Microsoft has previewed three new applications for Office 365 Business Premium, specifically aimed at helping SMBS run their businesses more efficiently:

- Microsoft Connections – for email marketing campaigns

With Microsoft Connections businesses can create professional-looking email marketing campaigns, the application including templates for newsletters, announcements and customer referrals.

The ability to segment subscriber lists enables customer targeting, and businesses can monitor and track open rates, click-throughs, customer and event sign-ups, offer take-up, and unsubscribes through performance charts and subscriber activity updates.

- Microsoft Listings – for listing maintenance across websites, such as Bing, Facebook, Google, and Yelp

An online listing is a great way to attract new customers. But, it can be prohibitive time-wise to create and maintain up-to-date information as well as track performance across a number of sites, particularly for the small business. Microsoft Listings makes this easy, as when updating a business profile in Microsoft Listings, the changes are automatically applied across all sites, and reviews can be monitored from a single dashboard.

- Microsoft Invoicing – billing invoice creation

A critical business process, sending invoices and tracking payment can also be a time-consuming and complex process. Microsoft Invoicing enables businesses to create professional-looking estimates and invoices, working with PayPal to facilitate online credit/debit card payment. A connector to QuickBooks enables the syncing of customer and catalogue data, and invoicing information can be forwarded to an accountant. The service will also have its own mobile apps for iOS and Android.

- Office 365 Business Center

Office 365 Business Center brings together Connections, Listings, and Invoicing, together with the appointment scheduling app, Bookings, featuring a dashboard from which to monitor key metrics across the apps.

MileIQ

The mileage tracking app MileIQ has been added to Office 365 Business Premium as a subscription benefit, with automatic drive detection, mileage logging, and easy one-swipe business/personal classification features, plus comprehensive reporting.

MileIQ Premium is available to all UK Business Premium subscribers.

Workplace Analytics for Office 365

Workplace Analytics evaluates Office 365 email – including to/from data, subject lines and timestamps – meeting, after-hours activity and network size to help businesses monitor employee collaboration and time allocation.

Available on a preview program basis in the US only, at the moment:

- PowerPoint – turning text into timelines, PowerPoint Designer will identify times, dates and topics to create professional-looking timelines.

- Word, Excel, PowerPoint 3D — 3D objects from the Remix 3D catalog or located from desktop can be input into and edited in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. PowerPoint’s Morph can be used to create animations.  

- Read Aloud in Word— moved to the Review tab, documents may be read back with simultaneous highlighting, directly from within a workflow. Developed to enhance reading and editing accuracy for any user, but particularly for those with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, Read Aloud will be available generally later in 2017.

Updates for Office 365 commercial customers include:

- Outlook – with a smarter To: line and a redesigned conversation view, intelligence from Microsoft Graph, Outlook on the web and Windows desktop facilitates improved contact suggestion (incorporating profile pictures) to make the contact selection process easier – and available for current users on request, to be utilised for specified teams and customers.

- StaffHub - the Office 365 application developed to support frontline workers in the management of their working day, is updated to enable team members to assign, manage and complete tasks from co-workers and management. They will also be able to access company-wide announcements.

If you’ve any questions about the potential and benefits of Microsoft Office 365, contact a member of the Vuzion team at partners@vuzion.cloud, or call 0333 920 7816 – and you can download a copy of our eBook, Office 365: The Definitive Guide.

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