In the previous article we explored the price rises planned by Microsoft, concluding that they are justified but only if you are certain that you and your team are using the Microsoft 365 features at your disposal effectively.
Let’s take a look at the tools you may be using now, and what you can replace them with from the Microsoft Suite of tools to ensure you get the best value possible.
Google Sheets is a spreadsheet program included as part of the free, web-based Google Docs Editors Suite offered by Google.
Microsoft has their own spreadsheet programme which I am sure you will have heard of – Excel. Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet developed by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It has all the same features as Google Sheets but with a macro programming language as standard which improves it further, called Visual basic. It is highly recommended if you are using huge amounts of data and doing in-depth analysis in house.
DropBox is the most popular Cloud storage system on the market available today. It is simple and easy to get the hang of, and lets users store files without too much learning involved. It is, however, not as secure as others and can be very difficult to implement access permissions. Also, depending on the size of your organisation, it is by no means cheap.
OneDrive offers one place to store, share, and sync your work files. The application allows you to give others permission to access, edit, and work on files simultaneously with other members of the team. It also allows you to access your files from anywhere, on a computer, tablet, or phone – and, once synced to your PC or Mac, this can be done without an internet connection.
Trello is simple. It offers a place to organise your day – you can do this from a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Microsoft To do
Microsoft To Do is a cloud-based task management app. It allows your team to manage their tasks from a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Both To Do and Trello are rated very similarly by most, but if you already have a Microsoft subscription it makes sense to use the one that can help you achieve greater value from it.
Automation 360 and Blue Prism
Automation 360 is an AI-powered, cloud-native, web-based platform. It provides you with the capabilities to start and scale your automation initiatives efficiently and cost-effectively.
Microsoft Power Automate
Power Automate is a service that helps you create automated workflows between your favourite apps and services to synchronize files, get notifications, collect data, and more. Power Automate sets itself apart from the rest with its integration to other tools in the Microsoft suite, meaning that your work is all inter-connected.
Google G Suite
The Google G Suite encourages teamwork between participants in multiple locations, and includes tools like Hangouts, Calendar, and Docs/Sheets. However, it does lack in security features, so if you handle sensitive information this app needs to be avoided.
SharePoint can be used as a secure place to store, organise, share, and access information from any device. All you need is a web browser, such as Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox. It works in conjunction will all other Microsoft applications resulting in your whole workflow running smoothly.
Zoho is a word processor that allows you to type out documents and save them for later use. It comes with a variety of different fonts and styles to assist you in writing effectively.
Microsoft – Word
Microsoft Word is a graphical word processing program that users use for typing. It allows you to create and save documents. Similar to other word processors, it has helpful tools to create documents. The thing that makes Word stand out from the crowd is the familiarity most of us have with it, as a lot of us grew up using it and know it inside out.
Slack is messaging software designed to boost collaboration among users in the office and those working remotely. It features an instant messaging service, allows you to coordinate tasks, and submit invoices.
Microsoft – Kaizala
Microsoft Kaizala, for its lack of popularity, is a good tool. It also allows you to do all of the above but crucially it can be used in conjunction with other tools in the Microsoft Suite.
Loom is a video-sharing platform, which many use for in-house videos (tutorials) and others to clients. It has many uses and has great reviews online.
Microsoft Stream is a corporate video-sharing service which is gradually replacing the existing Office 365 Video. It has similar uses but once again gives you the ability to co-operate with other tools in the Suite, making collaboration and connectivity much easier between employees.
Zoom or Skype
Zoom and Skype – we have put these together because they are so very similar and are both very popular choices on the market, and for home use I can see why. Their capabilities throughout the pandemic allowed us to keep in contact with Grandmas, Grandads, and friends alike, no matter where they were around the world – and for this purpose there is nothing wrong with them, but for business use these are not suitable and you need to think again.
One of the newest additions to Microsoft and their Suite of tools is Microsoft Teams. The application boasts features that boost levels of collaboration, communication, and productivity unrivalled by any other. It has amassed a daily usage count of over 250 million people worldwide in over 181 countries – if you aren’t already using it, what have you been doing all this time?
We hope that these two articles have highlighted to you the importance of justifying this price rise and you are now sure that the tools you are using assist in your quest for value from your Microsoft 365 subscription. As we said, you don’t have to scrap anything just because it isn’t Microsoft, but it is recommended to incorporate their tools wherever possible to squeeze as much value out of it as you can.
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