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All Microsoft 365 Apps Explained

Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), is a cloud-based suite of productivity applications. With your subscription, you have access to a plethora of applications like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Teams, SharePoint and more, that work across multiple devices - all under one license. There are many subscription levels available to you to satisfy home users, small business users, and enterprise users. This article focuses on the productivity applications available through business or enterprise plans to provide you with a quickly overview of what each of the applications can do for you and your organization. While some of the applications are available through a subscription, many are available for free without a subscription such as Microsoft Sway, Skype and Teams.

Microsoft 365 is a per-user monthly subscription. There are various plans available to meet a variety of business needs. Between Microsoft 365 business plans and enterprise plans, prices range from $5 to 35 per user per month. Plans can be mixed and matched and you can easily change plans at any time to meet changing business needs. With its huge range of applications and different subscription levels, businesses large and small will be able to find the tools to better communicate, collaborate, and organize your work files that are easy to use and are secure. Click on the app icons below to learn more about each application.

Microsoft 365 Apps Catalog

Click icons to learn more.
Access
Bookings
Calendar
Compliance Center
Delve
Dynamics 365
Excel
Forms
Kaizala
MyAnalytics
OneDrive
OneNote
Outlook
People
Planner
Power Apps
Power Automate
Power BI
PowerPoint
Project
Publisher
Security Center
SharePoint
Stream
Skype
Sway
Teams
To Do
Video
Whiteboard
Word
Yammer
Microsoft

Microsoft Access

Purpose: Office Application

Microsoft Access is an application used to create databases to store and manage your business data. It provides you with tools to create data tables, queries, forms (objects that provides a graphical interface for our users to view and edit data), reports, and tools to help you write Visual Basic codes to customize the functionality of your database application. If you have a small- to medium-size dataset, creating a database with Microsoft Access does not require SQL skills as it's built-in wizards will guide you through setting up many of your components.


Microsoft Bookings

Purpose: Small Business Applications

Microsoft Bookings is an online customer scheduling tool. If you operate an appointment-based business or service such as a lawyer's office or a personal trainer, Bookings is a simply tool to provide you and your staff insight to daily appointments. It features customizable email and text reminders for both your staff and customers, ability to embed your Bookings page to your website or social media pages to enable your customers to schedule appointments. Other features include appointment rescheduling, cancellations, real-time staff availability, and Outlook.com and Google calendar integrations.


Microsoft Calendar

Purpose: Emailing & Calendaring

Microsoft Calendar is a popular business application to schedule meetings and tasks. Integrated into Outlook email client application, Calendar is packed with features to help you stay on top of your day's schedule. Features include audible and on-screen reminders, ability to check your colleagues' availability when you schedule a meeting (Scheduling Assistant), ability to track who accepted or declined your meeting invitation, ability to view your calendar in multiple layout (e.g., list , calendar grid), and ability to easily create recurring events.Microsoft Calendar is an invaluable tool for the busy professional.


Microsoft Compliance Center

Purpose: Security & Compliance

For organizations that need to follow standards, government regulations or from other regulatory bodies for securing sensitive data, Microsoft 365 Compliance Center provides you with a high level overview of your compliance performance with a risk-based score reference. It is designed to help you comply to new regulations and navigate them with ease. With its administrative tools, you can insight to where sensitive data are in your Microsoft 365 environment such as Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive. Sensitive data includes driver's license, social security, national ID, bank account, and passport numbers. Create policies based on the industry regulation you follow (PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR) and you'll be able to govern data, manage devices, and receive alerts about various activities in your organization. Microsoft 365 Compliance, along Microsoft 365 Security, are valuable tools for any organizations that handle sensitive data.


Microsoft Delve

Purpose: File Storage, Search, & Employees

Microsoft Delve is a graphical tool to deliver personalized content to you from across your Microsoft 365 environment. Content can include recent documents you worked on, documents and email attachments recently edited or sent by your staff, and other content you have permission to see. This is a great place to see what you and your staff are working on. You can easily open any the files on your Delve dashboard without the need to access them individually through OneDrive, a SharePoint site, or any other area in Microsoft 365.



Microsoft Dynamics 365

Purpose: Business Application Platform

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a collection of intelligent business software platform primary for CRM (customer relationship management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning). Within CRM and ERP, there are many applications designed to meet specific business and industry needs. This enables you to start with what you need now and expand into using other applications when you need them. There is a wide variety of business areas in which Dynamics 365 can be employed. These include financial planning, human resource management, customer insight, product insight, and much more. Dynamics 365 isn't a single purpose application, but a suite of tools to help you unify your data, gain better insight to your business, and to make smarter decision.


