Is Office 365 Worth It? 7 Hidden Facts Microsoft Omits

There are (at least) 7 things Microsoft aren’t telling you about O365 which are about to make your work, life and budget that much simpler – you’re welcome

As an individual, we’re used to glazing over when we check our bank statements and see all those seemingly meagre subscription payments deducted from our account. $18.99 for Spotify here. $22.99 for Netflix there. Even the less routine (but still frequent!) in app purchases we pretend don’t exist because they’re under five bucks. But the reality is, while we usually don’t notice the balance in our account being impacted by these costs, they do add up. And I bet if there was a way to have a universal subscription to all your favourite services that was the same every month, you’d snap it up in a heart beat.

So why should business be any different? In fact, when it comes to business expenses, we really should be paying more attention. As a business owner or a manager, your budget is not really yours to play with. People are relying on you to run a fiscally sound enterprise, from your employees who want to stay employed, through to your clients to whom you through-put the costs of providing a service.

If you are reading this post, you’re likely an O365 customer. And we are here to tell you, you’ve got more included in your Microsoft licence than you might think.  So, we’d like to use this blog post to help you take stock and strip away unnecessary expenses. Why pay twice for additional subscriptions that do exactly what O365 and SharePoint Online can do for you already?

1. Forms and surveys in O365

Feedback is really important to keeping your finger on the pulse. Internal feedback helps you provide a workplace that is productive and enjoyable to work in. Happy employees create a higher standard of work, making your clients happy in turn. And we also want to hear from our clients – even the bad stuff. We can’t get better at what we do and become market leaders if we don’t listen to, and act on the negative critiques.

So how do you currently gather feedback from employees, clients and prospects?

A little research tells us that the mid-tier licence for third party surveys is between $65-$85 per month. But if you have an O365 licence, you can ditch the monthly subscription to your survey application and switch to Microsoft Forms. An easy step to get Office 365 value for money.

O365 forms and surveys

2. Interviews, appointments and pitches

Hitching your calendar to an external booking system can be handy and feature rich. One of the biggest stand-out benefits is allowing people outside of your organisation to book time in with you for pitches or demos. Simply set your available time slots, and complete the inbound marketing strategy loop.

While third party booking systems may be inexpensive, it’s worth checking the included features. And if you need more than 6 seats for your team, even a mid-tier plan may not suit you. Besides, why pay for it at all, when you can access Booking through your existing O365 licence?

3. Multiple devices

Once apon a time, we shuffled into offices, sat down at our work stations and began our day at our desktop computers. At 5:30pm, we switched the computer off and went home, blissfully unaware of what challenges would present themselves when we returned in the morning.

And of course, we all kinda wish we could still shut down our work brain as easily as we switched off the computer.

Reality is different. And not all for the worse either. These days, we are mostly grateful that our company offers us the option of email and other cloud based productivity tools on a laptop that we can cart around wherever we are. Meaning that we can be forewarned and forearmed if we need to work from home, take a working holiday, or are too sick to show our faces at the office, but not too sick to lie in bed all day.

What you may not know is that your O365 licence can be used across 5 different devices. So no matter what challenge you’re facing to your work day, you can stay up to date on your phone, tablet, or any other device, as well as your laptop.

Besides, that’s what enhanced notification customisation is for, right?


4. Live events with Teams

Teams live events is an extension of Teams meetings, enabling users to broadcast video and meeting content to a large online audience. Live events encourage connection with attendees before, during, and after live events. You can create a live event wherever your audience resides, using tools already included in O365 such as Stream, Teams, or Yammer.

5. Office 365 productivity lists

If you still use Notepad or Apple Notes to make to do lists, well…you probably don’t need to be shamed about it – you know. But if you’re paying for a note or list taking app when you have O365, that might even be worse!

With Microsoft’s To Do, you can organise your day, week and month from within the browser, making sure nothing gets forgotten. You can set alerts, categorise, finalise, add due dates and reminders, attach files and include notes. Simply open to-do/ and you’ll be prompted to sign in. Free. Easy. Office 365 is value for money!

To do product image

6. Whiteboard

Visualisation for planning is a very helpful tool. In fact, the majority of us find it hard to comprehend and focus when we can’t physically see a depiction of the unfolding strategy we are creating. Whether its a team structure reshuffle, a website rebuild, a product feedback session, mapping a workflow, or any other body of work that involves several moving parts, you’ll need a way to share it with your team. A good old fashioned whiteboard and maybe some sticky notes is perfect – provided you’re all in the same room.

Or, just use the O365 Whiteboard – collaborate, design, share, and save your next project for free with your existing Microsoft license.

microsoft whiteboard product image

7.  Stream

While we are on the topic of visualisation: Video.

We can not emphasise enough the benefits of creating videos for your audience. Think quick tutorials. Inspirational pep talks. Company news. Even bad news! Not much will beat your face (or your screen) and your voice delivering news or explaining a concept in an educational video. While it may seem daunting since there is no where to hide in a video, that is where the authenticity lies.

“But I don’t want to post our company videos on YouTube”, you say.

Of course you don’t, and you don’t have to. Once again, O365 comes up with the goods with Stream. Privately upload, organize, broadcast, and exchange video content with other users in your organization under your O365 licence. Stream also allows you to set user permissions on individual videos, in case you need to share sensitive information discreetly.

7 things Microsoft aren’t telling you about O365

We know, most of the software and applications you use have a freemium version, which may suit you just fine for now. But what is your goal for your business? We guarantee its not to coast…You want to be the authority in your industry. The trusted go-to. You want to grow, improve and refine your business processes and your offering. And a limited user/feature freemium version of anything is only going to keep you nudging those goals for so long.

If you need help getting your company set up with any of the O365 offering, you can chat to us anytime through the contact form or our live webchat.