The rise of mobile technology and cloud computing has transformed the way we work, making collaboration not only easier, but also essential for the success of every organization. There are now more mobile devices than people worldwide, according to a report by Cisco, and work increasingly occurs outside of offices—in homes, hotels, airports, coffee shops, and other temporary spaces. As a result, the trend toward greater mobility, and the need for more efficient collaboration across the web and across devices, is accelerating every year.
The IBM Global CIO Study, found that 49 percent of an individuals’ work is the result of “network contribution” by fellow employees and partners. Yet 80 percent of employees are ineffective at collaboration, according to a CEB survey. That’s why it is so important for organizations to have the tools they need to collaborate effectively.
Microsoft offers the most complete set of productivity services currently available, which spans messaging, conferencing and telephony, social collaboration, content management and compliance, big data analysis and visualization.
COLLABORATE SEAMLESSLY IN REAL TIME
Office 365 is built for collaboration. Office 365 offers the ability to get the optimal experience regardless of your location or device by delivering improved productivity with low training costs. Today, more than 1 billion users choose Office, Skype, Yammer and OneDrive every day to communicate, collaborate and get work done. Office 365 helps organizations improve collaboration by transforming the corporate intranet into a social network that cuts through hierarchies to improve executive-employee connections and eliminate barriers created by physical distance, time zones and workers using multiple devices.
When the Carlsberg Group, a family-owned Danish brewing company with a global business was choosing productivity and collaboration tools, it evaluated Google Apps for Work as well as Office 365, but employees wanted to work in the familiar Office user interface and the IT group valued the level of integration built into the Microsoft cloud-based communication, collaboration, and social networking services. The company also felt that a Microsoft offering better met its security and availability requirements.
“Coming from a position where we had disjointed email services, inconsistent web conferencing tools, and isolated web portals for different countries, integration was important to us,” says Etienne Dock, vice president of IT Architecture and Sourcing for Carlsberg Business Solutions. “The more we grew, the more obvious was the need for a single, consistent, reliable collaboration platform.”
Using Yammer, you can crowdsource answers or draw on the knowledge of the whole team. This improves the speed and accuracy with which you can respond to a customer or complete a sales proposal, and OneDrive for Business lets you easily upload files to the cloud and share them with your colleagues across devices. Office 365 subscriptions come with a full terabyte of OneDrive storage, where users can store and share individual files as large as 10 gigabytes.
As a leading international provider of integrated communication solutions, Telefónica found that the integration of Microsoft Translator with Yammer offered even more opportunities for efficient collaboration.
“With operations in 24 countries spanning eight languages, we are looking forward to the ability to instantly translate conversations among our employees — a massive benefit for Telefónica,” says Adrian Steel, European production hub lead and global director at Telefónica. “By automatically converting conversations to a person’s native language, Yammer will help our people work more efficiently than ever and focus on delivering superior value to our customers.
Real-time co-authoring is another important collaboration feature that lets you and your colleagues edit and contribute to documents simultaneously in all of the Office Online applications: Word Online, PowerPoint Online and Excel Online. And because Office Online saves as you go, everyone on your team can see changes to text and formatting as they happen, so you can all stay on the same page as your work evolves. Best of all, it doesn’t matter whether you and your teammates are working on the web, a desktop or laptop computer, a Windows tablet or iPad, or another mobile device. Every change will be synced in the document, automatically saved on OneDrive, and made visible to the team.
Using Office Online for real-time co-authoring and collaboration also means you don’t have to worry about losing full file fidelity or document formatting and being forced to reformat. It’s a different story if you try to use Office documents in Google Drive, because Google Drive converts the Office file to a non-standard document format and you often lose the formatting. Fonts, spacing, the whole layout of the document may be different, and much of your previous work is often undone. With Office Online, it doesn’t matter which browsers you and your team members are using. Everyone can make as many changes and suggestions as they want, without worrying about losing the full Office file fidelity or document formatting.
Another great collaboration feature is the ability to share and connect with others—discovering the right information at the right time. Office Delve is a new way to discover relevant information and connections from across your work life. Delve displays information that is most relevant for each person based on the work they are doing and the people with whom they are engaging. With Delve, information finds you versus you having to find information.
GO SOCIAL TO IMPROVE COLLABORATION
To enhance collaboration even more, the Yammer enterprise social network works seamlessly with Office 365, which offers you the power of social engagement and interaction along with the familiar, rich experience of Office, the world’s most widely used productivity suite. Yammer also provides a way for you to create meaningful interactions beyond the walls of your organization. It only takes a few minutes to set up an external network, which is accessible using a single sign-on, making it easy for you to create partner and customer networks.
David Peterson, Enterprise Collaboration Manager at Trek Bicycles, a global leader in bicycles and related gear realized the need for a tool that would help sales representatives at the company communicate, collaborate, and achieve their goals while using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. He introduced Yammer to enable people to collaborate within Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online—replacing email and instant messaging for certain workgroups. Yammer helped improve collaboration within the development team. Steve Novoselac, Trek’s Business Intelligence and .NET Development Manager says, “Things were getting done because everyone had a new kind of awareness of what was going on in the group.”
According to Daniel Roach-Rooke, IT infrastructure manager for sports car manufacturer Aston Martin, by adopting Office 365 the Aston Martin IT department has been able to provide employees with the latest communications and collaboration capabilities, which they use to continue their pursuit of automotive perfection: “Office 365 gives our employees the technology they need to drive the business forward.”
DISCOVER WHY OFFICE 365 COULD BE YOUR BEST BET FOR COLLABORATION
While Office 365 offers you tremendous flexibility and a number of different ways to collaborate, Google takes a one-solution-for-all approach to collaboration. Instead of tailoring its productivity tools to fit your needs as Microsoft does, Google forces you to adapt to the tools by providing two fixed product offerings to the users.
The Google productivity apps don’t offer the rich features that enterprise organizations need. Microsoft, on the other hand, extends the familiar Office experience from the desktop to the cloud and on multiple devices, so you never have to compromise or lower your expectations.
We think you don’t just need a “good enough” solution but deserve the best: Office 365.
To learn more about Office 365 and start collaborating better today, call us today!