Microsoft Excel

Purpose: Office Application

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet application that was first release in 1987. It's a popular and powerful tool used by any across various industry. Teachers, business owners, accountants, schedulers, project managers, and many others use Excel for a variety of purposes. It can perform a variety of calculations, produce charts and graphs, and process data, to name a few. For advanced users, Excel supports programming through Microsoft's Visual Basic for Applications, to programmers to write code to automate tasks or perform data manipulation. It's easy-to-use interface and it's powerful capabilities is what make it the most widely used and has become the industry standard for spreadsheets.


Microsoft Forms

Purpose: Business Application Platform

Microsoft Forms is a web-based application that allows you to create forms to collect data and feedback from users. Surveys, questionnaires and polls are some of the common any create with Microsoft Forms. It's often employed by educational institutions. Data collected can be summarized and viewed in real-time. Additional, results can be exported into Excel or a database application to analyze the data further. It's simplistic interface to design and share forms makes this online survey creator a tool easy to learn and use by many.


Microsoft Kaizala

Purpose: Enterprise & Team Collaboration

Microsoft Kaizala is a secure communication and collaboration mobile app for Android, iOS, and Windows smart phones. Kaizala supports sending instant messages, images, and documents. However, unlike Microsoft Teams, it does not support video conferencing. However, Kaizala is better suits for contractors, temporary workers, or other open network of people outside your organization, whereas Teams is geared for your core employees.


Microsoft MyAnalytics

Purpose: Analytics

Formerly Delve Analytics, Microsoft MyAnalytics is a tool to help you gain personal insight on how you spend your time at work. You receive regular emails that provide you with a summary of your time spent collaborating, who you are spending your time with, along with time spent on chatting, emailing, and doing your job.


Microsoft OneDrive

Purpose: File Storage, Search, & Employees

Microsoft OneDrive is a secure cloud-based storage for your business files. With your Microsoft 365, each licensed users is automatically given 1TB of storage. You can use it as your personal storage for your work files. While sharing files with other is possible, it is not designed for collaboration. SharePoint should be used if you require others access to your files. Being in the cloud, you can access them from anywhere with an Internet connectivity and from either a desktop or laptop computer, or a smart phone. OneDrive is an easy to use storage service for those that travels frequency or works out in the field. Learn more about Microsoft 365 OneDrive.


Microsoft OneNote

Purpose: Office Application

Microsoft OneNote is a feature-rich note-taking application. You can think of OneNote as a digital version of the spiral notebooks with divider tabs you used when you were in school. OneNote keeps your notes, plans, and thoughts all in one place. You create sections, pages, and sub-pages just like a tradition paper notebook and use color codes to organize your notes. Easily type or hand write notes, record voice notes, embed links, images, along with audio and video clips. Easily share your notebook with others or use it as your own personal information management tool. Along with supporting Windows computers, OneNote mobile app is available for Android, iOS, and Windows.


Microsoft Outlook

Purpose: Emailing & Calendaring

Most of us already know Outlook is Microsoft client email application. It was first released in 1997 as part of the Office 97 productivity suite. It has evolved over the years and has become a popular email client for many businesses. Today, Outlook is available as a standalone desktop application, a web-based application, and as an Android and iOS app. The desktop version offers all of the features Outlook has to offer, whereas the features on the web and mobile app are limited to basic features. Microsoft Outlook is a powerful email client and is worth considering if you need a feature-rich application to organize your email messages.


Microsoft People

Purpose: File Storage, Search, & Employees

If you ever used the contact list feature of Microsoft Outlook, you are using People. Microsoft People is where information of your personal and business contacts are stored. There are a variety of information you can keep track off with People. Use it to save your contact's phone numbers, office address, email addresses, job title, birthday, and even general notes about the person you want to reminder yourself on. In addition, collaboration features are built in to enable to send an email or start a chat session with a contact easily or to see recent emails you received from the person. Microsoft People is an indispensable tool to help you organize your contacts in a clean and easy-to-use interface.



