Recently I visited the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond as part of its Small Business Ambassador tour (I’m one of the Small Business Ambassadors). While there I learned about some new Microsoft products I’d never heard of, and got a deeper look at others I already knew about.
Here are 10 Microsoft products for small businesses (or individual or even larger businesses) that seemed very interesting and helpful. See what you think and how they can benefit you, in the video above. The products are also listed below for easy scanning.
Microsoft Products for Small Businesses – More Than an Office Suite
If Office software — Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook — is the set of products that come to mind when you think of Microsoft, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise.
Microsoft has so many more products to offer small businesses, including:
You know how you track your mileage for IRS tax deduction purposes? Or perhaps you or your employees track mileage in order to assure you get properly reimbursed. Know what a pain it can be? Enter MileIQ. The tracking app automatically captures your miles via your mobile phone. It creates a log of your mileage – and does it automatically so you don’t have to remember.
If your small business runs on clients appointments, you’re going to love the time that the self-service scheduler Microsoft Bookings will save for you and your staff. Your clients will be able to book service or other appointments with you online, if you deploy this app. There’s even the ability to tie it to Facebook, so customers can book an appointment with you directly from your Facebook page.
3. Surface Pro Tablets:
Who hasn’t heard of these nifty tablets? The latest Surface tablet device, the Surface Pro 4, is touted as “The tablet that can replace your laptop.” This is the device for the business owner on the go.
4. Surface Studio:
One of the most innovative computers to debut recently is the Microsoft Surface Studio. This large computer is designed for creators. It can operate like a large tablet, and the screen/monitor slide down like a computerized drafting table.
In addition, devices such as the Surface Dial take the creative process to a whole new level of intuitive use so you can work without the technology getting in the way.
5. Office 365:
The Microsoft Office Suite moved online several years ago. Today, it’s much more than office apps, as it serves as a central hub to run your business. The business version is better than ever.
6. Dynamics for Business:
Microsoft began rolling out a version of its Dynamics 365 offering priced for small businesses called the Business Edition. Currently, the financial module is available. The company has big plans to add to it during 2017 and onward.
7. Device Finder:
The Device Finder is an online tool that helps you find the device you need based on the problem you are trying to solve or your needs. Instead of searching by hardware features, you search by your need (which is the way it should be!).
8. Windows PIN Sign In:
Included with Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile, the PIN Sign In is much more secure than a password. Why? Because it requires not only the PIN itself, but you have to have the device itself.
9. Microsoft Hello:
Windows Hello is another security feature. It introduces biometric security to your Windows 10 devices by your face, fingerprint or iris to unlock your device. You need an IR camera in your device, but newer devices do have IR cameras built in.
Microsoft’s Bot Framework sounds techy and intimidating, but this could be the next frontier of how your company interacts with customers online. The Bot Framework enables developers to create “bots” (think of them as automated administrative assistants). Or you can use one of the many that have already been created.
Looking for a successful year? These top 10 Microsoft products for small businesses will help you get there.
Note: This article is provided as part of my work as a Microsoft Small Business Ambassador.