Office 365 capabilities that benefit the finance industry

The financial industry needs tools that offer security, mobility and productivity features. Here are five Office 365 capabilities that may fit the bill.

The financial industry continues to identify ways to streamline costs and improve customer experience, and a number...

of finance organizations have found those capabilities in Office 365.

Different segments of the financial industry, such as banks, credit unions and capital management firms, are moving to Microsoft's cloud productivity platform to realize the benefits of its security, mobility and productivity features. The following are the top five Office 365 capabilities that deliver what financial institutions need:

1. Security and compliance

Similar to other industries, financial service firms are heavily regulated. This results in a strong demand for cloud services that put customer data security at the top of the priority list. Microsoft recognizes the importance of protecting the information it hosts, and as a result, Office 365 features enable even more protections that IT can control. Some of the commonly used capabilities to help IT meet regulatory compliance requirements are: eDiscovery, on-Hold, Archiving, Azure Rights Management Services, Information Rights Management, Azure AD Premium services with identity protection, Advanced Threat protection and Encryption.

2. Mobility

Using the cloud opens the door to mobility, as it allows end users to access the corporate data they need from anywhere. The Office 365 capabilities include access to emails, SharePoint sites and corporate files, as well as endpoint management of mobile devices and tablets. In addition, end users are also able to interact with and edit documents from their mobile devices.

Since the introduction of hosted PBX, part of the Office 365 Enterprise E5 plan, several IT executives are seeing the value in implementing hosted VoIP with many of its collaboration capabilities for the remote sites, to reduce large hardware purchases as well as complex systems.

3. Customer relationship management

The financial service sector is shifting away from a purely transactional model toward a comprehensive portfolio of financial packages. As a result, there is a significant demand for tools that can assist in tracking, managing and engaging customers in a unified platform. A common easy and yet powerful tool that many organizations have considered and adopted is Microsoft CRM online. This platform offers a complete CRM package coupled with Office 365 capabilities, providing a one-stop shop to help drive better customer service and increase efficiency by tracking activities and interactions with clients.

4. IT controls and efficiency

With a centralized Web-based administration console, Microsoft Office 365 offers a single pane of glass to enable IT to manage users and security and set any policies that are mandated under a compliance requirement. With a built-in and financially backed uptime of 99.9%, IT sees reduced complexity and increased efficiency in the management of all included workloads and services. This provides significant value to the organization, maintenance and much needed cost savings.

5. Office 365 Video

Microsoft SharePoint Online and sister platform Office 365 Video can combine to deliver a rich training platform. Many banks have created SharePoint sites as the education destination for their users. Organizations are able to publish interactive videos hosted within Microsoft (similar to YouTube), and place them within SharePoint with additional training content such as manuals, processes and standard operating procedures. This creates a central hub for users to access all their training resources.

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