Considering the current excitement brewing around the Office 365 product suite, one could easily mistake this offering for a new solution.

Microsoft’s flagship productivity offering has, however, been around since June 2011 with the provided benefits increasingly gaining momentum in markets worldwide.

Office 365 is being rolled out by companies big and small as bandwidth continues to become cheaper and faster, IT managers are warming up to the idea of having a service rather than a piece of hardware in their data center and mobile workers are demanding a toolset that keeps them productive regardless of their physical location.

Sharing and Social Interaction

A one-stop shop to productivity, Office 365 has become the de facto standard not only for content sharing and social interaction, but also for efficiency as a whole when implemented in an organization.

The software suite provides organizations with access to a wide range of applications and also enables data loss prevention, rights management and encryption.

Other treats include a 50 GB mailbox plus unlimited storage space for a user’s in-place archive. Each user also receives 1TB of storage (unlimited in certain scenarios) in OneDrive for Business and has the ability to use up to five devices to access information.

A big productivity enhancer is the Office 365 enterprise content management (ECM) capabilities. ECM has become broader than the sharing of documents. It’s about efficiency and a variety of services are now available to users to help them effortlessly fulfill their job requirements.

Users are provided with a unified look and feel when working across the Office 365 platform, enabling them to engage with colleagues in a social fashion, share content, schedule meetings, complete tasks, synchronize data, send email and view reports.

The above-mentioned basic functions could span a variety of applications and profiles for a single user, and Office 365 wraps all of these features up neatly via a single identity (account) experience, to make a users’ work-life experience easier than ever before.

Staying On Top of IT

It goes without saying that Using Office 365 will give your organization access to the latest software features at all times. The online products will be updated as and when new features are launched and the thick clients will have updates available to them on a continuous basis.

IT has never had more control than with Office 365. A host of features, too many to discuss in this article, provides IT unprecedented control over their assets in the field.

Last, but certainly not least, mobility hasn’t been ignored in Office 365 and a host of free applications exist to provide ease of access to all the features offered. Users can explore Yammer, Office Groups, OneDrive and Office applications all the time as the single sign-on experience provides access to a range of content and elements to increase productivity daily.

(Look for Part two of this series for more productivity features.)

Title image by Lacey Raper