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Careers​​​​​

Prometix seeks a SharePoint Developer to work on some very exc​iting SharePoint projects.

The role will require you to deploy, configure and install SharePoint applications with existing client’s but to also work with new clients and projects and be involved in the full life cycle.

If you are keen to work on the latest projects and technologies alongside a great supportive team of experienced professionals, send us an email with your most up to date CV to c​​​​​areers@prometix.com.au.

How to make a case for the agile workplace

How to make a case for the agile workplace

The world around us is changing at a rapid pace, and as a result, business environments are becoming increasingly complex and volatile. To address this, companies recognise a need to demonstrate agility.

In recent years, the concept of the agile workplace has garnered popularity with employers recognising its benefits on workplace productivity, collaboration, flexibility and culture. In order to attract, develop and retain the best workforce, then the environment needs to be as dynamic and aspiring as the employees within it.

Agile workspaces are proactive. They can quickly change and adapt to the variables of the current market and are highly responsive to the marketplace disruptions. These workplace are outcomes focused and results driven. Most importantly – people are central to any successful Agile workplace and they need to be supported in order to bring along this change.

Technology plays a very important role in this substantial workplace transition and in supporting your staff. Modern productivity and collaboration tools that allows people to connect with their colleagues and to the various data sources of information supports the fundamentals of agility by allowing quick and informed decision making, easy access to correct information in the users context. They empower people to work together and innovate. We discussed this in details in one of our earlier articles here.

So how do you build a case for change?

Agile workplaces are on the rise

According to a McKinsey survey, most participants agreed that the world is changing very quickly and two thirds of respondents said their sectors in particular were experiencing rapid change. The more unstable responders said their environments were, the more likely their companies have already begun agile transformation.

When asked where agility is being applied in their organisation, respondents most often cited activities that are closest to their customers: customer experience, sales, servicing, product management and innovation. At least four in ten respondents also said their companies are applying agile methodology in operations, strategy and technology.

Agility is becoming a top priority

Companies are increasingly aspiring to become more agile. Three-quarters of respondents to the McKinsey survey said that organisational agility is a top or top-three priority in their organisation. On average, respondents believe that 68 percent of their organisations’ employees should be working in an agile way.

Agile working pays off

According to the McKinsey survey, workplace agility actually pays off.

According to respondents, 81 percent of those currently in agile workplaces have reported a moderate or significant increase in overall performance since their agile transformation began.

On top of this, respondents in agile organisations are 1.5 times more likely than others to report financial outperformance compared to industry counterparts, and are 1.7 times more likely to report that they are outperforming their peers when it comes to non-financial measures.

 

Before building a case:

  • Understand what agile is about. Ensure you get familiar with agile values and principles, explore agile practices and consider how these can make sense for your industry and organisation.
  • Have a clear understanding of why your organisation (or what parts of your organisation) should become agile, outlining specific business needs, what benefits are expected and how to measure the transformation’s actual impact.

And once an agile transformation has begun:

  • Keep employees informed and be clear on your vision.
  • Define your metrics and start tracking them to see if workplace agility is bringing your business value.
  • Stay agile by reflecting on your own journey – always be ready to learn, pivot and adopt.

 

To keep pace with change and improve your business processes, contact us today.

 

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

The power of AI and deep learning for business

The power of AI and deep learning for business

With the amount of data businesses collect and have access to, it’s safe to say that we are living in an age of data and analytics. To some, the idea of looking at complex data sets might sound overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that data is a huge business asset.

It comes from a massive range of sources, including structured and unstructured sources, organisational line of business applications along with sources like online, phones, payment systems, cameras, phone conversations and more. Data capacity has also increased and with that, the costs of acquiring it has dropped.

It’s changing multiple industries and the way humans interact with the world; from the way we advertise and the way we experience a product, to the way we perform tasks and do business, data can potentially touch everything, regardless of whether it’s an online or offline experience, increasingly we see that the lines are becoming blurred.

The power of data is exciting, but the reality is that many established organisations have not harnessed its full capability. We see that as databases and data points grow, many businesses struggle to keep up – even more so with the pressure of industry disruptors and digital natives.

In order for established businesses to avoid sinking, they need to approach business with a new mindset, applying data and analytical insights to streamline processes, understand their users and constantly improve.

That’s why artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning are so important – as time goes on, machines and their algorithms become more and more sophisticated, giving businesses the opportunity to create plenty of value and room to set themselves apart from the pack. On the other hand, businesses who don’t adopt AI and deep learning may find themselves at a severe disadvantage.

 

AI can do plenty of amazing things, just some of these include:

  • AI can help to match ‘supply’ and ‘demand’ in real time

Any platform that acts as a marketplace or provides a link between two parties, for example: sellers and buyers, doctors and patients and teachers and students could benefit from AI. This is especially true in an environment where matching supply and demand has been grossly inefficient.

A good example is ride-sharing service Uber, which relies on real time data in order for it to work efficiently. Uber and other ridesharing apps use geospatial mapping technology to collect data about passengers and drivers to connect them in real time. In addition, Uber drills into the data at an aggregate level to provide different pricing for different trips.

