It comes as no surprise that communication is a vital part of any business. Over the last 15 years we have seen massive shifts in how we communicate with our colleagues and our customers. Faxing and hard copy mail were once commonplace. Today, they are often only heard of when mentioned in a comment of nostalgia. As the years have passed, we have progressed to email, webcam presentations, live chat and instant messaging. And it doesn’t stop there. We can now do all of this outside of the office. From one side of the globe to another, people can communicate from almost anywhere at any time. So as we marvel at the rapid growth of how we converse, it’s always worth remembering the little things. After all, they can sometimes be the most important…

 

I refer to Microsoft Office 365 and the well-known applications we use within it. Things like Microsoft Word have always been a big part of how we write and communicate in a working environment. I can venture a guess and say a lot of our first CV’s were drafted on Word. Even as a young lad I would play tirelessly with my WWF Wrestling figures and Word would always be first choice when it came to organising Pay Per View events and typing out the match results! It has never let me down. And on top of that, it has never really left the workplace. Word has always been a mainstay for millions of people. But with things ever-expanding and becoming even better, the likes of Word and PowerPoint have needed to keep up and expand as well. And they do. You just may not know it.

 

Microsoft want us to communicate from anywhere. Now they want to add just a little personal touch to how we speak with one another. This comes in the form of @mentions in Office 365.

When you comment on a document or presentation and use the @-sign with someone’s name, the person you mention receives mail with a link to your comment. Clicking the link brings them into the document and into the conversation. Now you can draw attention to a particular comment or piece of the document without having to go anywhere else to do it. You don’t have to go into Outlook or your messaging tools, you certainly don’t need to even leave your desk. Shout out by using @mentions and their presence will be requested by a polite nudge!

To me, this just adds even more to what we can achieve during our working day. We all get sidetracked from time to time and a few moments away from working on a document can easily turn into hours, even days. There is always something on our list of priorities and it’s easy to forget where we were. Having @mentions to grab your attention and get you back t is a great way to keep things organized and manageable.

Not content with keeping things in one corner, Microsoft have announced that the feature will be coming soon to Excel. I have no doubt this delightful little feature will become the norm across Microsoft 365 applications in the future. I certainly hope so. Having instant communication across Teams as well as working applications would really keep everyone connected all the time. Vital in this day and age.

We never stop working, although sadly some of the tools we use do. Even in my short career of 15 years, I’ve seen many things go from ‘must-haves’ to distant memories. CRT Monitors, Floppy disks, waiting 3 days for the new 50 Cent track to download before burning it onto a CD-R and realising it was actually a 70’s Soul classic with the same name…As much as I miss the days of old, it serves as reminder that we are living in an age of unrivalled knowledge and creation and we are priviledged to be present in a world of such ingenuity.

The way we work has shaped the way modern applications are created. Communication is now constant and required around the clock. Decisions are made in an instant and we now have the power at our fingertips to make these decisions. Office 365, Azure and many others will be around for years to come They will become more interactive, more engaging, and more dynamic than ever before. Adding new and exciting ways to stay ahead of the curve keeps the train of progress chugging along. Why would we want it to stop?

For further information, please feel free to get in touch. 

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