Collaboration is an essential part of government today, especially in the challenging times we live in. When a critical issue comes up and government offices need to step up, collaborating across agencies can bring a more successful solution. The trouble is, collaborating with disparate technologies frequently leads to integration issues.
When there’s something critical on the line, the last thing you want is to find out your collaboration can’t work. Whether it’s a technological problem, or just poor communication issues, you need something that makes partnerships easier.
Recently, Microsoft Office 365 Government added a new collaborative feature with their Co-Authoring Excel. It joins the existing co-authoring feature for Word and PowerPoint.
Yet, this new co-authoring tool isn’t the only story when it comes to Microsoft helping you collaborate in more efficient ways.
How Does Co-Authoring Excel Work?
As a government agency, you no doubt rely on Excel often to create reports. Since it’s built into Office 365 Government, you already know how useful it’s become for various projects.
Adding co-authoring capability opens up superior collaboration between individuals, teams, or differing organizations. It’s available specifically for Office 365 users taking part in the Fast Level of the Office Insider program.
One of the main benefits to Excel co-authoring is knowing who you’re working with in the spreadsheet. It gives you ability to communicate with them easily. Whatever changes they make becomes available to view in seconds so you can basically work on a project in real-time from two different locations.
It goes beyond communication with your collaborators, though. Sharing and group editing is another asset for projects with strict deadlines.
Sharing and Editing Your Workbook
The co-authoring tool lets you share your workbook instantly with your fellow collaborators. When you click “share”, your other team members receive an instant email asking them to open the file. Clicking the link automatically opens the Excel file you’re working on.
Afterward, you can start to edit the document at the same time, giving the feeling you’re working in the same room. During the real-time editing, you’ll be able to see the name of your collaborators up in the ribbon for complete transparency.
To avoid working on the same cell at the same time, each cell uses a specific color to indicate a collaborator is working in there.
You’re able to jump to a section where the collaborator is by simply clicking on their picture or initials.
Excel has an AutoSave feature as well, allowing all the work you’re collaborating on to automatically save as it’s created.
Using Microsoft Teams
Co-authoring is already going to change how you work, though Microsoft added another recent feature to further enhance collaborations. Microsoft Teams is a group chat feature enabling you to collaborate with more than just a few people.
The Teams feature is now available in 181 markets and 19 languages. Since rolling it out this last November, Microsoft added over 100 new features to make chat collaborations a flawless experience.
Part of this involves audio calling capability from mobile devices when you need to talk in chat about something specific.
Video chatting on Android is also available in this feature, proving how comprehensive Teams is when just chatting in text isn’t enough to convey an idea.
All Office 365 applications have integration with Microsoft Team so you can switch over to a chat while collaborating through Excel. As a bonus, Microsoft lets you customize each chat portal with your own tabs, connectors, and bots.
For government offices like yours, these collaboration features are going to help you solve a problem faster. When lives are at stake, Microsoft’s products can become a true lifesaver.
Keep reading us at cFocus Software Incorporated as we explore the latest developments and features in the government editions of Azure and Office 365.