In this year 2019, I beg you to name one small business process where printing on paper cannot be accomplished in a digital manner instead. If we can sign contracts electronically, file our taxes digitally, apply online for government benefits, opt for paperless bank statements, order services and products online, accept payments online or with mobile apps, pay with our mobile device at the market…  then why do we really need to print?

  • When I use the Walmart Pay service when buying groceries at the store, they don’t even offer a receipt – it’s all done digitally.
  • When you can push work orders from your line-of-business app out to employees with mobile devices, then you don’t have to prepare a printed form for them to drive back to the office, pick it up, and then drive to the customer’s premises.

I haven’t owned a printer or even printed on anyone else’s printer for years. The last time I bought a printer was to get a scanner as part of the deal as a multifunction device – I needed an input device, not an output device. But now I do all my scanning with my iPhone and Office 365 mobile apps, especially as scanning can be performed directly from within both OneNote  and OneDrive .

If I enter into an agreement, let’s say with a vendor, then I become the digital signee. But If I have a contract that a customer would want to sign, then I request an electronic signature from them with using Adobe Sign, that is, using the add-in that works right within the Office 365 (Mac or PC) apps and services, like Outlook Word/PowerPoint SharePoint Flow , or Teams.

Now consider this scenario when a Microsoft employee, Jon Levesque, gave a demonstration:

“During this session, he displayed an amazing use of Microsoft Form and Flow in a way that I honestly did not know was possible. He had a form with multiple choice answers, and he let the audience fill out the form on their mobile phones. He then used Microsoft Flow to take the data from all the multiple-choice questions and turn it into a streaming data set for Power BI and he had all these pretty little pie charts for each of his multiple-choice questions. Then the Flow sent out a simple and sweet thank you email to the person who submitted the form to finish it up!”

Like above, your digital creativity when leveraging the various Office 365 apps and services has become boundless.

I’ve spent a great deal of time tonight searching for a convincing reason to print ink onto paper. And I cannot find a single one.

Microsoft 365 Business is the new way to get Office 365. It’s all the features of the Office 365 Business Premium plan, plus Advanced Security (including Windows 10 Pro upgrade) with Safe Links and Safe Attachments, plus Device Management using Intune to manage remote computers and devices (think remote wipe of a company-owned device).

The graphic above shows the left-hand, blue-highlighted column as a stack of 3rd-party services that a company might combine to create a desktop productivity solution, a comprehensive security solution, and a device management solution. As a sum of the whole 3rd-party stack, the company might very well spend over $100 per month per end-user.

If we were to consider all the various Microsoft offerings individually to accomplish the same, then the company would pay $33.50 per month per end-user.

But as a bundle of services called Microsoft 365 Business, the company can opt for the $20 plan per month per end-user.

I use Microsoft 365 Business myself. Prior to this, I paid the same amount for the Office 365 Enterprise E3 plan. But now I get all the added features for the same price. To switch from Office 365 E3 was a wash.

For those currently on the Office 365 Premium Business plan, you can realize a considerable improvement to your company’s security, data integrity and overall productivity for only $7.50 additional per month per end-user. From my point of view, just the addition of Safe Links and Safe Attachments as integral parts of Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection would make the investment worthwhile.

Too many equate Office 365 with the old Office suite of software and that they now have to pay for it on a constant basis. It is so much more than desktop software – it’s a bundle of software and services meant to enable productivity anywhere and at any time.

 

I’m going to assume that you already know about the legacy apps, such as Outlook, Word, and Excel. But do you use OneNote, OneDrive, Planner, To-Do, Teams or SharePoint? What about Bookings, Flow, Power BI, or Forms?

 

Of these that I’ve listed above, the most productivity might be realized by the adoption of just two: OneNote and Microsoft Teams. And these two apps go hand-in-hand as OneNote can reside within Teams as an integrated app within one of the navigational tabs found across the top of the Teams app.

 

Other Team members can co-author the OneNote Notebook – that is, they can edit the same content at the same time, no matter whether they’re working from the same office space or not. And if they wish to communicate in regard to the content, then members can instantly engage in a one-to-one or one-to-many chat. And that chat can be converted to an audio or audio/video meeting at any time.

 

In truth, OneDrive and SharePoint can be considered part of this mix because when a person shares a document in Microsoft Teams, that document is shared with another Team member from the sharing member’s OneDrive location. And when that document is published to the Files tab in Microsoft Teams, then that file becomes a common item in the document library of the Team in SharePoint. OneNote notebooks are also stored in OneDrive.

 

Microsoft Teams is part of a paradigm shift in the way that we think about online collaboration. The old method of emailing documents as an attachment is wrong on many fronts and warrants another conversation. The modern workplace is mobile and it’s dynamic. And in terms of productivity, there is no comparison to the ability to collaborate in real time from anywhere as we can do in Microsoft Teams.