When it comes to workplace efficiency, cooperation, and communication, Microsoft 365 is still the greatest.
Microsoft 365 is the finest option in working and communication software if you’re starting from scratch.
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Most people are familiar with Microsoft 365, the company’s main suite of productivity applications. It contains well-known programs like MS Word, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint, as well as fewer ones like Outlook, OneNote, and OneDrive.
It has been the industry standard in productivity tools for many years and continues to be so today. Inside the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, however, there are several changes.
Microsoft’s dedication to a subscription-based price structure has grown in the last year, and several of its standalone products have been fazed away. This is due to the fact that Microsoft 365 is meant to function as an ecosystem instead of a collection of individual programs. Microsoft 365, when properly coupled, gives organizations a full, all-in-one digital workplace that includes communication, cloud storage, backups and synchronization, and productivity tools.
In this in-depth essay, we examine all aspects of the suite’s major platforms and argue why it would be worthwhile for your company to invest in Microsoft 365.
Planning and Pricing
Microsoft 365 price is clear, and organizations have a variety of alternatives. Four are geared at small and medium-sized businesses, two are for huge corporations, and three are for front-line employees. All options are purchased on a subscription system, with payments made monthly or annually.
Basic, Standard, Premium, and Applications are the four options available to small and medium-sized organizations. Every user gets 1TeraBite of OneDrive storing capacity with these options.
For $5 per month per user, Basic includes OneDrive and Teams, as well as online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Because it excludes desktop and mobile apps, it isn’t a complete Microsoft 365 subscription, but it may be sufficient for some firms.
Standard costs $12.50 a month per user and includes all Microsoft 365 desktop and mobile apps, as well as MS Outlook, MS PowerPoint, MS Word, MS Excel, OneDrive, OneNote, and MS Teams.
Premium costs $20 per user per month and contains all of the applications included in Standard, as well as sophisticated security protection and administrative controls. This is ideal for companies that deal with personal or financial information of their consumers.
Applications is meant for businesses who simply need the Microsoft 365 applications listed in this article but not the more complicated collaborative and cloud-based features. It costs $8.25 per user per month.
For Enterprises, there are two options: E3 and E5.
The E3 plan costs $32 per user each month. All Microsoft 365 apps, as well as unlimited OneDrive storage and a range of cyber audits, data protection, and identity and access management capabilities not available in Microsoft’s business subscriptions, are included.
The E5 plan is the most costly in the organization, costing $57 per user each month. For this exorbitant cost, you have access to all Microsoft has to offer. Everything in the E3 plan is included, including even more powerful account management, use data, and threat protection. It is only suitable for large corporations with hundreds of employees.
If you require a Microsoft 365 subscription for your company’s front-line personnel, you have more options.
This Microsoft 365 F3 plan costs only $10 per month per user, compared to $4 per month per user for the Office 365 F3 and Legacy F1 plans.
Microsoft Word is the most well-known of the Microsoft 365 platforms, and many people use it as their primary word processor.
Regardless of genre, Word has been one of the most popular writing software in 2020. It features a broad (and often overwhelming) feature set, a big number of templates, and the efficiency and stability that a Microsoft product should have. In conclusion, Microsoft Word will be able to manage any text-based document you need to compose or alter.
The platform is ideal for team-based use within companies, especially when integrated with OneDrive and the rest of the Microsoft 365 suite, thanks to its best-in-class collaboration and review facilities. It’s possible to co-author documents, see previous versions of a file, track changes, and give honest criticism to colleagues. OneDrive makes it straightforward to distribute links to collaborators with the appropriate level of permissions within a Word project.
Word’s sharing and exporting features are also noteworthy. OpenDocument Text (.odt), Portable Document Format (PDF), and Microsoft Word are among the formats that can be exported (.docx). Each of these formats is widely supported, which means you’ll have few, if any, compatibility issues. This sets Word apart from competitors like as Apple Pages, which has compatibility concerns.
We can’t possible cover all of Word’s incredible features, but we love the built-in speech-to-text, automatic translations, and immersive reader mode. The inclusion of 3D visuals is another feature that sets Microsoft Word apart from its competitors.Although Word includes certain annotation and drawing features, it is primarily used for text-based tasks. Microsoft OneNote is a great tool to use if you really want to showcase your artistic side.
Microsoft Word applications are available for Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, and iPadOS, among other platforms. Its mobile applications are excellent for making last-minute edits to papers while on the road or scribbling down key ideas; however it works best on PCs and iPads.
