What is Office 365 and what it means to us

Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription service that brings together the best tools for the way people work today. By combining best-in-class apps with powerful cloud services, Office 365 lets anyone create and collaborate anywhere on any device.

Since starting the move towards Smart Working at the beginning of 2017 we have come a long way. But we know there is still a long way to go.

One of the main challenges is making sure that people can easily collaborate when they are no longer together in a physical office.

Back in July we conducted the first Smart Working survey. When we analysed the results, there was lots of useful insight around virtual working practices. Here are the 5 features you told us would be most useful for the future:

  • Effective search
  • Document sharing
  • Portal to help find information, groups or documents of interest
  • Find colleagues based on skills
  • Find colleagues based on their projects

Since the survey we have been exploring various software platforms which would allow us to offer many of these features. At the top of our list is Microsoft Office 365 (O365).

O365 includes the latest versions of all the Microsoft Office products we are already familiar with such as Word, PowerPoint and Outlook. As well as this there are some new applications which offer all kinds of opportunities for improving the way we work. As a whole O365 will help with:

  • Efficient and flexible working
  • Access everything from anywhere
  • Choice of communication options to suit you
  • Collaborate and co-author internally and externally
  • Work together in real time
  • Latest version of the Office suite
  • Reduce email attachments with links to live documents
  • Virtual meet up anywhere at anytime – no need to rely on meeting rooms or travel
  • Same experience across all devices
  • Single sign on – no more multiple passwords

In partnership with risual, the roll out of Office 365 will begin end of September 2018 – beginning of October 2018. Online training, roadshows, champions, webinars, support and internal comms will be put in place to ensure that the migration is as smooth as possible for all members of staff.

What’s next?

Ultimately, the plan is to be completely cloud based, with all documents, mail and filing stored in a secure cloud. This in turn will make working completely flexible for all staff, supporting the Smart Working initiative.