  • Breaking down of organisational silos

The best way to get value from data is to have access to all information relevant to a singular problem, which would involve breaking down walls within an organisation to link existing data points together. By combining strings of data, you slowly form a tapestry which can produce plenty of interesting insights.

For many organisations today, internal barriers and the quality of the data itself makes this seem unfathomable. However, the process is important for painting a complete picture of a person or project, paving the way for cross-pollination, personalised communications, better risk assessment and highly effective marketing.

  • Radical personalisation

One of the most powerful uses of data today lies in user segmentation, which helps drive deep personalisation, giving the ability for businesses to improve a user’s experience with a service or product. As AI gets smarter, bigger insights and transformations are on the horizon.

Hyper-personalisation could have a huge impact on the way health care is delivered, if the industry could find a way to access and connect all the different data points connected to individual patients.

  • AI and deep learning support human decision making

When it comes to making decisions, the process can be difficult, especially when dealing with lots of moving parts and plenty of information. It’s all too open to uncertainty and human error. AI can change this by analysing data from new sources, finding links and inaccuracies in a matter of seconds.

In healthcare for example, an algorithm could flag allergies and drug interactions for health professionals instantaneously, which ensures their decisions are reliable and informed by fact.

 

 

In summary

Machine learning has the power to make our jobs easier and more accurate – and algorithms can be built to ‘learn’ and get even smarter with time. It means saying goodbye to traditional software which is coded by humans and embracing a system which is trained to identify patterns, insights and links with ease.

With more and more data being captured, we will see deep learning (a capability within machine learning) become more and more advanced. While deep learning is in its early stages, experts predict that it could have a huge impact on administrative duties, including customer service roles, supervisory positions and cashiers. Deep learning systems can even write news stories, and with advances in natural language processing, the impact may be felt even further.

How efficiently is your company using data? Significant opportunities for improvement could be left sitting on the tables.

 

To keep pace with change and improve your business processes, contact us today.

Successful Digital Transformations

The winning formula: 5 essential elements that form the basis of successful digital transformations

Over time, we’ve seen advances in technology change the landscape of business – you only need to look at the industrial revolution to see what we’re talking about. And today, the landscape of business is being changed again, this time by digital technologies, with research by McKinsey showing that digitisation is having a comparable impact.

While digital technologies have been fully embraced by the likes of retail, the media and high tech, the truth is that industries overall are less than 40% digitised, suggesting a digital divide is on quite clearly on its way. As digital adoption in business grows even more, it will start to affect revenue and profit growth for the bottom quartile of companies, while the top quartile will prosper disproportionately.

So how do you make sure your company continues to grow? According to McKinsey, the biggest differentiator between companies that win and companies that don’t comes down to bold and tightly integrated digital strategies.

As a matter of fact, McKinsey’s October 2017 research on understanding and encouraging digital reinvention showed that there are a few factors that successful digital transformations have in common, and it’s these factors that help to build a culture for successful digitisation, higher revenue and faster growth.

 

1. They understand the pace of digital technology

McKinsey’s research found that companies who neglect signals of digital turbulence in their industries tend to be disrupted. It’s the companies that understand how fast digital technology is shaping their industry who are most likely to take action.

Companies who operate in digitally advanced industries, such as high-tech, feel the pressures of digitisation more readily, and are therefore more eager to go on the offensive. McKinsey’s research showed that one fourth of high-tech companies are actively on the offensive, which is 2.5 times more than across all other sectors.

What does this mean? Keep an ear to the ground, and if you sense turbulence on the horizon, it’s time to act, and fast.

 

2. They know that startups aren’t the only risk

There’s a commonly-held belief that start-ups and digital natives are the greatest threat to a company’s market share, however, the truth is that existing businesses in your industry who compete in digital ways pose just as great a threat to your bottom line as new digital entrants do.

In fact, the threat can be even greater. This is because, on average, existing companies who decide to compete digitally already own a larger market share than disruptors and digital natives do.

Businesses should therefore not only track startups entering their market, but also 1. take a good look at traditional competitors that may become digital reinventors and 2. established companies from adjacent fields.

 

3. They equally defend their core business and focus on diversification

Typical companies follow a pattern of focusing on their core business with a plan for diversification later. However, true digital reinventors tend to devote an equal amount of time and resources to their core business and diversification.

With that being said, McKinsey’s research found that investing in non-core activities only could be detrimental. If your business needs to choose between the two, then focusing on digital reinvention in your core business first is the wiser option, since core businesses are generally the main revenue drivers for companies.

McKinsey’s research found that when reinventors increased offensive action in both core and digital, total revenue as well as profit growth increased.

 

4. They have leaders who are committed to taking action

A lot of established businesses can face roadblocks throughout the digital transformation process, and in a sense, this is to be expected – when businesses grow, so too do their routines, procedures and competencies. When something works, it can be harder to let them go.

