How to Manage Your Team Better With Microsoft Planner.

Managing a team can often seem nothing short of chaotic, especially in a thriving office environment. Whether it’s strategizing, task assigning, file sharing, or just simply organizing– you do it all. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. With Office 365, you can do all this and more in one place.

Here are the three benefits of using Microsoft Planner.

Staying Organized. By using Planner, you can quickly and easily create new plans, build teams, assign tasks, and update the status of your projects in just a few clicks. Every plan you create has its own unique board where you can categorize each task by status or the person(s) it is assigned to.

Work Together Efficiently. One of the most difficult aspects of planning is teamwork. Planner makes teamwork easy by always providing team members a list of the current tasks and who is working on them. It also makes for easy file sharing, project collaboration, and even messaging.

Use Mobile Devices? No Problem. Planner works well across all devices. This allows for quick and easy conversation and collaboration among team members. Your team will always be up to date on the latest plans no matter what device they’re on, and will get email notifications when assigned to a new task.

 

Want to try Microsoft Planner free for 30-days? Click below to get started.

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Need an Appointment Scheduler? Introducing Microsoft Bookings.

It’s time to make appointment scheduling simple– for both you and your customers. Microsoft Bookings is one of the quickest and most convenient tools for any business. With Bookings, there’s no need to spend extra time or money on complicated online schedulers. It’s already included in Office 365.

Here’s what makes Bookings so spectacular.

Simplicity for Customers: Bookings provides easy navigation for customers to visit your booking page, choose services, and schedule appointments whenever they want. It also allows for quick appointment cancellations and rescheduling when necessary. If customers still prefer to call, you can add the appointment details and Bookings will send all confirmations and reminders.

Saving Time: Never deal with frustrating phone scheduling again. With Bookings, you get a simple, customizable webpage that your customers can get access to 24/7. Also included is a private, easy-to-set-up calendar for managing your schedule and reminders of your upcoming appointments.

Say Goodbye to No-Shows: Bookings will help you decrease missed appointments with automated reminders for both customers and staff. Appointments will appear on your calendar as soon as they are booked. Customers can also add their appointments to their calendars and cancel or reschedule easily.

Mobile Appointment Managing: Can’t get to your laptop or personal computer? Don’t fret! With the Bookings Mobile App, you can view and manage all of your personal appointments as well as your customers’ and staffs’. You can use the app to text, email, or call customers or even create new appointments.

 

 

Want to try Microsoft Bookings free for 30-days? Click below to get started.

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Microsoft Teams – What’s in it for your team?

Introduced in 2017, Microsoft Teams provides a platform that combines workplace chat, meetings, notes/attachments and calendaring to Office 365.  For current subscribers, Teams is incorporated into the office productivity suite that includes Office and Skype.  While Teams is currently limited to Office 365 subscribers, Microsoft plans to expand the capabilities to include outside organizations.

So, what is Teams?

The Team Itself:  Allows communities and groups to form a unique team, where all communications and data specific to that team lives.  Users can be members of multiple teams and all communication is segregated so that the review of news and data can be quickly and easily accessed.

Messaging:  What does the team prefer?  Email? Messaging? What about replying with images, GIFs or custom-made memes? You can use those too!  Teams also allows users within the team to send direct messages to specific users vs. the entire team.

Conferencing:  Need to get on an ad-hoc video or audio conference? Teams allows members to connect with specific team members or all team members with just a few clicks.  It’s never been easier to target who you need on call, quickly and easily.

Meetings:  One of the greatest challenges with bringing teams together is having a common calendar.  Each team has a specific calendar (or calendars) to arrange all events and meetings.

 

Want to try Teams for 30-days?  Click below to get started.

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Does Office 365 Make Financial Sense? Yes. Here’s Why.

As a business owner or consultant, you may have asked yourself many times whether an application or platform is worth the cost. While everyone has their own unique filtering criteria, we would like to share some of our thoughts based on the deployment of Office 365 across organizations large and small.

Does Office 365 make financial sense?  Here are some things to consider.

Pay-as-you-go.  Rarely do cloud platforms allow companies the flexibility to subscribe individual users with only the services they need.  Enter Office 365.   Each user is matched with a licensing model that fits their particular role in the organization.  Only need mail?  No problem.  Need just applications?  No problem.  Need everything plus legal hold for the HR Director?  No problem.

With pay-as-you-go pricing you can also increase or decrease subscriptions monthly, add other Office 365 products (Project, Visio, Dynamics, etc.) on the fly, all giving a real-time, predictable monthly cost.

Financially-back uptime guarantee.  The Office platform was built for reliability, availability and performance from day one.  With geo-redundant, enterprise-grade data centers, Microsoft guarantees a 99.9% uptime per year.  (Translated, that means about 40 minutes of downtime, per year.)  For a small to medium-sized business to duplicate this means thousands of dollars and a lot of headaches.  With Microsoft, if they don’t meet that criteria, they owe you money!

Don’t throw away licenses.  How many times have you bought a computer system with Office.  What happens when the system becomes end of life, do you retain the license?  About 80% of users do not. And when they buy a new system, they buy it all over again!  Good for Microsoft, not so good for the business owner.  With Office 365 you never have to worry about throwing away your investment.  The software is always there, always up to date, and can be turned on and –off whenever you want.

Professional image for your business.  As of mid-2016, there were 1.2 billion Office users worldwide and 60 million Office 365 customers.  Federating with other companies through Office 365 – allowing intranet-like connection capabilities with Skype, messaging, etc. – gives small and medium businesses an enterprise-like image.

You can be the judge of what applications and costs make sense for your business, but the 1.2 billion Office 365 users worldwide tell a pretty compelling story.

 

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How to Become More Efficient with Office 365

What is productivity? Productivity (pro·duc·tiv·i·ty) is the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.

It used to be that productivity was tangible.  One could see how many cars were produced a day in a given manufacturing plant in Detroit.  If 800 people walked into the factory and 800 cars were made on day one, but the same number of people produced 900 cars the next month, they increased productivity.

Today, increasing productivity is not as easy to gauge.  Being predominately an information-based society, much of our productivity is now based on many other, more intangible, factors.  How much data can be collected, sorted and analyzed in a given day?  How do we increase productivity for a team of three people, all needing to proof-read and edit the same text?  How do we take data and people and make them more productive?  Office 365.

The platform.  Office 365 is no longer a collection of disparate applications.  It is a platform.  It takes programs you already know and use (Outlook, Excel, Word, etc.) and provide a powerful integrated platform that allows sharing, collaboration and synchronization of data and documents like never before.  Combined with the fact that this access is anytime, anywhere on any device, makes Office 365 a universal productivity tool of choice for 60 million businesses worldwide.

Share internal or external.  Using the platform within your organization is great, connecting to those external to your organization is even more powerful.  Allow customers to participate in on-line meetings, share documents, participate in messaging and chat, all the while keeping your data and people safe and secure.

Connect everywhere.  While we still have geographic boundaries in our world, virtual boundaries have fallen with the cloud.  Having colleagues in other states, or continents, no longer matters in the quest to increase productivity.  Office 365 allows everyone to work in their own part of the world, connected to every other part of the world.

Connect on anything.  As the proliferation of smart-mobile devices has proliferated so has the desire to utilize them for business.  With Office 365, each user can use the on-line portal from any browser-capable device, or the full applications can be installed on mobile phones, tablets, laptops, or desktops.  This allows the office to be at the office, or at home, on the airplane, at the hotel, at the restaurant, at the ballgame … you get it.

Productivity– making tomorrow more efficient than today.  That is Office 365.

 

 

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