As marketing continues to move forward in a digital direction, there will be no end to the number of tools, ways, strategies, services, applications, processes, both internal and external, that professionals must track, manage, organize, share, and create daily. Here is an example:
Does this look like your day? Are you overwhelmed yet? Because this is what a typical day of a marketing professional looks like. Even with multiple marketing staff, it can still be stressful. But, if you are part of a small business and the only marketing staff member is you, it’s downright taxing.
So, with all this marketing mayhem, how do you organize it all? How do marketing professionals manage everything? How can staff track all of the campaigns, social media, web traffic and updates, service requests, and so on? And, just as important, how do external employees, such as Sales or executive management access the materials they need?
Microsoft continues to innovate with features that unify a Digital Workplace. Some of our favorite updates here at SP Marketplace is what Microsoft is doing with People, Planner, and Power BI.
People - A New Profile Experience
People are the driving force behind every organization, and Microsoft has put a lot of effort into improving the way we see people in a Digital Workplace. The new Office 365 Profile experience focuses on providing information in an intelligent, holistic, and integrated way. Soon, you will find this new profile experience everywhere that you find people in Office 365. To find out more, check out Microsoft's article on the Office Blog.
Power BI - New Navigation Experience
Power BI is Microsoft's solution for providing business intelligence in a modern way. It allows organizations to quickly and easily build beautiful reports across a multitude of data sources. If you have not started using Power BI, you are really missing out. In fact, people value Power BI so much that Microsoft is updating the navigation experience to make it easier to find the many reports that users are creating. You can expect to see this new experience coming in May, and you can read more about this update on the Power BI blog.
Hiring new employees can be a tedious, chaotic process. Post a job and hundreds of applicants, if not more, immediately inundate your email inbox. Wading through the mass of resumes and reviewing applicants for the right experience and skills can be arduous.
Finding the right people is often the number one challenge to growing the business. So it’s important that a structured hiring life cycle is implemented in an organized, well-planned way so that HR staff and managers don’t waste time on applicants who don’t fit the skill and experience level, and instead focus on the ones who do.
Hiring new employees can be a long, complicated, and tedious process. Department managers and staff in charge with selecting and hiring an employee must weed through hundreds of resumes, spend hours interviewing candidates, and finally select the candidate who is not only right for the business but also for the position.
Once an employment position is filled, it might seem as though the hard work is over. On the contrary, the hard work is just beginning. Employee success often begins with how quickly and how effortlessly they can get up to speed at the business, within the role they will play, and the duties they will perform.
Additionally, onboarding new employees involve tasks not just related to the human resources department but the department for which they will work, and possibly others. This can lead to complications for HR because now they must cross-functionally track and manage tasks. Not only must HR staff track and manage the tasks that are related directly to HR, but they must stay in step with tasks associated with other departments that are in line with current rules and regulations.
In our last blog “The Hidden Issue of Siloed Departments and Organic IT Chaos,” we discussed the impact of siloed departments that operated in isolation of each other at businesses. As the business grew, these siloed departments, such as HR and IT, added their own separate applications and systems. The result was a chaotic IT infrastructure, or what we call Organic IT.
Organic IT has a chaotic effect on the business, from IT costs to interdepartmental communication to employee productivity.
In our last blog, “The Need for a Digital Workplace on Office 365,” we talked about Organic IT - systems and applications that arose naturally as the business grew. At the time this was necessary from a departmental point of view in order to set into place a way for employees to receive services, follow procedures, submit requests, and ask questions.
The downside to this approach of Organic IT is that interdepartmental communication and access to employee-facing business processes, such as time off or expense reporting, is completely separate from one another. This presents a number of problems when employees need to interact with multiple departments and receive services in order to effectively do their job.
Many businesses today are experiencing a common problem about how to increase workforce productivity and lower IT costs. The technology infrastructure of business applications driven by siloed departments has become a tangled web that employees find difficult, confusing, and chaotic to sift through, making it harder to do business inside than outside.
This complex infrastructure poses administrative challenges for IT because of separate log-in credentials, interfaces, training, support, and administration. Business applications necessary to automate processes were deployed by functional departments like Sales, HR, IT and others often independent of one another and with no prior planning. Documents and information is spread across departments while news and announcements are disseminated through endless emails that are difficult to find and organize.
By Darrell Trimble
A lot of new Intranet-in-a-box offerings for SharePoint are flooding the market that promise businesses a vibrant intranet that employees will love and use. These Intranets-in-a-box promote an enhanced interface, responsive design, content targeting, and social features.
As with any technology or software purchase, it’s important to educate yourself on what you are actually paying for. SharePoint, especially SharePoint Online, already comes with the features mentioned above as part of its base platform.
So, what are these new Intranets-in-a-box really providing, which can cost businesses close to $50k? To be straightforward, they are putting a new face on what some people consider “old and ugly” SharePoint. This scenario is similar to paying for a complete kitchen remodel when all you’re really getting is kitchen cabinet refacing.
Even more interesting is that with the announcement of the new SharePoint user experience, the need for “refacing” will soon go away. The Intranet product-specific user experiences will collide with the common user experience Microsoft is releasing across Office 365 components, such as Groups, Planner, and email.
Your Intranet should share this common look and feel with the rest of Office 365; otherwise, it will stick out like a sore thumb, leading to inconsistency with other Office 365 services that users traverse each day.
Recently Microsoft ended support for managed-code solutions for SharePoint Online on Office 365. As a provider of out-of-the-box portals and business applications for SharePoint Online, we here at SP Marketplace prepared for the change long ago, and there was little to no impact on our solutions for our more than 1000 global customers.
However, we receive calls from numerous organizations who had used consultants to develop custom Intranets and other business solutions that now are not working due to the change. Unfortunately, the consultants did not support the applications against changes in Office 365, and many were long gone. These organizations got burned.
Should you use consultants or internal development to build solutions on SharePoint Online?
After a full week at Microsoft Ignite 2016, technology is again offering real game changing opportunities for organizations across all industries. There were many great sessions that are now available online from the Ignite 2016 site.
At the core is a cloud computing model and a new term “Digital Workplace.” Moving to a cloud model represents great cost savings and accessibility options. But this infrastructure alone does not result in more productivity and collaboration within your organization. How you apply it in your organization makes the difference.
Providing your employees with a common platform that brings together communication, collaboration, processes, and information as a Digital Workplace becomes critical. This is where Microsoft is taking the Office 365 Ecosystem, delivering many new services that form the basis for your Digital Workplace.
We at SP Marketplace have been working with Microsoft to leverage this new technology in our Office 365 out-of-the-box solutions, and here is your chance to see what is possible. At Ignite, we saw many sessions on these new services and how Microsoft is delivering a common user experience across services laying the foundation for transformational change in the way business is done.