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Migrating to 365? Here’s 7 Features Every End User Should Know

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Published on August 10, 2022

If you ever search for Microsoft 365 resources or tutorials, you may notice most of them are geared toward systems administrators. Finding 365 material that's aimed at end users can be a challenge. 

The industry essentially leaves end-user education up to sysadmins and front-line IT techs. So, today we're going to break that trend and discuss seven features in Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) for end users. 

Get Trained on Office 365 Today

Whether you are an end user or a sysadmin who stumbled upon this article looking for resources for your end users, CBT Nuggets has you covered. Microsoft 365 has tons of features that can make work easier and more organized, but end users need to know how to use them. 

Consider taking a Microsoft 365 training course that will teach you how to use Teams, Outlook, Word, and so many other Office apps that you may not even know exist yet. 

1. Microsoft Teams Live Transcripts

Microsoft loves its monolithic collab apps. First, it was Outlook. Then it was Yammer. Now it's Teams. Teams has come a long way and is now a viable app for SMBs and personal use. It is not just an app for the large enterprise environment. 

One of the coolest features in Teams is Live Transcripts. What if you're on a call with someone where English isn't their primary language? What if they are hard of hearing? What if that person is in the middle of a large, noisy space?

Live Transcripts are like real-time closed captions. We should probably expect that these live captions have the same accuracy as YouTube auto-generated subtitles. Still, even with some inaccuracies, these live transcripts can be a godsend for anyone having difficulty understanding someone on a call. 

2. Natural Language Queries in Excel

Analyzing data in Excel should not require a degree in computer sciences. Nonetheless, if you want to use Excel to its fullest extent, you previously had to be comfortable with programming in Visual Basic. That's about to change, though.

Excel is introducing new NLP queuing features. NLP stands for natural language processing. This is how Google figures out what you are trying to search for. Microsoft is now leveraging the power of NLP so we can mine data using human-readable questions. 

Instead of using complex formulas or Visual Basic programming to find out how many widgets you sold to returning customers between August and October of last year, you'll soon be able to just ask Excel

3. On-Demand Chat Translation in Teams for Mobile Clients

We live in a global economy. There's no escaping it. During my 20 years as a professional, I've not worked in a single job where I didn't interact with people in different countries or who speak other languages. I've found tools to work around communication barriers. Nonetheless, having a Babblefish has been a life-long dream of mine. That dream is one step closer to reality with on-demand chat translations in Teams. 

Sure, I can't use this feature to hold verbal conversations with someone. But I'll be happy if I can comfortably help a potential employee, client, or customer in real-time via chat. After all, no matter what our job entails, at the end of the day, it most likely involves helping others somehow. 

4. NLP for Microsoft ToDo

Excel isn't the only application to get new NLP tools. Microsoft ToDo is now getting natural language processing. 

Microsoft ToDo will now pick things like due dates and contacts from ToDo items automatically and set those labels for you. For instance, if you tell Todo that you need to turn in the TPS reports on Friday by 5 p.m. to someone in accounting, ToDo will automatically make that item due on Friday at 5 p.m. and add that person from accounting as a contact for that item. 

5. Notification and Time Management Features in Teams and Viva Insights

Microsoft has always been big on serving those with disabilities. Heck, the Xbox division spends millions on creating controllers for those with disabilities with a massive loss in return — in efforts to be more inclusive. 

Microsoft extends those concerns to apps like Microsoft 365, too. This time, Microsoft is creating features in Teams and Viva Insights to help people with autism, ADHD, and dyslexia control how and when they are interrupted to receive and learn new content and digest new content. 

As someone with ADHD who is routinely portrayed as rude because I keep notifications turned off on devices, I fully appreciate these new features. A poorly timed notification can disrupt my workflow for more than 40 minutes at a shot. 

This benefits neurotypicals, too. Wouldn't it be nice to focus on work and block out distractions? It's an excellent way to stay on task and block out company gossip and distractions. 

6. Switch Between Accounts in Office Online

If you are a freelancer, an MSP, or work for different clients, then you understand the pain of switching between Microsoft 365 accounts online. This process has been absolutely, immensely frustrating. It's like Microsoft was actively trying to persuade people from having multiple subscriptions to Office 365.

Thankfully, Microsoft took a queue from Twitter and is making it easy to switch between Microsoft 365 accounts. Soon it'll be as easy as choosing which account you want to use from a drop-down menu in the Microsoft nav bar. 

7. Improved Audio Quality in Teams Via AI

The pandemic taught us many lessons. One of which is that most people cannot handle participating in online meetings. We've all been there. Someone has a super sensitive mic that picks up their every breath or keystroke, or someone else sounds like they are swallowing their mic.

Microsoft must be tired of poor meeting quality, too. So, instead of trying to train the millions of people that do not have audio engineering degrees, they took the easier route and are using AI to improve call quality in meetings. 

Okay, so this feature isn't something we'll need to turn on or learn how to use. It'll automatically happen. Nonetheless, it's nice to know we'll have a bit of respite on the horizon.

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