Microsoft 365 provides a fantastic set of resources, services, and products to enable organizations to collaborate and communicate in new ways. With the pace of updates to Microsoft 365 products and services, it can be an overwhelming task to stay up to speed and informed, which is the first step to being the resident expert in your workplace. At Blueshift, we spend a significant amount of time every day keeping up to date on the latest and greatest in Microsoft 365, so that we can serve and advise our clients on the best way to leverage Microsoft 365 in their business.
Whether you have been directed to become a Champion for your organization, or just want to become one and help your business stay on top of the changes in Microsoft 365 that matter the most, we’ve included a few tips to get you started on getting and staying up to speed. After all, a little knowledge goes a long way.
The resources listed here are freely available, and range from end-user level to technical. All will provide you value as you move along your journey to becoming an expert in Microsoft 365. Make no mistake, this is a journey, and one that will not.
What’s New in Microsoft 365
This site provides a great breakdown of new and recently updated features across the Microsoft 365 suite, separated by platform. Choose between updates to the desktop applications on Windows and Mac, or the mobile versions on iOS, Android, and even Windows Mobile.
You can also filter the updates by application, and find handy information like how to check your Office version, or how features get rolled out.
Microsoft 365 Roadmap
This site is a regular visit for me. With the number of updates Microsoft makes to Microsoft 365 on a continual basis, it can be hard to keep track of what I coming, and when. The Microsoft 365 Roadmap site allows me to review all of the currently planned features and when they are set to release, as well as allowing me to dial in on a specific application.
Even better, I can subscribe to an RSS feed of the whole roadmap, or a specific item, so that I can track when a highly-anticipated feature changes, or share a specific item by getting a direct link that I can share with my colleagues in Teams (particularly handy for all those “when do we get X feature?” questions)
Microsoft 365 Training Centre
It’s all well and good that you are up to date on the features and functionality that have been, and will be, included in your Microsoft 365 products, but how are you at actually using them? IF you need to get started, the Microsoft 365 Training Centre is a great place to start gaining the knowledge you need to be able to use the applications.
Once you are comfortable using the tools, the site also contains other resources you can use and distribute to help spread Microsoft 365 knowledge across your organization.
Microsoft Tech Community
Get involved. The Tech Community is a great venue to get involved with like-minded individuals. Discussions range from announcements about products and features, guides and tutorials, and even real-time support for issues encountered.
Each product has its own area in the Community, so you can choose which ones are most important to you and dive in.
Hands down my number 1 resource when it comes to Microsoft 365 reference information, this is definitely the most technical of the resources listed. While it may not be geared towards end users, the information that can be found in Microsoft Docs will help you go from power user to super user.
Microsoft Docs provides a comprehensive listing of every Microsoft product and service, and all the information you could possibly want to have on each. I highly recommend that you keep your bookmark button (or Collections button, if you are one of the cool kids using Edge) warmed up, and you’ll quickly build a library of reference links suitable to handle many of the day to day challenges you might be faced with.
In-App Help Tab
Most people overlook it, but a hidden gem of Microsoft 365 product is the in-app help. I’m a big fan of the Microsoft Teams Help tab, and the SharePoint Online Help pane provides ready access to a variety of topics ranging from what a library is, to how to configure columns and metadata. Just look for the helpful “?” icon in your chosen app to get started,
Office 365 Champions Program
If you’re looking to become a Champion (and that’s the point of the article, right?), why not get involved in the Champions program run directly by Microsoft? The program provides regular monthly calls with other members of the community, resources and opportunities to go to partner up with Microsoft at events, and other access to Microsoft subject matter experts and other training content.
This is less for you, and more for how you are going to lead the charge to enable the end users in your organization to embrace Microsoft 365, through a dedicated site collection right in your tenant, populated and regularly updated by Microsoft with training content. Read our step by step guide on how to get Learning Pathways deployed.
Ultimately, no matter how many resources are made available, you’re only going to get out of them what you put in. If you truly want to become a Champion, you need to make time in your daily schedule to tap into these resources and learn, and fiercely protect that time. Use these resources to their fullest extent, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a true Microsoft 365 Champion.