In the first of a series of articles focusing on the application of Microsoft's technology suite, we take a closer look at Office 365, which is widely used by businesses of all size across many sectors.

Since 2010 Microsoft's Office 365 platform has proven to be a robust environment enabling businesses to roll out new technical features on demand. In this article, Chess Digital's Stewart Harbinson outlines what he considers to be the top five things you can do with office 365 today;

1. Automation of processes with Microsoft Flow

Microsoft flow facilitates the automation of a whole host of processes. With native integration with over 200 applications and services, flow allows staff to connect separate systems intuitively. Whether you want to save all your email attachments to a SharePoint library, schedule sending an email or monitor social media for positive mentions of your brand, Flow has the power to let you build what you need without having to learn any code.

2. Empowering people to share and secure their files with OneDrive for Business

With OneDrive for Business, each licensed member of the team receives 1TB of storage (Expandable up to 4TB) which allows them to keep all of their content in the cloud. This allows your people to work from any location, on any device if required. As well as secure storage OneDrive allows for the secure sharing of documents both inside and outside of your company. Staff and clients can collaborate conveniently and securely like never before.

3. Take your sales into the cloud with Dynamics 365

Secure access to the latest features from Microsoft and empower your sales people to access the data they need, wherever they need it. Dynamics 365 offers a single place for sales data to be compiled, stored and reported on. Whether you are looking to forecast a sales pipeline, improve marketing to your customer base or implementing companywide processes, Dynamics 365 is purpose built. 

4. Controlling documentation with SharePoint Online

With SharePoint online, you have a powerful platform for document management. SharePoint allows users to easily find, amend or collaborate on documents while providing governance to ensure content is only available to the appropriate people. Whether the requirement is to have one central place for all staff to collaborate on documents or multiple segregated areas, SharePoint is the tool for you.

5. Allowing people to work closely regardless of distance with Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams allows your people to organise into 'teams' that work together autonomously. With built-in text chat, file storage, as well as audio and video calls Teams is an ideal tool to boost teamwork and engagement. Teams can also be extended with a host of powerful add-ons and bots. Chess Digital can work to build custom add-on functionality if the out of the box tools does not fit your needs.

Stuart Harbinson is a consultant with Chess Digital and has over 10 years experience providing support to users in both face to face and over the phone. He has a lifelong passion for technology and a wide range of personal experience from networking to home automation.