Microsoft Planner

Purpose: Task & Project Management

Microsoft Planner is a task management application for you and your teams. Each team member can create, share, and work on tasks together. You'll be able to track who's responsible for the task, when it's due, and post updates. View your tasks in 'buckets', in a calendar grid, or through graphs and charts to track and measure progress. This web-based application is an essential tool to help you supervise and manage projects. Microsoft Planner is a powerful tool to engage with your team and to ensure everyone has full visibility to the tasks and what is expected of them.


Microsoft Power Apps

Purpose: Business Application Platform

Microsoft Power Apps is a collection of tools to help you build customized web-based and mobile apps to meet your business needs. It's biggest benefits are automation and workflow. These enable businesses to improve productivity and processes, streamline tasks, and minimize the use of paper. Unlike the automation feature of Microsoft SharePoint, Power Apps easy-to-use graphic interface enables beginners to develop apps with minimal code writing. Power Apps can integrate with your existing data from a variety of sources to help you quickly take advantage of the efficiencies it can deliver. If you are not using Power Apps in your organization, you are missing out on a amazing number of benefits.


Microsoft Power Automate

Purpose: Task & Project Management

Formerly Flow, Microsoft Power Automate is a cloud-based tool to help organizations develop workflows to automate tasks and processes. It's a useful tool to help bring automation to repetitive tasks. Tasks such as approval workflows, data collecting, or synchronize files between applications can benefit with Power Automate. Other uses include saving email attachments to your OneDrive automatically, set up template flow to quickly respond to a post on your social media, and approval flow for time-off requests.


Microsoft Power BI

Purpose: Analytics

Microsoft Power BI is an analytics tool that enables to you analyze large amounts of complex data and to gain business intelligence from them through reports or visually appealing dashboard maps, graphs and charts. Import or connect to data from many sources (database, flat file, Excel) and analysis your business data through hundreds of data visualization and built-in AI capabilities. Use Power BI to gain insight to sales and marketing efforts, manage data security, explore what-ifs scenarios, and much more.


Microsoft PowerPoint

Purpose: Office Application

Microsoft PowerPoint is your tool to create slides for your presentations. PowerPoint is often used by teachers and trainers to provide an illustrative backdrop during lessons, by business professionals to update colleagues on various aspect of their business, or by retailers to show a self-running presentation on weekly specials for their customers. Built-in templates are included to help you get started in creating your presentations. PowerPoint supports audio, videos, and animation effects to help you give your presentation greater impact. Microsoft PowerPoint is an enormously popular presentation program that's easy to use to create professional-looking slide decks.


Microsoft Project

Purpose: Task & Project Management

Microsoft Project is a powerful and popular tool to plan and manage projects. Microsoft Project provides the tools to management tasks, dependencies, milestones, Gantt chart and more. Project desktop edition can take time to master. However, once mastered, it is an invaluable tool for project managers. For the novices, Project Online, a cloud-hosted edition, is simpler to use for the occasional projects. It's provide you with just the basics without overwhelming you with the complexity of tools needed by full-time project managers.


Microsoft Publisher

Purpose: Office Application

This is a desktop publishing software that enables you to create professional looking materials like letterheads, business cards, brochures, multi-column newsletters, multi-page manuals, calendars, labels, wide banners, oversized posters, greeting cards, and more. You can start off using a pre-designed template or a blank canvas to create your own design to match your corporate colors. It is a versatile and easy-to-use program and you do not need to be graphics designer to create stunning professional-looking documents with Microsoft Publisher.


Microsoft Security Center

Purpose: Security & Compliance

Often used in conjunction with Microsoft 365 Compliance, the Microsoft 365 Security Center provides IT security professionals a centralized platform to identify and access security events and risk across their environment. You'l be able to quickly gauge your overall security posture with Secure Score, see devices with malware infections, monitor suspicious user activities (such as high volume of file deletion), and much more. The overall focus is ensuring you have the tool to secure your Microsoft 365 environment and the data contained within it.


Microsoft SharePoint

Purpose: Enterprise & Team Collaboration

Microsoft SharePoint is a cloud-based application used to build intranet websites to share and management information and collaborate with others within your organization. Features of SharePoint can be used to create as a document management tool, a knowledge base, a management workflow, a calendar of events, a ticketing system, and much more. Being in the cloud, it is accessible from anywhere and from many mobile device platforms. Use the built-in tools and third-party add-ons to develop your intelligent SharePoint collaboration system with minimal effort. Compare SharePoint subscription plans.


