Small to medium sized businesses generally have to work overtime to keep up with larger competitors in the markets and sectors they operate in. This is perhaps why so many SMBs are adopting Microsoft 365 to enable remote and hybrid working.
Not only is Microsoft a powerful, comprehensive solution for businesses looking to go remote, but it can also help organisations work around the disadvantage of having fewer resources by helping them get more out of those resources. We discussed this with TechQuarters, a Microsoft Solutions Partner based in London. The business IT support London based SMBs have received from TechQuarters over the last decade has been closely tied with the Microsoft ecosystem of apps and services. As an SMB themselves, TechQuarters wholeheartedly believes in them.
Microsoft 365: What is it?
There are many different office productivity suites available nowadays – such as Google Workspace, or iWork – but none are as ubiquitous and trusted as Microsoft 365. An evolution of the original Microsoft Office suite, Microsoft 365 is a comprehensive business solution containing apps and services to provide organisations with all the key tools, functions and capabilities they need for their everyday business operations. According to TechQuarters, Microsoft 365 has undergone extensive development, and continues to receive regular updates, making it one of the most cutting-edge cloud-based office suites on the market.
So, what apps and services form the Microsoft 365 experience?
Word, Excel & PowerPoint –These will undoubtedly be the three products people are the most familiar with. They are so ubiquitous in their purpose, that most people consider these apps the de facto solutions for word processing, spreadsheet creation & editing, and professional presentations.
SharePoint & OneDrive – These are both cloud storage solutions, but have very different applications for businesses. Firstly, OneDrive is an individual storage solution – offering each user 1TB of storage for their business files. SharePoint, on the other hand, is a powerful platform for shared storage, file sharing, and information sharing in general – many businesses use SharePoint as a cloud-based ethernet.
Teams – This unified communications platform allows businesses to manage almost all of their communications in a single platform. Teams is most well-known for its video conferencing and meetings capabilities; but it also offers internet telephony (VoIP and PBX) functions, and instant messaging. Teams integrates with Word, Excel and PowerPoint, meaning it is a good platform for centralising work.
Outlook & Exchange – These two products form Microsoft’s enterprise emailing capabilities. Outlook is the actual email client, offering email, contact, and calendar management. Exchange is Microsoft’s enterprise email server.
These are not all of the products included in Microsoft 365 – and depending on what plan an organisation purchases, there are different products included in/omitted from the suite, but these products are included in all versions of the plan, and give you a good idea of the capabilities of the suite.
Why is Microsoft 365 Good for Remote & Hybrid Work?
Microsoft 365 is widely considered to be one of the best suites of apps and services that a small business can adopt. This is in part due to its flexibility, it’s cost efficiency, and the extent of its capabilities. When we asked TechQuarters – who have years of experience with Microsoft 365 consulting – they had this to say about why Microsoft 365 is idea for remote & hybrid working.
One of Microsoft 365’s biggest strengths is how it enhances and simplifies business communications. Between two apps – Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Teams – organisations get access to email, videoconferencing, internet telephony, and instant messaging. These are the most commonly used channels of communication in business, and typically, organisations would have to use a number of different services to access them all. With Microsoft 365, however, they are all consolidated into a single suite with unrivalled integration. As Teams and Outlook are both cloud-based
Furthermore, Microsoft Teams offers excellent collaboration capabilities – it integrates with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, meaning that users can access all content creation capabilities in M365 within the Teams platform. It also integrates with OneDrive and SharePoint, meaning users can access all of their files within Teams.
With these capabilities, an organisation can equip their staff with all the tools they need to work, whether they are working from home, in the office, or splitting their time between the two.
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