The foundation of business success is with teamwork and collaboration. Great ideas need to be nurtured and refined through multiple perspectives, and even the most monumental task can be completed when broken down and shared amongst a well-coordinated workforce. But the secret for great teamwork and collaboration, is in the quality of it, not the quantity.
Productive collaboration comes from high-quality communication, and ensuring that the management and completion of work is as efficient as possible. We discussed all of this with a London-based Microsoft Solutions Partner, TechQuarters, whose business IT support London-based SMBs have been using for years to make their operations more productive and more collaborative. According to them, the Microsoft Cloud is one of the most effective solutions for productivity that a business can leverage.
What is the Microsoft Cloud?
In 2022, all of Microsoft’s products and services are hosted in their globally distributed cloud, which means that the Microsoft Cloud is effectively the entire ecosystem of products and services that the company offers. More specifically, it can be divided into a number of different product families. According to TechQuarters, the following product families offer businesses most of the productivity capabilities that they will need:
- Microsoft 365 – This is the product family that the majority of people will be most familiar with. It included the staple business apps, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as Microsoft Outlook (the email client); the two cloud-storage products, OneDrive and SharePoint; and the unified communications solution, Teams.
- Microsoft Azure – This is the customer-facing nerve centre of the Microsoft Cloud. Azure contains all of the raw cloud compute resources that a business needs to build their own virtual IT infrastructure, as well as many other tools, models and frameworks for different business processes.
So, what are some of the ways that the Microsoft ecosystem of products and services can help businesses optimize their productivity?
Top Business Tips for Productivity with Microsoft
Project Management Tools
Businesses typically organise their work according to projects, and most organisations will have a big project that they have undertaken in the past. The key to a successful project is always in the management of it. Here are some of the ways that the Microsoft Cloud supports optimal project management:
- Microsoft Project – Available as part of the Microsoft 365 suite, Project is the main project management software available to Microsoft users. It is aimed at project managers, as it helps them develop schedules, assign resources and tasks, tracking progress, manage budgets, and much more.
- Microsoft Planner – This app, which is also available as part of Microsoft 365, utilizes a Kanban board interface, enabling users to plan and manage their tasks alongside their colleagues. Planner integrates with Microsoft Teams, making the flow of collaboration very efficient.
- Microsoft To Do – Unlike Planner, To Do has a more simplistic interface for managing tasks. It is a simple list-based task management app, which is most suited for individuals who want to be able to arrange their daily tasks in a simple manner.
With more and more people working from home, or simply working out of the office, the instances of physical meetings are rarer. The upshot of remote work is people are more productive, but with a distributed workforce, communication needs to be tighter and more frequent. Video conferencing enables face-to-face meetings to happen at any time, regardless of the location of all the participants (Teams works on desktop and mobile platforms). Furthermore, Teams supports instant messaging, allowing for more spontaneous communications to occur.
Leverage Cloud Storage
According to TechQuarters, who have provided Microsoft 365 consulting services to many businesses over the years, cloud storage is crucial to remote work and productivity in general. For instance, cloud storage makes file sharing not only safer and more secure, but much quicker. It also means duplicate content is not create from sending data over a network; and the cloud supports version history, which is very useful.