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News from ARP Ideas

Dynamics 365 for marketing – the backbone of your marketing

While Microsoft was introducing in Dynamics 365 suit in 2016 it seemed to be obvious that the potential was huge. In 2021 it is clear that the potential turned into fact – a comprehensive solution that combines CRM, ERP, business applications for analysis, and other tools streamlining managing business processes, work organization, and other activities in the organization was exactly the thing that the business was looking for. A new wave of digital transformation was knocking at the door.

However, in 2016 Dynamics 365 was lacking a very important tool that would complete the whole image of a comprehensive business environment. A special tool designed to support marketing activities, which would enable efficient cooperation of the sales department with the marketing team. It used to be a particularly significant vulnerability of Dynamics 365 given the recent importance of digital marketing. Digital marketing becomes, or actually has already become, the foundation for the functioning of any company that intends or has already achieved greater success on the market. The marketing module was the missing piece of the Dynamics 365 puzzle. The missing piece that eventually joined the Dynamics 365 family.

In the past, customers using Microsoft tools had to rely heavily on third-party services to efficiently handle their marketing. In 2012, there was the first significant breakthrough. Microsoft acquired the Marketing Automation Marketing Pilot software, which later changed its name to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing. Then it was announced that Dynamics Marketing will be shut down and a new product will be introduced, one that is fully integrated with the Dynamics 365 environment – Dynamics 365 for Marketing.

It was particularly important due to the growing need for a marketing platform that would be fully integrated with Dynamics 365. Not just a half-measure, but a tool that would perfectly fit into the philosophy of the Dynamics 365 family. specially developed for this purpose by Microsoft. That is why Microsoft created a new solution from scratch – also taking into account innovative products of leading competitors, such as Salesforce, which kept doing their best to stay ahead of Microsoft.

Finally, Dynamics 365 for Marketing has joined the Dynamics 365 family. Today we are going to take a closer look at this cloud-based marketing automation platform, present what kind of functionalities it offers to the business, and how can it improve both relationships with customers and the customer experiences.

What Dynamics 365 for Marketing is?

Dynamics 365 for Marketing is the first application designed to support marketing as part of the Dynamics 365 suit. Its goal is to provide all the necessary tools for small and medium-sized companies to run multichannel marketing campaigns.

It contains tools that can be used to create and run campaigns in different communication channels simultaneously. In addition, it is equipped with high-class ready-made templates that can be further adapted to your needs using an intuitive drag and drop interface.

Users can create a Customer Journey, with set messages and actions that can be triggered at various stages of the campaign, depending on e.g. the time or specific interaction with the customer. Personalized, automated interactions help to properly care for (lead nurturing) and develop relationships with potential customers and move them to the next stages of the sales funnel.

As Dynamics 365 for Marketing is part of the Dynamics 365 family – like other applications in this group, it uses the Common Data Model (Dataverse) to store and share data with other applications with other modules of Dynamics 365, such as Sales or Customer Engagement. Thanks to this, all data within the individual module is always synchronized and up-to-date, so that sales and marketing departments can fully cooperate with each other.

The Dynamics 365 for Marketing application, just like the rest of the Dynamics 365 suit, is prepared for use on many different devices – smartphones, tablets, and desktops or laptops.

Who is Dynamics 365 for Marketing for?

Dynamics 365 for Marketing provides many advanced tools, including the ability to track Customer Journey at every stage. This makes it a much more efficient solution than more basic cloud-based marketing platforms.

It is designed mainly for medium-sized organizations that have the ability to invest time and money in creating a consistent marketing strategy and wish to improve sales operations efficiency, gain access to intelligent insights, improve customer satisfaction, and implement marketing automation. Dynamics 365 for Marketing is a set of tools that will enable the implementation of each stage of such a strategy. It works best with B2B marketing but also supports B2C.

What are the most important functionalities of Dynamics 365 for Marketing?

