentially being synced with MS Outlook Task items.
Q: Can I use my OneDrive just like Dropbox for sharing with others outside my organization?
A: Yes. Absolutely.
Q: Does a Search look through all the apps?
A: Yes, but, it can depend on context. (For further explanation, please refer to the webinar video at 55:25)
All of these features, products and services are already available in your Office365 subscription and are ready to be utilized by you. Your challenge is now to make the most out of your Office 365 subscription by taking action on these new features. You don’t need to change everything at once, but what is one thing you can take action on today to improve one part of your business efficiency or productivity? It may only look like a small step at first but all of these little one percenters can make a big impact in the long run.
If you’d like to discuss and understand any of these Office 365 tools further, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.