Successful business leaders know that increasing the company’s productivity can improve the bottom line and help weather economic downturns. There are many technology tools that increase worker flexibility and eliminate wasted time, but I’ve found that the most effective in the modern workplace are cloud based tools.
In this blog series, I’m going to share with you the seven secrets to increasing productivity with cloud-based tools.
First, let’s take a look at the challenges facing the modern office today, regardless of the focus of your business.
Here are some of the main challenges we see with our customers:
1. “Our employees work at customer sites and need access to documents.”
- Modern office workers often need to retrieve a file when they are away from the office. But in order to do so, they have to gain internet access, then VPN into the business network and download the file, hoping that no one else is editing it. And then, what happens when your device does not work with the version of the file or the program? Or worse, they upload a file to an unsecured and unmanaged location for access outside of the office putting your business at risk.
- Lacking access to information makes employees less productive, and in many ways, they can appear less knowledgeable in front of the customer.
2. We don't see each other very often.”
- You need to see who can help you, and who's available at any given time.
- Using separate solutions for email, collaboration, instant messaging (IM), or conferencing doesn't provide one view into the organization. Wouldn't it be nice to login to the email client and determine if someone is on the phone or in the office?
3. “We don't have time to manage our IT infrastructure.”
- What is your core business, is it IT? If not, chances are you don’t have time to manage your IT infrastructure. Do you really want to invest in a data center, racks, networking, servers and all the integration and management of that infrastructure?
4. "We need everybody to use the same version of software so we can share our work."
- Most employees use multiple technology devices to do their work. The problem isn't so much in the device as it is in the uniformity of applications. Loading this software on all the different devices and managing them is a big undertaking and is expensive to manage and monitor. If your devices are just browser based, what do you do when you are disconnected?
- It's hard to keep track of IT costs because there's no predictability from month to month. If the organization tries to work with an on premise solution, they have to buy a server and utilize local IT staff. Growing companies can't calculate how much that cost will add up in the future.
- Many companies keep what they have even though the end result is an outdated solution with limited benefits that is loaded with security risks.
Make Productivity Part of your Culture
So where do you start? The first secret to productivity is making it part of your culture with Microsoft Office 365.
Office 365 is an enterprise grade cloud-based productivity service offered by Microsoft. Since it is cloud based, you can access it anywhere, and:
- It gives you enterprise-quality productivity tools at an affordable price.
- Because this is a cloud service, you always have access to the latest, most up-to-date technology, including the latest version of familiar Office applications (such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel) that you currently run on your PC or laptop. By using the latest versions, you mitigate the risk of outdated and vulnerable applications.
- You can connect seamlessly with business-class email and calendars, with the ability to share documents securely and set up online meetings with audio/video conferencing.
- Office 365 can be managed within a single web-based admin console so you can easily integrate with your existing Active Directory, add/delete users and add security to your mobile devices, etc.
- All services are supported and backed by the same 99.9% uptime guarantee service level agreement.
You are probably quite comfortable with some of the more common applications of Office 365 (Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint), and more than likely you’re using them every day.
What's unique about Office 365 is that:
- It works perfectly with the Office you know so your employees don’t have to learn a new tool with additional training.
- It is designed to help you work seamlessly online or offline.
- These are all enterprise-class services – trusted by large corporations designed to give you the reliability and security you expect.
- Office 365 is integrated out of the box, by Microsoft.
For more information, check out our webcast: 7 Secrets to Increasing Productivity.