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Unleash the power of Microsoft 365: The apps revolutionising collaboration

Author: Laurence Glen  |  Date published: January, 31, 2024, UK  |  Read est: 6 min read

Focus Group
Focus Group
Focus Group
Focus Group
Focus Group
Focus Group
Focus Group
Focus Group
Focus Group
Focus Group
Focus Group
Focus Group

Often hailed as the ‘digital office king’, and probably the most used digital suite of tools in the working world, Microsoft 365 hosts the most useful and business-ready products on the market today. From Word to PowerPoint and the dynamic workhorse that is Excel, Microsoft 365 has everything you could need.

Microsoft Teams has emerged as a powerhouse in the realm of teamwork and communication, offering a comprehensive suite of apps designed to streamline workflows and enhance productivity. Among the myriad of features, let's delve into the benefits of noteworthy Microsoft Teams apps that are transforming the way teams collaborate.

We’ll also take a look at the lesser-known siblings of the Microsoft package and how they can make tasks and processes easier for you and your business.

Microsoft Teams icon

Meeting notes and recordings: Enhancing post-meeting productivity

Efficient collaboration often hinges on the ability to capture and retain key information from meetings. Microsoft Teams excels in this regard with its Meeting Notes and Recordings feature. Once a meeting concludes, participants receive a detailed summary of the discussion, action items, and any shared content.

The Meeting Notes functionality allows for real-time collaborative note-taking during the meeting. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and contributes to a culture of shared knowledge. The notes are automatically saved and accessible within the Teams interface, promoting easy reference and collaboration even after the meeting has ended.

Moreover, the inclusion of meeting recordings is a game-changer for teams that span geographical locations or have members working in different time zones. These recordings are securely stored in Microsoft Teams, providing a valuable resource for those who couldn't attend the live session or for future reference. This feature significantly reduces the risk of miscommunication and ensures no vital information is lost in the shuffle.

Microsoft To Do icon

Task: Simplifying team coordination and project management

Task management is at the heart of any successful project. The Microsoft Teams' Task app simplifies this process by providing a centralised hub for organising, assigning, and tracking tasks.

With seamless integration into the Teams interface, Task enables teams to create to-do lists, set deadlines, and monitor progress without switching between different platforms.

Teams can break down complex projects into manageable tasks, assign responsibilities to specific members, and keep everyone in the loop through task updates and notifications.

The ability to attach files directly to tasks streamlines collaboration, fostering a more efficient and transparent workflow.

Man with hat typing on laptop
Microsoft Power BI icon

Power BI dashboards: Transforming data into actionable insights

In today's data-driven landscape, the ability to turn raw data into actionable insights is a competitive advantage. Microsoft Teams' PowerBI dashboards empower teams to visualise and analyse data directly within the Teams environment.

Teams can create and customise dashboards, bringing together data from various sources to gain a holistic view of performance metrics, key trends, and critical KPIs. Real-time updates ensure that decision-makers are always working with the most current information.

By embedding PowerBI Dashboards into Teams channels, teams can collaborate seamlessly and make data-driven decisions without navigating between different applications.

Microsoft Forms icon

Forms: Streamlining data collection and feedback

Collecting data and feedback is a routine aspect of business operations, and the Microsoft Teams' Forms app simplifies this process. Teams can create surveys, quizzes, and polls using a user-friendly interface, and easily distribute them to colleagues or external stakeholders.

The integration of Forms into Teams fosters collaboration by allowing teams to collect and analyse responses collectively. Whether it's gathering feedback on a recent project, conducting employee surveys, or collecting opinions on a proposed initiative, Forms streamlines the data collection process, saving time and ensuring a centralised repository of valuable insights.

Microsoft SharePoint icon

SharePoint

Microsoft SharePoint is a powerful platform that revolutionises organisational collaboration and content management. With its robust features, SharePoint facilitates seamless document sharing, version control, and real-time collaboration among teams. Integrated with Microsoft 365, it offers a centralised hub for efficient information access and collaboration.

SharePoint's customisable workflows enhance productivity by automating business processes. Its security features, including access controls and encryption, ensure data integrity. The platform's scalability allows it to adapt to diverse organisational needs, fostering a collaborative environment.

Microsoft Viva Engage icon

Viva Engage: Nurturing employee engagement

As the workplace becomes more digital and dispersed, maintaining employee engagement is a pressing challenge. Microsoft Teams addresses this with Viva Engage, a comprehensive app designed to foster connection and collaboration among team members.

Viva Engage is the most interesting of Microsoft 365’s suite of lesser-known tools. In short, it is a kind of internal social media program that allows you to connect and communicate with other hubs/offices. It’s a great way of communicating and engaging with all members of a business, whilst getting an overview of your growth. Equally, it’s a good way to facilitate collaboration between departments and a useful platform to make sure everyone gets heard in a larger enterprise. It can also be used to communicate with outside businesses.

Woman with glasses typing on laptop
Microsoft Bookings icon

Bookings: Revolutionising appointment scheduling

Efficiently managing appointments and bookings is critical for businesses across various sectors. The Microsoft Teams' Bookings app takes the hassle out of scheduling by providing a user-friendly platform for customers and team members alike.

Whether you're a service-oriented business, a healthcare provider, or an educational institution, Bookings allows you to create customisable booking pages that integrate seamlessly with your Teams environment.

Customers can view available time slots, schedule appointments, and receive automatic confirmations – all within the familiar Teams interface. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also streamlines internal coordination by ensuring everyone is aware of upcoming appointments.

Microsoft Project icon

Project

Despite being surrounded by stiff competition in the sector, Microsoft Project remains a popular and easy-to-use project management software. Great for beginners or pros, Project integrates easily with other software in the suite and is a great way to take the hassle and cost out of project management.

Microsoft Visio icon

Visio

Visio is a little bit like its brother, Power BI. A comprehensive flowchart software, Visio makes it relatively simple and easy to create striking business visuals. The software comes with dozens of premade templates, starter diagrams and stencils in both the desktop and web apps. It’s a quick win for your business.

Microsoft OneNote icon

OneNote

A digital solution for all your creative moments, OneNote is a digital notation program that allows you to type, write or draw with a stylus (or your finger). You can copy and paste pictures from the web, and more generally use its menus to organise your thoughts when you’re working.

Microsoft Planner icon

Planner

A little more formal and dynamic than OneNote, Microsoft Planner is a task management application that uses boards and features like checklists and labels to help organise your team’s tasks and ongoing workflow. It can automatically transform a task’s status into a pie or bar chart (for some quick, handy visuals) and is recommended as a great companion to Microsoft Teams.

In conclusion, Microsoft 365 is a dynamic ecosystem that empowers teams to communicate and collaborate seamlessly. By leveraging the full power of this extensive suite of tools, businesses can not only enhance collaboration but also drive productivity, innovation, and success in the ever-evolving landscape of modern work.

Laurence Glen photo

Laurence Glen
IT Director

Our IT world, together with the ongoing development of this business-critical portfolio of services, is in very capable hands with Laurence at the helm. IBM-trained and with a 22-year track record of proven success in the IT sector ensures Laurence is perfectly placed to lead the overall IT strategy for Focus Group, ensuring we’re at the forefront of product development and service innovations in order to deliver the best possible IT technologies for our customers.

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