Microsoft Office 365 Cloud-based Collaboration Platform
What is Office 365? Office 365 is a cloud-based collaboration platform with Office applications and other productive services that users can subscribe to based on their needs. So users can access emails, contacts, calendar and other office apps like Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote over the internet.
In this guide we're going to explain exactly What Office 365 is and also give an overview of all the services within the Office 365 family.
With Office 365 plans, users can install the latest versions of office applications on multiple devices like PCs, Tablets, Phones and iPad. Office 365 includes SharePoint Online that allows creating, sharing and managing data, users, site pages, and other resources. Also, it provides customized enterprise search capability making it easier to find contents in electronic form across the organisation.
Now, I am going to explain Out Of Box (OOB) applications of O365 and see what you’d be using them for. Also, we see the licensing requirement for these applications to access.
Microsoft Power Automate (Previously Flow)
Microsoft Power Automate allows you to create and automate workflow across multiple applications without having to develop any custom code by developers. You can use Power Automate to automate email, alert, copying files from one source to another, synchronizing files across applications, collecting data from one service and store into other. Power Automate is accessible on any browser or mobile device.
An individual can opt in to the Power Automate service based on the pricing plan given below.
You can check out the following links to find out more about Microsoft Power Automate;
Microsoft Forms is a new service that has been added in to O365 for teachers and students. Teachers can create quizzes and questionnaires on a topic and invite students to respond. Microsoft Forms has built-in analytic features that allow you to evaluate responses. Results can be exported to an excel file.
To get a free guide to Microsoft Forms, click here.
Microsoft SharePoint Online is a cloud-based service that allows you to create, design and manage sites, contents, and workspaces. It enables you to share your digital documents securely with team members within or outside of your organization, across Mobile, PCs and Apple devices.
Organizations use SharePoint Online to build customized web-based enterprise applications to solve their business problems. SharePoint Online offers many Out-Of-the-Box (OOB) features to create a website, invite people to a community, manage your contents and search through it. You can also create custom apps and deploy them into App Catalog to share with others. With SharePoint Online, you can integrate almost any corporate and cloud based applications.
SharePoint online is available under E, P, or K family plans including Office 365 (Plan K1 & K2), Office 365 (Plan E1, E2, E3 & E4).
Below are some useful links that you can check out for more details;
Microsoft Planner is a tool that offers a simple and highly visual way to organize teamwork. It enables users to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files, set due dates, and get updates on progress. Microsoft Planner can also be used to manage data for events, attaching documents with a task, track a school project, brainstorm new project ideas or even organize a customer visit.
Microsoft Planner is available for O365 users who have one of these plans Office 365 Enterprise E1, Office 365 Enterprise E3, Office 365 Enterprise E4, Office 365 Enterprise E5, Office 365 Education, Office 365 Education E3, Office 365 Education E4, Office 365 Business Essentials and Office 365 Business Premium.
To watch free videos on Microsoft Planner, click here.
Microsoft PowerApps is an enterprise service that allows you to develop “no code” apps. PowerApps is available to install on iOS, Android and Windows devices. PowerApps is based on Microsoft Azure, and it offers built-in connections to integrate your apps with other cloud and on-premises services including Azure, Dynamic CRM, Salesforce, OneDrive, SharePoint, SAP, Oracle, SQL Server etc.
PowerApps is included in these plans; Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business Premium, Office 365 Education, Office 365 Education Plus, Office 365 Enterprise E1, Office 365 Enterprise E3, Office 365 Enterprise E5. Also, Office 365 Enterprise K1 includes PowerApps for Office 365 Enterprise K1.
Microsoft Teams is a digital hub for teamwork that brings together people, content, conversations and apps together in one place. Microsoft Teams is integrated with other O365 services to utilize the power of SharePoint, Word, Excel, Delve, PowerBI, PowerApps, Flow and many more. It’s easy to add a tab for each of these services in the your channel within Microsoft Teams. Also, you can add third party services like Yammer, Facebook, GitHub, and RSS feeds which can give some powerful use cases or your day to day work. You can do video calling and setup meetings within teams. Microsoft Teams works across Windows, iOS, Mac, web and Android platforms.
Microsoft Bookings allows customers to schedule appointments with businesses using online or mobile app. It is suitable for any small business including law firms, salon, dental office and financial service providers. It has web-based business facing pages that allow setup and management of customer preferences, schedules, staff lists and product pricing. A business facing mobile app allows a user to check bookings and access customer lists with contact information.
