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The business landscape is more competitive than ever, and every company, regardless of size, is looking to find that advantage over competitors.
Microsoft has this week previewed three new applications for Office 365 Business Premium that could give a business that competitive edge.
- Microsoft Connections enables organisations to launch and track e-mail marketing campaigns
- Microsoft Listings enables companies to maintain information listings across websites such as Bing, Facebook Google and Yelp
- Microsoft Invoicing enables organisations to create billing invoices in PDF form
Email marketing can accelerate sales, but getting started can be overwhelming. Microsoft Connections enables businesses to create professional-looking email marketing campaigns with pre-designed templates for newsletters, announcements or customer referrals.
As a mailing list grows, businesses can manage subscribers by creating segments to target specific groups of customers. Performance charts and subscriber activity updates track open rate, clicks, new sign-ups, new customers, offer redemptions and unsubscribed numbers for each email campaign, so businesses can see what is and what’s not working.
Getting a business listed online is a great way to help being discovered by prospective customers, but it can be time consuming to set up an online presence, keep company information up-to-date and monitor performance across the various sites. Microsoft Listings makes it easy to publish and manage a business listing on Facebook, Google, Bing and Yelp.
When updating a business profile in Microsoft Listings, the changes automatically populate across all the sites. What’s more, businesses can monitor online views and reviews of listings across sites from a single dashboard. This makes it easier to understand feedback from customers and strengthen an online reputation.
Getting estimates and invoices out on time, tracking pending payments and processing payments quickly are critical to keeping business running smoothly. But it can be tedious and confusing to keep track of information in different systems and even on paper. Microsoft Invoicing helps create professional-looking estimates and invoices – so business gets paid quickly.
Microsoft Invoicing works with PayPal, so credit and debit cards can be accepted online. A connector to QuickBooks enables the syncing of customer and catalogue data, and the transfer of invoicing information to an accountant. The service will also have its own mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Alongside the new business apps, Microsoft is offering Office 365 Business center, where users can manage the apps and have an end-to-end view of their business. It brings Bookings, Connections, Listings and Invoicing together in a central location and features a dashboard where from which to view key metrics from all the business apps.
Because the new apps are built to work together, users don’t waste valuable time setting up connectors or transferring data manually. A contact in one business app is automatically recognised in another, eliminating the need to input data multiple times.
In another announcement this week, Microsoft says it is adding mileage tracking app MileIQ, to Office 365 Business Premium as a subscription benefit.
Those who drive a personal car for work purposes – such as for a customer sales visits, partner meeting or trade conference – will know that tracking and reporting miles for tax deduction or expense reimbursement can be a hassle.
MileIQ offers a smarter way to track miles, with automatic drive detection and mileage logging, easy one-swipe classification as business or personal, and comprehensive reporting.
Connections, Listings, Invoicing and the Business center are rolling out in preview over the next few weeks to UK Office 365 Business Premium subscribers, starting with those in the First Release program. MileIQ Premium is available to all UK Business Premium subscribers today.
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