Power Up with Skype for Business, Sway, & Delve

One certainty as an Administrative Assistant is we are the master organizer and productivity manager of our business domain. As a former Administrative Assistant turned college professor of Administrative Support Technologies programs, Microsoft Certified Trainer, and author of over 30 technology textbooks, I am constantly in search of an “easy” button to connect all the dots instantly. Many productivity articles tell you that you can do more to achieve goals and complete your to-do list each day. But MORE is hard to do. I’m already busy. Which new Office 365 apps have an “easy” button to increase our effectiveness to keep us and our managers on task?

Recently, Microsoft unveiled its next generation Office Suite – Office 2016 with a host of new features well beyond just minor upgrades to old apps. In fact, most of its additions are aimed at its cloud service subscription – Office 365, meaning, you would need the cloud service to use some of the new additional features.

Skype: Integration and Collaboration with Microsoft Office

Today’s Task: Getting our team to collaborate on the marketing plan.

Our first “easy” button launches phone calls, video conferences and collaboration within Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files all at once using Skype for Business. Microsoft brings team collaboration to Microsoft Office with the new Share button, so now you and others can simultaneously revise a Word document without having to edit, update and share via email every single time. You can instantly call a contact from within the Office document and collaborate real-time with up to 250 people—even if they’re not on Skype for Business. Your team members only need a phone or Internet connection. Your conversations are protected by strong authentication and encryption, so you can safely discuss company matters. Talk about easy – with messaging, meetings, and screen-sharing all-in-one app that works with Microsoft Office.

Sway: Interactive Presentations

Today’s task: Planning a major business trip for your team of managers.

Instead of repeatedly having to cut-and-paste travel tasks within Outlook detailing the flight, hotel and restaurant meetings, push the “easy” button to create a digital chronicle of travel plans using Sway. Sway a new Office 365 tool, also available at Sway.com, creates interactive media highlighting the details of the trip using images and videos to easily organize each trip and share the details on any device, even your manager’s smartphone (See my Sway tutorial here: http://bit.ly/1VZ2p9j).

In addition, Sway enables you to build name recognition and market your business with customized marketing materials that are easy to create.

Consider using Sway to create product “cheat sheets” for your managers with video tutorials.

Sway is perfect for sharing business reports for tomorrow’s board meeting including Excel charts and spreadsheet data.

Sway is the perfect app to create a fluid and engaging promotional brochure highlighting the offerings and specifications for an event such as a company team building retreat or national conference, complete with images, venue highlights and even a promotional offer

Sway your managers with interactive content. Include a video to market new ideas or add an interactive chart to let others dive into the details.

Delve: Stay in the Know

Today’s Task: Prepare all the elements for the March board meeting.

Delve for Office 365 for Business is an enhanced search tool for documents within your email and network. Microsoft calls Delve “a new way to discover relevant information and connections from across your work life. Delve displays information that is most relevant for each person based on the work they are doing and the people with whom they are engaging.  With Delve, information finds you versus you having to find information.”

Delve is organized into cards often found on social networks like Pinterest. The information on the card shows you what the file is and why it would be relevant to you, including details such as: who modified the document and when, a picture extracted from the document’s content, the folder in which the document is stored, and which board it appears on. Delve is perfect to organize all of your information for the first quarter board meeting, pulling together all the slides, emails, and spreadsheets.

One could argue that technology has actually made the Administrative Assistant’s job more challenging because increased capabilities means increased expectations. Now you can power up with new apps within Office 365, so everyone can discover your organizational productivity.

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Corinne Hoisington is a full-time professor of Administrative System Technology at Central Virginia Community College in Lynchburg, Virginia with more than 25 years of teaching experience. Corinne travels over 200,000 miles a year (well, until 2020) ... (Read More)

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