Designing an interactive Customer Journey

Before you start creating a marketing campaign and generating leads, you need to design the Customer Journey – from the moment of visiting your website or advertisement to the moment of buying a service or product. Creating a good Customer Journey will give you a clear picture of what the customer does during his or her way through the entire customer’s journey from the moment they learn about your business. Ultimately, this will allow you to evaluate and optimize each stage.

Appropriate mapping of the transformation of the lead until they become a real client – helps to determine how to interact with leads at each stage in such a way that they decide to become clients more often.

Thanks to the use of Dynamics 365 for Marketing, a Customer Journey is not only a fashionable concept but a real experience, a practical and effective model that allows you to increase the efficiency of the sales team and the profitability of the entire company. The application allows creating customer segments, improving customer interactions, and includes a tool for creating a Customer Journey with a simple “drag and drop”, thanks to which designing and creating the customer journey is intuitive. The possibilities are virtually unlimited.

Each stage of the Customer Journey can be automated – for example, sending an e-mail to the customer with specific content after he or she performs the previously agreed action. Depending on the reaction to the above-mentioned – you can plan further actions that will encourage the lead to interact with you, which will ultimately end with a purchase. Thanks to this you are able to create very extensive and complex interaction trees that will do a huge part of the marketing work for us on daily basis.

The steps set in the Customer Journey do not have to depend on the interaction or lack of it on the part of the customer. They can also be scheduled according to a specific date and time.

Multi-channel campaigns

Dynamics 365 Marketing also enables you to leverage the potential of campaigns carried out across multiple communication channels – with customizable templates and design tools available to create professional-looking emails, forms, and dynamic landing pages that aim to convert. An important element is also the implementation of tools that enable the lead scoring, i.e. an automatic assessment of landing page or e-mail basing on the customer’s potential level.

It is also possible to create SMS messages and campaigns on social media. For greater control over your social media marketing activities, the app integrates with Microsoft Social Management, which comes bundled with any Dynamics 365 Customer Relationship Management suite.

Event management

One of the standout features of Dynamics 365 Marketing is its event management tools. They allow to fully fit into the formula of modern marketing, which consists in providing potential and existing customers with value, e.g. in the form of knowledge. The marketing module helps to organize conferences and seminars and to manage such events.

The application offers comprehensive event management functions – event logistics, planning, registration, tracking, or such trivial issues as volume control.

A portal management system is also over there. It helps companies to create branded event portals for participants. You can inform participants about vacancies, registration methods, share information about the speakers and the schedule of the event.

Dynamics 365 for marketing also allows integration with third-party webinar platforms.

Lead management

The ultimate goal of any marketing campaign is to generate leads. Dynamics 365 for Marketing includes intuitive tools that enable to acquire and manage them. It is possible to effectively track leads’ activities, score their potential, and help to nurture relationships that allow prolongation of the sales cycle and streamlines sales processes.

The automatic lead scoring system helps to qualify a potential lead and obtain it at the appropriate stage of the Customer Journey based on predetermined rules – such as the degree of e-mail engagement, website visits, previous interactions, registration for events, etc.

The system assigns ratings to leads and sends information to the sales reps on the right moment to sell a given product or service to a given person. This allows to increase both the efficiency of marketers and the sales department, as well as to improve cooperation between them.

Dynamics 365 Connector for LinkedIn allows users of the marketing module to automatically save in Dynamics 365 leads generated via LinkedIn – from multiple accounts, score their potential, and forward them to the sales department at the right moment.

Marketing Insights

The analysis of existing campaigns is a key element when it comes to optimizing marketing strategy. In addition to the aforementioned tool that helps to score the potential of leads, Dynamics 365 for Marketing also provides extensive analytical tools for collecting and processing data.

Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights is a tool included with Dynamics 365 for Marketing. It is a service supporting business analysis on the Azure platform. It has been designed to help companies obtain comprehensive information about their customers and to present them in a visually attractive, transparent way.

Thanks to the integration with the Dynamics 365 for Marketing module – companies gain access to detailed reports on the interaction with each element of content that their customer encounters during the Customer Journey.

