5 Free Components in Office 365 That Are Worth a Look

If you have Office 365, (and, who doesn’t?) you probably use Skype, Word, and Outlook, or your company might use SharePoint, but there is a wide array of other useful (and free) tools hidden with the Office 365 package.

The folks at Wellington Street Consulting talk about the software with an almost evangelical zeal. As president, Mike Dixon says, “Office 365 is like an iceberg. Ninety percent of it is below the surface. A lot of people are unaware of everything it can do.”

Here’s a partial list of components that can simplify your life.


Delve: Delve is the search you didn’t know you could be doing. You’re looking for a document. You know it’s passed through your hands electronically, but you can’t remember for the life of you where it is or how you got it. That’s where Delve comes in. Delve allows you to see everything colleagues have shared with you. You can search generally or by the associate sharing the document. You can even categorize material as “favorites” so you can find the things you use often more easily.

Flow: Do you want to know each time a client edits a shared document or is mentioned in a Tweet? Flow allows you to set up notifications and functions across different platforms. It’s an automated If This, Then That system. If someone tweets to you and they have more than 100 followers, then Flow adds their handle to a Twitter list of industry allies, or subscribers in MailChimp. If someone places a file in Dropbox, then Flow sends you a message in Slack. If your boss e-mails you, then you get a push notification. You’re already connected, but Flow connects your connections.

Power BI (Business Intelligence): Are you curious about how many hits your beach getaway travel site gets when it snows? Google Analytics, combined with a weather site, gets you snow day customer analysis. Using Power BI allows you to cross-reference the analytics from different sites to get specific information. It’s an SEO junkie’s dream.

Stream: If you’d like to give your sales team a quick product demo without spending thousands on airfare or scheduling a hotel conference room and A/V that costs as much as college tuition, you’ll like Stream. It’s an internal channel where you can post training videos, tutorials, announcements, and team pep talks. Stream uses Microsoft Azure so the quality is terrific. Remember the Sochi Olympics? Same video. Since the material is not shareable, your internal video memo won’t end up going viral.

Microsoft Planner

Planner: Do you have multiple tasks with multiple due dates? Join the club. Are you a terminally disorganized person? Even if you’re not, most busy people appreciate anything that helps them keep their acts together, with one caveat. It must be easy to use. Planner fits the bill. Make to-do lists, flag items, add appointments, and do it all quickly from one central dashboard or use a different dashboard for each client. Its ease of use and the speed of adding a new task or updating an existing one differentiates Planner from the rest.  You can enter assignments and check them off after completing them. The drag and drop feature makes moving or removing items simple.

Unlike the iceberg that waylaid the Titanic, Office 365 offers solutions and organization. The sheer number of features can seem daunting, but don’t be intimidated. Help, or at least consultation is easy to find. Wellington Street Consulting can act as the icebreaker, clearing the way so you can travel efficiently.

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