What McKinsey has found is that established companies are more likely to undertake digitisation when its leaders are more committed to taking action. For example, a C-level executive advocating for the project or putting certain managers in charge of the transformation.

 

5. They experiment with frontier technologies, invest boldly and at scale

Digital transformations only succeed if companies take time to understand and master the right digital technology architecture.

McKinsey’s research found that successful digital reinventors make sure they utilise the full range of digital technologies and distribute them across their business to support any application or process that is ‘mission critical.’ When organisation-wide adoption is successful, the research shows that companies come out on top, with the return of their digital investments being double or more than their counterparts who might only digitise a single business function.

 

Winning companies also research and explore AI technology, such as upgrading any machine learning algorithms they have to deep learning ones. The research also found that companies need to master each generation of technology before moving onto the next, otherwise they’re at risk of not achieving ROI.

Should your company invest in a digital transformation? It’s something that should be explored, lest you get left behind.

 

To keep pace with change, contact us today.

 

Advantages of MS Teams

The advantages of using Microsoft Teams

We have now been talking about Microsoft Teams in some of our previous posts.

  • Do you wonder whether it’s justified?
  • Have you heard all the hype about Microsoft Teams?

Well, since its launch, Microsoft Teams has proven itself to be an efficient and engaging collaboration tool. It is simple to use and quick to set up.  Of course organisations need to carefully plan the rollouts to its users base as we outlined in our previous posts.

What makes it so good? It simply brings people, conversations, tools and content together with total ease, helping you and your organisation to achieve more. Let’s dive in below.

A quick run-down of Microsoft Teams – what is it?

For those not already familiar with Microsoft Teams, it’s a chat-based collaboration tool that gives large, dispersed and remote teams the ability to work together and share information in a collaborative and common space.

Microsoft Teams was built for today’s way of working

Over the years, the way that teams communicate and collaborate has undergone a lot of change. Traditional organisational pyramids are starting to make way for flatter structures, making information acquisition and distribution all the more important for business success.

Microsoft Teams was built for this purpose, to make teamwork flexible, integrated and as transparent as needed. It manages conversations, files and tools, while giving instant access to SharePoint, PowerBI, Jira tasks, Planner, OneNote and more. The integrations are endless, meaning users can search across a myriad of values, including people, files, emails, projects, chats and apps with intelligence from Microsoft Graph.

It integrates beautifully with Office 365

When developers started building Microsoft teams, they believed that users wanted fewer tabs open on their desktops – especially when it comes to managing conversations and documents. Teams was therefore designed to bring team communication into one neat place.

That means no more flicking through dozens of tabs, applications and interfaces. If you integrate Exchange or Skype into MS teams you don’t need to leave the interface to use Outlook or Skype to contact colleagues or peers.

This is a huge advantage that Microsoft Teams has over its competitors: very easy Office 365 integration.

Third-party app integration

Besides integrating seamlessly with Office 365 applications, MS Teams will also play nice with third party apps. There are hundreds of third-party integrations on offer, from Hootsuite for your resident Social Media Manager and Zendesk to improve customer experiences, through to Workato for teams who want to implement bots and automation and InVision for your team’s designers.

Best-in-class security

Microsoft Teams has been built to reduce the chance of sensitive data leaks occurring – this is something that many competitors don’t offer. There’s been a real effort by Microsoft to develop unrivaled compliance and security audit functionality.

Customisable features to suit your unique situation

While there are plenty of ways you can tailor Microsoft Teams to suit your organisation, some of the best include the ability to:

  • Tailor workspaces to include cloud services
  • Get automated updates from apps that your teams utilise everyday
  • Create unique channels based on projects, cross-team collaboration and topics
  • Pin files, websites and resources that are used regularly
  • Empower your developers to build custom integrations into existing processes through the MS Teams developer platform
  • Add bots to improve efficiency

Read more: From Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams

Slash command shortcuts

There are plenty of slash commands available in Microsoft Teams to help users quickly and easily perform tasks and share information. It’s simply a short phrase preceded by a slash (/) which triggers an action within the app. The most common one is to use “/away” which will instantly set your status as ‘Away.’ These can be used from the command box window on the top of your desktop/web based Teams application.

There are plenty of others, however, and the most useful and easy-to-remember slash commands are below:

  • /activity – view someone’s activity
  • /busy – changes your status to ‘Busy’
  • /call – starts a call process
  • /files – shows you your most recent files
  • /goto – helps you move to a different team or channel
  • /org – quickly view an org chart
  • /unread – see all unread activity in one place

Are you considering using MS Teams? Get in touch.

Microsoft Bots

Using Microsoft Bots in your organisation

It seems like bots are popping up everywhere. From messenger bots on Facebook through to Twitter bots that can respond to an organisation’s tweets, it’s not hard to see why they are increasing in popularity.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft once said that bots would fundamentally revolutionise how we interact with machines, noting that ‘pretty much everyone today who’s building applications, whether they be mobile apps or desktop apps or websites, will build bots as the new interface, where you have a human dialogue versus menus of the past.’

