At a time when remote work is more prevalent than ever—doubling from 31% to 62% over the course of three weeks during COVID-19—many organizations are investing in collaborative tools to improve productivity. This surge in adoption comes at a time when the average company already uses 37 tools and larger organizations can use up to 90 at a time. Ironically, the use of this many collaboration and communication tools results in higher costs, lower productivity, greater IT workload, and unnecessary bloat.
If you want your team to collaborate effectively, consider Microsoft 365 instead. It’s a better, more integrated alternative than building (and buying) your own piecemeal solution with multiple subscriptions across multiple platforms, and years of data show that it significantly improves communication, collaboration, and productivity while maintaining necessary compliance and security. If your team has been struggling to maintain momentum in this new normal, transitioning to Microsoft 365 can be a cost-effective solution that has benefits for employees and for your bottom line.
A Better Collaboration Tool Experience for Employees
One of Microsoft 365’s key benefits over a collection of other desktop publishing, email, cloud storage, intranet, chat, and video tools is easy integration and a better user experience. Managing multiple logins, troubleshooting inconsistent permissioning, time lost in finding and having to transfer or duplicate critical information across platforms, and worrying about security significantly impacts your employees’ productivity, but also their satisfaction with the systems and tools that make good work possible.
Microsoft 365 includes the Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook) as well as OneDrive (cloud storage), Microsoft Teams (chat and video conferencing), and Sharepoint (intranet). All of these tools—what might have been between four and eight subscriptions across SaaS platforms like Zoom, Slack, Google Suite, Dropbox, and more—are integrated across one platform, allowing for a better, more intuitive user experience.
Real-time collaboration is built into every aspect of Microsoft 365, allowing live collaboration within Teams during conferences and meetings and even across devices with the Office mobile app. For example, hosting a call in Microsoft Teams creates a chat and file-sharing channel where participants can easily share files and even follow up after the call. This keeps participants organized and on-task; instead of having to rely on email to tie up loose ends after a meeting, it can all be done within Microsoft Teams. Teams is also a great solution for reliable video conferencing, reducing a lot of frustration and connection-related time wasted during calls on other platforms and leading to fewer, shorter meetings for employees and higher satisfaction with meeting outcomes.
A 2018 Forrester consulting study reported that “Information workers save four hours per week from improved collaboration and information sharing [with Microsoft 365]. Having features like coauthoring and version control, searching documents, conversations, and names available in one place enables information workers to more effectively and efficiently collaborate in real time.” This translates to less user friction, better focus, and less downtime and cognitive restructuring that comes from having to switch between apps; the study ultimately found that better collaboration resulted in improved worker satisfaction and empowerment.
Microsoft 365: A Better Investment for Business
While Microsoft 365 provides a tremendous user experience to employees as a collaboration and communication platform, these benefits also translate significantly to cost-savings and improved productivity. Remember the four hours saved per week that the Forrester study reported? That amount actually translated to $14.3 million saved over three years for the composite organization outlined in the study. By streamlining collaborative processes again and again, the platform shows that a better and more integrated communication platform yields better results.
And the numbers don’t stop there. Some of the most interesting information to come out of the study is in all the indirect, secondary ways that Microsoft 365 contributes to a more effective and productive workforce—across departments, job roles, and salary tiers:
- According to the same study, key decision makers were able to reduce their time-to-decision by 17.7% by having all the information they needed at their fingertips within Teams to assess situations, evaluate options, and make decisions—resulting in more than $450,000 saved.
- Between reduced attrition due to greater system satisfaction and easier onboarding processes using the platform, the substantial time saved in hiring and onboarding new employees converts to another $1.4 million.
- Employees working with clients and third-party vendors were easily able to share and collaborate in a single workspace, saving 24 minutes per day figuring out file sharing and other access issues. This resulted in savings of $750,000.
Finally, the security and compliance features built into Microsoft 365 also offer significant potential for savings and increased productivity by simplifying IT management. The platform automates compliance, allows for easy permissioning and access, and reduces the burden on IT departments. More than any other collection of third-party solutions, having security and compliance managed in one platform significantly reduces the risk of breaches, helps administrators see and manage all endpoints at once, and minimizes time spent on compliance and discovery.
To see how Microsoft 365 might translate into cost savings for your specific organization, check out this free ROI calculator.
I’m Considering Microsoft 365. What’s Next?
Considering Microsoft 365 as your primary tool for collaboration? We’re here to help you make the transition. At MercuryWorks, we have seen many companies thrive on Microsoft 365, and we use it internally to collaborate with our team, our clients, and our vendors on all of our app development projects.
If you’ve cobbled together an assortment of collaboration tools in the past, you know how time-consuming the process can be. Rather than taking up your IT department time or sacrificing additional productivity to get your team transferred, you can instead rely on MercuryWorks to get up and running on Microsoft 365 quickly—with all the training and support you need to make the transition. We can even help you take advantage of a free 6-month trial of Microsoft 365 for MercuryWorks clients.
Ready to learn more about getting set up with Microsoft 365? Click here to get started today.