Office 365 Business Center​: set of productivity tools for your SharePoint intranet

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Office 365 Business Centre is a collection of online services that support administrative tasks, marketing, customer relationship management as well as other aspects of running the business.

At first glance, the business centre can appear simplistic, however, as you start peeling the onion of what this suite provides I trust you will find quite a few handy features that can supplement the day-to-day of running your business. 

This first post will serve as an Introduction to the Office 365 Business Centre. In Part two of the series, I will cover the initial set-up and to finish the series, a head to head comparison with a selection of best of breed tools I found in the market today that support similar workloads as those found in this area of Office 365.

What’s in the Business Center?

Invoicing

Helps you define a pricing structure for your products/services, create estimates, invoices and manage your customer information. 

Bookings

Manage bookings for you and your staff members, providing a self-service booking page for your customers, quite handy for service-oriented businesses. 

Listings

Helps you ensure your business information is presented accurately in Facebook, Google, Bing and Yelp. This tool also helps you keep track of ratings and comments to always be aware of customer feedback and to respond timely to comments or reviews made on any of these online platforms. 

Connections

For building up your mailing list and send marketing emails with ease. 

Outlook Customer Manager

A lightweight CRM solution that can help centralize your customer information, create and manage deals, tasks and provide additional information on the activities related to this client with others in the team. It can be integrated with other apps like FreshBooks, Zendesk, Mailchimp and many others using Microsoft Flow. 

Mileage Tracking

MileIQ can assist in tracking your business-related car usage for expense reporting.

How do I get on it?

Office 365 Small Business Premium includes Business Center so if you have this license family, you are all set!  

As the suite was originally offered for small business clients exclusively, companies with enterprise licensing who have E3 or E5 licenses can also activate these features. If you happen to be in this camp, enabling the suite is quite easy: 

  1. Go to your Microsoft 365 Admin Centre 
  2. Under the Billing tab, select Purchase services 
  3. On the Services menu, you will find Business Centre (free), click on Buy now (which, as stated previously, it will not cause a charge for you) 
  4. Confirm your number of licenses, click Check out Now. 
  5. Review the order and click Next. 
  6. Click on Place Order. 

Once you have followed the steps, the Business Centre should appear momentarily in the Office 365 home page and the Waffle Menu under Apps.

Summary

In summary, Business Centre is a great collection of tools you might want to take advantage of today if you have it in your tenant. In my next post we will go trough the initial setup, to provide Business Centre with your company information and kick the tires.

Next Posts in this 3 part Series:

  • Part 2 – Getting down to business with Office 365 Business Center
  • Part 3Office 365 Business Center head-to-head with best of breed apps

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Miguel-Tena.jpg

Miguel A. Tena is an IT professional focused on workplace productivity.
For over 12 years, he's worked with communications and HR professionals to empower people to work better together. His technical experience is in tools like SharePoint, Office 365, ThoughtFarmer, Slack and others.
He loves business process improvement, finding opportunities to apply Lean methodologies and automation. Once a process has been optimized, technology can make everything faster!

@mikeware_tena