Is your company still desktoping? Perhaps it is time to take your software applications to the cloud. Despite competition, Microsoft Office for desktop has long been the undisputed golden standard when it comes to office productivity.
For almost three decades now, millions of businesses have used Microsoft’s traditional desktop applications Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook to manage the flood of daily business documents and constant internal and external email ping pong.
These tools are almost second nature now for creating and editing corporate documents, compiling business data and formatting spreadsheets, drafting company presentations for clients, business partners, and executives alike. Microsoft Office templates have also become indispensable core documents for businesses around the globe.
From a tech perspective, Microsoft has for years confidently built upon their software platform. Even in the late 90s, when the first SaaS (Software as a Service) products were pushed onto the market with a fanfare of publicity, Microsoft confidently stood by the theory that enterprises needed software applications for the desktop to run daily operations.
Fast forward to today, picking between the traditional desktop versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel and their cloud-based cousin Microsoft Office 365 might still be a non-brainer for some IT departments – if employees use desktops computers (even though they might not be the hottest players in the PC market), they still need apps for the desktop to get the job done. Right?
Well, not quite.
Computers and software have come a long way. The rise of cloud computing and advancements in mobile technology have transformed the way employees work, and modern professionals need enterprise collaboration and productivity tools that let them work flexibly on whichever device in a way that suits them best without being tied to a physical workspace.
Don’t stay put, move with the times and your employees to futureproof your business.
If you haven’t tapped into it already, here is how you can beat the silent productivity killers that traditional desktop applications are prone to bring along.
Mobility means productivity
While for many organizations, both small and enterprise-sized, Microsoft’s Office desktop applications long seemed to be the de facto solution for document creation and management, they have traditionally been limited by the hardware they run on. This dependence, along with the legacy of mainframe terminal applications, has typically narrowed the level of complexity of conventional desktop solutions and, alas, put a curb on overall office productivity.
Today’s world is mobile. Following a report by Cisco, working remotely is becoming increasingly popular as mobile technology evolves, and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is turning into a growing mainstream option that has thus far prompted a whooping 74% of businesses to allow generation Y employees to untie themselves from the physical office and fuel the idea of nearly unlimited mobile productivity.
Whether this means working from home throughout the week or catching up on tasks after-hours in a coffee shop – equipped with the latest gadgets, today’s employees expect software applications with advanced mobility features that allow them to access company documents, corporate content, and other digital assets 24/7 from their pocket-sized office on the go.
Microsoft has heard the call for anytime access to corporate content.
Complementing the traditional desktop experience that lacks the capability of enterprise mobility and the versatility modern professionals seek to stay ahead of the challenge, Microsoft Office 365 has quickly proven to be the paragon of powerful office productivity.
Integrating with a variety of mobile devices including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, Office applications can be installed on up to five devices per employee, allowing them to access and edit business documents from any location and at any time, opening up more time to be productive.
When the family-owned Danish brewing company, the Carlsberg Group, was challenged to choose productivity and collaboration tools for their global business, its IT group evaluated Googles G-Suite and Office 365. The high level of integration built into Office’s 365 cloud-based communication, collaboration, and social networking services along with unrestricted availability to company assets while working in the familiar Office interface turned the balance towards Microsoft’s productivity suite.
Working and collaborating on the go – the new normal
Mobility has become the epitome of the new world of work. Team collaboration across the web and devices is not only easier, but also integral for the success of every organization.
A global CIO study conducted by IBM found that 49% of an employee’s daily work is premised on network contribution by co-workers. Today, professionals demand the ability to access critical company information quickly and securely. They also want to promptly share this information and communicate with team members from whatever device and via whatever internet connection may be available without being stapled to a traditional desktop environment.
Given the request for anywhere, anytime access to business data and pool resources with colleagues, it doesn’t come as a surprise that a full 80% of employees stated traditional Microsoft Office desktop applications can’t deliver the necessary framework to collaborate effectively with team members across platforms and devices.
If you are looking for a solution to improve collaboration capabilities across business entities, you will appreciate Microsoft Office’s 365 collaboration features that come with its document management platform SharePoint Online.