In fact, in 2016, KPCB released an Internet Trends Report, revealing that AI invasion isn’t just another ‘cool’ technology. It’s actually a game-changing and disruptive technology. The report estimated that by 2030, 50% of the jobs we do today could be replaced by bots.

With the use of a bot, you can automate repetitive tasks, deliver information to users and respond to queries using natural everyday language. As bots get more and more sophisticated, we see a huge number of use cases for bots to be utilised by many different types of businesses and organisations.

Is this something your organisation would want to explore? With the help of the Microsoft Bot Framework, having your very own bot is highly accessible.

The Microsoft Bot Framework

While conversational bots are becoming commonplace, many developers are still playing catch-up and don’t have the expertise, resources and tools required to create natural conversational experiences.

This is how the Microsoft Bot Framework can assist organisations and their engineering teams by making it easier to build and connect bots with users, wherever they converse and interact.

Microsoft provides a rich framework  for developing Bots that allows your users to access to all of their data consolidated from disparate line-of-business (LOB) applications, communicate over voice and texts and automate tasks. Bots are built on cognitive and automation platforms along with natural language interpreters allowing users to communicate with Bots as if they were a real person.

The technologies include –

  • Microsoft Bot Framework
  • Cognitive Services
  • Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS)
  • Azure Logic

It allows your developers to easily create customised bot applications to communicate with users in places like Facebook, Skype, email, via SMS and for many other apps that integrate into Microsoft Teams and Office 365. You can also embed a bot into a webpage and customise your UI to suit your desired experience. Once a bot has been added to any of these services, it’s always online and its logic can be set up to respond to messages instantly. Think of it this way – bots don’t take annual leave and they never call in sick, making them a valued part of any team.

To date, hundreds of thousands of developers have signed up to utilise the Microsoft Bot Framework, with close to 40,000 bots operating across many different sectors like finance, healthcare and retail.

Where might you use a bot?

While the idea of integrating AI technology into your systems and processes might sound enticing, it’s important to work out how much impact it could potentially have on your bottom line.

In working out what opportunities are available for your company, you need to think about what areas of your company experience high-volume, user-related issues that might be supported or solved by bot technology. Better still, you could implement a bot that does a few small things, but does them very well to make a big difference.

Some examples of simpler bots that can be quickly built via a Microsoft Bot Service template, include:

  • A basic bot that uses dialog to respond to user input
  • A form bot that collects information from users through a guided conversation
  • A language understanding bot that learns to understand user intent
  • A question and answer bot (used for your support desk)
  • A proactive bot that may be set up as a timer or reminder

 

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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Why your company should be utilising an Intranet

Back to Basics – Why your company should be utilising an Intranet?

And yes you are correct while so much has been written on this topic, it still remains an interesting conversation especially in context of the digital transformation and next generation technologies helping us in our work lives.

In today’s day and age, all organisations are information driven. No matter what industry you’re in, whether that be finance, retail or NFP, you’ll have one thing in common – your staff need to know where all the information related to your services, products and internal processes are stored.

With the growing number of apps and tools  that supports collaboration, deciding whether your company or organisation will benefit from an intranet is a common problem that companies face as they grow. Often throughout the migrating process companies start to realise not only how much information they have, but also how much they have lost over the years due to not having a centralised and secure intranet to store and disperse knowledge with the wider team.

There’s no magic cure-all when it comes to solving all of your company’s information and data issues, since doing so would also require a cultural shift into a new way of working. But, utilising an Intranet is probably the best way to start working in this direction. By doing so, you’re working towards building a smarter and more connected workforce which fosters collaboration.

So why should your business have an Intranet portal? While the list of Intranet benefits can go on for ever, let’s look at our top 3 reasons why –

  • When an employee leaves, company knowledge also goes out the door
    Think about all the time you spend looking for information, trying to work out what a specific process is or asking the office expert questions about something you’re not sure how to do. Week after week, employees are wasting countless hours seeking out information that someone in a company has but was unable to share. Even worse, when an employee decides to leave a company, a lot of knowledge is also lost. Why? Because not every process, workaround or tactic is written down. In every company there’s always one or two people who are seen as the ‘go-to’ employees for literally everything. They give great advice, steer you in the right direction and understand how company software, platforms and services work. Everything is great when they’re around, but what about when they go on leave or if they call in sick? Loss of productivity creeps up and the panic can quickly set in. But imagine if all of the processes and knowledge of that employee existed in a centralised space? With an Intranet portal, you can do just that. You can capture institutional knowledge by having employees create documents on various projects, topics, strategies and procedures so that other employees can easily pick up where they left off. Quite simply, a one page document could turn out to be a lifesaver if it’s easily accessible to the right people at the right time.