Microsoft Stream

Purpose: Video & Presentation

Microsoft Stream is an application that enables you to upload, organize, and share video content across your enterprise. It's a secure video streaming service to share presentations, training videos, and other videos to share and collaborate with your team. Users can view your videos from desktop computers to mobile devices easily from work or at home.


Microsoft Skype

Purpose: Enterprise & Team Collaboration

Similar to Microsoft Teams, Skype is a communication and collaboration tool. Use it to chat with or make audio calls to colleagues, set up group call and share your screen when hosting a presentation to a group of participants, or even make and receive video calls. In July 2019, Microsoft announced it will retire Skype of Business on July 31, 2021 (Skype for consumers will continue to be available). If your organization has not already, start migrating to Teams to ensure everyone has sufficient time to explore, learn, and become proficient with Teams. Read more on Microsoft Teams.


Microsoft Sway

Purpose: Video & Presentation

Microsoft Sway is an application that enables you to easily create and share visually stunning and interactive documents such as newsletters, brochures, memories, and presentations. It supports photos and videos and includes pre-built design templates you can select from to create high-impact presentations. Sway will automatically adjust your presentation to fit the screen of the device, whether it is a notebook, tablet, or mobile phone.


Microsoft Teams

Purpose: Enterprise & Team Collaboration

Microsoft Teams is a feature-rich and secure collaboration and communication application. It supports instant message/chat, audio calls, video conferencing, and collaboration features. Other features include the ability to host meetings with thousands of participants, record your meetings, and to share your screen for when you are hosting a training session. One of the useful collaboration tool is the ability to create teams and channels. These structures enable groups of people to work together on a project or task where your chat messages, shared files, and other digital assets are stored and organized in these structures, segmented from other project groups. No longer do you need to use separate application such as Outlook, SharePoint, or OneDrive to work with your team. Majority of your collaboration needs can be fulfilled by Teams. Compare Microsoft 365 Business plans with Teams.

According to The Verge, during the COVID-19 pandemic Microsoft Teams usage grew to 44 million daily active users in March 2020, making it one of the popular platforms in the market. Microsoft continues to enhance and add new features to Teams. As of this write, Teams is more than capable to satisfy the needs from small businesses to large enterprises. Microsoft Teams is well positioned to be a leader in communication and collaboration app.



Microsoft To Do

Purpose: Task & Project Management

Microsoft To Do is an application to help you organize your personal tasks. It's your digital planner to help you manage your tasks. Microsoft To Do is integrated with Outlook Tasks, making it easy to manage all your tasks in one place.


Microsoft Video

Purpose: Video & Presentation

Microsoft Video is an intranet website portal that allows people in your organization to post and view videos. Many use Video to share recordings of meetings, presentations, or training sessions. In 2020, Microsoft began migrating Video to Microsoft Stream with full retirement scheduled for March 1, 2021. Read more on what Microsoft Stream has to offer.


Microsoft Whiteboard

Purpose: Enterprise & Team Collaboration

Microsoft Whiteboard is an application that allows you to free form ideas on a digital canvas. With built-in collaboration features, you and your team can work together, whether in the same room or from multiple remote locations. Sketch ideas using your mouse or with a stylus if you have a touch-screen device. Being a cloud-based application, you'll have access to your boards from multiple devices, share them, or include them in websites.


Microsoft Word

Purpose: Office Application

Word is a word processing application that has been around since 1983, making it one of Microsoft oldest application still in use today. Through the decades Microsoft continuously improved its interface, added features, and expanded its capabilities to make it one of the most popular applications for creating documents. It's intuitive design makes it easy to use by almost anyone.

Create new documents from scratch or use one of the many pre-defined templates. Use Microsoft Word to create business letters, business cards, resumes, product manual, reports, flyers, restaurant menus, invitation cards, labels, forms, and many more. Features such as the ability to easily add a table of content, modify header and footer, track changes among your collaborators, add colorized data tables and charts, spell check your document, and a language translator make Microsoft Word a powerful tool to create a professional-looking document.


Microsoft Yammer

Purpose: Enterprise & Team Collaboration

Microsoft Yammer is private enterprise social networking tool for your Microsoft 365 environment. Similar to how other social media platforms work, you create groups based on a particular interest and project, invite people from within your company or outside to join, and then collaborate and converse with each together. You'll be able to post messages, share photos, embed videos, create polls, and more. With its familiar social networking interface, Microsoft Yammer is an ease to use and adapt to spur discussion.

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