Our workday world has changed dramatically with the advent of always on internet access and the explosion of mobile devices in the enterprise. Employees are no longer tethered to their desks in office buildings but are in the field working face to face with clients and customers. Microsoft’s vision for the future of work is made up of the Cloud OS (Office 365) and the mobile devices you use every day to get work done. The intersection between the two is the digital workplace.
The Office 365 platform enables this Digital Workplace by giving employees access to corporate content and data on any device from any location.
Office 365 Components
Microsoft continues to update Office 365 to enhance the collaboration capabilities and extend the reach of the platform to mobile devices. The platform offers several ways to engage with coworkers or collaborate on documents with the key element to the entire suite being the tight integration with the Office platform. The Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint experiences are the base elements of the corporate content creation, editing and curation experience across the platform. The tight integration with Office 365 extends the capabilities of the Office platform and enables digital workers to collaborate from anywhere.
Microsoft Exchange has been around for many years and is still the primary collaboration tool used by many corporations. Recently Microsoft has been updating the end user experience and capabilities to integrate some of the other Office 365 tools like Yammer and SharePoint. Organizations have been using Exchange in the cloud for some time. From a cost perspective it makes a lot sense for organizations that have struggled to maintain an on-premises version.
Exchange and Outlook are primarily used to collaborate with external parties through a recognizable email domain. Microsoft has streamlined the Outlook user experience and has made the look and feel similar across devices and operating systems. The desktop version looks and functions like the online and mobile versions.
Microsoft has recently released the OWA for Mobile app (IOS and Android) that runs on all mobile OS environments. The IOS and Android experience is very good and is similar to the Windows Phone experience in form and function.
Most organizations use some form of internal chat to augment the communication and collaboration process. Microsoft released Lync’s predecessor, the Office Live Communication Server in 2003. The concept of internal unified communications came from the difficulties organizations were having placing controls over sensitive information being shared over internet based chat applications like ICQ, AOL, Skype and Windows Live Messenger. Enterprise chat applications have evolved into complete unified communications platforms that allow users to chat one to one, one to many, start video conferencing, and present online to a large internal or external group.
Microsoft purchased Skype in 2011 and has been working to incorporate the video capabilities into Lync. It recently announced…click here to access the full article