 

  • Emails clog up , overload employee inboxes and meetings
    If you’re a time-management aficionado, then the thought of an over-crowded inbox probably makes you twitch with anxiety. You’re not alone. Management and HR experts alike have been discussing the idea of email overload for over a decade, and there are even tech companies whose sole business strategy is to build a platform that encourages ease of communication without the need for endless emails. In a growing company, if email is the sole way that your staff communicate, then it’s likely that they’ll end up with too much information or left out of the loop. Another consequence is that emails get forwarded on, people get bcc’d and cc’d, and before you know it, a simple project and all it entails exists not in an email trail, but an email tree. As you can imagine, it would be hard for all parties to be on the same page. If this is how your staff are currently working, then you really need an Intranet to set your staff up for success. By doing so, all parties will be able to collaborate with ease in a more streamlined and organised manner.
  • Meetings has these days become another time consuming task (and often not the best use of time), modern workspaces provides collaboration workspaces (Use of Microsoft Teams for example) with magnitude of features including persistent chat, structured documents & information and more that can be considered to limit the number of formal meetings.

 

  • Remote workers and accessing information/documents ‘on the road’
    A lot of companies are now offering flexible working arrangements where employees work remotely full-time or a day or two per week from home. When you have a remote workforce, it becomes even more important to ensure that your employees feel a sense of community, are interested and most importantly connected. A good way to keep your remote workers efficient and engaged is with the use of an Intranet. Think of an Intranet as an office where employees can communicate with ease, share documents, contribute their own ideas and collaborate just like they would if they were working side-by-side. With an Intranet, employees can work productively, even if they’re miles apart. Intranets can be customised depending on the needs of your organisation. If you have remote workers, then a cloud Intranet becomes a dynamic tool for increased collaboration. Suddenly staff can access important documents no matter where they are; if they’re on the road, they can even access a document via mobile apps or devices, making getting work done easy.

 

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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From Skype for Business to MS Teams

From Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams was made generally available to all O365 customers in March 2017. Since then it has become very popular with its capabilities to bring and bind various O365 features together while providing a chat based collaboration platform for organisations.

Microsoft recently announced that two powerful collaboration tools, Skype for Business and Teams, will be coming together. Teams are built on the cloud infrastructure that is also used by Skype for Business and Microsoft are now further building Skype for Business capabilities in Teams as part of their intelligent communications vision that outlines a single hub for all teamwork collaboration including – chat, voice, video, information, third party apps, documents, AI, LinkedIn, Cognitive and many more.

While Microsoft plans to continue supporting Skype for Business in Office 365 (and on premise), there is a roadmap in place for MS Teams that outlines various Skype features available on MS Teams today and timelines for new features to be rolled out. This provides an opportunity to evaluate potential of Teams (to possibly replace Skype for Business) for your organisation. Teams comes with multiple benefits apart from the magnitude of features it provides to users, Teams is built on scalable infrastructure that increases efficiencies for bandwidth consumption, allows easy upgrades and provides a platform with opportunities to tap into wide range of services including cognitive, machine learning and more.

Each organisation’s journey & process in evaluating new softwares may be different based on various factors. Your organisation may want to run Teams either independently or in parallel with Skype for Business. Microsoft outlines MS Teams evaluation journey as either Unmanaged side by side ( User controlled, Teams as a collaboration solution) or Managed side by side (IT managed, governed and controlled) and the selection of the right option depends upon your organisation size, change history, culture, change readiness and change appetite, IT landscape, helpdesk and support available, existing use and deployment of Skype for Business and many more factors.

Unmanaged side by side options is great for small teams and teams with great change appetite. This needs smaller number of transition steps to get to the end state of Teams only ( of course that is if it suits you’re the requirements of your organisation). Your support teams should be empowered early on to provide that extra support to your users helping support the adoption.

Managed side by side option is the controlled way of rolling Teams and it involves initially identifying the pilot team and defining a scope/business scenarios of what will be allowed (for example your organisation may not allow external third party apps to be connected with Ms Teams in the initial roll out, or catering for a business rule that end users cannot create teams on an ad-hoc basis and enforcing them to raise tickets via their helpdesk – this may require integration with your helpdesk application).

For either of the Guidance or Governance (or a mix of both) scenario we suggest (at a very high level) considering following –

  • Take time to review and understand all that MS Teams has to offer (both features available now and on the roadmap)
  • Decide if you would have all the features available to your users or would you consider a controlled evaluation
  • Define your collaboration use cases (Team Collaboration, Ad-hoc projects or more formal areas etc), these could be outlined at a high level while running a Pilot (of course you may generate many more applicable use cases during your pilot)
    • Clearly outline and differentiate between use of Teams,  SharePoint Team Sites, Groups, Intranet Portal
    • Here is a link to one of our articles outlining what to use when in terms of various collaboration tools.
  • Like any other new technology roll out, carefully select your Pilot users to represent your a cross section of your business users
  • Review your organisations Information Management framework if it exists.
  • Define your success criteria
    • Leverage surveys, Net Promoter Score, user feedback and various other available techniques
  • Adoption forms the most important aspect of any technology roll out, a focused Change effort needs to be planned while rolling these out Teams irrespective of which option you choose. Microsoft Teams is designed in such a way that organic growth is expected. Change management and effective support mechanisms remains the key for encouraging your users and deciding the right choice for your organisation. (and of course this is a no brainer!!)

