Microsoft 365, Remote working, and how you collaborate

Microsoft 365 can revolutionise the way that your business operates.

We’ve all been there. You’re trying to edit a document in real-time with a colleague, and it’s not quite going to plan. Both of you can’t edit the same document. And no matter how hard you try you can’t quite save the changes correctly. You could be collaborating with colleagues working from home, in the office, or a blend of both. 

Your ability to work in this way is seriously compromised. You aren’t realising the benefits of increased productivity that collaborative working could bring. Especially with employees and employers working from home offices, at your head office, or a satellite somewhere else. 

Is Flexible Remote Working Possible?

Well yes. There’s much more to Microsoft 365 than you might think. Don’t think of the Microsoft 365 software pack sold at your local computer shop, think powerful tools that enable team collaboration, increased productivity, and success. 

Microsoft 365 is closely bound to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-based platform. That provides you with a number of benefits:

  1. Access to Microsoft Azure security and authorising services 
  2. Easy installs and updates
  3. Enhanced security and stability
  4. Easy management of users (and adding & deleting users)
  5. Scalable cloud storage
  6. Live document collaboration utilising Sharepoint 
  7. Version histories, file recovery, user data, and no overwriting of work

What this means, in simple terms, is that you can access a powerful suite of creative and office applications through Sharepoint that can be accessed from anywhere. So if your team is fully working from home, all in the office, or you have a hybrid arrangement, all your team needs is a computer and an internet connection. 

Take a look at this review in Tech Republic

Where is the Cloud?

The point isn’t really where the cloud is, it’s where it isn’t. For SME businesses you may have a server to manage your hardware and regular work to update your software. That means additional cost, lost time running updates, and expensive hardware.

In the worst cases, there may even be staff who have a desktop computer in the office and a laptop to ferry around with them. 

You can say goodbye to all of that. With a managed service and installation in the cloud your IT infrastructure is simpler in terms of your hardware, and the way that your software is managed.

So you can concentrate on collaborating with colleagues on important documents without distraction.

Microsoft Teams and your remote workers, office staff, and flexible work

We’re all pretty familiar with messaging services now. Most people are aware of Microsoft Teams as well. 

There is some functionality that you can use to great effect with your colleagues. You can thread your chat, so unlike platforms like Wattsapp, you can continue conversations about specific topics without having to trawl through hundreds of messages. 

And through Microsoft Teams you can collaborate with colleagues on your documents and chat as you go along if they are working from home. It may seem like an obvious part of Microsoft 365, but how it’s used to increase productivity is often overlooked.

What about Security for Microsoft 365?

This is where expertise will help. Your VOIP phones, broadband, and cloud-based systems like Microsoft 365 must be protected from cyberattacks. And if you have multiple staff accessing your business systems from different locations and office spaces, the risk is that much greater. 

The key point to remember here is that you need to have a plan. Every business should have a cybersecurity plan in place that provides information on things like password rotations, who has access to what, hardware in use, and so on. 

But you’ll be more aware and up to date with a cloud-based system, especially if it’s managed for you, than an office-based server-type setup. 

Hardware and your Cloud-Based System

First of all, you won’t need native storage for your documents and other assets. Microsoft 365 provides you with all of the storage that you need, and you can set access permissions for different users. So your native systems won’t need to have huge storage capacity, nor will they need the processing power to manage it.

Everything will live in your cloud, and you have the benefit of the processing power of Microsoft Azure itself since you log in and work online rather than relying solely on your computer.

So your hardware requirement could be lower. Certainly, you won’t need a server in-house and everything associated with it. But you will need a robust, fast, and stable broadband service if you have lots of people in your office. 

And that’s where you could see another benefit. Did you know that ISDN will be switched off in 2025? So you’re going to have to make alternative arrangements soon if you utilise this technology.

So there is a real opportunity to upgrade and update your current systems all in one go and save yourself costs and a lot of waiting later on if you leave your ISDN line to the last minute.

OK, it Sounds Good. Now What?

Simply get in touch and we’ll take a look at what you currently have, what your requirements are for the future and the sort of IT setup that will help you to drive productivity in your business. 

And you will be surprised by how we can pull together broadband, VoIP, Microsoft 365, and your hardware to not only work more efficiently but provide you with value for money as well.