What are the benefits of Microsoft 365 for your business

Are you aware of all the benefits of Microsoft 365 productivity tools? If not, don’t worry. You are not alone.

According to a report, most businesses use only 20% of all the features included in the latest version of Microsoft 365, formerly known as Office 365.

Microsoft Office 365 is an office suite of cloud-based solutions designed for all business sizes including small businesses, SMEs, and enterprises.

If you’re still using traditional on-premises infrastructure or considering a transition to a new software and productivity solution, it’s time to switch.

But what are all the benefits of Microsoft 365 and what makes it the better modern technology choice compared to its competitors?

In our blog post, we are going to discuss some compelling reasons why Microsoft Office 365 is the best cloud-powered productivity platform.

Before we discuss the benefits of Microsoft 365, let’s look at some of its cool features, which will help you in decision-making as per your business needs.



What are the Features of Microsoft 365?

Here are some of the latest features of Microsoft 365 that you must know:

1. Office Applications

MS365 Office Applications

Source: Microsoft


Microsoft 365 is a bundle of cloud-based services, which gives you access to the latest versions of various productivity tools and office apps such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Loop, and OneNote, all from a single platform.

Having all these tools in one place is essential for creating documents, spreadsheets, presentations, editing files with Office online, instant messaging and online meetings, managing email, and organising notes.


2. Storage and File Sharing

one drive cloud storage

Source: Microsoft


With OneDrive cloud storage for business, the user gets 1 TB of secure OneDrive storage where they can store, sync, and share files across devices.

OneDrive allows for easy collaboration on documents, enabling multiple users to work on the same files stored simultaneously, and offering the latest tools to manage user access  (restrict access or remove users) and track changes in real-time.


3. Email and Calendar

outlook 365

Source: Microsoft

Microsoft 365 offers professional email hosting through Outlook, along with a calendar feature for managing appointments, online meetings, and events.

Outlook includes advanced email management tools, spam filtering, and integration with other Microsoft services.

4. Microsoft Teams

MS365 teams-illustration

Source: Microsoft


Microsoft Teams acts as a collaboration platform that combines all the tools which allow you to chat, do video calls, schedule meetings, can allow sharing documents within your teams and with multiple people across the business.

It provides a centralised hub for communication and collaboration, enabling teams to work together seamlessly regardless of their location.


5. Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange Online

MS SharePoint online

Source: Microsoft


SharePoint Online is a web-based platform for creating intranet sites, document management, and collaboration.

It allows teams to share and manage content, build custom workflows, and create interactive dashboards to organise and access information efficiently.


6. Data Security

MS365 data security

Source: Microsoft

Microsoft 365 includes built-in robust security features like two-factor authentication to protect sensitive information and safeguard against cyber threats like malicious links.

This includes advanced threat protection, data encryption, identity and access management, mobile device management, and compliance tools to help businesses meet regulatory requirements.

For individuals, Microsoft Defender keeps your data secure with identity monitoring, risk alerts and expert guidance.


7. Business Intelligence

MS PowerBI overview

Source: Microsoft

Microsoft 365 offers business intelligence tools such as Power BI for analysing data, creating interactive reports and dashboards, and gaining insights into business performance.

It integrates with other Microsoft services to provide a comprehensive solution for data visualisation and analytics.

8. Microsoft Forms

MS forms overview

Source: Microsoft

Microsoft 365 includes Forms which is a survey and data collection tool that allows users to create custom forms, quizzes, and polls to gather feedback, conduct surveys, and collect data from respondents. It provides built-in analytics to analyse responses and generate reports.


9. Microsoft Planner


Source: Microsoft

Planner is a task management tool that helps teams organise and track their work, assign tasks, set deadlines, and collaborate on projects.

It provides a visual overview of tasks and progress, making it easy to prioritise and manage workloads.


10. Yammer


Source: Microsoft

Yammer is a social networking platform designed for the enterprise, enabling employees to connect and collaborate across teams and departments. It provides a space for open communication, knowledge sharing, and community building within organisations.