It’s very exciting to see that some of our customers at Prometix have already commenced evaluating MS Teams in parallel with their on-premise Skype for Business and validating their Use Cases. We have been working with them particularly in developing the required governance (naming standards, workflow automation, moderation of apps & features, roles & permissions, auditing & reporting) and processes to support their pilot.

 

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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Document Management - The Basics

Digital Workspaces – Supporting our Agility

As we commence another year of accomplishments, learnings and improvements, it’s very clear that technology driven and outcomes focused disruptive trends will continue to transform the way we work. These innovative ways of working will only accelerate, future will only further challenge our agility.

Disruptive ideas are fueling our fast paced ever changing environment and organisations are working towards faster time to market driving their competitive edge. Amazon surprised us all few years back with their production deployment of every 11 seconds or so. That was awesome!

We acknowledge that Digital is creating and uncovering hidden potentials and is the backbone of innovation. For most, Digital Transformation across our organisation must have affected our daily working lives in last year or so. Cloud (and Hybrid Cloud), Customer experience, mobility, big data, analytics and more have been driving the shift in the transformation journey providing organisations opportunity for growth.

Bringing the various digital building blocks together for faster and easier decision making, providing easier access to information while empowering employees by connecting them to their peers and to their desired information, Digital Workspaces have played a very important part in this transformation journey and will further grow from strength to strength in coming years.These workspaces form the backbone of agile and responsive organisations in a true sense.

These workspaces and their purpose have evolved over time from simply providing value based services and outcomes to now providing actionable insights and centralised single point entry to the organisational digital information and much more. Following are just few ways Digital Workspaces are supporting our responsiveness along with culture of agility and commitment-

  • IoT ecosystem has given us a efficient ways of collecting data, allowing our analytics tool to help drive faster decisions.
  • Concepts around Machine learning and cognitive have become a reality.At Prometix we recently completed a proof of concept of a BOT solution that allows users to quickly book meetings (people and resources like meeting room etc.) without having to now spend time looking at the available meeting room and people’s availability.
  • Digital Workspaces will not just be a tool for office/desk workers. Front line workers and staff working in field need quick and easy access to various information and systems. O365 have now release licensing options for front line staff.
  • Knowledge Management is no longer specific to documents. Digital workspaces allows connecting your organisational information with people and context. At Prometix we have been working on enhancing our Auto-Tagging solution that allows to automate information tagging for easy search. Further we are also working on another BOT solution that interacts with users quickly providing them with key information upon request reducing need of calling someone for smallest of queries.
  • It’s very exciting to see mixed reality and the opportunities it provides for easy interaction better visualization supporting innovation

 

Over last year, at Prometix we have been conducting workshop/sessions around Digital Workspaces with various participants across various industry verticals and following key themes of conversations were surfaced around rolling out your Digital Workspaces initiatives –

  • Adoption, Training and effectively managing change remains the highest priority activity. There is a fear of Change Fatigue within organisations that needs to be carefully considered.
  • Digital is constantly evolving – business are demanding internal IT teams for Cloud, Mobile and innovative solutions to their problems and not just a technical solution
  • Don’t boil the ocean – with the vast amount of amazing applications that O365 has to offer, careful consideration and risk assessment needs to be made before switching these apps ‘ON’
  • Cloud demands for greater governance considerations and the only answer to the puzzle is timely planning
  • Organisations should consider Data centric approach to security rather than system/device centric approach

 

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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Contented with your Intranet content

Are you contented with your Intranet content

To begin with – A big salute to all Intranet content authors, you all are awesome!!!

We have all read of one of the below –

Content is the King !!!

Best Intranets keep their users engaged with refreshed content!!

Effective Intranets regularly audit their content  – ROT !!!!! … and may more

 

All of the above are absolutely spot on, but only a content author understands the pain…

Intranet are productivity platforms and core to our work life. Lately traditional intranets are getting transformed into digital workspaces that support users with its rich outcomes based approach. Content has always been a topic of discussion, it has kept Digital Managers and Intranet owners always looking for newer ideas and better ways of ensuring the Intranet continues to add value to its user base.

Content Authoring Challenges

  • Lack of time and resources
    • Useful content demands planning, time, creativity and knowledge.  Authoring intranet content faces conflicting priorities with other ’more important’ things.
  • Lack of SME information
    • Not everyone can write meaningful content. This requires in-depth information on the topic. Asking  only the ‘available’ resources (that sometimes may be not very experienced) to write content will not produce useful outcomes. Writing usable and useful content for Intranets needs a mix of resources including- Content Writer, SME, Ux Designer.
  • Content Author role
    • Staff are nominated and have to take time out of their schedule and BAU activities to invest in writing quality content. People move on in their roles and the content stays behind with no ownership.
  • Ensuring the existing content is still meaningful
    • Intranet content usually is a mix of news, company policies, processes, guides and manuals, people profiles and informative knowledge acquired via people experiences. This information needs periodic review and starts by identifying owners. Various analytics and reporting tools, scripts can be used to generate reports that can outline matrix about the existing content.
    • Forming a Community of Practice for your intranet may help with this. Of course this requires commitment from the company leadership.
  • Adding new relevant content
    • Digital workspace content includes, text, videos, interactive content, infographics, images and more. As outlined earlier we believe that effective content writing requires a team of people with at least Content Writers, SMEs, Ux Designer.

