14 Jul

New business apps in Office 365 Business Premium help you run and grow your small business

To make Office 365 more valuable for small business, Microsoft is announcing three new applications coming to Office 365 Business Premium:

  • Microsoft Connections—A simple-to-use email marketing service.
  • Microsoft Listings—An easy way to publish your business information on top sites.
  • Microsoft Invoicing—A new way to create professional invoices and get paid fast.

They’re also introducing the Office 365 Business center, a central place where you can manage these business apps and get an end-to-end view of your business. In addition, they’re adding MileIQ, the leading mileage tracking app, as an Office 365 Business Premium subscription benefit. These new services—along with the recently added Microsoft Bookings and Outlook Customer Manager—help you win customers and manage your business. Let’s take a closer look at each of these products.

Microsoft Connections—Email marketing can accelerate sales, but getting started can be overwhelming. With Microsoft Connections, you can easily create professional-looking email marketing campaigns with pre-designed templates for newsletters, announcements or customer referrals. You can also provide simple ways for people to join your mailing list or unsubscribe. As your mailing list grows, you can manage your subscribers by creating segments to efficiently target specific groups of customers. Performance charts and subscriber activity updates track open rate, clicks, new sign-ups, new customers, offer redemptions and unsubscribed numbers for each email campaign, so you can see what is and is not working. Microsoft Connections is available on the web, and on mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Microsoft Listings—Getting your business listed online is a great way to be discovered by prospective customers, but it can be time consuming to set up your online presence, keep information like business hours up-to-date and monitor performance across sites. Microsoft Listings makes it easy to publish and manage your business listing on Facebook, Google, Bing and Yelp.

Microsoft Listings includes a web dashboard that lets you easily monitor ratings and reviews. When you update your business profile in Microsoft Listings, the changes automatically populate across Facebook, Google and Bing. And what’s more, you can monitor online views and reviews of your listings across sites from a single dashboard. This makes it easier to understand feedback from your customers and strengthen your online reputation.

Microsoft Invoicing—Getting estimates and invoices out on time, tracking pending payments and processing payments quickly are critical to keep things running smoothly. But it can be tedious and confusing to keep track of information in different systems of record or even on paper. Microsoft Invoicing helps you quickly create professional-looking estimates and invoices, so you get paid quickly.

Microsoft Invoicing works with PayPal, so you can accept credit and debit cards online. A connector to QuickBooks lets you sync customer and catalogue data, and transfer invoicing information to your accountant.

The Office 365 Business center brings Bookings, Connections, Listings and Invoicing together in a central location—so you have easy access to your business apps and data. It features a unified dashboard where you can view key metrics from all the business apps, including total outstanding invoices, the number of appointments scheduled, the impressions across Facebook, Google, Bing and Yelp, and the number of new subscribers and sent campaigns.

The Business center includes an activity feed, so you can see the details of what’s happening within each of the apps—making it easy to keep up-to-date on new customer appointments, invoices and payments being created or updated by the employees in your business. The activity feed also provides suggestions on what actions to take next, such as alerting you that a payment is overdue and it’s time to resend an invoice.

Because the new business apps are built to work together, you don’t waste valuable time setting up connectors or transferring data manually. A contact in one business app is automatically recognized in another, so you don’t have to input data multiple times. As a business owner, you also have full control over who on your team gets access to which business apps and related information.

MileIQ—If you drive a personal car for work purposes such as customer sales visits, partner meetings or trade conferences, you know that tracking and reporting your miles for tax deduction or expense reimbursement can be a hassle. MileIQ offers a simple, smarter way to track your miles—with automatic drive detection and mileage logging, easy one-swipe classification as business or personal, and comprehensive reporting. You can log unlimited drives every month with the MileIQ Premium subscription that you get with Office 365 Business Premium.

Connections, Listings, Invoicing and the Business center are rolling out in preview over the next few weeks to Office 365 Business Premium subscribers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, starting with those in the First Release program. MileIQ Premium is available to all Business Premium subscribers in the U.S, U.K. and Canada effective today.

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