Dynamics 365 Portals

As we have mentioned earlier – Dynamics 365 for Marketing allows to create and configure websites/portals that help i.e. event participants to make the most of an event organized by a given company.

While using the tool user can also manage content in order to encourage customers to deeper engagement, including i.e. interactive online surveys. It is possible thanks to the integration with the Microsoft platform – Voice of the Customer, which enables the creation, analysis, and distribution of surveys among customers.

Application configuration and development

Dynamics 365 for Marketing – can be tailored to the specific business needs of your company. Changes can be implemented using tools built directly into the application or with the help of programmers.

The easiest way to develop the potential of Dynamics 365 for Marketing is to install extensions and new functions from Microsoft AppSource. For more advanced needs, you need to consult a Microsoft partner like for example ARP Ideas.

Want to start using the whole potential of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing? Contact us!

Contact us using the form HERE, call us at +48 61 624 86 40, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ARP.Projects – what it is, what it does?

It’s pretty common for developers to create custom tools for their work. These can range from automation, to helper libraries to full-fledged applications helping with (or streamlining) certain tasks. After all, reinventing the wheel for every project is a colossal waste of time. Thus, it wasn’t really any kind of surprise when, working with other companies building business applications for Microsoft products, I found different types of in-house SDKs filled with various helper classes. Unfortunately, all those SDKs, while helpful, were never applied across the board to all the projects a given company was working on; in some cases, these tools were applied inconsistently even in one project.

So, we decided to do better.

Of course, initially our set of in-house SDKs started off very similar – a few helper classes and tools manually copied from project to project, but a philosophy was born. What if we could use these tools across the board, on ALL projects, regardless if we’re working on an Microsoft Dynamics project, an Microsoft SharePoint project… or a custom ASP site?

Loosely coupled layer

Our tools aren’t just a set of helper classes that “do helpful stuff” when you invoke them; they are a new layer that we work with. This layer ties up our model classes, data repositories and business logic with the underlying data layer and (where applicable) hooks up to an existing system (for example, as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Plugins).

This is done using the “loose coupling” paradigm with some clever base classes thrown into the mix. Each logic class implements its own interface, uses repository interfaces for data access, and those repositories return our data models. Once the core structures for a project are created, a coder might not even care if they are creating logic for Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft SharePoint or something else.

The repositories themselves are based on a set of powerful base classes for the most common data sources we work with, be it CRM entities, SharePoint lists or custom SQL data sets (accessed via Entity Framework).

Testing all angles

With the loosely coupled layers it’s easy to test our logic – without even starting up the UI. Pure unit tests are great if logic permits them, but often there’s at least some component of an existing system that plays a crucial role in the logic. Testing a method which calculates an average based on a few values provided is easy… testing a method which calculates system-averages when a new record is added? Not so much. 

To facilitate testing we can utilize a few nifty little helper classes from our Projects library like “read only” data repositories which allow testing using actual data (from a CRM, for example) and save changes in-memory only. This allows us to test our system-dependant logic without connecting to the underlying system or making permanent changes. 

Business data driven development

Normally, event-driven development means implementing and using events inside your code. However, we’re talking about something different – we want to focus on events related to handling of business data. A user adds a new record to the system – how should the system respond? With our Projects layer, we can quickly develop and deploy business logic handling just such cases.

We’ve based this loosely on the event execution pipeline from Microsoft Dynamics 365, where each operation (where applicable) has several stages – validation, pre-operation and post-operation. While CRM projects map these stages almost 1-to-1 with our own code for basic CRUD operations, our repositories allow us to implement such handling for any project we’re working on.

Going deeper with metadata repositories

Our next stage of development is creating repositories for metadata and integrating them with our base Projects code. The idea here is to have default CRUD functionality based on metadata information, rather than relying on repositories created by developers. Those can and will still exist, of course, and any more advanced logic code will likely still require these traditional repositories. But with metadata implementation we can create basic forms and features much faster, as these can now be automated.

