Many small and midsize businesses are using Microsoft Office 365 to work more effectively across teams and offices. Office 365 is a suite of cloud-based applications that bring together all of Microsoft’s existing online applications (Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher,Sway, and Word) into cloud services alongside Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Office 365 is designed to drive productivity by helping your staff collaborate more efficiently. Office 365 provides communication and collaboration tools that make it easy for your business to empower employees to work effectively both independently and as part of a team — even if that team is dispersed or remote.

Here Are the Top Five Features of Microsoft Office 365:

1. Cloud-Based File Storage and Sharing

Microsoft Office 365 has two different cloud services for file storage and sharing — OneDrive and SharePoint.

OneDrive allows you to access, share, and collaborate on all of your files from any location and device. This application connects all your files to Office 365 so that you can share and collaborate with other team members while keeping your work saved to one central location. With OneDrive, the edits you make offline via the desktop application are automatically uploaded to the backup file in the cloud the next time you connect to the internet.

Microsoft refers to SharePoint as a “mobile, intelligent intranet.” Essentially, SharePoint is an application where you can share and manage content, knowledge, and applications across your organization. This allows your team to work together on documents and quickly find what they’re looking for in one central, cloud-based location. With SharePoint, you can create sites for every team project, division, or department and share files, data, news, and resources with the entire group.

3. Online Meetings and Live Events

The Microsoft Teams app makes it easy for your staff to communicate and work together, from anywhere. With this application, you can host audio, video, and web conferences with anyone from your team or outside of your organization. As Skype for Business phases out, Microsoft has invested in transforming Teams into the main hub for communication within and outside of your organization. Microsoft Teams has features like scheduling assistance, screen sharing, meeting recording, and instant messaging to ensure you’re getting everything you need to foster successful online communication. People can even join your meetings on-the-go with a global dial-in number for audio conferencing.

Microsoft Teams also makes it easy to hold large online meetings live. Whether your team is hosting a webinar for leads, a company-wide meeting, or a presentation, this application makes it easy to host live events for up to 10,000 attendees inside or outside your organization.

2. File and Project Collaboration

In addition to storing and sharing files with Office 365, you can also collaborate on documents in real time. When you work on a file in OneDrive or SharePoint, any changes you make to the document are seamlessly updated to the cloud file in real time. This enables you to work on documents or presentations across devices and with different people inside and outside of your organization. In addition to making edits and updates in real time, you can also use a variety of tools to highlight, annotate, and comment on documents.

While you’re working on documents with others inside or outside of your organization, Office 365 backs up previous versions and notates who has made edits, to what documents, in what order. This allows you to track what edits have been made over time.

4. Integrated Email and Calendar System

An effective email system is one of the most important tools that businesses use to keep in touch with their team as well as leads and clients. Office 365 offers Outlook and Exchange, which allow you to access email, contacts, and calendars from anywhere on any device that’s connected to the internet.

Office 365 syncs emails, calendars, and contacts across devices in real time, so you know that you’re always up to date. With a simplified admin center, it’s easy to set up new user emails, restore deleted accounts, and create custom scripts. These cloud services also offer anti-malware protection and anti-spam filtering to help protect your team from email threats.

5. Teamwork Hub

If you have teams that often work together online, then Microsoft Teams is one of the must-have cloud services. We’ve already discussed how Microsoft Teams makes it easy to host online meetings via video and voice. But it’s more than just an online meeting application. This application serves as a hub for teams to work together quickly and effectively through a shared workspace where everyone can meet, chat, share files, and work with different business apps.

Microsoft Teams integrates with a number of different Microsoft and third-party services like Salesforce, MailChimp, and SurveyMonkey so that you can seamlessly work with your team from one central location.

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