Three ways Office 365 makes your business more connected


Date: 12 August 2014


Copyright: Radu Bercan

Office 365 is Microsoft's cloud-based version of the classic Microsoft Office. It includes all the core software you're used to, like Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint. And it adds some nifty online features to make it easier to work together.

The subscription-based software costs from £3.30 a month, per person. Microsoft claims Office 365 is its fastest growing business, ever.

Although Office 365 shares elements of previous versions, there's a learning curve with any new software. Office 365 is no different.

In particular, you might miss some of the features designed to make your business more connected — like these three:

1. Save Word documents to your blog

Microsoft Word was conceived to create documents to be printed out. But increasingly, we write text that people will read online.

As part of a drive to make digital tasks easier, you can now publish blog posts from Microsoft Word.

In word, just go to the File menu and choose Publish as blog post. If you've not published to your blog before, Word will walk you through the process of connecting your blog to the software.

This function works with most popular content management systems (CMS), including WordPress.

2. Edit spreadsheets together

Historically, sharing Excel spreadsheets has been tricky. With a spreadsheet saved on a central server, usually only one person could edit it at a time. Other users had to make do with viewing a read-only version.

But in Office 365, several people can edit a spreadsheet at the same time, via their web browser.

This is achieved via SharePoint, the Office 365 tool that can help you create an intranet. You can save your Excel file in SharePoint, then email a link to the people you're working with.

They just have to follow the link and then choose Edit in browser to edit the spreadsheet. And everyone can see everyone else's changes in real time.

3. Connect social networks to Outlook

It's common for people's contact lists to transcend their address books. These days, you may have contacts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

With Office 365, Outlook includes what Microsoft call the Outlook Social Connector. This acts as a centralised social networking feed. When you select one of your contacts, you can see all their recent updates from different networks.

To connect your social media accounts, open Outlook. Go to View > People Pane > Account Settings. Choose which social networks you want to link and select Connect. Then choose Finish.

Do you use Office 365? Has it connected your business more effectively?

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This post is from Cobweb Solutions, Europe's biggest independent Hosted Exchange provider. 

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