Automated deployment

Our Projects SDK makes use of custom attributes, allowing us to mark logic interfaces with additional metadata. This additional information is used to automate deployment procedures. While this is still an ongoing process, we already have a custom tool which fully automates deployment of Microsoft Dynamics 365 plugins created using our Projects SDKs – the result is faster deployment and fewer human errors.

While the underlying principle of such tools is to speed up and simplify deployment, it’s important to have the flexibility of having custom or otherwise non-standard deployment steps. As such, our deployment tool for Microsoft Dynamics 365 also supports the configuration of other, user-defined, steps and stages.

 

Contact us using the form HERE, call us at +48 61 624 86 40, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Power Platform – meet one of Microsoft’s key investments

Microsoft is a company distinguished by the high frequency of implementing subsequent innovative changes, updates, and new products. On the one hand, this translates into a growing number of technological solutions like Dynamics 365 that are able to meet various needs of companies, but on the other hand, it makes it difficult to track subsequent changes.

Therefore, we try to keep you informed about what is happening in the world of Microsoft. Today we share with you information about one of the most interesting and fastest-developed Microsoft products, which is the Power Platform.

What is Power Platform?

Power Platform is the collective term for three Microsoft products: Power Apps, Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow), and Power BI. They provide tools that allow you to easily modify, automate and analyze data and its flow – they can be used together with Office 365, Dynamics 365, as well as other Microsoft services and solutions of external suppliers.

Power Platform is based on Dataverse (formerly Common Data Service), which is the underlying data platform that provides a unified and simplified data flow diagram so that different Microsoft applications and services can easily connect and collaborate.

What makes Power Platform interesting?

Due to the enormous technological advances that have taken place over the past decade – the business world is incomparably more data-dependent than ever, and this trend continues to accelerate. The digital transformation of our world is a fact and a must-have for each company. However, the data itself is useless if the company does not have the tools to work on it properly.

The Power Platform provides three technologies that allow employees a huge range of possibilities when it comes to working with key dates – including adapting these tools to their specific needs without the need or with the limited need of programming.

Of course, most advanced or custom Power Platform solutions still require the support of a developer, but even then the amount of programming is limited. This translates primarily into a significant reduction in the implementation time of the digital transformation of a company, lower costs when using external resources, or reducing the load on internal IT resources.

PowerApps, Power Automate & Power BI

PowerApps

The idea behind Power Apps is the process of creating applications in a way that does not take many months of programmers’ work. Power Apps gives users the ability to create applications without writing code or with the limited need of using additional code in case of more sophisticated solutions. As we have mentioned above.

Applications created with PowerApps, or Power Platform in general, can be used on various devices – Android or iOS phone, laptop, tablet, desktop computer, or as a web application.

Security is also an important component of the Power Apps service and the entire Power Platform platform. Power Apps offers high-end security, the ability to enable multi-factor authentication, the ability to modify permissions and accesses in the company, which can be managed through Azure Active Directory.

PowerApps has the functionality of the activity log, additional security to avoid data loss, and the ability to manage data from the administrator panel, which gives the person responsible for administering the central access to managing applications throughout the organization from one place.

A key advantage that applies to all applications within the Power Platform is the possibility of two-way integration of data with existing systems. This means, inter alia, the ability to use data in Dynamics 365 from the level of an application created with PowerApps and vice versa.

PowerApps highlights:

  • Creating applications adapted to mobile devices – quickly and without the need to involve significant IT resources,
  • Integration and mutual sharing of data from business applications such as Dynamics 365, Office 365, and others,
  • High level of data security, additional tools to avoid data loss.

Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow)

Power Automate, formerly known as Microsoft Flow, enables process automation to eliminate or reduce employees’ everyday lives – simple, repetitive tasks, and thus eliminate the human errors that accompany them. Power Automate is a powerful workflow automation tool that allows you to connect different systems with each other and use the data contained in them.

Power Automate enables the automation and construction of business processes in existing applications. Starting from simple automation of uncomplicated processes, and ending with very advanced, multi-branch scenarios based on different reactions to specific user behavior.

