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Enabling Remote Work With Microsoft 365

Enabling Remote Work With Microsoft 365 featured image
Published by Mike Solinap
on October 24, 2022

The pandemic definitely changed the way many businesses around the world work. Remote work has become not just the preference, but the norm for many businesses. Through remote work, businesses have realized they can reduce their footprint cost and reinvest those funds elsewhere. Additionally, by using the right-sized tools, businesses can work just as effectively as when they are sat next to each other in the office. Microsoft 365 is just one solution that has enabled remote work. This blog covers why moving to Microsoft 365 could be one of the best things you do in your business.

Microsoft 365, formerly known as Office 365, provides a suite of powerful apps for business use. From personal use to small and medium businesses, right through to enterprise, Microsoft delivers.

Within the Microsoft 365 suite, you’ll find all the tools you need to drive productivity and collaboration including:

      • Excel
      • PowerPoint
      • Word
      • Outlook
      • Teams
      • Secure cloud storage
      • Realtime sharing and file editing with coworkers
      • Web and mobile app access
      • Advanced security protection
      • And more.

Powerful Productivity Apps

Most people will be familiar with PowerPoint, Word and Excel. These are just the foundations of productivity in the 365 suite. But shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, Microsoft has continued to evolve these base products. For example Excel Live, generates collaboration on workbooks in real-time in Teams meetings. 

Continuing on from the standard apps you’d expect to write documents, manipulate data in spreadsheets, or present it in PowerPoint, there is more. With Microsoft 365, remote work productivity can also be enhanced with the use of collaborative OneNote which allows multiple users to capture thoughts, ideas and more, scrapbook style. And for the lovers of a to-do list, you can utilize:

  • Microsoft To-Do.
  • Microsoft Lists.
  • Microsoft Planner.

And when you’re prepping for those virtual team meetings, you can also start your presentation on the Whiteboard feature. This can then be used classroom style on your virtual calls for annotations in real time.

Additionally, for businesses that need to take appointments or bookings,

Microsoft Teams Is The Go To Application For Collaboration

Microsoft 365 usage drastically increased since the pandemic. In fact, in November 2019, Microsoft Teams had a modest 20 million users. Then, by April 2020, that number more than tripled to 75 million. Now, in 2022, it has over 145 million users. And, over one million companies use Microsoft Teams for discussion and collaboration. Additionally, it’s available in 181 countries and 44 languages.

Sharing documents in Microsoft Teams is a breeze too. And they back up to your SharePoint via the cloud too if needed. This means that regardless of whether you are working off your phone in between meetings, sitting on your surface laptop at home, or in front of your desktop in the office, you can access the same file securely.

And Teams doesn’t stop there. With its instant chat, group chat, and audio or video calling feature, you can easily get the right teams together with the click of a button.

Teams also integrate with a number of different apps that are downloadable from within Teams itself too. And that’s not all. Independent software vendors (ISVs) and developers can also easily build apps for Live Share using new extensions in the Teams SDK.

Furthermore, Teams Connect Shared Channels grants the ability to collaborate with people both inside and outside of your organization. In one shared space. This is an incredible collaboration feature for companies that partner together to solutionize.

Discover the latest Microsoft Teams updates here.

Teams Is Driving Azure Adoption Too

But, Teams isn’t just a communication and collaboration hub. In fact, Microsoft Teams is also run on Azure. So as the modern work infrastructure drove an increase in Microsoft Teams, it also drove the adoption of Azure. This meant there was also a higher demand for Azure Active Directory, Conditional Access, Azure Multi-Factor Authentication, and Azure Express Route, which is also growing. Microsoft 365 is essentially underpinned by some of the most robust and secure infrastructures around.

Microsoft Power Automate is another powerful tool run on Azure. And for IT businesses, automation is key. It reduces human error and frees up your valuable labor time to get creative and drive revenue. With its low code and drag-and-drop functionality, teams are finding ways to hijack tasks that limit them to the on-prem infrastructure and give them the freedom to do their best creative work in the right environment for them. You can even use the AI builder to enhance automation further.

The Benefits Of Microsoft 365

1. Driving cost efficiency

 

a. Distributed teams can mean a more cost-effective physical office footprint.

b. Increased productivity and ease of collaboration can mean more ROI.

c. At SPK, we can also provide a discount for Microsoft 365. Contact us here to get your discount.

d. As 365 is a subscription-based mode, you only pay for what you need.

2. Increasing productivity

a. The 365 cloud tools are some of the most intelligent tools available to businesses – regardless of size. Manipulate data, draft documents, create presentations for your execs and automate workflows.

b. Distributed teams can work as though they are sat next to each other with the power of Microsoft Teams.

3. Ensuring quality security protocols

a. Company data and proprietary rights became an increasingly important topic as remote work increased. However, 365 comes with built-in security solutions to keep company data secure. This includes multi-factor authentication (MFA) and mobile encryption delivered through Intune.

System Requirements For 365 

We recommend that 365 is run on Windows 11. This operating system was built for empowering a hybrid team economy.

Additionally, Microsoft cites other system information updates:

  • Citrix HDX Plus for Windows 365 enables IT to extend the hybrid work experience on cloud devices while delivering high-performance experiences for employees. This new Windows 365 add-on delivers support for a broader range of endpoint devices and peripherals, advanced security and policy controls, and a great experience in low-bandwidth environments.
  • Windows 365 Government will expand the availability of cloud devices to Government Community Cloud and Government Community Cloud High, enabling United States government contractors and local, state, and federal customers.
  • Windows 365 Business edition enhancements will soon make it even easier to sign up and seamlessly sign into cloud devices using a Microsoft account and restore a computer to an earlier point in time with point-in-time restore. For Windows 365 Business customers using Microsoft Endpoint Manager, we will soon be enabling IT admins to automatically enroll devices in Endpoint Manager alongside their existing physical computer estate.

Run A Lean IT Team

Many businesses are now also running a lean IT team. Additionally, this lean IT team may also be working remotely. The 365 suite also integrates with Jira through the connector tool available on Atlassian Marketplace. 

Alternatively, if you are looking to outsource your IT team, you can also lean on us at SPK. We can dive in where you need us to do and remove ourselves from the spots you have covered.

Conclusion

The long-term payoff for investing in Microsoft 365 can be huge. With over 1 million businesses and over 145 million users in Microsoft Teams alone, it’s easy to see that Microsoft has built a successful tool. 

With the ability to access from multiple devices, anywhere, anytime 365 is a no-brainer for most organizations. Particularly those who partner with other companies to solutionize or have distributed teams.

Many Managed Service Providers, including ourselves at SPK utilize the power of Microsoft 365. This enables our team to effectively work remotely and collaborate with ease. And, we aren’t just experts at getting you set up with the right tools on Microsoft 365 to accelerate your business….we can get you a discount on the 365 suite too. Contact us here for more details.

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