Do you know what’s included in Office 365?  Whilst this is unlikely to appear on your local pub quiz anytime soon, the list is longer than you might realise and many of the applications are things that your team could be using to great effect right now:

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Outlook.  These are your standard office applications that you may well have been using for ages.  For most versions of Office 365 you will get most of these licences included in your monthly fee.

What you may not realise however is that your licence gives you the right to use these applications on multiple devices – PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones.  And you will always have the latest version available.  For example the new 2016 applications allow collaboration directly on Office documents – so yourself and colleagues can have the same document open and see each other’s changes as they happen.

OneNote.  OneNote is a virtual notebook that allows you to clip webpages, make lists, and pretty much store any information you need in an easy-to-use format. It gives you access to all your data wherever you are and whatever device you’re using. There’s even a web version, so Chromebook users (and BlackBerry owners) can use OneNote.

It’s a lot like Evernote and Google Keep, and you can use it to keep notes in sync across your devices.

Skype for Business. Skype is great for home and work and lets you connect with millions of people to grow your business. If you want to use Skype at work, you have two options – either use the same Skype that you use at home or use Skype for Business.

Skype for Business lets you add up to 250 people to online meetings, offers screen sharing, gives you enterprise-grade security, allows remote desktop assistance, and is integrated into your Office apps.

Mailbox with multiple shared calendars and 50Gb storage.  Exchange is the gold standards for email servers and most Office 365 licences include a mailbox with loads of options, great functionality and more storage than even the most ardent emailer can use.

Access through 5 PCs, Macs and phones per user.  Let’s just say you can run your Office 365 apps on all your devices.

Power BI.  Here’s where we get a bit techie, but don’t worry, Power BI is designed to help you make sense of information using clever ways to display data as charts and diagrams.  Power BI transforms your company’s data into rich visuals for you to collect and organize so you can focus on what matters to you. Stay in the know, spot trends as they happen, and push your business further.

Yammer corporate social network.  You may never have heard of Yammer, but you may be surprised to find that Yammer is usually being used inside your business without your knowledge – a bit like Dropbox and similar tools.

Here at Gradwell we started using Yammer informally between product managers and support to develop new products and handle customer requests for enhancements and it grew from there to become an integral part of our business.

Office Online.  Edit all your documents in a browser.  Same look and feel as the desktop but on any device that has a web browser.  Just don’t use it while driving or operating heavy machinery.

Sway.  Sway offers “professional digital storytelling”.  The purpose of Sway is to convey concepts quickly, easily and clearly. Unlike PowerPoint, it is primarily for presenting ideas onscreen rather than to an audience. Tutorials, topic introductions and interactive reports are the sort of things to which it lends itself. Sway presentations are backed up to the cloud, and can be easily shared or embedded in websites.

The Sway interface is based around a storyline, into which users add a series of cards. These cards are then filled with content, with different cards available for different types of content, and which can be grouped together into sections. Content intended to be the user’s narrative can be easily added, removed, edited or reordered. This flexibility should allow stories created in Sway to be much more free-flowing that presentations created in PowerPoint.

OneDrive for Business.  Each user gets 1Tb of storage.  That’s a lot of storage!  Think of this as the online hard drive for all your documents and data.  If you store all your documents on line, they get backed up and they are accessible from all your devices wherever you are.

Team Sites.  Also known as Sharepoint.  This allows you to build and share intranet sites with your team based around subjects or projects.  You have 10Gb storage for team data.


So, now you’re prepared for that pub quiz question and hopefully have a better idea of not just what is in Office 365 but how and why you may want to use it.

The really nice bit that gets us excited is not all the bits that it includes, but how they are all working together now.  How you can load Skype for Business straight from Word whilst storing your docs to OneDrive and collaborating with four colleagues.  It’s all packaged up in one easy to use wrapper.

Where most businesses fall down is in getting the team to use all the features and functions because you don’t get the business benefit with everything still sat in the box.  Here is where Gradwell can help.  Our implementation specialists know Office 365 inside and out so we can help you get up and running and using all the cool stuff that Microsoft have worked so hard to bring you.

Businesses that embrace and exploit Cloud services tend to be far more agile than their competitors – and more profitable as a result.  So, what are you waiting for?  Maybe the price…?

You can get Office 365 from Gradwell bundled with a domain name and a company website for only £9.99 per month for the first user and £7.50 for additional users.  More details here.

Please note that Microsoft offers many different options with Office 365.  This means that not all options are included in every package.  Contact our helpful team to make sure you get the package that suits your needs best.


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  1. […] is just the start.  Staff are now starting to use many of the other features of Office 365 (see “what’s in the box?” for more […]

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