Microsoft was in the news this week for bagging the $10 Billion Pentagon cloud contract. They snatched it right out of Amazon whose AWS is now the market leader in cloud hosting services and owns more than 40 percent of the market share.
It looks like the company is clearly winning at least as far as the government contracts go. While the company is bagging contracts and making news, as Microsoft users, we should be winning too. Let’s discuss some key takeaways of using Microsoft Office 365 and some tips to make your experience better.
Take your office anywhere
With superior cloud storage, now anyone can take office anywhere as compared to the previous versions which had to be set up locally. Most Office users are accustomed to local usage. The whole perception would change once you get familiar with the benefits of living and working in the cloud.
Onedrive is Microsoft’s version of Dropbox or Google Drive. It enables you to store files in the cloud and you can now work on the go. For instance, consider the new OneDrive mobile app for Android. You can now link both your OneDrive for Business and personal OneDrive. All you need to do is add your accounts and then switch between them
Love Powerpoint? Check out Sway!
If you are familiar with Prezi, then you must know what an online canvas presentation is. Sway is Microsoft’s attempt to overlap into a Prezi-dominated market which is unfamiliar territory for most of Microsoft’s PowerPoint users.
Unlike PowerPoint Sway is free for now and it is available online. Presentations can be shared using a link and content can be created or managed from anywhere.
There are also options to add content from OneDrive or OneNote which makes things easier for its users.
Sway is more in an invite-only mode right now but chances are it will be soon rolled out to Office 365 along with PowerPoint.
Power up your business with Power Maps
Excel has always been the go-to tool in Microsoft’s toolbox as far as data management options were considered. In the present era where data is called the new oil, it is crucial for Office 365 to up its game to enable the analytics and business performance teams of its enterprise customers with better visualization tools.
Power Map is a data visualization tool that will help users to create visual representations of geographical data. It can be added by default using the insert option or it can be added from the add-in options by installing a plugin. After a power map is added, location-related data can be configured, and voila!
Collaborate easier and faster with your team
Microsoft Teams gives a digital workspace to collaborate effectively in the cloud and is the most effective for employees or end-users to seamlessly collaborate. This is more productive as compared to the emails which were frequently used before.
The users can talk one-to-one and also in channels which are basically like a group chat where a team works and collaborates together. If you have a multi-lingual team, the inbuilt AI will help in translating stuff for you! Cool, isn’t it? In addition, there is a video chat option using which you can get on calls with your team members or even a group call with your whole team.
In addition, it also supports file sharing, task sharing, and third-party app integrations. Emails can be linked to channels, so replies to emails can be done directly from channels by integrations. Mentions and follow options are available which will help channel members stay updated and notified about the happenings.
Who doesn’t want to edit a PDF file?
Like office files, PDF’s are also an integral part of our work life. The Portable Document Format was introduced by Adobe. Its purpose was for the documents to stay independent of the application program using which it was created.
There are many PDF editors in the market and Adobe’s Acrobat is the prominent one. Even though Office doesn’t let you directly edit the PDF format, a simple workaround may do the trick.
All you need to do is open your PDF file using Word. Word opens the PDF file in an editable format. Now you can make the required changes. Once done, click Save as and save again in a PDF format. This won’t directly make changes in the parent PDF, but this will get the job done and all are happy!
Reporting for better Office 365 usage
Office 365 runs your entire organization and it is important to have control over what’s happening to aid the decision-makers. Reporting, for this purpose, is very important and Microsoft Office helps you generate reports hassle-free.
Using the reporting option, the admin can stay track of the license usage, who is using it and what for. If you find that the licenses that you pay for are not being used, you can stop subscribing and save costs.
Reports are accessible from the admin center in which various reports are available. To get access to reports one must have global administrator access. If you do, you can go to the admin center and click on reports to see all the options available.
Available training for Office 365 admin
Many people who are not that tech-savvy think that Office 365 is this complex software that requires a lot of training. It is totally a myth. There are even a lot of companies and people who make a living out of providing such services. It is true that things get easier when there is someone to guide you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn on your own.
For Microsoft Office 365, there are a lot of available documentation or tutorial videos that you can take a look at. The easiest step to mastering would be starting with a free trial and getting a hang of things. If still, you are not happy, you can go ahead a do a certification or course of Office 365.
Accessing local files remotely
How many times have you faced a situation where you traveled to an office or a meeting where you forgot to bring the necessary presentation or spreadsheet with you and got embarrassed.
What if you had the option to retrieve a file from your personal computer at home from your remote device at the office? You might be thinking why is this needed since the files are already synced in OneDrive?
You are right. But I am talking about a situation where the sync didn’t happen for some reason, maybe a poor internet connection, and the file is left at home PC. Something called a OneDrive Fetch is the answer. You need to activate this in your host computer which would help you retrieve files seamlessly remotely.
Usage of intelligent assistance
Microsoft provides an intelligent assistant with artificial intelligence capabilities that has many features and will help mostly in interactive assistance with a touch of personalization. It mainly works as a search bar that helps in searching for important stuff or troubleshooting.
You can also use this feature to perform stuff like extracting a contact card of an employee in the organization by typing in their name, using Bing search, search Office 365 documents, etc. This option can be found on the top as a ribbon named “Tell me”.
Generating a web page from word
What if you can generate a simple web page just from a word editor? Yes, now you can with the help of Word! To do this, you need to create your Word document and then use the Transform to Web Page feature. You should do this from Word for the web and you should be an Office 365 subscriber.
After selecting the “Transform to web” page, select the layout you like, enter the text you want in the word editor, click transform, and VOILA! This is done very similarly to the Sway presentation that we already talked about. Instead of a presentation, it is a Sway web page that will be created here.
Building amazing resumes by using Linkedin
Linkedin was acquired by Microsoft in 2016 and it was obvious that Linkedin will soon be linked to Microsoft’s other offerings. In Word, if you go to Review → Resume Assistant.
This will basically assist you in creating the resume most suited for your profile by doing things like showing example work descriptions, resumes, etc from popular profiles on Linkedin.
You can refer these to get inspired for drafting your own content. It will also show you top skills based on your profile that can be added along with job opportunities that might interest you.
There is a filter that would help you achieve this seamlessly. There is also an editor for resumes that checks for resume-related issues and, mostly style problems, like first-person references and incorrect usage of expressions based on which you can make changes and make the best out of it.
You may also like the following Office 365 tutorials:
- Grant user access to SharePoint site office 365
- Your organization’s policies don’t allow you to share with these users. Go to external sharing in the office 365 admin center to enable it.
Here, we learned some Office 365 tips and tricks to get the most out of Office 365.
After working for more than 15 years in Microsoft technologies like SharePoint, Office 365, and Power Platform (Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI), I thought will share my SharePoint expertise knowledge with the world. Our audiences are from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, etc. For my expertise knowledge and SharePoint tutorials, Microsoft has been awarded a Microsoft SharePoint MVP (9 times). I have also worked in companies like HP, TCS, KPIT, etc.