How Office 365 Workflows Can Help Transform Business Operations

January 23, 2017 - by Bhavin Sankhat

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Adoption of cloud models for storing and accessing information brings with it a multitude of benefits, ranging from opportunities to save money, increase productivity, as well as reduce the margin of error, ultimately making the business process execution more accurate. Microsoft Office 365 is an online business productivity suite, bringing together Microsoft’s various online productivity tools, from email to web apps to communication services, offering hosted versions of Exchange Server, Skype, Office, and SharePoint. O365 has become a bona fide success, with Microsoft set to surpass a hundred million O365 users in 2017.

Automating Business Processes with O365 Workflows

The vanilla definition of a workflow is a combination of small, definable tasks. These tasks are accomplished by a set of actions and events performed by resources to achieve the desired outcome. Depending upon the complexity of the workflows, the execution can take anywhere from one day to a couple of months.

O365 workflows help in better collaboration of documents and efficient management of project tasks by implementing business processes on documents and items in SharePoint site. O365 allows you to create workflows that span LOB systems, functional teams, and data sources enabling increased efficiency and usability. From document approval workflows to resource on-boarding processing to remitting payments to vendors – workflows drive day-to-day businesses, and O365 provides a platform to host your workflows. Workflow and content automation with O365 are commonly used in processes within any organization including feedback collection, document approval process, document disposition, and expense reporting.



How O365 workflows assist businesses

  • Plug communication gaps

Automated O365 workflows reduce the burden of communication and collaboration. “The real power of Office 365 is that it facilitates collaboration and makes teams more effective,” said Donald Nilson, who wrote “Microsoft Office 365 in Business” (Wiley Publishing, 2011) with co-author David Kroenke. This eliminates any miscommunication in the workflow chain, saves time, and reduces the margin of error. Whether you’re using the built-in workflows for approval, collecting feedback, signatures, or customized workflows, O365 workflows help enhance communication between departments and stakeholders.

  • Get clarity on your business processes

Enterprise-grade O365 workflows offer a single dashboard view of all repetitively performed business processes. As a manager of these processes, you can gain insights into the number of requests coming in, their approval status, and other meaningful data. Workflow analytics provide operational visibility, enables you to make quick and judicious decisions, and ultimately helps improve business results.

  • Implement compliance measures

Automated O365 workflows help automate tasks and maintain high standards of compliance. Workflows can be set up and eDiscovery cases can be used in the Security and Compliance centre. Sophisticated workflows and enhanced functions provide the tools to manage compliance documents such as policies, procedures, and contracts throughout their lifecycle.  These compliance measures ultimately reduce time and costs incurred in compliance adherence.

  • Build interconnected systems

With O365 automated workflows, you can connect Microsoft products with your LOB systems, facilitating more efficient work patterns based on technologies you already own. You can connect various cloud services and business applications through powerful workflows, help automate core business processes, and have an immediate impact on the productivity of the whole business.

Optimize Processes and Enable Productivity with O365 workflows

Utilizing cost-effective, out of the box automation functionalities offered by O365 workflows can help achieve higher productivity and cost optimization. Visibility into current business processes, enhanced collaboration, better communication, expanded mobility, increased customer engagement, and more efficient processes are driven by O365 workflows that also give you a strong competitive advantage in today’s marketplace. From HR to finance and administration to IT, sales and marketing, legal and operations, O365 workflows significantly impact business functions, cut down on clutter, increase business productivity, and help lead a sizeable increase in efficiency.