Above: Microsoft Bookings App
Microsoft Bookings is a web-based Office 365 app that businesses can use to manage appointments made by their customers, and is designed to make it easier to track clients, create new appointments, assign employees to specific appointments, set up reminder emails, and more. At the time of the original launch, Microsoft said that mobile apps would follow in the future. That future is now here with apps available for iOS and Android. The apps enable users to book and check appointments, as well as contact customers and get directions to meetings, directly from their smartphone.
Under Satya Nadella’s guidance, Microsoft has been pushing to reinvent itself as a cloud- and mobile-focused productivity and platform company, and building new apps and services such as Bookings fits squarely into that game plan. It also gives businesses one more reason to remain within the Office 365 ecosystem of services — the stickier a platform is, the harder it is for businesses to leave.
So far, Bookings has only been available in the U.S. and Canada, but it was only a matter of time before it was brought to an international user base. The company hasn’t given a precise launch schedule for Bookings internationally, but it does say that it’s “beginning to” roll it out as of now.
In additional to the new mobile apps and global availability, Bookings has also gained a number of new features, including the ability to add your Office 365 calendar to the Bookings app, a somewhat surprising omission from the initial launch; users can also now add some “buffer time” for before and after appointments to allow time to prepare, travel, and so on.