Your Guide to How to Use Office 365 for Business
Microsoft's Office 365 product has gone up from 100 million users last year to 120 million in the first quarter of this year. Here's what you need to know before getting started: Office 365 operates on a cloud-based platform. This means you can sign into it from any device, as long as you have an internet connection.
Purchasing a subscription to Office 365 gives you access to tons of great business tools like email, an interactive calendar app, and your favorite Microsoft products like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. But that isn't where the features of the 365 packages end. The features you receive from your subscription depend on the plan you choose.
Don't worry, we'll get into all the details in this article. Just keep reading to learn how to use Office 365.
Office 365 Subscription Options
The first thing you need to understand about Office 365 is that the intended focus for each product. There are versions for personal use and versions for business use.
Each subscription is offered at a different monthly (or annual) price and they each offer you something different. Plus, you don't have to worry about installing new updates to the software as they come. This is done automatically.
Here's the rundown starting with the least expensive:
Office 365 Business Essentials
The Essentials package starts at $5 per month. The special applications that are included in the subscription are:
- Microsoft Teams
- Skype for Business
But with these, you will also receive access to some classic Microsoft Office products. These are:
Keep in mind that these are only web versions. This means you cannot work in these programs offline.
If you choose to purchase this tier, you will only have the ability to download these Office apps on up to 5 phones and tablets. The other tiers allow access onto Macs and Pcs as well.
Office 365 Business
This second tier subscription will set you back $8.25 each month. Of course, it includes all of the classic Microsoft Office products that the Essentials package comes with.
But the difference is you can install it on more devices for both online and offline use. Additional applications included in 365 Business are:
Sway, a new app that allows you to create interactive reports, presentations, newsletters, and training materials.
OneDrive for cloud-based file storage and sharing.
Office Online, a tool that allows you to edit or create documents from Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote.
A downside that comes with this subscription is that it doesn't have an option for business email. So, if you want to create a custom email address for your business, you won't be able to.
Office 365 Business Premium
The billing for Office 365 Business Premium is a little different from the other tiers of this subscription. Instead of being charged an annual or monthly flat-rate, your bill is dependent on how much it is used.
You will have to pay $12.50 a month each year. The subscription allows for up to 300 employees to use it, and you will receive the perks that accompany the other two tiers.
With that said, here are the features that make this subscription different:
- Outlook Customer Manager
- Microsoft Connections
- Microsoft Bookings
- Microsoft Invoicing
- Microsoft Listings
- Business Center
This subscription might not be very useful if you're running a smaller business. The applications you will get after subscribing usually work best for larger entities. This is because small businesses don't typically need to utilize all of these apps.
Office 365 Enterprise E3
Office 365 Enterprise E3 requires you to commit on an annual basis and costs $20 per user per month. With it, you will have access to a wide range of online services like:
- Advanced Email
- Message Encryption
- Online Meetings
- Hosted voicemail support
There are also add-on services you can order with this subscription. Such as:
- Calling Plan
- Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365
- Audio Conferencing
- Modern Voice with Phone System
The add-ons are purchased separately. So, if you want to use one or a combination, you will pay other fees on top of the regular monthly amount for this subscription.
How to Use Office 365
If you're trying to decide whether you want to use Office 365 we can help you setup a free trial. Call us today! With the trial, you have a full month of access before you need to start making payments. And of course, if you don't wish to continue to a full subscription, you can cancel before you are ever charged. Another upside to the free trial is that you can use it in combination with an existing Microsoft subscription.
Whether you are using a free or paid version, you need to know how to use Office 365 in order to reap the most benefits from the program. These tips will help you get started:
Signing into Office 365
The business portal can be found at https://www.office.com/signin. Your employees should have different usernames and passwords to see account details.
If you have more than one Office 365 account, maybe one for work and another for school, you can't sign into both at the same time. You will have to sign out of one before you're able to sign into the other. The only way to stay in both accounts at once is to open a new window in your browser in order to work in a private session.
Installing 365 onto Your Computer (Mac or PC)
Remember that the ability to install 365 on to your computer is dependent on the subscription you chose. So, you may or may not have this option.
Also, other users on your subscription won't be allowed to use this desktop version unless they are assigned a license from an admin. You can sign in to complete the installation from either a Microsoft account or Office 365 account.
This is how the installation should go:
1. Press the Install button
2. The next part depends on the browser you're using. You may have to press Run, Setup, or Save File.
3. When the installation process is complete, you will see "You're all set! Office is installed now" appear on your screen.
4. Next, you will just need to activate Office. You can do so by simply signing into one of your apps like Outlook or Excel.
5. The last thing you have to do is follow the on-screen prompts in the Activation Wizard.
Collaborating on Projects
One of the best abilities Office 365 has is that it allows you to work in teams in real-time. You can do so in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
All you have to do is save the documents you're working on to SharePoint or OneDrive. This feature also gives you the ability to track which of your teammates wrote what onto each document.
Another bonus is that you don't have to send email attachments in order to share these files.
Instead, when the file is saved or uploaded to the 365 cloud, you can create a sharing link for it. You can send the links through any messaging method. If you need to, you can change the permissions on the files you share at any time.
Changing Your OneNote Content into Calendar Events
You can use OneNote to write meeting minutes, assign tasks, and essentially anything else you want to do. The app integrates into Outlook, allowing you to create events in yours or somebody else's calendar.
OneNote also automatically adds things like dates, attendees, and locations for each note or meeting.
Flexible Work Options
If your subscription allows it, you can download Office 365 of multiple devices from your computer, to your tablet, or phone. When you do this, you can work offline from pretty much any place.
When you do, you don't have to worry about syncing the work you've completed to the cloud. Not only that, the latest versions of your work be updated and sent to other devices that are connected to your account.
Contact Us Today
Office 365 is full of tools and resources for all your business needs. From crystal clear video calls via Skype to the sharing functionalities of OneDrive.
Now that you know how to use Office 365, allow us to see what else we can help you with. Contact us today. We are here to help you with your business' IT and marketing needs.