Microsoft Bookings is available for Microsoft 365 Business Premium and education customers, starting in May 2020 it’s also available in Enterprise subscriptions
To know more details, click here.
Microsoft Graph API allows you to connect with the data of a million users over Microsoft Cloud. Developers can build apps for organizations and customers that connect to a wealth of resources, relationships and intelligence using an endpoint https://graph.microsoft.com
To develop apps, developers can choose a platform that calls Microsoft Graph API to connect with Office 365.
To develop Microsoft Graph API, you can take reference from below URLs:
Microsoft Yammer is a cloud based service that predominantly offers a private social network for your organization. So, you can keep your teams up-to-date by sharing information, ideas, files, updates, images, and videos etc. Also, you can setup notifications in your inbox to view, prioritize, manage important messages and announcements across your groups.
To join Yammer, you need to have an email ID of your organization. You can also create an external social network to allow non-employees, like partners, customers, and suppliers to connect and communicate with your organization.
Microsoft Yammer is integrated with SharePoint Online, Dynamic CRM, SKYPE, Facebook and other applications. Also, it provides open APIs to integrate any other third-party applications with Microsoft Yammer. Microsoft Yammer app is available to install on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.
Microsoft Yammer is available under E, or K family plans including Office 365 (Plan K1 & K2), Office 365 (Plan E1, E2, E3, E4, & E5), Business Essentials, Business Premium, Midsize Business, Power BI for Office 365, SharePoint Online 1 + Yammer Enterprise, SharePoint Online 2 + Yammer Enterprise, Yammer Enterprise Standalone
Below are some useful links that you can check out for more details;
Microsoft stuffHub allows managers to create, update and manage a schedule for their team. Employees can use their mobile to update their schedule, request time off, trade shifts and communicate with other employees. This is a cloud-based platform that is been designed to help deskless workers, those who do not have any work station or they are “on the go” for their work week like Doctors, plumbers, Factory workers, Bus Drivers etc.
Microsoft StuffHub is enabled for all customers who have any of the K1, E1, E3 or E5 business O365 plans.
Here are some useful links that you can refer to know more about Microsoft StuffHub
Microsoft MyAnalytics helps people to understand how you spend time at work. MyAnalytics uses information from your Office365 mailbox and calendar. Also, it looks at information about different recipients, and meeting duration. The dashboard helps you to prioritize your work and spend time more effectively.
Microsoft MyAnalytics is available for customers who have one of the following plans Office 365 Enterprise E5 plan, Office 365 Education E5 plan, Office 365 Nonprofit E5 plan, Office 365 Enterprise E1 or E3 plan, Office 365 Education or E3.
For more details on Microsoft MyAnalytics, click here.
Microsoft Video is a cloud-based enterprise video platform where a company’s video can be uploaded, shared and played back. It also allows employees to find and discover that content and view it on their devices.
Microsoft Video is included in the following subscription plans:
For more details and managing your video, click here.
Office Delve allows you to manage your Office profile and organize information in such a way that it helps you see information that is important to you. Office Delve is the first app that is powered by Microsoft Graph.
Microsoft Delve is available for Customers those who have any of one of these subscription plans:
To explore more about Microsoft Delve, click here.
Sway is a digital storytelling app that allows users to create presentations quickly, easily and clearly. You can use this app on a web browser, mobile, tablet, PC and other devices. You can share a presentation with your colleagues and customers by sending links. Also, you can find and fetch all information together without leaving the app.
Sway is available for Business and Education customers of Microsoft.
To know more about Microsoft Sway, click here.
Power BI is a cloud-based analytics service that allows you to see your most critical business data in a single view. Also, it enables users to create interactive reports and monitor the health of your business using a live dashboard. Users can access Power BI on a web browser, mobile, tablet, PCs and other devices.
Power BI is relatively low in cost and anyone can use it free up to 1 GB. And, 10GB per user cost is $9.99 per month. For Power BI premium, you can calculate the total cost based on per user and required space here.
To Share your dashboard with others, you need to have Power BI Pro or Premium license. With free Power BI, you can Analyze and create reports by clearing and preparing data. Also, you can connect with hundreds of data sources.
Here are some useful links that you can check out for further help.
Class Notebook is a collaborative app that allows you to setup OneNote in your class. You can create a notebook which includes student Notebooks, content library and collaboration space.
An Office 365 subscription for Education includes this feature.