OneNote is a Microsoft note-taking application designed for professionals and students. It has struggled to match the popularity of competitor applications such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, despite its appealing design and wide feature set. In any case, OneNote is popular among students and professors. It’s one of the best note-taking tools, and we think it’s underutilized in business and organizations.
OneNote’s ability to organize your notes in a systematic manner is one of its finest features. The top-level parent category are notebooks. Notebooks are divided into sections and then onto individual pages. We’ve tested a few different note-taking apps and believe OneNote is the best for organizing your ideas and thoughts.
Another benefit is that, owing to comprehensive integration with Microsoft OneDrive, you can access your files whenever you need them. This means that your notes, sketches, and brainstorms are synchronized across all of your devices. With apps for iOS, macOS, iPadOS, Windows, and Android, we’re certain that accessing your files won’t be an issue. A mobile web application is also available for taking notes on the move.
It’s virtually inevitable that you’ll need to share your notes with coworkers or clients, and OneNote makes this easy. You may invite anybody to read and change a notebook, even if they don’t have their own Microsoft 365 account. Specific pages may also be saved as PDF files, which can be used to add notes to emails in Microsoft Outlook.
OneNote’s user interface is similarly impressive and feature-rich. Text may be typed and highlighted, drawings can be made freehand, images, charts, stickers, computations, and even audio samples can be added to notes. Thanks to these features and those we didn’t have capacity to cover, OneNote is one of the most capable note-takers accessible in 2020.
Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program. Many individuals are enthralled by the term, while others are terrified. Excel, on the other hand, should not terrify anyone. It’s a lot easier to use than you would think, and it’s a lot stronger than you ever thought. You’ll be able to generate and use complex worksheets on the platform after only a few hours of instruction.
In a single spreadsheet, Microsoft Excel allows you to deal with nearly 17 billion cells. In comparison, Google Sheet only has 5 million users. Because Excel has such raw computational power, even huge enterprises with large datasets may rely on it to get the job done.
Excel’s wide set of functions, which today numbers over 450 is another virtue. These allow users to modify and view data in novel ways to have a deeper understanding of their data. Experienced people can also utilize VBA code to build and execute their own macro functions.
Interoperability is not a problem, as it is with other Microsoft 365 apps. Users may export their worksheets in 3 formats: Microsoft (.xlsx), OpenDocument Spreadsheets (.ods), and Portable Document Format (.pdf). Apps are available for practically all operating systems (.pdf). Excel documents can also be opened on other platforms, such as Google Drive.
But it isn’t all good news. Despite the addition of co-authoring in recent times, Microsoft’s platform still has a significant deficiency in this area. All users must have a Microsoft 365 subscription as well as the most recent version of Excel in order to communicate in real time. Employees are unable to collaborate with many people outside of your business as a result of this. When co-authoring is available, however, it is dependable, responsive, and extremely valuable.
OneDrive is Microsoft’s entry into the extremely competitive cloud storage sector, which has risen in popularity over the years. For both individuals and companies, it is one of the greatest cloud storage systems.
The platform is not only a safe location to save your important data and information, but it also has simple and user-friendly interfaces. Thumbnails for a variety of file types are presented, and advanced AI search capabilities make it simple to discover what you’re searching for.
But it’s OneDrive’s comprehensive connectivity with all of the other Microsoft 365 applications that really sets it apart. Because of this tight integration, Microsoft 365 is more of a digital productivity ecosystem than a collection of standalone apps.
To begin with, OneDrive is safe. Both in transit or at rest, all files are secured. This in itself makes the system safer than many rivals, as it ensures that anyone attempting to steal or intercept your data will only receive incomprehensible text.
Microsoft, on the other hand, goes much further. The Private Vault is a subfolder that encrypts your most sensitive data from beginning to end. As a result, no one, including Microsoft, can interpret or access this information.
Administrators may also make their workers’ accounts more secure by requiring two-factor authentication and changing their passwords on a regular basis.
Because of this strong security architecture, both large and small enterprises may entrust their most important documents and information to OneDrive.
Second, OneDrive is simple to use and navigate. Apps are widely accessible and perform well on most devices. There’s also a modern and well-designed online interface, which we believe is one of the best cloud storage web applications we’ve seen.
Finally, the platform is compatible with all Microsoft 365 apps. It’s the default save place, and it allows users to communicate with colleagues in real time. Changes done on another device will display on your device at the same time. As a result, OneDrive is not only an online storage service, but but also a very a cloud sync platform.
