In an excerpt from our ebook, we address a need by businesses to accelerate workplace collaboration, not bound by location or tools.

Today’s workplace is radically different from the workplace of the last century. It’s largely dictated by the speed of technology advancements and a shift in social norms, forcing business leaders to constantly adapt to a new way of managing, supporting and accommodating talent.

From digital to mobile, the changes have been monumental, allowing people to connect across continents and devices in ways simply not possible – or affordable – a few years ago. Employees can now work remotely with teammates around the globe. Laptops and mobile devices are now preferred to desktops. And customers now expect to connect virtually.

Employees also expect better communication tools, which can impact a candidate’s choice in employers. With increasing competition for a limited talent pool, being a technically sound company can make a difference. Finally, with increasing security needs, companies need to feel secure in their workplace collaboration platforms and tools so they can manage risk.

To thrive in this ever-changing work environment, we find organizations clamoring to identify tools that help them collaborate better, remain competitive, and work faster to meet the needs of customers and employees. That has given rise to the digital workplace.

A Culture of Collaboration

Despite all of these changes and advancements in technology, the fundamentals of “working together” are no different than they were in the last century. We still must work alongside each other. We still must use information to make decisions. And we still benefit from bringing many minds together to solve problems.

It’s those fundamentals that have contributed to Microsoft’s rise as a leader in office productivity for organizations. Early on, the software giant saw a need to build and sell software tools that help employees work together.

To address changing workplace elements, Microsoft’s most significant push and investment in recent years has been into the cloud with Office 365, a digital workplace that offers users a portable and integrated experience. Employees can now access this hub of information at any time, from anywhere to collaborate with clients and colleagues in ways unheard of just 10 years ago.

For many, this set of capabilities sound great – they address a growing need by offering a better way to work together not bound by location or tools. For some, these new capabilities are confusing, especially for employees comfortable with the old way of doing things. For most, there’s more to Office 365 than they know.

“If you build it, they will come,” is not necessarily true when it comes to technology and the adoption of Office 365. To reap the full benefits of Office 365, change your employees’ perspective from viewing it as a set of individual tools to a workplace collaboration platform. It’s no longer just Outlook or Word, it has evolved into a leading digital workplace.

Microsoft Office Then and Now

For many people, Office is simply Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But that hasn’t been the case for quite some time. Over the years, Microsoft has continued to expand that core productivity suite – which has been around since the 90s – penetrating the market with new tools that have become essential to modern business.

As mindsets shifted, making the cloud the platform of choice, Microsoft further adapted its toolset to meet the demands of its business users, officially launching Office 365 in June 2011.

Since the first release of its Office 365 toolset, Microsoft zeroed in on a growing need for a digital workplace that provided secure, cloud productivity services for users to collaborate in real-time and access information online from any place, on any device.

As businesses demanded more, Microsoft delivered, which led to the rapid progress of Office 365. In the 2013 version, Microsoft moved its product to a subscription model, giving companies the flexibility to purchase capabilities as needed. Over the next two years, Microsoft continued to innovate, adding more tools and features for the enterprise to capture market share.

Even as the platform has matured its offerings to help businesses in generating a culture of collaboration, many organizations – and their employees – fail to see the change. Many still see Office 365 as another email provider or cloud storage option. But it’s more than that now.

Digital Workplace Capabilities

For the first time, companies have a better, familiar and more streamlined foundation for workplace collaboration – and Microsoft continues to build out product capabilities to support growing digital workplace needs.

As Office 365 transitions from being merely a collection of individual tools to a platform of integrated capabilities, it’s important to understand – and communicate to your employees – those capabilities and how they work together.

From communication and collaboration to file storage, content creation, and workflow, Office 365 brings together all your tools and talent so your employees don’t have to visit multiple systems to complete their work. Not only does that free up time and increase productivity, but it also boosts employee job satisfaction.

To drive adoption, stress to your employees that now they only have to use one platform to:

  • Locate and securely share documents and files
  • Find and connect with company employees and experts
  • Form communities, groups and teams
  • Communicate through chat, voice and video

In our ebook, “Go Beyond Email with Office 365: How to Drive Adoption of a Collaborative Digital Workplace,” we discuss the biggest draw of all: Unlike other cloud-based productivity solutions such as Google’s G Suite or Apple’s iWork, Office 365 provides opportunities to collaborate using familiar, commonly used elements already in tools like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

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