A good example of a simple process that can be automated with Power Automate would be, for example, the use of this tool to support the application approval process combined with notifications of approval or rejection of an application – on various platforms, on which individuals in the organization work.

Power Automate translates into a series of various functionalities. Some of them are natively integrated with Microsoft Cloud applications, and others can be integrated, for example, via Microsoft Dataverse (Common Data Service). You can also create custom workflows or applications via the Power Platform.

Power Automate highlihts:

  • Ready-to-use automation templates for typical processes (using Flow Gallery),
  • Create your own automations by combining various applications such as Outlook, SharePoint Dynamics 365 or non-Microsoft applications such as Twitter, Gmail, Asana or MailChimp etc.
  • Set up alerts, automatic e-mails, notifications and much more – no programming required,
  • Save time, reduce the amount of human errors and overally streamline your processes.

Power BI

The Power BI service allows you to view interactive dashboards in real-time and provides insights in the form of a single window. With Power BI analysis software, you can get a deep view into your company – no matter where your data is located, so the intention is to combine and consolidate that data to give you a more complete insight into your business.

Thanks to a deeper insight into what is happening in the organization, it enables the improvement of the decision-making process based on data and their analysis. There are currently over 275 different types of data sources that can be connected to the Power Platform.

There are various data sources within Power BI, such as a SQL database, Dynamics framework, or data from file servers such as Excel. All these sources can be combined to obtain the so-called big picture.

Power BI navigation dashboards are not limited to downloading data from Microsoft tools. As Microsoft provides multiple data connectors, the Power Platform can integrate with other cloud-based solutions as well. In addition, it is also possible to connect to older applications if they have the REST API.

Power BI highlights:

  • Integration with cloud services from Microsoft and other companies within just a few clicks,
  • Easy and convenient work on data, creating visualizations, charts, dashboards, maps and many other functionalities that allow you to present data in an easy-to-understand format,
  • The ability to easily analyze and understand even very complex data.

How does Power Platform fit into Microsoft’s strategy?

Power Platform connects a wide range of different data sources – Office 365, Dynamics 365, but also third-party applications, such as Google Analytics or Twitter. Microsoft presents Power Platform as a way to unlock the full potential of Dynamics 365 and Office 365 in a simpler and faster way than ever before. Power Platform also enables easy and quick expansion of the range of available functionalities within the Microsoft environment.

According to the announcements of Microsoft – Power Platform will be an area of large investments in the coming years. You can expect regular updates, changes, and further improvements. It seems that the Power Platform is to be one of the key elements that will bind the entire Microsoft environment – Office 365 / Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure into one ecosystem.

How to get access to the Power Platform?

Contact us using the form HERE, call us at +48 61 624 86 40, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will advise you on how to purchase a Power Platform license, we will help you implement this solution in your company and we will adapt it to the needs of the organization or create whole new custom solutions. 

 

How to increase the quality of customer service thanks to the Unified Service Desk?

Unified Service Desk is an add-on to Customer Engagement apps that allows you to quickly configure your customer support apps. Solutions based on the Unified Service Desk for Dynamics 365 model allow collecting information from various business systems in one place, thanks to which an employee responsible for customer service has the possibility of full insight into the history of contact and interaction with the customer within a 360 ° view.

This gives the agent immediate access to key information and facilitates effective contact with the client, as well as answering their questions and solving problems. USD is quite simple to set up with Customer Engagement or Dynamics 365 apps.

Who is the Unified Service Desk for?

USD is most often used as a tool for creating applications for call centers, but its functionality is not limited to this only. Features such as telephone integration, session management, and agent scripts have potential that is beyond this type of business.

However, let’s focus on the example of a call center. A person responsible for customer service faces many challenges on a daily basis related to the efficiency and the level of complexity and multithreading of tasks. That’s why the unified 360 ° view of key customer information is especially helpful, allowing to handle inquiries and reported issues faster and more accurately.

