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What is Microsoft 365 and What are Microsoft apps for Enterprise 2022

Vanessa Damaso

by Vanessa Damaso     3 MIN READ

Today we will learn about what Microsoft 365 is and how Microsoft 365 Apps coalesce together to help improve our productivity.

At Vineforce, we have been using the M365 suite for over 7 years, long before Microsoft decided to rebrand the software. In fact, our software service is built upon the Microsoft 365 platform, the workhorse of what we offer. Over the years, we have mastered using this suite of apps, improving our workflow and productivity.

With the increase in employees working from home and students' distance learning, Microsoft Office 365 has become a popular tool for maximizing work. If your firm is seeking to deliver a virtual workspace for your team, you need a comprehensive cloud-based solution that connects the dots across business functions and departments to give a unified experience for your staff– wherever they are, on any device. Microsoft Office 365 does all this and more.

We have put together this guide to help future and current subscribers like you who lead teams, businesses, or educational institutions understand what Microsoft 365 is and how it can improve your productivity.

What is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 (previously known as Office 365) is a group of apps that work collaboratively to help individuals, teams, and organizations become more productive on any device.

Your first interaction with any Office apps was with the more traditional ones (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) preinstalled on your personal or work computer. However, there is a lot more to M365.

It includes all these traditional Office applications plus more added value or functions. Because it is in the cloud, updates are automatically applied to your subscription, so you always have the latest version throughout your service term.

Its most recently updated name, ‘Microsoft 365’ expresses the extensive scope and value it now offers. Before diving into each app and how it works, let us begin our journey by learning how to choose the right plan.

Choosing the right plan

You can select the right Microsoft 365 subscription depending on whether you plan to use it personally or for small or large organizations.

These plans are as follows:  

Personal and Family Plans

As the name suggests, are for you or a family. These plans differ in the number of people that can use them. The family plan can be shared among two to six people, while the personal plan is for a single user. Both come with the essential Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) and Microsoft Teams. You can add your custom domain (e.g., myfamily.com) to any family or personal plan, allowing you to use it for personal or business purposes.

Business Plans

There are four diverse types: Business Basic, Business Standard, Business Premium, and Apps for Business. At Vineforce, we recommend subscribing to the Business Standard because it is less costly than Business Premium, and it comes with the total capacity of the Power Platform. Business apps can be built, and business processes automated with Power Platform without writing code.

Enterprise Plans

This is for organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees. We recommend you reach out to us, Vineforce, a Microsoft Partner, to help you select the right enterprise plan for your organization.

How to log in to Microsoft 365?

After choosing the right plan, logging into M365 is easy and can be done from anywhere on almost any device. To access from the web, use the web address. https://login.microsoftonline.com/.

To use M365 on your mobile device, install Microsoft Office app or the individual apps (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, etc.) from the iOS/Google Play store.

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What apps are included in Microsoft Enterprise?

Microsoft 365 apps can be split into two main categories: Office Apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote) and Productivity Tools (SharePoint, OneDrive, To-Do, Lists, Planner, Forms, Booking, and more).

The difference is that traditional Office apps create information, like a PowerPoint presentation, while productivity tools help you organize and manage that information.

Below is a brief overview of the apps we believe will help you become more productive.

Viva Connections

Microsoft Viva Connections is a complete employee experience platform that allows you to engage in conversations, view news, and look up your projects and tasks in one universal overview.

Viva Engage

Microsoft Viva Engage works as an employee engagement platform where members of a team or community can openly discuss ideas and chime-in interesting conversations.

Word

Microsoft Word is a popular application for word processing, writing, editing, and sharing documents.

Word includes spelling and grammar checking, formatting text features, and tracking changes. etc.

Word integrates with M365 in several ways, including its built-in ability to quickly create or save documents to OneDrive or SharePoint, making them available from anywhere, on any device.

Excel

Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet program primarily designed for analyzing and gaining insights from data.

However, its flexible design and ease of use are used to manage lists, track tasks, create budgets, and more. It contains columns and rows that allow adding information to each cell and organizing them according to your needs.

