In our previous article we explored the price rises planned by Microsoft at the end of this year, concluding that they are only justified if you are using the tools at your disposal to the very best of your ability. We will now explore those tools – and the ones you may be using now. We will compare them and enlighten you as to the Microsoft alternatives that are capable of ensuring that you get the maximum value possible from your 365 subscription.
The Microsoft counterparts
Google Sheets is a spreadsheet program included as part of the free, web-based Google Docs Editors Suite offered by Google. It is a spreadsheet programme with basic functionality.
I’m sure you have heard of it already - Microsoft’s spreadsheet programme is Excel. Microsoft developed Excel for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It bares many similarities to Google Sheets but comes with Macros programming language built in, which makes it the better option of the two in most people’s opinions. If you are using huge amounts of data and doing in-depth analysis in house the value that this brings is huge.
Trello gives you a place to organise your day, week, or month from a smartphone, tablet, or computer. It is also a collaboration tool that allows you to organise your workflow into boards, giving you the ability to see what’s being worked on and by whom.
Microsoft To Do
Microsoft To Do – previously To-Do – is a Cloud-based task management app that can be used from a smartphone, tablet, or a computer. Both To Do and Trello are widely popular and both are great at what they are designed to do. So, with them being so similar, why not use the Microsoft alternative if it comes as part of your existing subscription anyway, in turn ensuring more value from it.
Automation 360 and Blue Prism
Automation 360 is an AI-powered, web-based platform. It provides you with the ability to start and scale your automation goals efficiently and cost-effectively. By making the mundane tasks automated your work day will be much more productive.
Microsoft Power Automate
Power Automate helps you create automated workflows between your apps and services to synchronize files, get notifications, and collect data. Power Automate is the best option on the market in our opinion, due to its seamless integration with other tools in the Microsoft suite your work is always inter-connected. This means that your team can continue to be productive with their time rather than wasting it on tasks that could be managed by a machine.
Google G Suite
The Google G Suite encourages teamwork between participants in multiple locations, and includes tools like Hangouts, Calendar, and Docs/Sheets. It is only let down by its lack of security features, and therefore it is not recommended if you handle data that needs to stay secure.
Microsoft SharePoint is used as a place to organise, share, store, and access information. It is secure and can be used from any device. SharePoint works in conjunction with all other Microsoft applications, meaning that your entire workflow can run as smoothly as possible.
Zoom or Skype
Zoom and Skype are two of the most popular apps on the planet. Throughout the pandemic they helped us to keep our sanity by allowing us to stay in contact with loved ones in an unprecedented time. No matter where they were around the world, we could talk to them like they were sitting next to us. Some would say they were what got them through the pandemic and lockdowns. For these things we will be eternally grateful. Unfortunately, though, for business use, these are not suitable, and you must instead use an alternative.
Microsoft Teams – one of the newest additions to the Microsoft suite of tools. Released in 2017, Teams has risen in popularity to levels no one could have foretold, reaching an astonishing number of 250 million daily active users worldwide – and it isn’t hard to see why. The app allows you to boost the levels of collaboration, communication, and productivity in your organisation to heights that we never before thought possible – for many it is the beating heart of their organisation.
We hope that we have highlighted the importance in taking stock of the tools you have at your disposal and ensuring you get value from them. Once having done so you will know the tools that are improving the value you are getting from your subscription and - on the other hand – the ones that are doing the opposite. This can be very difficult; an IT professional can guide you to ensure that you do this correctly.
Value from your tools
BCNS make business easier and more cost-effective by guaranteeing that you and your team are always connected to each other and your clients. We can also guarantee that your team are using the latest version of every application to ensure that your systems are secure and you are getting the best possible benefits from your tech. Our team of experts will assist you throughout the transition and beyond to be sure you achieve exactly what you desire. At the same time we can reduce your expenses and improve your security as well as performance! Contact us now and find out how we can help you with your business communications and move into a more productive future.