11. Copilot for Microsoft 365


Source: Microsoft

Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 is an innovative AI tool that harnesses the power of large language models (LLMs), working hand in hand with your data stored within the Microsoft Graph and Microsoft 365 suite of applications.

By leveraging advanced language models and accessing data, Microsoft Copilot boosts your effectiveness within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, serving as a powerful tool for users seeking to increase productivity.


12. Microsoft Loop

ms loop

Source: Microsoft

Microsoft Loop introduces a new productivity solution that unites teams, content, and tasks across different tools and devices.

It integrates a robust and adaptable canvas with portable elements that effortlessly transition and remain synchronised across applications. This enables teams to effectively collaborate, plan, and create together.


Now, let’s dig deeper into the benefits of Microsoft 365.

What are the benefits of Microsoft 365?

Here are 8 reasons why you should switch to Microsoft 365 for your business:

1. Accessibility and Collaboration

One of the most significant benefits of Microsoft 365 is its accessibility. As a cloud-based software, you can access to co-authoring documents, edit documents, emails, and software applications from anywhere and anytime with the Office suite for mobile apps.

All you need is an internet connection. This flexibility is particularly beneficial if you need to collaborate with your remote employees, all you need is authorised access to your workspace. They can access everything they need, regardless of your employees’ mobile devices.

Office 365 comes with various collaboration tools, such as Exchange Online, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams, making it easy for other team members to collaborate on projects, share information, and communicate in real time.

The co-authoring feature allows multiple users to work on the same document simultaneously, making it easier to collaborate on projects without worrying about version control.

2. Scalability and Flexibility

With Office 365, you can easily scale your business by adding or removing users as needed. The subscription-based pricing model allows you to choose the right solution that meets your specific needs and budget.

As your business grows, you can easily upgrade to a more comprehensive plan without incurring any additional expenses for hardware or software installation.

Additionally, Office 365 offers various plans tailored to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises.

You can mix and match different plans to suit the individual requirements of various departments or teams within your organisation, ensuring everyone has access to the right tools and resources.

3. Data Security and Compliance

Microsoft 365 uses robust security measures like advanced encryption techniques, data loss prevention, threat detection and multi-factor authentication to prevent unauthorised access to your data.

Moreover, the platform is continuously monitored for any potential threats, and Microsoft deploys regular updates to address any vulnerabilities.

Microsoft also ensures that your data is stored in compliance with various industry regulations and standards, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Regular audits and certifications help maintain transparency and customer satisfaction.


4. Automatic Updates and Maintenance

Microsoft 365 eliminates the need for manual software updates and maintenance. As a cloud-based platform, all the latest version updates, patches, and new features are automatically rolled out without any intervention from the user.

This means you can always get automatic upgrades and access the most up-to-date software without worrying about compatibility issues or downtime during updates just by having a good internet connection.

The automatic update feature also translates to cost savings, as you no longer need to invest in IT staff to manage software updates and maintenance.

5. Integration with Other Microsoft Products and Services

One of the key benefits of Microsoft Office 365 is its seamless integration with other Microsoft products and services.

Whether you’re using Power BI for data analysis, Dynamics 365 for customer relationship management, or Azure for cloud computing, Office 365 can easily integrate with these services, providing a unified and cohesive experience for users.


This integration not only improves productivity but also simplifies the management of various services, as you can manage everything from a single dashboard.

6. Cloud Storage with 1 TB of OneDrive storage

Another big advantage of Microsoft 365 is data storage through OneDrive, which allows you to store and access files securely from anywhere.

This eliminates the need to rely solely on local storage solutions and ensures that documents are always up-to-date just by having a secured internet connection.

7. Subscription-based model for Cost-Effectiveness

The next key benefit of Microsoft 365 is its subscription-based service model, which can be more cost-effective for businesses compared to purchasing individual software licenses.

