Understanding the new Office 365 features

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Microsoft Office 365

This month will see the launch of the new Office 365 for small businesses and enterprises. Say goodbye to the constant transferring of files from one computer to another and say hello to a new way of accessing any document through any device anywhere.  I’m excited to see the improvements that this latest release will provide.

Office 365 provides access from virtually anywhere to familiar Office applications, email, calendar, video conferencing, and most up-to-date documents, across different devices—from PCs to smartphones to tablets. For businesses the new Office 365 enables your users to be more productive by helping them manage increasing amounts of communications across multiple devices and work together more effectively as teams. They can easily invite people from outside your business to work with you on documents, share your calendar, and communicate in real-time across a variety of instant messaging services.

Facebook users reached one billion in October 2012, with nearly half using the social network every day. There is no doubt that social media has become part of our daily lives. SharePoint introduces numerous new or improved social media functions that make it easier for people in companies to work together. The social networking capabilities in SharePoint are now much more natural to every day work. It’s simple to use and doesn’t feel like you have to go out of your way to participate socially in your enterprise.

It’s also a lot easier to find useful documents. SharePoint 2013 has a single search technology that’s both simple to use and delivers rich results, including automatic recommendations based on your previous behaviour and when you find a useful document, you can follow it as if it was a friend on Facebook.

Exchange improvements focus on user productivity and the protection of business communications and sensitive information. It provides users with better ways to work together on projects with site mailboxes allowing them to get up to speed quickly and share information.

Lync now provides high definition video conferencing and a familiar and consistent user experience across a variety of devices. The Lync video gallery allows meeting attendees to simultaneously view up to 5 different participants. With Skype now part of the Microsoft family, Lync 2013 users can connect to anyone on Skype, enabling rich communication with hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Two additional productivity applications have now be added to the Office 365, these include Project Online and Visio Pro for Office 365.

Project Online is flexible solution for project portfolio management (PPM) and everyday work, delivered through Office 365, it includes Project Professional 2013, for people who need to manage with full project management capabilities on the desktop and participate online from virtually anywhere on almost any device.

The new Microsoft Visio has features designed to make it easier to create diagrams and tools to make teamwork simpler, such as the ability to work together on the same diagram at the same time and improved commenting.

Mobile workers can rejoice as its rumoured that Microsoft Office will be making its way to IOS and Android devices in early 2013, delivered through subscription services on Office 365.

Businesses of all sizes will reap the benefits of productivity and collaboration with Office 365. Microsoft says it can tailor the features of the suite to cater to any particular need. In its words, Microsoft is giving customers “Cloud On Your Terms”. From my perspective, I think my customers will love it!







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