Scrolling down every job application that came to the mailbox, you will notice one similarity between them – almost all candidates of non-technical background included Microsoft Office as part of their skill set when submitting the resume to their future employers. 

However, the sad truth is, most of these candidates have only touched the surface of what this useful tool could provide. Little did they know that the expectation of utilizing the Office Suite is beyond the ability to navigate the toolbar on Word or insert rows in Excel. 

It’s the year 2018 and there is so much more to Microsoft Office than just spreadsheets and slideshows. We make it a point to list them all out.

The New Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is advancing by the day.  It is no longer your typical daily office productivity tools that comprise the three main products – MS Word, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint. Years had passed and Microsoft has certainly stepped up their game by making major changes to their product lines. 

If you have been keeping tabs on their evolution, you may notice the long list of newly available features and application that are being added continuously into the platform. These new additions, such as Microsoft Teams, aim to transform the entire workspace or campus by improving collaborations.

Besides that, Microsoft also offers an interesting business model that support the dynamics of your business operations. O365 is Microsoft’s on-cloud subscription model, offered as part of the Microsoft Office product line.

What does this new subscription model mean to your institution?

For one, O365 is different from the previous one-time purchase perpetual licensing model. Now, instead of being stuck in one particular version of the suites, the new O365 Subscription Plan allows you to continuously enjoy all the latest updates for your Microsoft Office.

Secondly, it’s flexibility allows you to add or remove the quantity of the subscription based on the number of active users. 

Microsoft O365 features a browser-based application for your PC and mobile app for iOS and Android platform. You may now perform your normal tasks – editing Word document, updating your Excel spreadsheet, preparing your PowerPoint presentation, from any standard browsers. All of your files will be automatically saved in OneDrive, the central cloud storage. 

And,  if you are worried about the availability of the Internet, you can now take a seat back and relax. Thanks to OneDrive synchronization, all your data will be automatically synced to your cloud storage and it will be made available across all platforms at any time, anywhere.   

 O365 Applications

 

With Microsoft’s commitment and continuous improvement, new features or components are being updated regularly for your convenience.

Below is the list of application that O365 is currently offering as of June 2018:

 

  • OneDrive
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • SharePoint
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Forms
  • Publisher (PC Only)
  • Access (PC Only)
  • Skype for Business
  • Sway
  • Teams
  • Yammer
  • Planner

If we want our students to gain comprehensive knowledge in using and understand the O365 environment, it is essential to make it easily accessible for use and while encouraging them to explore and learn.  

O365 Subscription Plans for Education

If you are in the education industry, there are several types of plans available for you to choose from. These plans vary by the number of application that one can gain access to.

  • O365 A1 Plan
  • O365 A3 Plan
  • O365 A5 Plan
For more details, you may visit Microsoft’s website.

In order to be able to subscribe to the plans, you must either have a .edu domain email address or a proof that you are conduction an education business for students from relevant authorities.

O365 A1 is free for anyone who has a .edu domain email address or has received approval from Microsoft based on the above criteria.  O365 A1 plan allows you to access most of the online version of the applications.

For other plans, a single subscription of O365 Plan means the subscribers are also allowed to:

  • Download full Office 2016 into 5 different PC
  • Download tablet version O365 applications into 5 different tablets
  • Download mobile version O365 applications into 5 different smartphones

In addition, every purchase of O365 subscription plan comes with 40 free plans for students to use.  This simply means that when you subscribe to an O365 Plan, 40 students get what you are getting for free with their .edu email addresses.

Microsoft 365 (M365)

Apart from that, Microsoft has also set up a bundle plan reincorporating Windows 10 into the O365 Plans. The plans available are the M365 A3 and the M365 A5.

The subscription of Windows 10 allows subscribers to receive any updates on Window 10 at absolutely no charge.

 

Tips: The most popular plan is the M365 A3 plan.

Imagine Academy

Now that you’re done with step one, it’s time to proceed to the next level- building Microsoft Office proficiency to prepare your students for job opportunities. 

Have you ever heard of Microsoft Imagine Academy

Just like Udemy, it aims to help students and lecturers improve their IT skills while learning a new one. Imagine Academy is a self-paced e-Learning platform containing various topics that are essential for student success. The contents are available in the form of videos, slides, and documents, making them easily accessible from any devices at any time, anywhere. 

Imagine Academy also provides Microsoft Office Specialist certifications to students who enroll in the course and pass the examination. This will come in handy to students as it instantly elevates their employability chances.

Not only that, signing up for the courses allow lecturers to download the teaching contents and embark on interactive lecture sessions with their students. The other option available would be to give the students the access to Imagine Academy account and let them learn at their own pace. 

Microsoft Office Specialist

Once they have successfully completed their courses, you may want them to pursue onto a more advanced level of certification such as the MOS. Stands for Microsoft Office Specialist, it is one of the most premier credentials that will help boost an individual hire worthiness. 

A validated MOS Certification can earn an entry-level employee as much as $16, 000 more in annual salary than uncertified peers. 

Source : Microsoft Portal 

This certification would serve as a valid proof of their Office proficiency level, supporting every claim they made each time they listed out Office suite in the CVs.  

Automatic Email Creation from Sqayy Campus

Sqayy Campus Management is a very powerful tool.

Specifically built to untangle the complexity within every organization, Sqayy provides a relief from the tiresome data entry tasks. As students come and go at a high frequency, maintaining the accessibility to the 0365 accounts can be time-consuming, especially when you have to migrate all the data into the platform manually. 

Can you imagine performing these tedious tasks two to three times a year? 

With Sqayy, you don’t have to go through all the hassle and headaches anymore. Built with standard API to integrate campus management system with 0365, the IT departments may now cross one thing off their to-do list. 

Not only that it automatically creates students’ email in the O365, but Sqayy also has the mechanism to deactivate their access once their status change to Graduated/Dismissed. Powerful, isn’t it?

Realizing the ultimate objective of every institution – providing the best education to their students, Sqayy integrate to School Data Sync to help lecturers prepare for their classes in Microsoft Teams. Forget expensive learning management system implementation as you can have it all with Sqayy and O365 combined. 

In a campus digital ecosystem, Sqayy Campus Management is the first system to recognize whether a student is active, graduated or has withdrawn. This means that in an integrated environment, your student data starts to flow from Sqayy.

 

 

Microsoft is no longer just a daily productivity tool. Its capability has grown into a robust learning tool with great potential to change the education industry and Sqayy can help transform that potential into a complete plan for your institution.