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July 3, 2020

Microsoft 365 / Office 365: Which tool is right for the job?

Updated June 2023

Microsoft Office 365 has become a full suite of collaboration, communication and productivity tools. However, with its wealth of built-in applications, there can be confusion when deciding what tool to use and when. At Orchestry, we aim to eliminate the disorder, confusion, and indecision of too many choices; making work simple and getting you to the right Office 365 tool at the right time, for the right purpose.​

Below is our quick guide on which Office 365 application is best for different business scenarios.


What is Microsoft Office 365?

In order to help modern enterprises, ‘get the job done’, Microsoft has developed a subscription-based service that provides its users with multiple applications that have been created with productivity in mind. 

Nowadays, it’s so much more than just Excel, Word and Powerpoint.

Furthermore, due to Office 365’s cloud-based format, this suite of productivity applications is forever evolving with Microsoft making regular updates and improvements! 

Microsoft Office 365: Tool usage at a glance:

  • Microsoft Teams – for instant chat & collaboration
  • Yammer – a social network for your business
  • Planner – task to-do list
  • Projects – empowering Project Managers
  • SharePoint – a repository for internal collateral
  • OneDrive – personal cloud storage

If only it were that simple. In this overcomplicated technological landscape there is some crossover in functionality between the various Microsoft apps, so let’s delve a little deeper…

What are the Purposes & Office 365 Tools, How Should We Use Them?

By following these simple guidelines we’re taking the guesswork out of which Office 365 tool is best to use for particular jobs/tasks/purposes, ultimately resulting in maximum efficiency.


Office 365 & Communication

Microsoft 365: MS Teams application: Live meeting on mobile and feed display on desktop
Image: Office 365 - Microsoft Teams - Desktop & Mobile View.

Microsoft Teams

Definition: Microsoft Teams is a secure platform that allows users to communicate and work together in one location. Users can chat, host video meetings, share documents and customize their digital workspace with integrated apps. It is the latest progression of Microsoft Skype for Business and is a competitor to services like Slack.

Use: Essentially, Microsoft Teams allows colleagues to communicate in real-time, from any location or device, particularly when an instant response is required. But in reality, it is much more than just chats and meetings.

Microsoft Office 365 - Microsoft Yammer - Live feed display on mobile and desktop
Image: Microsoft 365 Yammer application: Live news feed on mobile and desktop.


Definition: Yammer, put simply, is very much like Facebook but for businesses, an enterprise social network. It is a straightforward and intuitive platform for sending large-scale messages within an organization, it also includes lots of ready-made graphics, memes, and videos.

However, the key difference between Yammer and Facebook is that messages on Yammer are protected from the outside world and your IT department has a general overview of employee usage.

Use: Essentially, this tool is great for sharing ideas and sending messages that don’t require an instant response. It’s a place for activities like brainstorming and news updates.


Office 365 for Task Management


Definition: Microsoft Planner is a focal point for users to create, plan, organize and assign jobs. Using the Japanese Kanban-style manufacturing system as inspiration, Microsoft Planner allows individuals to monitor the status of tasks through a dashboard and provides visibility of progress to the entire team. It is one of Microsoft’s answers to organizing tasks and team working; it is similar to programs like Trello.

Use: Microsoft Planner is the perfect tool for lightweight task management and gives a simple visual display of your jobs. If you require something more customizable or more in-depth for more complicated projects, we suggest using Microsoft Project.

Microsoft Projects

Definition: As the name suggests, Microsoft Project is a project management software product, designed to empower Project Managers to generate schedules, assign resources to responsibilities, track progress, manage budget and analyze workloads.

Use: With a wide range of support and capabilities, Microsoft Project is the heavyweight of task management, it has far more features than Planner, which makes it better suited to enterprise-level projects.

Microsoft Office 365 - Microsoft SharePoint - Dashboard display on mobile and desktop
Image: Office 365 - SharePoint


Definition: Over the past couple of years, Microsoft seems to be working towards turning SharePoint into a repository for front-end applications like Microsoft Teams. SharePoint is basically a back-end infrastructure management system for business documents, data, and projects. By using SharePoint as the foundation of your intranet, you can improve usability and benefit from an easy-to-use interface.

Use: SharePoint is used by many organizations to build intranet portals that ultimately manage and search through your organization’s internal communications, documents, policies and data.


Definition: OneDrive is a cloud-based service that allows you to save and sync files securely, on any kind of device. Users are able to upload, share and set permissions for documents whether they are on, or off-line. And, although OneDrive is not designed for collaboration per se, it does allow you to share documents and co-author them. 

Use: When you are the only user, OneDrive is your ideal file-saving solution. You can sync your desktop and OneDrive so that all your documents are available wherever you are. But, if you’re intending on saving documents that you want others to have visibility of, we recommend using SharePoint

This guide names but a few of Microsoft’s tools, however, when you’re using the correct tool for the job, the gains are clear. Office 365 offers lots of business benefits like saving money, assisting growth and improving productivity.

Quickfire benefits:

  • Office 365 enables clear communication across employees and departments.
  • You’re able to access data from any device at any time and in any location.
  • It enhances collaboration amongst users through web-enabled access.
  • Employees can edit resources in real-time and save versions for future reference.
  • Microsoft provides top-class support and services including:
    • Privacy controls
    • Geo-redundant data centers
    • Application standards
    • Vigorous security
    • Disaster recovery
  • With everything working via the cloud, it ensures that imperative business applications are always available

Ultimately, when you have your Microsoft Office 365 applications dialled in, it results in better business outcomes.

Unleash the Full Power of Microsoft 365 with Orchestry

Most organizations are not using Microsoft 365 to its full potential.

Orchestry makes Microsoft 365 simple for all users.

Orchestry  takes the uncertainty out of M365, delighting even the most non-technical members of your team with preconfigured Teams templates, an informative Workspace Directory, and more!

To see Orchestry in action, request a demo!

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