Microsoft 365 can help you by providing access to all tools and services at a single subscription plan. You can choose the subscription plan that best fits your business needs and budget from the range of Microsoft 365 plans.

Furthermore, the cloud-based nature of Microsoft 365 means there’s no need for expensive on-premises infrastructure, reducing overall IT costs.

Plus, with the ability to scale your subscription up or down as your business grows or changes, you’ll only ever pay for what you need for all the apps.

8. Copilot for Microsoft 365 for enhanced productivity

One of the key advantages of Microsoft 365 is the addition of Copilot, a productivity tool that can enhance your employees’ productivity at no extra cost.

Copilot is readily available for use in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Microsoft Loop, Microsoft Edge and Copilot formerly Bing Chat Enterprise all of which are included in your Microsoft 365 package.

Moreover, Copilot boasts advanced security features that ensure optimal data loss prevention. You can rest assured that Microsoft does not track any of your business data.


Is Microsoft 365 worth paying for?

Yes absolutely, Microsoft is worth paying for several reasons such as you can get the latest features and security updates, collaborate with teams anywhere and increase productivity and flexibility for your business.

The subscription model of Microsoft 365 provides you with regular updates and ensures you access to the updated features and security patches.

Additionally, with the cloud-based services of Microsoft 365, you can seamlessly collaborate and enhance employee experience by working remotely, which increases productivity and flexibility.


Ultimately, for many businesses, the convenience, reliability, and full suite of tools offered by Microsoft 365 can justify the investment.

Why should I switch to Microsoft 365?

Making the switch to Microsoft 365 can have a significant positive impact on your organisation’s productivity, seamless collaboration, and overall efficiency.

With its cloud-based accessibility, productivity tools, device security policies, advanced security features, regular updates, advanced threat analytics, and cost savings subscription model, Microsoft 365 is the ideal solution for modern work businesses looking to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced digital landscape.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to empower your employee experience and streamline your business operations – subscribe to Microsoft Office 365 today.

How Can Castle Help Your Business?

Are you searching for the best Microsoft product consultants for your business? At Castle Computers, we offer premium cloud transformation services and technical support tailored to your business needs.

We comprehend the requirements of businesses and device-all-encompassing solutions to ensure your technology remains secure, up-to-date, and advantageous, giving you a competitive edge.

Contact us today and let us assist you in achieving success with these benefits of Microsoft 365.


6 Things to check if your expericence slow PC Performance

1.Resource Utilization: Before reaching out to IT support, check your PC’s resource utilization. Open the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) to review CPU, memory, disk, and network usage. Unusually high percentages may indicate resource-intensive applications or processes causing the slowdown.

Take a screenshot of your task manager performance screen – Especially when you are experiencing slow performance.

2.Background Processes and Startup Programs: Evaluate the list of background processes and startup programs. Unnecessary or suspicious applications running in the background or launching at startup can significantly impact performance. Disable or uninstall programs that are not essential for your daily tasks.

Type Startup into the Windows Search Bar and click on”startupApps”

3.Storage Space: Ensure that your PC has sufficient free storage space on the primary drive. Running low on disk space can hinder performance. Delete unnecessary files or move them to an external drive. Or uninstalling any unneeded applications. Also, consider using disk cleanup tools to streamline storage.

Type Storage Setting into the Windows Search bar  and click on it

You will see a temporary file listed, click on this to remove temporary files

4.Malware and Antivirus Scan: Perform a thorough malware and antivirus scan on your PC. Malicious software can silently operate in the background, consuming resources and slowing down your system.

Check for the Red Icon at the bottom right corner of your screen. Right Click you will see a scan option in the console

More information here



5.Driver Updates: Outdated or incompatible device drivers can contribute to performance issues. Check for updates for your graphics card, network adapter, and other essential components. Updating drivers can enhance compatibility and improve overall system performance.

For Nvidia Cards you can get the latest drivers here


How can I find out which graphics card I have in my PC?