 

So what do Content Authors ask for ?

Time and resources in short –

  • Pre-defined templates and guidelines (specially for responsive design portals)
  • Design and style guidelines predefined in the intranet
  • A easy to use CMS ( um.. SharePoint )
  • Timely assistance from SME’s
  • Access to a Ux designer who can convert boring text into something nice and interesting
  • Commitment from senior stakeholders/ leadership team, their time and ensuring other parts of the business provide timely resources for any support required
  • Training and editorial guidance
  • Content authors need timely feedback to ensure the outcomes are aligned to the community needs. Content authors needs a platform to connect and share ideas. This can be accomplished via digital and various collaboration tools alternatively content writers can form their own community of practice to share ideas and feedback.
  • Acknowledgment on their hard work and finally —
  • Content creation doesn’t have to be a boring job, few Cups of coffee ( a bottle of red may be for some ) and peace should do the trick.

May the force be with you content authors!!!

 

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au
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Enterprise applications with PowerApps

Empower your enterprise applications with PowerApps

 

Microsoft has been coming out with helpful productivity tools in the way of apps for office 365, including Planner, Flow and Delve, to name a few.

These are some fantastic apps that expand and tie together the Microsoft ecosystem in a way that makes so much sense that it feels like second nature from the start.

Microsoft released the PowerApp in 2015 as part of the “Power Trio” – the other two products being Flow and Power BI. In Microsoft’s vision of a cloud-first, mobile-first workforce, enterprises have to be able to disseminate and communicate data and information to employees no matter where they are and regardless of the device they are using. This is why the tools provided by PowerApps are so important to enterprises using Office 365.

What is PowerApps?

PowerApps is a tool that enables creation of no-code apps in a matter of minutes. The strength of PowerApps is that it cuts development costs associated with producing a custom app, drastically decreases time from concept to creation, and enables businesses to be more agile in order to stay current with changing times. PowerApps is simple enough to transform the learning curve of coding on mobile devices into a matter of a few clicks yet deep enough to provide developers options to customise functionality.

How useful are the apps developed in PowerApps?

This is a must-have tool for a company using SharePoint and wanting a companion mobile experience. The keys to a great mobile experience are:

  • A well-designed user experience.
  • Mobile-optimised business processes.
  • Sound Mobile infrastructure.

A well-designed user experience makes it easy for end-users to pick up the device and intuitively navigate the app.  PowerApps analyses the data in a SharePoint list, suggests a logical layout, and creates an interface based on several pre-configured templates. This includes multiple screens, familiar controls and functionality built-in to edit items, send changes back to SharePoint from the mobile app, sort the order and have pre-determined navigational paths. Looking at the interface below, it’s clear what to press to perform any of these tasks. If asked to see all posts on new investors, refresh, edit author, delete a post or send changes back to SharePoint, little to no instruction would be needed.

Most loved: What is to be loved most about PowerApps is the integration with core SharePoint functionality.

So – how easy is to create your first SharePoint based PowerApps?

Microsoft designed PowerApps to be a no-code easy entry portal for app development. The quickest path to creating a SharePoint Online app (using the new list experience) can be completed in three easy steps.

  1. On the list, click ‘Create an App’ under PowerApps dropdown in the menu bar.
  2. Select format, change default columns shown and orientation (optional), then name and save.
  3. Download PowerApps to your mobile device and login to your O365 account.

Can I extend this experience by customising?

PowerApps provides a number of options to customise apps: create an icon from a standard list of images mixed with a background color palette; upload your own image; customize the design based on screen size; or specify landscape or portrait mode. The functionality is customizable through specialised functions included for math operations, string manipulation, table creation, custom actions and event receivers, dates and even REST calls. PowerApps incorporates a host of tools and options to customize the look, feel and function of the app just short of coding it from scratch.

Can I connect to any data source?

In addition to SharePoint lists, Microsoft included an array of possible data sources. PowerApps even allows connection to multiple sources within the same app, establishing a versatile tool for data collection. Here are of the data sources that PowerApp can connect:

  • SharePoint
  • SQL Server
  • The Common Data Service
  • Dynamics 365
  • Office 365 Users
  • OneDrive
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Twilio
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook

You can see the full list from here.

Bottom-line

A mobile-first, cloud-first workforce needs to be able to innovate, collaborate, and communicate on many levels and on many devices. Restricting the creative potential of employees in a futile attempt to exert control will do more harm than good. Microsoft PowerApps is just one more tool enterprises are going to have to get accustomed to if they want to be successful in today’s mobile business environment.