Excel is your go-to tool if you need to generate reports quickly or perform mathematical or statistical calculations on your data.

OneNote

OneNote is an excellent tool for capturing your notes and jottings in an organized place without creating unnecessary separate documents. This tool also lets you add images, text, tables, and more.

OneNote makes formatting text a breeze with its Word-like formatting options. You can stay organized with sections, pages, and subpages.

One of the most remarkable features is how notes are automatically synchronized to OneDrive or SharePoint and are available from the web or on any mobile device.

PowerPoint

Creating and giving presentations is a must-have in any workplace. Microsoft PowerPoint is an app for creating professional working presentations.

PowerPoint offers hundreds of built-in and online templates you can choose from to create your presentation from scratch.

Themes are available to create and arrange your slides. You can add content to each, like text, images, audio, video, and even web links.

Your presentation can be personalized by adding your own background image or color scheme.

SharePoint

SharePoint is a collaboration hub that integrates document storage, lists (mini-databases), Web Parts (mini-apps), and workflows in a secure web-based system. It is an intranet site or webpage that everyone from your team can access. It is designed to improve the way teams work together by helping them store, organize, and share information needed to do their daily work. It also functions to keep team members informed about current events in the organization/company. All of this is done in real-time.

SharePoint is the best way to store documents used by multiple team members, while OneDrive is better suited for personal documents or draft copies of your work.

If you are using MS Teams, it is best to let MS Teams create a team site in SharePoint for you, as it will automatically set up everything you need to collaborate effectively.

Microsoft OneDrive

OneDrive, unlike SharePoint, is a personalized storage system that allows you to manage and organize your documents and share them with your team.

OneDrive is not accessible by other people. Therefore, you can store your drafts before sharing them with a colleague. It also allows you to set passwords on shared links to protect them. 

Moving files between OneDrive and SharePoint is a breeze with just a few quick clicks.

Outlook

Most people spend a large portion of their day sending and receiving emails for personal or professional use. You may also find this being your reality as well. With so much time spent on email, the type of email client you use matters. One of the more popular ones is Microsoft Outlook.

Outlook is primarily an email management tool, but this instrument does much more than you might expect. You may use it as a personal information manager that allows you to manage your calendars (appointments and meetings), tasks, contacts, and notes. Whatever meetings or reminders you set in your calendar can be synced to other devices and used on the go. Furthermore, you can assign tasks to others and share calendars.

Outlook integrates well with the rest of the Microsoft 365 collection of apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive so that you can manage and+ send files without any hassle.

Teams

Microsoft Teams makes communication much easier for you as an M365 user.

Microsoft Teams is a communication and collaboration tool that helps teams work together more effectively. While it is primarily used for video conferencing by remote teams, you can also use it for other purposes.

It is the place to do activities like scheduling and recording audio and video meetings and using bots to aid your tasks and activities daily. It is also used to create channels for distinct tasks or teams of people, share your screen with teammates for elaborate explanations and create Microsoft online documents within the browser.

To start collaboration, you need a team (a group of people who work together. You may set your team as public (everyone can access) or private (only those you add can access). Each time you create a team, a matching Office 365 Group, OneNote, SharePoint site, and Microsoft Planner is created.

Each team is divided into smaller sections called channels, and a 'General' channel is always automatically created. For example, you can have a Vineforce Team with marketing, sales, support channels, etc. Channels are great for managing projects or departmental information. Chats allow you to chat, call, or share files with your teammates in real-time in groups or one-on-one.

Planner

Microsoft Planner is a Kanban-style project management tool that allows teams to plan, assign and monitor projects without any tedious or complex planning effort.

To start using Planner, you must begin with a 'plan,' which is essentially a project linked to a group in Microsoft 365. Microsoft Planner works with Microsoft 365 Groups, so every time you create a plan or project, it is automatically attached to a group. Microsoft 365 Groups is a service that works with the tools/apps of M365, which aids team collaboration on things like project planning.

Once you create a plan, you can make it public or private. Public plans are visible and accessible to everyone in your organization, while private plans are only for people you add to the plan.

Microsoft Planner can integrate with other M365 tools like MS Teams and SharePoint.