Autodesk is a graphics-heavy program. Knowing your graphics card can help you troubleshoot odd visual behaviours or recommend a good-performing card to other users. The easiest way to find your graphics card is to run the DirectX Diagnostic Tool:


  1. Click Start.
  2. On the Start menu, click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type “dxdiag” (without the quotation marks), and then click OK.
  4. The DirectX Diagnostic Tool opens. Click the Display tab.
  5. On the Display tab, information about your graphics card is shown in the Device section. You can see the name of your card, as well as how much video memory it has.

If you’re experiencing odd visual behaviour in AutoCAD, our Blurring/distorted images this may help you understand and resolve the problem

6.Windows Updates: Outdated Windows PC that have not been updated to the latest version and patchs can also be a problem

Type Windows Updates into the Windows Searchbar

Install any Updates and Feature Update if these are available


Mastering Microsoft Outlook with Office 365: Pro Tips for Sharing Information and Sending Emails from Different Accounts

Microsoft Outlook, a cornerstone of the Office 365 suite, is a versatile and powerful tool that extends far beyond mere email. It’s your personal organizer, communication hub, and a productivity powerhouse. In this blog, we’ll uncover the best strategies to harness Outlook’s capabilities for sharing information and sending emails from different accounts, all while focusing on best practices for shared mailboxes. So, let’s get started on our journey to Outlook mastery.

1. Sending Email from Different Accounts

Outlook simplifies managing multiple email accounts by allowing you to send emails from different accounts within the same application. Here’s how to do it:

Composing an Email from a Different Account:

  • Open a new email by clicking “New Email.”
  • In the “From” field, you’ll see a dropdown arrow. Click it to select the account you want to send the email from.
  • Compose and send your email as if it’s from that specific account.

2. Sharing Information with Others

Outlook’s collaboration features are invaluable when you need to share information, calendars, and documents with colleagues or teammates. Let’s take a look at how to do this effectively:

Sharing Calendars:

  • Click the “Calendar” tab in Outlook.
  • Right-click on your calendar and choose “Share” > “Calendar Permissions.”
  • Select the person you want to share your calendar with and customize their permissions.
  • Click “Send” to invite them to view your calendar.

Sharing Documents:

  • Use OneDrive or SharePoint to store documents in a location that’s accessible to your team.
  • In an email, click the “Attach File” option, and you can select documents directly from your cloud storage.
  • Share a link to the document, allowing recipients to access it with the proper permissions.

3. Best Practices for Shared Mailboxes

Shared mailboxes are a feature designed for teamwork, making it easier for multiple users to manage incoming emails. Here are some best practices for using shared mailboxes effectively:

Accessing a Shared Mailbox:

  • Your Office 365 administrator can grant you access to a shared mailbox. Once granted access, it will appear in your folder list.
  • You can also add it to your folder list manually by going to “File” > “Add Account” and entering the shared mailbox’s email address.

Managing Emails in a Shared Mailbox:

  • When working within a shared mailbox, categorize, and flag emails to stay organized. You can also use filters and rules to automate email processing.
  • Utilize the “Reply” or “Forward” options in the shared mailbox to respond to emails as a team.

Archiving and Retention:

  • Establish an email retention policy for shared mailboxes to ensure that old emails are archived or deleted according to your organization’s policies.

Stay Consistent with Filing:

  • Encourage all team members to follow the same email filing and tagging system within the shared mailbox. Consistency is key to efficient email management.

In conclusion, Microsoft Outlook in Office 365 is a robust platform for sharing information and managing email accounts. By following these tips and best practices, you’ll streamline your workflow and collaboration efforts, making the most out of this versatile tool. From sending emails from different accounts to effectively sharing information with colleagues, Outlook equips you for productivity and teamwork like no other. So, start implementing these strategies today, and become an Outlook pro!


Updateing IT systems in SME’s

As a small business owner, keeping your systems updated is crucial for not only staying competitive but also ensuring the security of your business. By not updating, you risk falling behind in terms of functionality and opening your business to potential security vulnerabilities.