To know more about this, click here.
Microsoft Stream is an enterprise video service that allows you to upload and share video in an intuitive way. It makes it easier for everyone to engage and collaborate productively. It provides intelligent features to give more ways to find and interact with your videos, so everyone can access them quickly and easily.
Microsoft Steam is available in all subscription of O365.
Below is a reference link for more details.
Microsoft Dynamic 365 is a cloud-based platform that offers Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) capabilities to streamline businesses for customers including modules on Sales, Customer Service, Retail, Marketing and Product Service Automation. Microsoft Dynamic 365 has a Common Data Model that allows integration with other Office 365 apps or any other customized business apps.
If you are a small or mid-sized organization with 10 - 300 employees. You can start with Microsoft Dynamic 365 for the Financial app and move easily to Business Edition or any module Dynamics 365 for Sales, Business edition and Dynamics 365 for Marketing, Business edition.
To know more about this, click here.
Microsoft Office is a package of interrelated services, available for Microsoft Windows and Mac Operating Systems (OS). It consists of five main applications; Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote. It enables you to create, edit, delete and share document within or outside an organization. You can install Microsoft Office Suite services on Mobile, Tablet, PCs, and other devices.
You can purchase a license to use Microsoft Office suite services based on your requirement. Here are some plans for individual and business customers that Microsoft offers;
• Office Professional P
• Office Standard 2016
• Office 365 ProPlus
• Office 365 Business
• Office 365 Business Premium
• Office 365 Business Premium Essentials
Microsoft Word is a word processor service that allows you to create, edit, delete and share documents securely so teams can work in a collaborative environment. You can install Microsoft Word app on your mobile, tablet or use a web browser to work.
Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet that offers you the ability to create, edit, view, delete and share spreadsheets from anywhere. You can feed text or numeric data in spreadsheet and run formulas. Microsoft Excel has capability to recognize patterns and auto-complete the remaining data in spreadsheet.
Microsoft Excel can be used extensively for data analysis and reporting purpose. Excel has capability to suggest charts and graphs that will best display your data pattern in a report.
Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation service that offers you to create, view, edit, and share presentations. You can use PowerPoint Designer to create highly customized presentations by utilizing the visual features available. Also, you can give cinematic motion in your presentation using Morph effect.
You can install Microsoft PowerPoint on Mobiles, PCs, Tablets and other devices.
Microsoft OneNote allows you to take meeting notes in a digital notebook and share within your team and with others. You can access saved notes from anywhere using your mobile, tablets and PCs.
Microsoft Outlook allows you to stay connected and productive at your workplace. You can view your contacts, calendar and emails on your mobile, PC, Tablet or other devices. And, you can access your emails from anywhere. You can also save your chat history into Outlook.
OneDrive is a cloud-based storage solution that offers you to store data like OS setting, personal data or any other files. You can synchronize your files to your PC and mobile devices using OneDrive app or web browser.
OneDrive offers 5GB free storage for the users. Additional storage can be bought separately or with Office 365 subscription based on your requirements and plans.
In this article, we have discussed the features/applications of O365 that you can use for your business or individual requirements. lets take a quick look at what is not included.
What is Not included in Office 365
As you can see, most of the productivity tools that a business needs are included in Office 365 (even Windows Enterprise licenses in Microsoft 365). What’s not included however is backup. Yes, Microsoft will keep four copies of your data, in at least two datacenters so they’re not going to “lose” your mailbox, SharePoint, Teams or OneDrive data due to hardware or even datacenter failures. And Exchange / SharePoint provide recycle bin features where an accidentally deleted item can be recovered, unless too much time has passed.
What Office 365 doesn’t offer however is traditional backup of the state of a mailbox or SharePoint library from the past. On premises you probably have (or had) a system where data was backed up daily or hourly and then archived so that if there was a need to go back to “what the CEO’s mailbox looked like three months ago” that was possible. Having a good backup solution can also be critical if your business is hit with ransomware and your data is encrypted.
That’s not possible with the built-in tools in Office 365 and if you need that functionality for regulatory or company policy reasons you’ll need to rely on a third party tool such as Altaro’s Office 365 Backup. This lets you seamlessly back up Exchange mailboxes, OneDrive and SharePoint data to Azure storage (managed by the service, not you), up to four times a day, with a simple per user subscription model. When the time comes to restore data, you can pick individual items or entire mailboxes / document libraries from any point in time.
Hope, this post will be helpful for you!