Since the inception of the smartphone, many people have switched from voice calls to SMS – text messages – as a primary channel for communication. This heavy adoption of text messaging has given companies like Microsoft a new way to keep people integrated with their services. One example is a little-known feature of Office 365 that allows users to turn their phones into a mobile notification center.
Outlook for Office 365 can send you text message alerts. To achieve this you first need to establish a rule for Outlook Web Access/App (OWA) – Office 365’s webmail (browser) version of Outlook.
There are two classes of notification you can set up: Notifications for calendars, or notifications for email. When you create a rule, you will receive a text message whenever the rule’s parameters are met.
Here’s how you can set this feature up:
- Open Outlook Web Access in your browser. The standard address is usually: https://mail.yourcompanydomain.com/owa.
- Log in using your Office 365 username and password.
- Select Options – located in the top-right of the window – followed by See All Options.
- Click Phone from the list on the left side of the window and then Text Messaging.
- Press Turn on Notifications, select your Locale, and your Mobile Operator.
- Press Next and enter your phone number with the area code. No country code needed.
- Click Next again and check your phone. You should receive a text message with a pass code that you will need to enter. After you receive the code and enter it, press Finish.
Setting up rules
After you have set up OWA to send you text messages, you can look into the two different types of alerts. As mentioned above, the first are calendar alerts. Pressing Set up calendar notifications will allow you to establish rules related to your calendar. For example, you can create a rule where you will receive a text message when you have a meeting scheduled with a specific client or employee.
If you would also like to receive text message alerts for your email, you can click on Set up email notifications using an Inbox rule. There are many different rules you can set up. For example, you can make a rule to receive a text whenever your inbox detects an email that contains the word “update.”
To get the most out of these features, we suggest you play around with them and come up with something that works for you. Don’t go overboard though, as you probably don’t want to be receiving text messages every few minutes. Also, it’s important to be aware of how your mobile carrier charges for texts. If you get charged for incoming texts, this feature could cause your mobile bills to skyrocket. Interested in learning more about what Office 365 can bring to your business? Give us a shout, we can help.