Hosted in the cloud, SharePoint Online allows employees to access the most current company templates and documents from anywhere no matter where they are physically located, pick up where they last left off, and co-author and review Office documents while edits are synchronized automatically in real time, eliminating the much dreaded email back and forth of multiple file versions. A clear thumbs up for enterprise productivity.
If you’re interested in learning more about Office 365’s helpful work hacks, we recently published a blog post on Microsoft Word Editor and Researcher, Office’s 365 latest additions to the suite of tools for document creation backed up by the cloud. Check it out.
A happy team is a productive team – enterprise communication is key in the era of mobile
More than ever before, today’s workforce is spread across a multitude of locations. Enterprises occupy multiple locations, and business partnerships span the globe. In addition to physical separation, teams in the same company are separated by departments and, commonly, projects. Unfortunately, this separation oftentimes creates barriers between teams that can quickly lead to communication silos that limit collaboration, eventually disrupting communication across the entire organization. This can severely impact business productivity.
Effective, location independent communication across the organization is the cornerstone of productivity, and there are a variety of options to communicate instantly in Microsoft Office 365. The suite comes with an impressive array of tools: Microsoft Exchange Online, Yammer, Office Groups, Skype for Business, Office Video, OneDrive for Business. With these tools, employees can now speak in real time, optimize communication flows, and foster a culture of collaboration without having to meet face-to-face. All while sharing ideas and files between teams, departments, tools, and devices.
Another positive side effect: With increased communication on a more social level, employees can enjoy a stronger sense of belonging, which is proven to bump up employee engagement and, ultimately, drive productivity.
Less IT headaches, more productivity
Are you an IT manager? You know how it usually goes. Keeping an on-premises IT infrastructure up and running is a challenging, unfortunate proposition. With multiple layers of technical requirements, cross-product dependencies and many other moving parts, there is a lot that can go haywire. Upgrading one single element may unleash a whole wave of linked upgrades, or provoke unfortunate errors in the technical infrastructure as incompatibilities between servers emerge.
Migrating your Office applications to the cloud allows your organization to streamline your IT operations. Deploying Office 365 means handing maintenance, software updates, and data security over to Microsoft while services are conveniently managed by the business from the Office 365 admin center.
Office 365 is designed for organizations without IT staff. As no advanced IT knowledge is required, businesses can easily set up and use the productivity, collaboration, and communication features the cloud-based suite provides, helping to focus on more crucial business operations rather than on learning technical lingo.
And, because Office 365 is provided as a subscription service, employees automatically receive the latest updates and work with the most current version of the Microsoft Office applications – akin to a rental, Office 365 subscribers enjoy new feature rollouts every few months without needed to upgrade the whole package each time.
This is quite different when it comes to Microsoft Office as a traditional one-time purchase for a desktop computer – while businesses pay a flat fee, the buy-once suite brings the Microsoft Office apps for the desktop as they are, without any updates to future generations of the software, potentially leaving employees working with ancient Office applications that provide a fraction of the functionality new versions offer to simplify and speed up the process of document creation. And who isn’t looking to make work go faster on a routine work day?
Invest in the right tools - Templafy helps taking enterprise productivity one step further
Harnessing the benefits of remote working isn’t just about working from home.
When it comes to document management, one of the biggest challenges involved in working mobile is that sometimes you will end up creating one and the same document from scratch each time it is needed, although the information is already pre-filled in a template somewhere stored at the office (you just don’t know where and don’t have the time to go looking for it on the company server). Or you might only have copies of old files or templates stored in your inbox or saved to your device, meaning you risk working with a document and corporate information that is not on-brand or compliant and sending it out to clients – without being aware of it.
To maximize enterprise productivity and allow for true flexibility, it’s pivotal that your latest company templates, business documents, and brand assets can be accessed anywhere, anytime, and across multiple applications. That means investing in a template management system that can integrate across the types of office suites used by companies daily – whether that is Microsoft Office, Apple iWork, or Google Drive.
With Templafy, corporate templates, brand assets, and other company content are available directly inside any office application, ensuring that your team can create business documents and content fast, all without leaving their preferred office application.
Tapping the power of the cloud, Templafy also ensures that team members can access company content wherever they go. As Templafy is available on all platforms and integrates across multiple devices, your team members can create on-brand business documents and dig up company templates at any time, whether they are working from their office desktop or from their tablet or smartphone when working on the go.