Many organizations have gone to Office 365 – most because they saw the strategic value of a Cloud Solution and other because, well, Microsoft made them a deal they couldn’t refuse.
The bottom line for all businesses is that it makes dollars and sense to transform from a Client-side model with expensive servers to a Cloud-based solution. They have effectively eliminated the need to manage and install countless updates on so many different Client versions of Office. These companies give their employees greater capabilities and accessibility across all devices….anywhere… anytime.
That is…if they use it. The fastest Ferrari in the world can’t do much if you don’t learn to drive stick shift. We are finding that while a lot of people have moved to Office 365, in reality, their users haven’t adopted and are using the crutches of Client-based programs.
So now, you are paying for the cloud and the clients!?! Why should you pay for something you are not even using?
Ignite 2018 Preview: Announcing MS Herds, a New Collaboration Platform that Joins the Office 365 Team Tools
Today, Microsoft previewed MS Herds, a fresh, new addition for teams that want to work together more effectively than ever before.
MS Herds joins the roundup of Outlook, SharePoint Team Sites, Yammer, Groups, and Teams as another collaboration platform to the Office 365 family. It is designed for those teams that want to collaborate with other teams yet still want to stay part of the greater whole.
“We are excited about our newest collaboration offering for multi-team work,” said Carla Chaos, VP of Collaboration Strategy at Microsoft. "When combined with all of our other collaboration offerings, we are now able to include every possible type of collaboration model."
Many organizations have teams that want to collaborate with other teams as part of a greater herd. Microsoft recognized the ebullient need for this situation and developed MS Herds. With MS Herds multiple teams can hold conversations, share documents, calendars, and more without allowing other teams who are not part of the herd to participate.
As more organizations come to understand the value and impact of an Office 365 Digital Workplace, it will be increasingly important for businesses to successfully bring together all the necessary components. By doing so, businesses will empower employees to be more productive and proactive in their jobs while making business easier and more efficient.
To address the needs and the core components of a Digital Workplace, a new concept is emerging called an Operational Portal Structure, and it is the logical next step for businesses to move forward. But what is an Operational Portal Structure? And, more importantly, what is the impact on your business now and going forward?
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.
For those of you using SharePoint Online on Office 365, you may have heard about the new SharePoint Modern User Interface (SPfx) that Microsoft is slowly rolling out.
Many of us in the SharePoint community are really excited to see the SharePoint look and feel brought up to date with responsive design, and a fresh new experience which aligns better with the rest of Office 365 services. It really is laying the groundwork for a Digital Workplace and an eventual seamless experience between SharePoint and other services like Groups, Planner, OneDrive and more.
However, when is the right time to move to this new Modern UI? When should you open it up to your user community in a production environment? The answer to that is not for a while, perhaps 12 – 18 months. Why? Well because the Modern UI is only about two-thirds of the way there.
If you have existing SharePoint sites, you will find that the Modern UI will only support some of your list types. It only supports custom lists and not Tasks, Calendars, Contacts etc. Those will still display in the Classic UI. So your end-users will see two different UIs depending on the type of list they are in. This will even change where and how navigation is shown. Now that will really mess them up! Feel free to peruse this article which dives deeper into Modern Vs. Classic Interfaces.
Intranet portal design has evolved considerably as a result of Office 365 and SharePoint. As more organizations come to understand and embrace the Digital Workplace, employees expect a centralized, seamless user interface that they can access anywhere, anytime.
When it comes to your Intranet portal, beauty and functionality only go so far. The content that is displayed on the Intranet portal for your organization and how it benefits employees is going to be the defining line in user adoption and a successful Intranet on Office 365 and SharePoint.
There is no shortage of content that can be added to the Intranet portal. It’s important to strike a balance between operational content that is essential for all employees to be aware of and personalized content that is going to benefit just one team or one department.
What most organizations don’t realize is that in order to have content you have to get content. It’s a Catch-22. While employees of an organization clamor for content they don’t understand what it takes to provide that content. When they are then approached to submit content they avoid the task or put it off. This leaves frazzled and overwhelmed content managers who work hard to provide relevant, contextual Intranet information.
Providing employees with the ability to personalize content in conjunction with organizational content will increase usage and collaboration and help them do their jobs better.
For example, picture a salesperson in charge of the government sector who finds a website containing the latest RFPs for his or her state. The ability to link relevant content directly on the Intranet will greatly improve workflow, reduce time-consuming searches, and increase user adoption of the Intranet.
Forward-thinking business executives for small- to medium-size organizations (SMBs) are starting to realize that a “Holy Trinity” of technology, collaboration, and integrated business processes can exist together that lead to a next generation front office.
Advances in cloud platforms like Office 365 can provide transformative opportunities for SMBs that have never before been available. This “Holy Trinity” can exponentially improve productivity, competitive influence, and slash traditional IT costs for SMBs.
New IT Cloud Infrastructures are Transforming Operational Models for SMBs
Currently, many SMBs run their organizations on traditional IT infrastructures composed of disparate systems that evolved from an organic IT approach to an automated approach with siloed department functions. As a result, these SMBs face overblown IT budgets that are driven by maintaining multiple systems and platforms, redundant data entry, and superfluous administration.
Additionally, for these SMBs to stay competitive and serve a more distributed workforce, management is under pressure to modernize in order to support mobile devices, eliminate VPNs, and provide a common platform on which to easily do business. The negative impact for SMBs is that these current IT infrastructures could hinder growth and reduce employee productivity.
In the chaos of rapid growth, many organizations added siloed departments, each with its own procedures, policies, and systems. Many of these siloed departments use different hardware and platforms, different security or sign-in schemes, separate maintenance procedures, and separate recurring costs. How many separate systems do your employees have to use? How many different systems does your IT department have to maintain?
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?
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.