Imagine you bought a big house with a swimming pool, tennis court, and home theater. You wouldn’t live in just one room, right?
Yet much like buying that dream home, too many organizations buy the most powerful collaboration and communications platform – Microsoft Office 365 – then fail to make the most of it.
The potential return on an Office 365 investment is high. Forrester Research, in a 2018 report titled “The Total Economic Impact Of Microsoft Office 365 E3,” interviewed and surveyed dozens of enterprises to build a composite organization and illustrate the benefits it could achieve:
- Save 134 minutes per user, per week
- Reduce product development time by 10.2 days per effort
- Enjoy TCO savings of $4.8 million over three years
This is great news for organizations considering the switch (or those that already have). But here’s something else to consider: the additional value gained by implementing automated workflows on top of Office 365.
Make the most of mobile
Organizations of all sizes have embraced cloud computing, for good reason. Many employees do not work from a central location and spend much of their day either traveling or working remotely. Office 365 has enabled such people to work from their mobile devices and have everything they need to be productive away from the office. With automated workflows, they can be even more productive.
Consider a traveling salesperson:
Rather than fumble through apps and files to find the right information when working with a client, your salesperson can quickly and easily kick off an automated workflow that includes:
- Document generation – providing accurate proposals, quotes, and invoices
- Electronic signature – enabling the close of sale much faster
Streamlining the sales process saves time, reduces costs and minimizes errors, allowing the salesperson to concentrate on winning more business.
Real, real-time collaboration
Office 365 lets you co-author and assign tasks to co-workers using @mentions, in real-time. Gone are the days of manually merging colleagues’ changes with your own and sifting through emails looking for the most recent versions of documents.
Once you’ve saved the document into SharePoint or OneDrive, you can work on the file in your own time or work with several collaborators simultaneously. When someone makes changes, they show up immediately.
We know that working together in real time is a huge time saver and allows you to be effective, efficient, and transparent. When you introduce automated workflows to the mix, collaboration skyrockets to another level.
Let’s look at contract approvals:
Contracts often need to be signed off by multiple stakeholders. This takes time, creates additional risks, and may cause workflow bottlenecks. However, an automated workflow can send a contract to the required stakeholder, who can read through it, then reply with a single word, “Approve.”, and send it on to the next stakeholder, all from their inbox.
Optimize your business processes
Collaboration tools are more important than ever, especially when considering that one-quarter of U.S. employees work from home at least part-time. Office 365 contains a variety of collaboration tools that enable you and your team to communicate and work together from anywhere with an internet connection.
But this increase in functionality brings added complexity when it comes to business processes. With multiple people working from multiple locations (and even time zones) across multiple processes, the potential for information silos, bottlenecks, and human error is high.
A way to combat this is to map your business’s processes. The right process mapping tool gives you a visual overview and understanding of the processes across your organization. This enables you to identify and address issues quickly and leverage data analytics to gain insights into optimizing the most important processes.
Getting the most out of Office 365 with Nintex
Office 365 is a great platform for reducing costs and boosting productivity. But to make the most of your investment, you need a process automation solution like Nintex that’s designed to maximize performance on the Microsoft platform. It lets you connect all teams, applications, and processes across your organization.
If you’re thinking about deploying Office 365, or if you already have, choose Nintex for the most sophisticated, no-code automated workflow solution that makes the most of your Office 365 investment.