Thanks to technology, we’re able to accomplish previously laborious tasks quite easily merely through their digitalisation. Today’s entrepreneurs and start uppers are born into this digital and mostly mobile environment, and it is only natural to have an impact on the way in which these minds-of-the-future manage their businesses. For example, according to Google Consumer Barometer, mobile phone usage among Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Milllenials, AKA the tomorrow’s bosses, is at almost 100%. So, this generation is looking for ways to get things done on the go, and they will be looking for mobile products in their professional careers as well.
One of the insider secrets of adapting to the mobile world is no doubt, transforming our traditional Microsoft Office usage into a modern one. What does that mean in practical terms? It means embracing online technologies to increase your level of productivity and efficiency with Microsoft Office 365 – ultimately making you more successful. And, for anyone who knows the ins and outs of starting a new business, any tool to make this journey easier is welcome.
What is so special about Microsoft Office 365?
First of all, what exactly is Office 365? In short, it’s a cloud-based version of the suite of productivity and efficiency tools that we know (and love). The best thing about this version of our good old friend O365, is that it really does put all your important information in one place – and you can access it anywhere, anytime, as long as you have an internet connection.
With an Office 365 subscription you can choose services such as:
- All Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, etc.) for desktop and mobile
- Shared calendars
- OneDrive for online storage
- Professional email
Office 365 combines business-class email with productivity solutions such as Office tools and cloud storage, helping businesses of all sizes enable their employees to be more productive, which in turn, can lead to better customer engagement and business growth. For those watching the books, it also makes it easier and more cost-effective to run a startup or small business with productivity suites that help you get more done.
Now, let’s break down why Office 365 is a tool worth considering:
My favourite feature offered by Microsoft Office 365 is the cloud. Document storage, calendars and applications are available online instead of a local machine, in other words, wherever I go, it follows. All I need is internet access. Cloud offers reliable security and superior efficiency, which makes it even easier for your team to become independent to install its own IT infrastructure whenever and wherever suitable.
Having all your files on the cloud also means your work is always safe. Here’s a disaster scenario that happened to me just last month: I’m working on an upcoming presentation, a little bit too engrossed in the slide visuals and knock half of my morning tea all over my keyboard… cue me having a minor breakdown as I try to recover my laptop. My presentation on the other hand, safe and sound because it’s saved on Office 365 cloud (for those wondering about my laptop, a little bit of huffing and puffing and a hairdryer later, we were back in business!).
Working from anywhere on any device
The ability to store, create and share documents online makes it easy to keep working, even when you have to switch between your desktop, laptop, tablet or phone. All you need is an internet connection and you can pick up right where you left off. I make the most of travel time by reviewing and marking documents on my mobile phone and making a mental checklist of what I need to edit or update from my laptop once I arrive at my destination. And it provides greater efficiency as everyone uses the devices they are familiar with.
Great team work is often the secret to being successful for many businesses, especially those newbies trying to get on their feet. No matter how big or small your business is, your employees and colleagues will need to communicate and work together on planning and execution. This means working collaboratively on documents like sales reports, projects, investment pitches, event planning, contracts or maybe marketing strategies.
Your employees can work in collaboration on plans, spreadsheets and documents, regardless of time zones or physical locations.
You can work simultaneously and at once with shared documents and enhance the pace of your work. When you work together with others, everyone can see each other’s edits as they occur and you can even communicate within the document to highlight changes or ask questions while working. Every change in the document is synced and saved to the cloud instantly and automatically, you can also track all the changes that have been made to a document in the version history. So if someone accidentally deletes an important section (trust me, it happens), you can recover it by restoring an older version.
Working collaboratively puts an end to all those attachments with various revised versions of a document, and constant e-mailing back and forth. It improves productivity and communication within your team.
No maintenance hustle
There is no repairing, updating or replacing servers, allowing your IT staff to focus on making your business more efficient. And unlike software that constantly needs to be updated, Office 365 updates are delivered to you automatically with no additional fees, you click to update and begin enjoying the new features when you next open the tool.
Improved customer satisfaction
Effective collaboration also allows you to improve customer satisfaction. Studies reveal that 44 percent of SMBs say cloud and mobile technology have provided them with more satisfied customers. Which isn’t really surprising, as they give you the ability to make edits to a proposal or a presentation in the cloud, and provide the client with the latest version of the revised copy within seconds.
In January of this year, UAE’s Ministry of Economy announced that the region’s economic growth will accelerate at 3.9% in 2018. Add to that the continuous growth in mobile (2.4% expansion during the first quarter of 2017 in mobile phone subscription base in the UAE) , and the need for mobile business solutions becomes very apparent.
Office 365 though isn’t just an email solution, it’s a real-time business platform. It allows access to data from anywhere, which saves on time, and improves collaboration and communication within a team, ensuring everyone works more effectively. It provides startups and small businesses with the opportunity to grow and develop their business to the next level.