A significant number of businesses who subscribe to Microsoft Office 365 are yet to explore the platform's potential beyond its established applications.
A recent Gartner report detailed by ARN has revealed how businesses are currently using Office 365, showing a number of high-profile apps that sit unused or under-utilised.
Unsurprisingly, the traditional Office suite of applications (Word, Excel, etc.) are used by 88% of Office 365 subscribers, followed closely by Exchange Online (Outlook email). After these, uptake of the other services trails off.
The Gartner survey of more than 160 IT pros showed clear opportunities for businesses to use adopt Office 365 apps. Particularly productivity and collaboration apps.
Office apps ready-to-go yet sit idle
Roughly 70% of businesses used OneNote, the highly functional note-taking and collaboration app from Microsoft. 68% used Skype for Business, and just under half (49%) used Microsoft Teams, for communications. Despite both services being included in Office 365 at no extra cost. (Microsoft Teams will eventually replace Skype for Business).
Microsoft Teams is a relatively new app in the Office 365 line-up, but one that is receiving a significant amount of new features and support, as evidenced by Microsoft's road-map for the service.
Craig Roth, a Gartner research vice president said businesses need to explore new ways of working to make the most of Office 365.
"They have to work more in teams, not store documents on [local] hard drives, and work from anywhere," he said. "That's when you start seeing the value of Office 365."
Roth also pointed to a lack of data when it comes to moving from on-premises services to cloud Office 365 apps. "To some degree, [businesses] never knew how much value they got out of these tools in the first place," he said.
Real-time collaborative editing arrives on Office for Mac 2016
Meanwhile, Microsoft have updated Office 365 for Mac with a substantial new feature, real-time collaborative editing. Joining its Windows counterparts, Mac users can now edit Office documents with alongside users at the same time.
The long sought feature is a tangible example of how the cloud can improve collaboration.
Real-time collaborative editing is available in Word, Excel and PowerPoint with the version 16.9 update of Microsoft Office 2016.
If you'd like to learn more about Office 365 and the services including in your subscription, please contact your Sentrian Client Services Manager.