Sway, Skype, Yammer, Delve, Video: How do you make use of the Communication tools in Office 365?
If you’re planning, or have made the move to Microsoft Office 365, chances are it’s primarily about migrating your Exchange Server to the cloud. This is usually the first cab off the rank when it comes to utilizing the suite of services that Office 365 offers. The next thing people should tackle is setting up an Intranet, or team work spaces using SharePoint Online.
In addition to Exchange and SharePoint, Office 365 includes a number of tools that leverage the investment you’ve made in setting up Exchange and SharePoint Online and provide a layer of communication and insight over the information that you are storing in Microsoft’s cloud.
Skype for Business
This is a fantastic tool and will change the way you communicate internally and with clients or vendors external to your organization. You can host online meetings and even schedule a broadcast for up to 10,000 attendees. Ever thought about hosting your own webinars? Skype meeting broadcasts will help you produce a professional and engaging event.
Where Skype for Business starts the transition to a more collaborative and social culture, Yammer has the potential to complete it. Yammer helps to remove email silos and creates conversations that are more accessible and inclusive of the wider organization. You can create streams of conversations around topics either by using hashtags or groups, or a combination of both.
Team members can easily share what they are working on, or share work-related articles and news stories and other learning resources. It’s also an interesting platform for generating feedback via polls and positive exchanges such as “praise”.
Office 365 Video
Office 365 Video is an interesting tool. You can use it to create your very own company video portal. Video is an extremely effective way to communicate ideas quickly and a fantastic medium for two key types of information; marketable information and instructional information.
Office 365 Video makes it easy to create channels in order to start grouping like-minded videos together and once a video is uploaded to the portal, it can then be embedded into your SharePoint team sites.
Delve and the Office Graph
The Office Graph makes sense of the data that is generated in Office 365. It understands the networks of connections and the usage patterns that are being created between people and information. It offers this data up via a unified API endpoint that makes it simple for developers to access aggregated data from a single API. In less techie terms, the Office Graph makes it possible to build apps that are driven by your Office 365 data.
Delve is the window through which you look to see the Office Graph data. Delve surfaces up a view of Office 365 that starts with you and branches out from there, providing you with insights about what people in your network are working on and who they are working with.
Delve Analytics delivers insights and opportunities to set goals around how you spend your time and who you spend it with, based on email and calendar activity. Delve and the Office Graph are not communication tools as such, but they offer insights about how we are communicating and provide us with a picture of who else in our organization is generating information that we may find useful.
I have to confess, I’m an school PowerPoint kind of girl and have yet to make good use of Sway, however it is absolutely an alternative for anyone wanting to communicate a story using visuals, text, documents, video or other content. Because it’s a web based canvas, it’s responsive and promises to create a presentation that “looks great on virtually any screen”. I’d love to hear from anyone who is using Sway effectively, feel free to post links to your most awesome Sway in the comments section!
All of these tools are capable of leveraging the Office 365 backbone – Exchange and SharePoint Online – to create more social, visual and collaborative communication experiences.