7 Ways to Work Smarter in the Cloud: Parts 5 through 7

7 Ways to Work Smarter in the Cloud: Parts 5 through 7

Welcome to the final part of the Office 365 platform, integrated with Microsoft ERP and CRM blog series.

Meetings, Simplified

Meetings are an important part of business, providing valuable opportunities for people to brainstorm, collaborate, strategize, and share information. According to information compiled by Atlassian, most employees attend 62 meetings a month, including the 31 hours they spend in unproductive meetings. Those unnecessary meetings carry a high price, costing US businesses $37 billion annually.

New communication and collaboration tools like Skype for Business make it easy to conduct modern meetings that are more efficient and productive by providing familiar, easy-to-use features plus enterprise-grade security, compliance, and control.

It can be tough for growing businesses to get everyone together in the same room. Using Skype for Business HD video calling, co-authoring, app sharing, and presentations, the members of your team who need to actively participate can do so from anywhere. Host or join a meeting from any of your favorite devices- whether you’re running on iOS, Android, or Windows-and easily present, share, and collaborate on documents or a virtual whiteboard during the meeting.

Need to ping someone for a quick question? Use Skype for Business IM, and then add voice, video, and screen sharing as the conversation evolves. With just a click or two, you can initiate an IM chat, share documents, or set up an online meeting where team members in different locations can meet face-to-face and view the same information, without spending the time or money to travel to meet in person.

Turn Your Data Into Valuable Insights

An increasing number of businesses are using business intelligence (BI) solutions to spot trends, identify risks, and find new opportunities. One-click forecasting in Office 2016 helps SMBs quickly turn historical data series into an analysis of future trends. New Treemap and waterfall charts in Office 2016 make it easier to visualize complex data.

Use these new tools to connect, view, and shape data from multiple sources, including tables from websites, unstructured sources like Hadoop, and services like Salesforce. The improved Power Pivot features can help you map different data sets  with drag-and-drop ease, and calculate hundreds of millions of rows of data with the new analysis functionality.

By using business intelligence tools, your business can transform dense company data into easily digestible insights and make informed decisions to help you help maintain a a competitive edge. According to a study by IBM and MIT Sloan Management Review, organizations that achieve a competitive advantage with data analytics and business intelligence are 2.2 times more likely to substantially outperform their industry peers.

Co-author Documents in Real Time

Competitive markets move fast, and businesses that rise to the top do too. To keep up with the pace, employees often need to work together on the same documents, such as sales reporting spreadsheets and marketing plans. An important collaboration feature of productivity tools like Office 2016 and Office Online is real-time co-authoring, which makes it possible for you and your team to edit and contribute to documents at the same time. These cloud-based features automatically save as you go. When you work together on a Word document, will see everyone’s edits to text and formatting exactly when they are made. Use the version history to refer back to snapshots of the document throughout the editing process. Because Office 365 supports mobility and flexible work styles, it doesn’t matter whether you and your team members are working on the web, a desktop, a laptop, or a mobile device. Every change will be synced in the document, automatically saved to the cloud, and made visible to the team.

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