Suppose you run a business that sells various types of financial products. Within your organization, you have a team of agents who are responsible for processing customer inquiries and issues reported via the company’s communication channels (telephone, social media, email, website). Using USD, employees can record all details regarding, for example, a phone call in the CRM system and create cases assigned to individual clients. Then, from the USD level, a given case can be assigned to a specific agent who will be responsible for solving it. After a case is being opened, appropriate records related to the customer are automatically created. As a result, USD shortens the process of case management and resolution, which allows agents to more precisely resolve more cases in a shorter time.

How will Unified Service Desk help your company?

Unified Service Desk provides a configurable framework for rapidly building customer service support applications that provide unified access to customer information that is stored in Microsoft Dataverse.

Here are the key benefits of Unified Service Desk:

  • Unified access to customer information. USD provides agents with an interface to access all the most important information about customers in Dataverse, enabling them to service faster and more accurately.
  • A framework that allows quick configuration. It allows adapting the application to the requirements of the organization, in a short time, while maintaining relatively low costs and commitment of resources. Note that while USD provides high application customization and rule creation with minimal developer involvement, proper configuration of the solution requires experience, knowledge, and technical skills.
  • Configurable and manageable from Dataverse. It allows configuring and managing agent applications from the Dataverse interface.
  • Session management capabilities. Agents can handle multiple client sessions simultaneously, and the application provides the ability to maintain contextual information in each session.
  • Safe access to data. USD uses the Dataverse security model to manage access to entities and configuration data. In addition, it allows you to configure and manage security in USD, by grouping users and assigning them the appropriate permissions.
  • Facilitating the work of those responsible for customer service. The organization can provide guidance to its employees using the so-called agent scripts. Thanks to this, employees have full access to the knowledge necessary to perform the task, how to perform it, and knowledge about interactions with the client so far, e.g. from other agents. This translates into facilitating work and building consistency of customer service, and thus also higher customer satisfaction.
  • Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) support. Unified Service Desk provides a structure for CTI adapters that can be used in the application responsible for supporting the work of agents responsible for customer service, among others via call forwarding, softphone control and other CTI functions.

How does Unified Service Desk work?

The USD client is an application that can run on a local machine, but the configuration and maintenance tasks are performed on the Dynamics 365 server. However, you cannot perform configuration work on the local machine.

When installing USD, some solutions are added to Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement apps, which create entities in the Dynamics 365 CE instance. The USD configuration is stored in the above entities.

When a user opens USD, all configuration information is automatically cached on the client’s system. It is possible to combine the telephony service system with older versions of the application.

You can also extend and add new functionality to USD with code where you need to implement hosted controls and adapters.

How to start using Unified Service Desk?

First, make sure your Dynamics 365 license includes Unified Service Desk. USD is a relatively new feature and is only available in newer versions of Microsoft’s CRM. In case of an older CRM license, please update it.

USD can be downloaded from the Microsoft website. When the runtime file is running, sample application packages are available are being shipped with USD. You can install one of the sample application packages during the USD installation, which will provide more possibilities when developing applications for customer service agents. With the package deployment tool, you can also connect to CRM. Once installed, all USD components can be found in Dynamics 365 / CRM settings.

Summary

USD is one of the most advanced tools for creating applications for e.g. call center. It requires a limited amount of programming, provides one unified view for agents, allows you to handle all types of queries and significantly translates into shortening the response time, building consistency of customer service, as well as increasing its quality.

Do you want to learn more about Unified Service Desk or implement it in your company?

Contact us using the form HERE, call us at +48 61 624 86 40, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will be happy to provide all necessary assistance.

Streamline collaboration in your company using Microsoft 365

Microsoft Office is one of the most popular business applications and is currently used by approximately 1.5 billion people worldwide. It is hard to imagine that someone who has used a computer for the last 30 years has never dealt with Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and so on.

