A webinar series is taking place next week (June 15-19) to help voluntary sector organisations make the most of the Microsoft tools available to engage with supporters and organise their staff and volunteers.
This article is sponsored by Phoenix Software, which uses IT to support organisations to innovate, transform and connect services with people.
Microsoft offers donated and discounted products to many charities to help them digitally transform and maximise their impact.
This includes cloud services such as Office 365, Azure and Dynamics 365 as well as Surface hardware and on-premises software.
To help charities get the most out of these services Phoenix Software is staging a series of webinars offering an overview of how they can help.
The Getting Started with Microsoft Solutions for Charities series features daily webinars between June 15-19. These take place at 12pm each day.
Also included is advice on how charities can better harness data and use artificial intelligence (AI). This is an area that is increasingly in demand among charities, with the 2019 Charity Digital Skills Report finding that almost half (48 per cent) of charities want to use data to improve their service delivery.
The series starts on Monday, June 15 with an introduction to Microsoft 365 Business Premium, the subscription-based cloud service that is designed for small to medium-sized organisations.
Get Started with Microsoft 365 looks at the service’s advanced security and device management capabilities and how it can help charities.
Microsoft Teams takes centre stage in this webinar series on June 16. This session focuses on the voice, video conferencing and meetings capabilities of Teams and how it can act as a virtual workspace for different teams to collaborate.
Using group chat rooms, or Channels, is considered during the Get Started with Microsoft Teams session as well as collaboration through text, voice and video.
Integration with other Office 365 apps, such as Word and Excel, is also looked at to enable users to view and edit documents together. Phoenix says that Teams works particularly well for charities as it allows teams, departments and those involved in specific projects to work together with their own team site. Everything is recorded in Teams too. This makes it easy to organise work and saves having to search through an email trail.
The Scouts is among charities to have rolled out Microsoft Teams securely across its entire organisation in just two weeks recently, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has significantly improved collaboration, according to the charity.
CRM platforms are increasingly seen as vital for charities to ensure they can maximise their impact and better understand their supporters.
On June 17 this webinar series turns its focus to CRM and how Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform can help.
Get Started with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform looks at how the highly discounted licence costs and extensibility of the platform make it ideal for charities. It also means charities can decommission multiple legacy systems they’ve been using, covering a wide range of areas from fundraising and marketing to events management. Microsoft Dynamics 365 can instead provide all of these functions within one system.
June 18 sees the series continue with Get Started with Microsoft Azure.
Issues include how moving to the cloud computing service Azure is not an all or nothing process for charities. This is because workloads or systems can be moved one at a time. Azure can also be used for those wanting to maintain a hybrid environment, involving cloud and on-site capabilities.
The series finishes on June 19 with Get Started with Data and Artificial Intelligence.
This looks at look at how charities can take advantage of AI and data tools that are built into a number of Microsoft apps. Personal assistants, chatbots as well as machine learning analytics tools are among the ways charities are being supported digitally to help beneficiaries. They are also being used to help charities better understand the social impact of their work.
The Getting Started with Microsoft series is the latest content Phoenix Software has made available to help charities. Last month it’s regular POD Phoenix podcast focused on how technology can support charities to meet the daily challenges they are having to face amid the COVID-19 outbreak.