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4 Must-Have Microsoft 365 Business Apps You Need to Check Out

The Microsoft 365 suite of products is huge, with plenty to discover beyond just Outlook, Word, and Excel. Today we’re checking out some really useful applications that you can find in Microsoft 365 – some included as part of your subscription, and some that are a small additional expense each month.

Microsoft 365 is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of businesses. With a wide array of applications designed to enhance productivity, collaboration, and security, Microsoft continues to innovate and introduce new tools for businesses of all sizes. In this article, we will explore four Microsoft 365 business applications that you need to check out right now. Have a look through and see how they can make a big difference in your workplace.

Microsoft Viva

Employee well-being, knowledge sharing, and organizational connectivity are crucial components of a successful business. Microsoft Viva is an all-in-one employee experience platform designed to address these critical aspects. By integrating with Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and other Microsoft 365 apps, Viva offers four modules to enhance employee engagement: Viva Connections, Viva Insights, Viva Learning, Viva Topics, Viva Engage, and Viva Goals.

Viva Connections delivers personalized news, resources, and policies to employees within the Teams interface, fostering a sense of belonging and organizational alignment. Viva Insights provides data-driven insights and well-being features, empowering individuals and teams to optimize their work habits and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Viva Learning centralizes learning content, enabling organizations to nurture a culture of continuous development. Viva Topics uses AI to organize and surface knowledge and expertise across the organization, facilitating efficient knowledge sharing.

Viva Goals is a powerful solution designed to enhance goal-setting and management within organizations, ensuring alignment with strategic priorities and driving impactful results.

With Viva Goals, individuals and teams can easily organize and track their objectives using the “Objectives and Key Results” (OKRs) framework. By immersing employees in the company’s purpose and top priorities, Viva Goals fosters a culture of engagement and collaboration, uniting everyone towards the achievement of shared goals.

Lastly, Microsoft Viva Engage is a new employee experience app integrated into Teams that connects people across the organization, regardless of their location or work hours. It enables community building, engagement with leadership, knowledge sharing, and networking. Viva Engage brings together existing and new employee experiences, introducing features like storyline and stories.

By leveraging the power of Microsoft Viva, businesses can enhance employee engagement, improve knowledge sharing, and foster a connected and inclusive work environment.

Microsoft Bookings

Who wants to pick up the phone and book in an appointment these days? No one! We want to send a calendar meeting invites and schedule in doctor appointments on the web. We want automatic reminders and a block automatically sent to our calendar. As a business, we don’t want to be spending hours on the phone taking bookings.

An online appointment setting system:

  • Saves time on the phone or email
  • Avoids errors in manual entry
  • Prevents more missed appointments by sending reminders

There are plenty of online bookings systems available to choose from, however, Microsoft 365 Business Basic (and any higher plan) comes with its very own solution, Microsoft Bookings, or you can add to your lower package at an additional cost.

“Via Bookings, you can record customer preferences, manage staff lists and schedules, define your services and pricing, set business hours, and even customize how services and staff are scheduled.”

Microsoft Bookings allows you to create a booking webpage, such as this Financial Planning example. From there, the involved staff will be notified, calendar updated, and customer’s details recorded for reminders. You even have the ability to allow cancellations or rescheduling.

Microsoft Bookings simplifies this process by providing an easy-to-use booking platform for customers and clients. With Bookings, you can set up personalized booking pages, allowing customers to schedule appointments, services, or meetings at their convenience.

The application syncs with your calendar and sends automated confirmations and reminders to both you and your customers. This eliminates the need for back-and-forth communication and minimizes the risk of missed appointments. With Microsoft Bookings, you can efficiently manage your bookings, save time, and enhance customer satisfaction.

Microsoft Power Automate

Heard of Zapier? Or If This Then That? They’re little pieces of connector software that help automate your workflows, such as adding new SurveyMonkey responses to an Excel spreadsheet or adding new Facebook Lead Ads to Salesforce. Microsoft Power Automate, formerly known as Microsoft Flow, is the Microsoft 365 solution to help connect up the dots between your applications – saving your team time on manual entry tasks.

With Power Automate, you can create automated workflows between different applications and services, eliminating manual and time-consuming processes.

By connecting various apps and systems, Power Automate enables you to automate notifications, data collection, approvals, and more. Whether it’s automatically saving email attachments to cloud storage, updating customer records, or generating reports, this application can help you boost productivity and efficiency by reducing human intervention and improving accuracy.

Examples of Microsoft Power Automate templates include:

  • Save Outlook.com attachments to OneDrive
  • Send a “working from home” email to your manager via a button on mobile
  • Send Microsoft Forms responses to Approvals, then Sharepoint if approved
  • Copy Outlook tasks into a Trello board
  • Notify your team about new opportunities in Dynamics 365

Power Automate supports a huge number of apps, with plenty of triggers to choose from, which you can build yourself – you aren’t restricted to their templates. There’s also the option to build multi-step workflows if needed.

Microsoft Dataverse for Teams

Microsoft Dataverse for Teams is a low-code data platform that enables you to build custom business applications within Teams. It allows you to create and manage data tables, design forms, define business rules, and build powerful workflows.

By leveraging the familiar Microsoft Power Apps interface, you can quickly develop custom solutions tailored to your organization’s unique needs. Dataverse for Teams provides a secure and scalable environment, ensuring your data is protected while facilitating efficient data management and application development.

Imagine a project management team working on a complex initiative with multiple tasks, deadlines, and stakeholders. With Dataverse for Teams, they can create a custom table to store project-related data, such as task details, assigned team members, due dates, and progress status. They can define relationships between tables, linking tasks to specific projects or assigning team members to tasks. Using Power Apps, the team can then build a custom app within Teams to track and manage project tasks, enabling seamless collaboration, real-time updates, and enhanced visibility for all stakeholders. This empowers the team to work efficiently, monitor progress, and ensure timely completion of project milestones.

This example demonstrates how Dataverse for Teams empowers teams across various functions to create tailored solutions within the familiar Teams interface. By leveraging the power of data storage, relationships, app development, and integration with other Microsoft 365 tools, teams can optimize their workflows, enhance collaboration, and unlock the full potential of their data within Microsoft Teams.

We help clients discover which tools and services are the perfect fit for their business, as well as manage cloud infrastructure solutions so you’re focused on your business instead of IT stresses. Get in touch with us now at A1 Technologies to learn how we can help you grow.

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