Millions of businesses use the Office to create and work with documents, communicate with coworkers, present content, and more. However, not everyone is aware of the great potential and a wide range of functionalities provided by the Microsoft 365 cloud-based package, previously Microsoft Office 365 (on April 21, 2020, Office 365 became the Microsoft 365 platform).

What is Microsoft 365?

The Microsoft Office 365 service was launched in 2011 as a response to the competitive suite of Google apps and it is a cloud-based computing platform that operates in the subscription model.

It contains all the key tools that can also be found in the classic Office i.e. Word, Excel, Teams, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote. Depending on the plan, it can also include Publisher, Planner, Exchange, SharePoint, Access.

There are many different Microsoft 365 licenses available – including personal, multi-user, corporate, nonprofit, and educational.

There are also online-only and mobile-only versions through which users can access the free but limited online version of Office for free.

How is Microsoft 365 different from the traditional Office?

Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based service, which means that instead of buying a copy of the package once and paying for it in advance, users pay a monthly subscription fee, thanks to which they gain access to the service at the level of their choice and for the duration of their choice.

As part of the subscription model, users always have access to the latest version as the platform is constantly updated by Microsoft. Thanks to this, people using Microsoft 365 do not have to buy new versions of the software to use the latest one.

Despite the fact that Microsoft 365 is originally built to run in the cloud, desktop versions of the application are also available in most plans. However, users do not need to install software as all applications, services, and data generated by Microsoft 365 are hosted on Microsoft’s servers.


Who is Microsoft 365 Business for?

Microsoft 365 Business offers much more than just word processing and editing of documents.

While most of the applications in Microsoft 365 Business provide companies with the core applications that they need to perform daily work, such as document creation, data management, and information transfer, Microsoft 365 also provides a comprehensive set of intelligent tools that enable organizations to increase productivity and efficiency.

Thanks to the capabilities of Microsoft 365, all applications and services are connected with each other, creating one coherent environment that facilitates teamwork, saving employees’ time, and enabling them to collaborate better thanks to such functionalities as team chat, shared calendar, online meetings, co-editing and sharing files and group e-mails.

The use of the cloud and mobile applications as part of Microsoft 365 also allows organizations to work from anywhere and at any time while maintaining safe access to data, conversations, tasks, and schedules from any device.

How will using Microsoft 365 improve work efficiency in your company?

Microsoft 365 is a toolset that increases the productivity of the entire organization, supports the productivity of individual employees, enables more effective communication and faster execution of tasks. Microsoft 365 enables, among others performing activities such as finding information, sharing knowledge, communicating with colleagues, processing data, planning and organizing events.

It’s quick and easy to use – reducing the time it takes to perform administrative tasks and leaving companies more space to focus on priority tasks – innovating, acquiring customers, improving customer experience, and growing their business.

The office suite as part of Microsoft 365 can also have a positive impact on the company’s finances. Subscription-based services are generally cheaper and more flexible as business circumstances change. Microsoft 365 does not require any investment in additional infrastructure as it is provided and fully operated by Microsoft. This reduces the need for specialized IT knowledge and resources that are necessary to manage an on-site infrastructure package and potentially lowers the costs of having your own IT backend.

How is Microsoft 365 different from G-Suite?

Microsoft 365 is a toolset that increases the productivity of the entire organization, supports the productivity of individual employees, enables more effective communication and faster execution of tasks. Microsoft 365 enables, among others performing activities such as finding information, sharing knowledge, communicating with colleagues, processing data, planning and organizing events. Works great for sales teams and marketing teams.

The situation has changed by the popularization of solutions based on cloud computing and the Google G-Suite package, which currently remains the only significant competition for Microsoft 365 / Office 365.

G-Suite also has its free version that supports word processing, communication, and e-mail hosting and a subscription version that targets businesses of all sizes.

However, a major advantage of Microsoft 365 is that it provides a more generous range of tools under similar subscription plans. The key difference is also the fact that Microsoft’s suite provides a desktop and offline version of its solution, as opposed to G-Suite, which works exclusively in the cloud.