Let’s speak about sharing files and folders since we’re on the subject of cooperation. Users may use custom URLs to distribute files and folders on OneDrive. These shared files will then display over both users’ OneDrive start screen in a dedicated folder. So, if you’re a company that relies on teamwork, Microsoft 365 is a great option.
PowerPoint has been assisting everyone from primary school pupils to Fortune 500 managers in creating captivating and entertaining presentations for even more than two decades. We continue to believe that it is the ideal platform for generating presentations, and we’ll explain why.
PowerPoint has a number of features that might help you become inspired. The most visible is Microsoft’s vast template library, which is available for free to Microsoft 365 members. Employees may also use the presentations coaching tool, which provides suggestions and comments on how to deliver in a more efficient and effective manner.
The flexibility to insert and modify 3D graphics is another useful feature (also present in Microsoft Word). To make 3D files more useful in a presentation, they can really be flipped, inverted, or slanted. This sets PowerPoint apart from the majority of its competitors.
Users may communicate and offer comments in real time, just like they do with the other Microsoft 365 apps. Its OneDrive link also makes it great for creating and maintaining corporate presentations.
However, there is a catch: PowerPoint collaboration is only available through the online app, not the mobile or desktop versions of the program. This is a big flaw, especially given just how much the system works in all other areas.
Teams is Microsoft’s newest product, but it’s perhaps the most significant. Teams, in a nutshell, integrates audio and video conferences (like Skype) with academic and professional communication. It serves as a central hub for interaction and coordination, which is critical for corporate productivity as we work remotely more frequently.
Teams, like OneDrive, is intended to serve as the glue that connects all of the Microsoft 365 suite’s other tools and functions. It makes use of cloud computing to enable employees to collaborate in real time across multiple platforms.
Microsoft Teams’ video conferencing capabilities are outstanding, allowing employees to arrange and conduct one-on-one chats as well as company-wide gatherings. Webinars and informative meetings with up to 10,000 attendees are also feasible. Participants in calls can use screen sharing feature and call recording, as well as live captioning, background blur technologies, and chat features.
Users can interact in groups dedicated to diverse themes, such as collaborative projects, corporation announcements, or the workplace Christmas party, using communications channels in conjunction with video conferencing. This helps employees compartmentalize their conversations and keep messages on topic.
Microsoft Outlook is an important part of the Microsoft suite, and it has been helping people handle their email for decades. Despite its lack of popularity compared to Google’s Gmail or Apple’s Mail, many believe it is one of the greatest email applications, especially if you use other Microsoft 365 products.
Although most email clients come with spam and virus filters, this is typical. Group inboxes, which allow several workers to receive and send emails messages from an one email address, are another option for businesses.
The ability to organize emails into folders, such as the concentrated mailbox and the other inbox, is a feature we especially value. The focused inbox gathers communications that the product’s algorithms deem to be particularly essential or urgent, allowing staff to react to the most critical emails fast.
Obviously, Outlook is built from the ground up to work smoothly with the rest of the Microsoft 365 suite. So, if you’re looking for an email client that’s simple, integrated, and responsive, Microsoft 365 is among our top picks.
Microsoft is among the finest in the business whenever it comes to customer support. Even when it comes to consumer plans, the firm is always fast to reply and thorough in its troubleshooting. We received a reply and solution to our query in less than four minutes after contacting the organization via their online chat window.
While some applications provide direct access to assistance, we recommend visiting the Microsoft support site. This vast collection of how-to instructions, tutorial videos, and community forums provide solutions to practically every problem. It has the greatest online support center for this software we’ve encountered, and there’s a lot of business-specific guidance and assistance.
Businesses may also reach out to Microsoft via cellphone and web chat, with premium options providing a more quick and responsive response. As part of the enhanced cyberthreat detection services available in premium plans, Microsoft’s qualified technicians and cybersecurity specialists are also on call.
So there you have it: a comprehensive guide to Microsoft 365. We believe that this digital environment is the best office software money can buy, and we hope you agree.
With feature-rich document creation and productivity programs including Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Excel, Microsoft 365 takes advantage of cloud technology in OneDrive. Also, don’t overlook Microsoft Teams, an all-in-one online communications tool that ensures your team is operating at maximum efficiency.
We’ve also broken down the different subscription options available to companies. There’s a plan for you whether you’re a small business with five employees, a group of 50 coworkers, or a large organization with hundreds or thousands of people.