If your team uses MS Teams for collaboration, Planner can be accessed from within Teams, and you can receive alerts when tasks are assigned.

The customizable nature of Planner makes it possible for you to create different buckets such as 'to do,' 'doing,' and 'done' to represent your workflow progress.

If you are familiar with Trello, think of Planner as a simpler version of Trello that works with M365.

To-Do’s

Microsoft To-Do is a cloud-based personal task management tool.

Available as a web, desktop, and mobile app, it is always with you and ready to help you get things done.

Unlike Planner, which is primarily a task management tool for teams, To-Do helps you manage your own tasks.

However, tasks in To-Do can be shared with people within your organization.

Tasks in To-Do can be organized into groups called lists (e.g., shopping list, things-to-pack-for-vacation list).

Microsoft To-Do helps you plan your day by creating a My Day list that merges tasks and clears up at the end of the day. It works in harmony with other M365 tools to help you become more productive.

One notable feature is its ability to show emails flagged from Outlook as tasks and any tasks assigned to you in Microsoft Planner.

Microsoft Lists

Microsoft Lists is an excellent tool for making lists to store any information you want to track. It is customizable, easy to use, and sharable across your organization, making it ideal for team collaboration.

Lists have a unique ability to create fields to track diverse types of data (text, dropdowns, dates, and more) without any special programming skills.

You can search for information stored in Lists instantly, with filters automatically created based on your data.

Lists can also be exported to Excel, a convenient way to store information requiring analysis. Starting a new list is made easy with ready-made templates. You can access it from other M365 apps, such as MS Teams or on mobile devices, and the web.

Bookings

Microsoft Bookings is a powerful tool that makes it easy to set up and manage your appointments with others.

You can add services you sell, hours you are available for meetings, and customize the look and feel of your booking page, making it easy to share your availability by generating a unique link for email signatures or code for your website.

Bookings automatically update your availability based on what is on your Outlook calendar.

Forms

If you are looking for an effortless way to collect data from quizzes, surveys, and more, look no further than Microsoft Forms.

This online tool lets you create forms that participants can fill out on their computers or mobile phones

These forms are easy to use, and they help to automate workflows with the help of Microsoft Power Automate.

This tool automatically exports your results into an Excel file, so you will never have to worry about the quality of your data.

Whiteboard

You can quickly share ideas with your team members and collaborate on projects as if you were using a physical whiteboard with Microsoft Whiteboard, which has tons of features that make it easier than ever to draw or write on the board.

Microsoft Power Apps

If your staff are non-programmers, then Power Apps can be used to create mobile or desktop apps for your organization with an intuitive drag-and-drop builder without having to know how to code.

It is hassle-free and allows your team to focus on solving business problems, significantly reducing the time and cost of developing custom business apps.

Microsoft Power Automate

With this no-code/low-code tool, you can quickly and securely automate tasks between your favorite apps and services and put intelligent workflows to use with minimal effort. In other words, it simplifies and cuts out the manual, repetitive tasks for you and your team.

It works by having a trigger that starts a flow and an action that results after the flow is triggered. For example, a trigger could be an email from a colleague marked as important, and the action could be to create a task. Triggers are set to occur at a specific time by clicking a button, or whenever an event occurs. Then connectors bind the process together when there is a cross-over between two or more apps.

With Power Automate, you can access hundreds of ready-made templates and all the tools needed to build effective, automated workflows that bridge the gaps between your applications.

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI has all the tools you need to turn any data source into valuable, interactive insights.

Use it to quickly find the most relevant information across your data - from spreadsheets to SharePoint lists and on-premises hybrid databases - and create visualizations in minutes.

Share your findings with others in seconds, so they can make the best decisions possible.

Meet Vineforce

The planner helps busy professionals and teams get more done without working longer hours.

It works with Microsoft 365 to help you optimize your productivity by analyzing your meetings, work hours, emails, and contacts. Then suggests what to add to your day, connections to nurture, and alerts you when you’re overbooked for the day.

With Vineforce, you’ll spend less time organizing your day and more time getting things done.

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