Microsoft’s Office productivity systems have been around for so long that many users might think that everything Microsoft has to offer is perfectly intuitive. If so, they would be wrong in oh so many ways. 

As Sheryl Newman, the owner and founder of Appetite for Business notes, Microsoft’s update and new features history is huge. New features are added at the rate of about 180 a month. 

Most users know the handful of features they use constantly while ignoring everything else, much of which might be extremely beneficial to them. Companies are often guilty of the same attitude. 

What this means, Newman explains, is that companies often stick with expensive licenses for workflow systems and the like, often incurring steep recurring charges as well, when Office 365 and SharePoint have all the tools they need to do the same job.

“We love to solve business challenges Newman says. “Our role is to help businesses utilise the digital workplace to stay organised, to increase their productivity and to reduce technology costs.”

The firm has experience with SharePoint & 365 client projects across a wide variety of sectors including Energy, Finance, Local Government, Pharmaceutical, Healthcare and Education. “We have been delivering people-focused technology solutions for some seven years. As technology has changed, our services have evolved to ensure that our know-how continues to save our clients time and money while posting productivity in the workplace,” Newman says. 

“Clients are at the heart of our processes. We need to see things from the client’s perspective so that we can provide the systems, processes and training that meet the client's needs and solve their problems. We aim to think beyond the technology and to help clients to drive their businesses forward.”

Newman points out that on top of concerns over the deployment of the latest technology and general concerns about productivity, clients are also very focused on sustainability. This goes to the way they approach IT as much as it does to the rest of their business practices.

“We are all about best practice. This includes building energy efficiency into a business’s IT practices, and it is also about enabling remote working and collaboration, which also has a sustainability dimension to it. After all, if staff are making fewer journeys into the office or on client visits, that helps cut down on CO2 emissions as well. Unnecessary travel is also bad for people’s general well-being. 

“So we are all about helping businesses to be more sustainable,” she comments. 
So what are the benefits that follow from companies getting more clued about using Office 365 and the plethora of other Microsoft tools? A good part of the answer, Newman says, is about ensuring effective collaboration and cutting back on the use of paper systems and paper, while reducing the opportunities for human error.

“This is also all about aligning the business with its compliance obligations. Office 365 can automate anything that is a process. To be able to achieve automation with one single toolset is a huge gain for companies. 

“We have found that companies can really do away with so many third-party solutions when they understand in more depth and detail how to use Office 365 and SharePoint,” she notes.

Appetite for Business is in the final process of achieving  B CORP Accreditation. This is a certification that highlights a ‘for-profit’ company’s social and environmental performance. 

As Newman points out, it is an extremely arduous accreditation to get. “We have been hard at work for over a year towards hopefully gaining  certification. 

"There are only around 5,000 businesses in the whole world, so far, that have achieved this certification. The value is that it demonstrates everything that we believe businesses should be doing on the sustainability front,” she concludes.