What To Know in The World of 365

Office 365, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Enterprise plans, and Business plans are here to make your life easier, not stress you out. You can decide which subscription best caters to your organization by looking at what each subscription offers. Your time is valuable, so we will highlight some critical areas with the hopes of helping you better understand the world of 365. 

First, what do we mean by 365?   

Microsoft started to sell subscriptions (monthly or yearly cost) with the “365” suffix. Three common subscriptions are Office 365 (productivity tools), Microsoft 365 (productivity + security subscriptions), and Dynamics 365 (business applications).  

One of the main perks of 365 is automatic updates. While previously, consumers had to purchase new products to get the latest updates, 365 updates all your applications when the latest versions are released.   

Cloud storage also comes with all the 365 bundles.  

One Drive cloud storage allows access to your files from any device. Documents automatically save as you work, so even if you rush and forget to save your progress manually, you can find ease knowing the next time you log in, your latest copy will be available. One Drive also adds a layer of security for your organization by protecting your files. How? Any security you have configured on your 365 account is applied to all the products within your subscriptions.  

Another beneficial feature of 365 is accessing your information on the web. In today’s world, you need to access files and data from more than your organization’s building. It may be from a home computer or your phone on the road. With the 365 subscriptions, you can easily access your files and data from anywhere with an internet connection, even running applications on your phone. With Office on the Web, your device does not need Office applications installed. 

Productivity Apps – Office 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 Business Standard 

Office 365 gives you Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more at one price. Word benefits your team when you are composing simple word processing documents. For easy data analysis, Excel has features to create easily understandable sheets. PowerPoint enhances impact using visuals that many organizations can operate.  

Microsoft has different versions of 365 to fit your organization’s needs better, whether commercial or special, for nonprofits, education, and government industries. In the commercial area, small and midmarket organizations have different needs than Enterprise simply by the number of users they may have (e.g., small organizations are typically 300 or fewer users while Enterprise has over 300 users). We are authorized to sell for these various industries if you have specific questions.  

For productivity apps, Office 365 E3 is available to organizations with over 300 users. Microsoft 365 Business Standard is available for organizations with 300 or fewer users. Microsoft 365 Business Standard contains much more than the traditional “Office applications.” Teams, Planner, and Bookings enhance the work experience for their users: 

  • Using Microsoft Teams efficiently: Communicating between your team and clients can be done when you configure Teams to allow outside interaction. Your clients can invite you as a guest in their environment to share content, but it is essential to note that you will not get notifications. Why? Teams files are shared through SharePoint. SharePoint notifies changes, not Teams. A best practice is communicating via chat, so you get notifications when your clients try to get a hold of you. 
    • Why use Teams? Teams has many facets; most organizations that use Microsoft 365 use Teams.  
      • Teams is the one place to go to get visibility: you can see history related to channels and if team members are active. Teams can also securely store documents.  
      • Instead of having a desk phone, you can answer calls through Teams. Your team can call through Dynamics. There is a calling plan you can pay for that gives you voice-to-text when you receive voicemails.  
      • Teams can help your team recall meetings through the recording feature. However, meeting recordings now expire to help with storage. Be mindful and change settings if you need to keep meeting recordings for extended periods.   
      • If you have recurring meetings on Teams, you can pin the chat to the top of your thread to have easier access to those in the meeting.  
      • Remote and in-person meetings? Together Mode in Teams can visually bring your team into backgrounds that help everyone feel they are in one room. The feature also zooms into those taking for a more personalized experience.   
      • Are you looking to send out an email blast? Teams is a part of Dynamics 365 Power Platform that can assist.   
  • Products in Microsoft 365 Business Standard aside from Teams:   
    • FindTime is an excellent application for internal or external bookings. Instead of sending emails back and forth to schedule meetings, FindTime creates a poll of available time slots for all attendees and holds time on each calendar until ballots are completed. Once FindTime receives the majority vote, meeting holds are released on the calendar, and the meeting time that received the majority vote is placed on all attendees’ calendars.  
    • Booking Applications puts blocks of time on your calendar so that people can see openings on your calendar for one-on-one meetings. Booking Applications are helpful for external meetings and intake.   
    • Planner is helpful when you have an annual party or end-of-year filings. When you have three or more people, assigning tasks is a breeze with Planner. Assigning tasks send out notifications if a job reflects it is late. Planner ultimately drives remote work, helping your team feel like they are together in a conference room, planning towards a common goal or objective as a group.     

Read more about Microsoft 365 features: Unique Microsoft Teams and Outlook Features for Your Remote Team | TechHouse (tech-house.com) 

Productivity Apps + Security: Microsoft 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 E3 

It is important to upgrade to Microsoft 365 E3 or Microsoft 365 Business Premium to benefit from security features. Office 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 Business Standard include limited computer and security features like Identity Access Management via On-Prem AD Sync and Device Management via Group Policies.  Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 Business Premium go much further, including device management like Intune and threat protection like Defender for EndPoint and Defender for Office 365. 

It is important to note that Microsoft phased out Office 365 in their Small and Midmarket products and is phasing it out of the education area.  Office 365, however, is still offered in Enterprise and government subscriptions.  

In response to rising security breaches and employees increasingly working from home, Microsoft introduced Microsoft 365. In a nutshell, Microsoft 365 generally offers what Office 365 does and adds automatic updates and enhanced security.  

Read more here: Compare Office 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E3 enterprise solutions 

Final Takeaways    

Many 365 bundles have features your organization may overlook, understandably if you do not have a tech-savvy department. If you do not have the budget to have your own IT department on hand, our personable TechHouse experts are only a call away.   

Especially in a rising hybrid workforce, getting the most of your 365 features reinforces the endless possibilities your team will have to collaborate and communicate in and out of the office.   

We are here to assist your team in optimizing all 365 products have to offer.    

Do you have specific questions regarding any 365 bundles? We are happy to help; you can contact us at hello@tech-house.com or 941-328-8601.