One of the biggest time and cost saving treasures of cloud applications has yet to be fully explored by many companies. They’ll use the main features of multiple cloud business applications but will fall short of implementing connections and automations that can reduce their costs and improve workflows and productivity.
Business process automation utilizes the power of today’s advanced technology to put repetitive tasks on autopilot. This has multiple benefits including reducing menial tasks for workers, improving productivity, and reducing errors.
Just a few eye-opening statistics that illustrate the power of automation include:
- 79% of companies say automation saves time
- 69% of companies cite improved productivity with workflow automation
- 61% of companies say they see regular cost savings through automation
We often find that companies are using great tools, like Microsoft 365, but not fully exploring the application’s automation features, hence, leaving a good deal of cost savings and productivity-boosting power untapped.
We’re here to help by sharing 5 business processes that you can automate in Microsoft 365.
Ways to Save Money & Lower Costs with MS Automations
Microsoft 365 is a complete office productivity suite that includes Windows 10 Pro, Office 365, Microsoft Intune for mobile device management, and advanced security features.
It’s designed to address several facets of a company’s technology needs and to help streamline workflows across all of them. Here are some ways to take advantage of this platform’s automating power.
Projects and requests often hit a bottleneck when someone is waiting on an approval but the other party doesn’t realize that the “ball is in their court.” Documents are left languishing and the project manager has to go around doing follow up with everyone to see what’s happening and why a project is late or an approval hasn’t been attended to yet.
Microsoft Flow, recently renamed Power Automate, can help you streamline the approval of documents incorporating needs for multiple services, including:
- Dynamics 365
- OneDrive for Business
For example, you could begin a Time Off Request Form from a SharePoint Online list. When it’s sent, it automatically notifies the person that needs to approve it. Once an approval is made, an email is automatically sent to the person making the request and the accompanying SharePoint list item updated with the approval and comments.
Most salespeople wish they could clone themselves just to get all the “busy work” done and give them more time in front of clients. With customer-facing automations you can not only free up your sales team from repetitive tasks, you can also improve the customer experience.
One way to do this is to use Microsoft Bookings, which comes with Office 365 Business Premium (included in Microsoft 365). Bookings helps your sales team manage their meeting calendars by giving prospects the opportunity to book appointments online at their convenience.
Another excellent sales assist is to automate prospect surveys that can give you more details about their needs and pain points. This can be done using Microsoft Forms and as the surveys are filled out, they’ll populate into SharePoint Online. No remembering to email someone, Microsoft does it for you automatically.
Your client onboarding process can be time intensive and have the potential of having something left out, or it can be automated and consistently great every time.
You can use Microsoft Flow/Power Automate to make your client onboarding fast, efficient, and provide the same experience every time. Create necessary documents and store in SharePoint Online, you can also connect to any Excel spreadsheet or SharePoint Lists. Then you can set up the Power Automate to send the appropriate onboarding information at pre-designated time intervals, and also update a checklist in SharePoint that will let you know that the process has been successfully completed.
Sensitive Data Loss Prevention
Data loss and data compromises can mean major headaches for any size business. You can use Microsoft’s built in data loss prevention (DLP) policies to help prevent sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.
Azure Information Protection gives you the ability to automatically classify sensitive documents according to your preset security policies. Automatic classification applies to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint when documents are saved and to Outlook when emails are sent.
You can also ensure any sensitive email attachments are encrypted when they’re being sent through use of automated email encryption in Office 365.
Document Retention Policies
Often certain types of data need to be retained for a specific amount of time. Such as tax related information or contracts. You can automate retention labels that also classify documents at the same time.
This means that when a document is created or updated, your Microsoft 365 platform knows how to classify it and how long it needs to be retained based upon conditions like:
- Specific types of sensitive information
- Specific types of keywords that match a query you specify
This means your process is more secure and takes much less time because it’s not relying on individual users to set the classification and retention of every document.
Automate to Streamline and Save Time
Cloudavize has a passion for helping our clients succeed and gain the most traction from the tools they’re using. We can help you set up custom automations in Microsoft 365 that reduce errors, save time, and lower costs.
Schedule a free consultation today to get started!