Although Internet-based services has taken over many aspects of business, Microsoft Office continues to be the primary experience for hundreds of millions of computer users around the world. And Office 2016 is about to help those people be staggeringly more productive.
A good place to begin is on the official Microsoft Office blog, which states:
How people work has changed dramatically. But one constant is that everyone wants to get more out of every moment of their life — after all, our time is the scarcest commodity. That’s why Microsoft has set a bold ambition to reinvent productivity and business process in this mobile-first, cloud-first world.
What are the big features of Office 2016? There are a ton, but here are a few highlights:
Real-time co-authoring – Although the idea of collaborative document editing has been around for a ridiculously long time, it’s not the way most people create content. We are used to making a spreadsheet, a document, or a slideshow on our own computer, and emailing it to others for their feedback. This creates an enormous mess of revisions, of overlapping edits, and general inefficiency.
In Office 2016, Microsoft is putting real-time document editing at the forefront. And part of this emphasis on collaboration is Skype for Business, which will allow users to screenshare, video conference, and talk to eachother in real-time inside the applications. While you can do all of these things now through other tools, integrating the service together will hopefully catch on with customers.
The Office 365 Planner is another new feature that takes existing concepts and combines them to create a more streamlined experience. You could have been doing team and project scheduling with tools like Asana, Basecamp, Podio, or Huddle. But again, Microsoft is likely betting that the integration will bring people over to them.
And what happens if you can’t find any of the zillion features built into Office 2016? Tell Me is available to help you find whatever it is you want to do.
Should You Upgrade to Office 2016?
My advice is that before you upgrade to new versions of software, ensure that you’re really using the software you currently have to it’s full potential. If that’s Microsoft Office, look around for an online quiz to see what you know and don’t know. Or, watch some videos on advanced features of the product.
Also, keep in mind that your biggest productivity barriers might not be software, but hardware. Are you waiting on your computer or is it waiting on you? Do you have a large enough display screen—or better yet, multiple displays? Typically, new versions of software will run slower than current applications. You may do better to upgrade your computer first and your software second.
Lastly, are you considering the competition? Most people barely use the features of tools like Microsoft Office. If you’re just typing documents and don’t need much in the way of layout, or creating spreadsheets that don’t need some of the more advanced visual features of Excel, you should consider switching to Google Docs. And even if you do want a computer-based program, there are other alternatives to Microsoft Office that are often less expensive.
Knowing Your Goals
Computers are supposed to help us get more done. New ways to use them can help, but usually the biggest problem is that users don’t understand what these machines were meant to do. The best investment in your technology is often not technology, but training. The most efficient people aren’t necessarily those with the best tools, but those best at using whatever tools they have.
Whatever you decide to do, it’s worth taking a look at Microsoft Office 2016. And, it’s always worth your time to spend a few minutes reviewing the options that are available to you. The most competitive organizations are those willing to consider what’s out there before making a decision. It’s those corporations (and individuals) that refuse to think about their options that face the greatest risk of becoming obsolete.