In all licenses of Office 365 there are many tools readily available to administrators and end users alike. With a cloud based collaboration platform that utilizes the full software potential of the classic Microsoft suite, what’s not to love?! There is so much power in collaboration, but some of the newer tools in Office 365 are slow for people to learn and understand. There is much untapped value in applications like Groups and Teams, but what about the lesser known applications like Sway, Forms and Delve? I’ll be focusing on some of those soon, but first-
What is Sway and why does no one know?!
This is one of the most common questions I encounter when I have discussions about the applications in Office 365. Sway is one of the newer applications released by Microsoft, and is therefore less known than the classic applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
When it comes to amazingness and possibilities vs. usage, Sway is in this blogger’s opinion, likely the most undervalued tool with the greatest potential in Office 365. From making a simple website with links in the form of a high quality static page, to creating an entire interactive web based slideshow that can be distributed with ease (see this example I whipped up in just a few minutes!), Sway has enormous potential to empower every company and user utilizing Office 365 for the distribution and presentation of information.
Sway is as much a presentation tool as it is a platform for the distribution of information. Within minutes, you can create interactive, flowing Sway presentations that are hosted online. It is easy to transform existing video, images, Word, Excel or PowerPoint files into beautiful, story based interactive formats. You can even simply embed documents, information and links from across the web into new Sways that add content to the story your users are telling about your organization. Multiple users or groups can be given access to edit Sways, and the formats, colors, navigation and sharing settings of Sways can all be heavily customized with ease. Having all of this functionality as part of the offering of Office 365 adds enormous value to the platform, but Sway is so new that value seems previously undiscovered by most. When combined with other tools like Power Apps, Flow and Forms, the possibilities are truly limitless.
How to get value from Sway
At is core, Sway provides an extremely easy to use and equally powerful method to distribute information that can be shared as a link, be embedded into a site, or shared via email or social media posting. It is simple and easy enough to use that people can get started in minutes with the application, and tutorials are available from inside the interface for extra help. This can quickly enable your users to present content anywhere without having to bring a laptop with them, or host dynamic presentations across the web while giving attendees direct access to their content. This also enables your users to easily share content to external clients in amazing new ways, which could even potentially go viral and bring your company the very best kind of massive exposure and attention.
But it also has the potential to bring the worst!
Securing information that could be exposed via Sway
It is important to understand what kind of information could be embedded in Sway presentations and shared externally, and even more important to have a governance plan and the ability to enforce the prevention of externally shared sensitive documents to the wrong audience.
Generally, you have the ability to control whether or not people can externally share using the application, but beyond that there is no native way to control what content people are embedding and sharing from within the application outside of basic permissions management in Office 365.
Sway is truly an underused and amazing platform for presenting information across departments and organizations, it is extremely powerful as a business application and can be used easily to do amazing things. With AvePoint, it is possible to secure your sensitive information from being shared while enabling people to utilize the full functionality of Sway for internal and external clients alike.
Visit AvePoint.com to learn how to apply governance and DLP strategies across your Office 365 environment today!