When it comes to updates, it’s important to understand what your business needs and make a plan to achieve those goals. This might include upgrading your network, updating cloud services, or installing new software. It’s also crucial to stay informed about the latest security threats and take steps to protect your business from them.

Failing to stay on top of updates can result in decreased productivity and efficiency, as well as an increased risk of security breaches. This can lead to lost revenue, damage to your business’s reputation, and even legal trouble.

In short, keeping your systems updated is not just essential for staying competitive, but also crucial for the safety and security of your small business. Make sure to regularly assess your technology needs and take steps to address any deficiencies or vulnerabilities.

So here are the top 5 reasons why keeping your systems updated is worth doing for small businesses:

  1. Increased productivity and efficiency: Up-to-date systems can improve performance and speed, allowing your employees to work more efficiently and tackle more projects.
  2. Better security: Regular updates can help protect your business from the latest security threats, reducing the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks.
  3. Improved customer experience: Updated systems can provide a better experience for customers, such as faster load times and more efficient processes.
  4. Staying competitive: Keeping up with the latest technology trends and updates can help your business stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business world.
  5. Compliance: Many industries have regulations that require companies to have certain types of software and/or hardware in place and to keep them updated. Not keeping your systems up-to-date can lead to non-compliance and penalties.

In summary, keeping your systems updated is essential for your small business to stay productive, secure, efficient, competitive and compliant. It is worth investing time and resources to ensure your systems are always up-to-date.


Happy 2023

As we move further into the 21st century, the importance of IT security only continues to grow. With the increasing reliance on technology in both our personal and professional lives, protecting ourselves and our data from cyber threats has become a top priority.

In 2023, we can expect to see a number of key trends and developments in the field of IT security. One major area of focus will likely be the continued evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies, which have the potential to revolutionize the way we detect and defend against cyber threats. By using these technologies to analyze and learn from large volumes of data, we can identify patterns and anomalies that might indicate a potential threat, and take proactive measures to prevent an attack from occurring.

Another trend we can expect to see in 2023 is the growing use of cloud-based security solutions. With more and more businesses moving their operations to the cloud, the need for effective cloud security is becoming increasingly important. By leveraging the scalability and flexibility of cloud-based security solutions, organizations can better protect their data and systems against threats such as malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks.

In addition to these trends, 2023 will also see the continued development of new security protocols and standards, as well as the adoption of newer technologies such as quantum computing and blockchain. These technologies have the potential to significantly improve the security of our systems and networks, and will likely play a key role in the future of IT security.

Overall, the world of IT security in 2023 is likely to be an exciting and dynamic place, with new technologies and approaches emerging all the time. As always, it will be important for individuals and organizations to stay vigilant and proactive in the face of an ever-evolving threat landscape.


New WiFi Technology has moved on

Wireless technology has come a long way in recent years, and it’s only going to get better. If you’re someone who relies on a strong and reliable WiFi connection for your personal or professional life, you’ll be excited to hear about some of the new technologies that are on the horizon.

One of the most promising new WiFi technologies is called WiFi 6. This next-generation standard, also known as 802.11ax, boasts faster speeds and greater capacity than its predecessor, WiFi 5 (802.11ac). With WiFi 6, you can expect faster download and upload speeds, as well as better performance in crowded areas with many devices vying for a connection.

Another new technology to keep an eye on is mesh networking. A mesh network consists of multiple routers that work together to create a single, seamless WiFi network throughout your home or office. This allows you to enjoy strong, reliable coverage in every corner of your space, without the need for range extenders or other devices.

In addition to these technologies, we can also expect to see the continued evolution of smart home devices and the Internet of Things (IoT). These connected devices rely on a strong WiFi connection to function properly, and as the number of IoT devices continues to grow, the demand for robust, high-performing WiFi networks will only increase.

Overall, the future of WiFi looks bright, with new technologies and approaches emerging all the time. Whether you’re a home user or a business owner, you can look forward to faster, more reliable, and more convenient WiFi experiences in the near future.

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