The most important applications within Microsoft 365

Access to individual applications within Microsoft 365 varies depending on the license that has been purchased. However, each of them gives you access to the following services:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook
  • OneNote
  • Publisher
  • Exchange
  • SharePoint
  • Microsoft Teams
  • OneDrive

Some of these applications also have mobile versions that make it easier to work on the go. They include i.a. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive or OneNote. What is worth noting is that as part of the Microsoft 365 subscription, each user also gets 1 TB of disk space as part of the OneDrive cloud.

What is Microsoft SharePoint?

SharePoint is a flexible and responsive platform that enables data storage and circulation. It was launched in 2001 and is sold mainly as a document management and storage system, but thanks to the huge range of possible configurations, it can be used in many ways – depending on the needs of a given organization.

The solution is available under many Microsoft 365 plans as cloud-based SharePoint Online. In this case, it does not require SharePoint Server to be deployed locally. SharePoint Online allows to store and operate within 1 TB of data.

According to Microsoft, about 85% of Fortune 500 companies currently use SharePoint. Most of the value its flexibility as the main advantage, which makes it possible to adapt this solution to the needs of both small local companies and global corporations.

SharePoint allows users to:

  • Creating, editing, managing and sharing documents, sharing insights with colleagues, within the company, department or team,
  • Access to current information for individual employees and teams, thanks to tools such as task lists, e-calendar, etc.
  • Informing employees about events and updates concerning the company’s life, using internal websites available for the entire organization,
  • High level of data security and authorization policy,
  • Downloading documents and working with them offline.

Read our article to learn more about Microsoft SharePoint

 

How will the implementation of Microsoft SharePoint increase the efficiency of your company?

What is OneDrive?

OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud file storage service. OneDrive can store all kinds of files, including documents, pictures, music, and videos, and can be accessed, managed, and shared securely from almost any device, as long as it has internet access. OneDrive is where all files for Microsoft 365 users are stored and allows you to sync files between computers, browsers, and mobile devices.

All Microsoft 365 business and corporate users get access to 1 TB of OneDrive storage, and Enterprise E3 and E5 subscribers get unlimited cloud storage.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft decided to create Teams to enable better coordination of work in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, etc. Thanks to this, it is possible to exchange files faster, collaborate on them, and communicate quickly.

Microsoft Teams is not only a successor to Skype, it is also a multi-team workspace, flexible solution based on various forms of communication and collaboration.

It is a product distinguished by very extensive integration with Microsoft 365 applications. It combines the functions of chat, document sharing, interactive calendar, project management tools, and more.

Do you want to learn more? Read our Microsoft Teams article.

 

What makes Teams different? Explore the capabilities of the flagship Microsoft application

What is Microsoft Exchange?

Microsoft Exchange is an e-mail server from Microsoft and is the foundation on which the Microsoft Outlook e-mail client works. All activities that take place in this tool – incoming and outgoing e-mail, tasks, contacts, calendars, are stored and processed on the Exchange server. Thanks to Microsoft Exchange, the organization has the opportunity to create its own independent e-mail system.

Microsoft 365 and security

Data is one of the most valuable assets of all businesses. The consequences of compromising their security can be very serious, as we have heard about in many cases in recent years.

Data within Microsoft 365 is stored in Microsoft data centers. Their safety is supervised by special teams of advanced security specialists who constantly monitor any suspicious activities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Thanks to multi-stage security, both digital and physical – the level of security provided by Microsoft 365 is one of the highest in the world, which under normal conditions would not be available to smaller companies.

Microsoft 365 comes in standard with anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-malware software. Information flow is monitored with Exchange Online Protection (EOP) and e-mail is encrypted with SSL/TLS.

The Message Encryption feature also allows users to send encrypted e-mail to anyone, no matter what e-mail provider they were using.

At the file level, access can be assigned to individual users through the Azure Rights Management service, so that only people with the correct user credentials can access sensitive information, and multi-factor authentication prevents unwanted access to the service.

Do you want to learn more about Microsoft 365 or implement it in your company?

 

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