Productivity breakthroughs for small business: A look at the new Office

Get the Latest & Greatest Have you ever stopped to think about all the apps and devices you use every day to get things done? Maybe you use a note-taking app on your phone when you’re on the road, a tablet for keeping track of your inventory and customer orders on the

[fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”0″ padding_right=”0″ hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][modal name=”joinus” title=”Join US” size=”large” background=”#7cbd44″ border_color=”#00529b” show_footer=”yes” class=”” id=””][ninja_forms id=33] [/modal][/fullwidth][fusion_text]Have you ever stopped to think about all the apps and devices you use every day to get things done? Maybe you use a note-taking app on your phone when you’re on the road, a tablet for keeping track of your inventory and customer orders on the sales floor, and a PC for creating customer newsletters and presentations in the office. Have you ever wished they helped you work better — and worked better together? You are not alone. A recent survey commissioned by Microsoft revealed that 31 percent of small businesses expect to have the same data and user experience across multiple devices. However, given the rise of BYOD, this has traditionally been out of reach for most businesses — 37 percent of small business owners cited integration with desktop, IT and communications infrastructure as a top challenge in supporting a mobile workforce, according to TechAisle.

For small and midsized businesses (SMBs) — where both owners and employees are often asked to wear many hats — the ability to be nimble, be collaborative, and work across different offices and devices is key. Microsoft believes that technology exits to help you do more. Microsoft’s goal in the new Office, released yesterday, is to help people and businesses of all sizes better work together, work easier and worry less — and the best way to start taking advantage of the new Office is via an Office 365 subscription.

Work together

For many of today’s SMBs, collaboration is central to the way they work, but it’s is not as easy as it could be. Too often, collaboration means emailing files back and forth or joining meetings or calls to talk about a project/document to then deal with version control issues. The new Office reinvents how you work together with colleagues, eliminating many of the common pain points that have traditionally been associated with teamwork. For example, if your team were to use the new version of Office (Word, PowerPoint or OneNote) to make revisions to a customer proposal or sales presentation, everyone would have the ability to edit the same draft at the same time. As the document refreshes, those changes show up, and when you finish a draft it‘s saved across all your devices. This means there are no emails crossing and nothing lost in translation, saving you not only time but also potential headaches.

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Work easier

Co-authoring is one way to collaborate without being in the same room, but there will always be times that call for face-to-face collaboration. What if you have sales reps on the road in three different cities, and you need everyone to get together to discuss some new competitive insights to work into meetings with prospects? You need a videoconference. Actually, you need more than that — a video-enabled meeting is much more than two rooms joined by a camera, after all.

Skype for Business helps you collaborate in different ways using one application. You can see colleagues’ presence, start IM, voice or video conversations, conduct meetings, present documents, and share desktops. And with Skype in-app integration now available across the Office Online and rich client apps, you can IM, share screens, talk or video chat right within your document.

Of course, any time you have technology that promises to “do more,” you may wonder if it will actually mean more work for you. And the last thing anyone needs is to stop and learn a new set of commands and features. With the new Office, that isn’t a worry. It works for you with built-in intelligence capabilities. For example, the new Tell Me* feature allows you to quickly find the right feature or command by asking a question. So, if you’re ever stumped about how to do something on any Office application, just describe the action you want to perform in the Tell Me search bar (e.g., “insert a graph”) and you’ll automatically be given the answer. In addition, with the new Smart Lookup* feature, the new Office bring insights from the Web right into your document.

Worry less

As more and more SMBs move their data to the cloud, we know that security is still top of mind — more than 60 percent cited data security as a concern in a recent Boston Consulting Group study. With so much important information accessible across your devices, you need to make sure it’s safe. The new Office requires more than one type of credential (for example, a password plus a biometric verification like a voice command) to ensure only the right people are accessing your devices and data. And Office 365 provides automatic monthly security updates, so you can focus your attention elsewhere while remaining confident that your technology is up to date and secure.

More productive, more personal and more secure with Windows 10

Office works across platforms, but together with Windows 10, launched in July, it helps you take productivity to a whole new level.

Windows 10 was created with features to help you with everyday tasks. For example, you get a virtual personal assistant in Cortana, now available on all Windows 10-enabled devices (including PCs). From Internet searches to setting alarms and reminders, Cortana is ready to do your bidding. Its receptivity to voice and natural language means you can easily put Cortana on the job — to schedule meetings, remind you about deliverables and help you find important files — while you focus on more important things to run your business.

Windows 10 also creates a more personal computing experience with new features like Continuum, which enables any screen to become like a PC. And Windows Hello, which greets you by name, provides a fast, secure, password-free way to log in to Windows and Office 365 in one simple step, so you can be productive on the go.

The combination of the new Office and Windows 10 is not only the best for productivity, but also the most secure. With built-in authentication tools, it makes a single identity possible across Office 365** and Windows logins, as well as the Windows Store, OneDrive settings and file synchronization, ensuring secure access to content anywhere.

Quite simply, Windows 10 was built to work. It offers very light management and has minimal complexity, helping SMBs save time, money and energy they can devote to running and growing their businesses instead.

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Final thoughts

Every small business owner knows you can’t do everything yourself. And that’s where technology can help you not only be more productive, but also create new ways to collaborate with confidence.

For more information about how the new Office and Windows 10 can help boost productivity for your business, visit

* Previously available only in Office Online, Tell Me and Smart Lookup are now available across the Office 2016 client apps.

** Office 365 subscription required for some features.

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