We at Prometix definitely see PowerApps ballooning in popularity as Microsoft turns its focus from new iterations of SharePoint to expanding the vast Microsoft products ecosystem and promoting synergy between those products.

Please feel free to contact Prometix to understand more about PowerApp or any other Office 365 App and how it can be used within your organisation.

 

Prometix have organised a breakfast seminar to go through some of these cool new features and strategies to make them usable and useful for your business case.  For information and registration please click here.

BreakfastSeminar

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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Microsoft Flow - Copy

Go with the Flow (Microsoft Flow)

 

Microsoft Flow is a key component, helping to tie together the Microsoft cloud services (Office 365), as well as non-Microsoft cloud services.

 

It allows end users to automate business processes through workflows that can be created without any coding skills by simple templates and drag and drop functionality. This is going to open a lot of opportunities for everyday users to be able to automate their own processes, such as getting an alert when their boss emailed them, without having to rely on IT departments and developers.

The idea of workflow isn’t a new one to Microsoft’s cloud solution – you’ve had tools like SharePoint Designer workflows in SharePoint Online and CRM Online includes workflow capabilities. The challenge, however, has always been that these tools sit within one piece of the stack. Yes, you can create connections between different systems, but at its heart, a SharePoint workflow is designed to work within SharePoint and a CRM workflow is designed to work within CRM.

Flow is different. It sits across the Microsoft cloud platform and has connectors out to a whole load of other cloud solutions as well, allowing you to build automated processes that cross technology boundaries.

Flows can be triggered based on conditions or scheduled to run on a regular basis. There are already many templates to choose from, which you are free to customise. Or you can build your own from scratch.

Key areas within Microsoft Flow

The main areas that you will use are in the top menu:

  1. My Flows – where the Flows you’ve created live
  2. Activity – where you can view your Flow history and view run history
  3. Browse – this is where you can browse the pre-built templates
  4. Learn – discover documentation, support, give feedback etc.

 

Here are some of the sample scenarios where flow can be utilised:

The most common use of Flow is to trigger notifications.

For example – when a new lead is added to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, an automated workflow can send sales representatives an email or text message with details about the lead.

Flow can also be used to copy files. For example, when a new file is added to Dropbox or OneDrive, an automated workflow can instantly post a copy of the file to SharePoint.

Flows can also be used to collect data. For instance, if the user wants to see what people are saying about a particular brand, he can create a trigger that will capture new tweets that mention the brand and put a copy of each tweet in a SQL database for sentiment mining.

Here are some of the examples:

  1. Automatically store email attachments in a SharePoint library

This is handy for when you’re on the road and collaborating on a project and you want to send a file back for the team to work on. This flow provides a quick and simple way to share a document with the rest of your team. It could also be used to store CVs or job descriptions as part of an internal job submission process.

  1. Automatically translate emails

If you sometimes receive emails in a foreign language, you can have them translated automatically and delivered straight to your inbox.

  1. Engage with your customers

Microsoft Flow can notify appropriate employees when a visitor posts on your Facebook page or responds to a tweet. Take this a step further, and you can add this information to a SharePoint task list for follow up, or create a lead in Dynamics CRM.

  1. Get notified when a file is added or updated to a SharePoint or OneDrive library

This is useful if you want to make sure you always have the latest document to hand – such as a pricelist or specification sheet.

  1. Track activity on Twitter

Set your Flow so you receive notification when a certain keyword or hashtag has been tweeted, or store them for future analysis in an Excel file within Office 365.

Once a flow is built, it can be managed on the desktop or through an app on a mobile device. Flow integrates with various Microsoft services, including PowerApps, Dynamics 365 and Office 365. The Microsoft Flow Admin Centre allows an administrator to manage users, permissions and roles and ensure that employee-created flows comply with data loss prevention policies.

Flow mobile apps

Microsoft has released mobile Apps for IOS and Android to use the flow. Using this app, you can now get notifications, manage flows, and trigger manual flows.

Please feel free to contact Prometix to understand more about Flow or any other Office 365 App and how it can be used within your organisation.

 

Prometix have organised a breakfast seminar  –  Learn how to transform your organisation with Digital Workspaces using SharePoint/Office 365 and strategies to make them usable and useful for your business case.  For information and registration please click here.

BreakfastSeminar

 

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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Using Delve in your organisation

Office 365 based Delve is a cloud-based service which helps users find and discover pertinent information

across integrated Microsoft products by pulling user content from Exchange (Emails), OneDrive for Business (File Share), SharePoint 2016 (Collaboration) and Yammer (Chat). In addition to traditional search tools, Delve has a discovery function, which brings potentially relevant information to the attention of users, based on relationships and the past activity of other users within the same organisation (or company based).

How this works?

Delve users receive a personalised profile page, which includes displays for recently accessed documents, colleague profiles and a suggested-content feed. The suggested-content feed is powered by Microsoft’s Office Graph, which tracks user interactions with people and documents across Office 365 and Microsoft OneDrive for Business. It uses machine learning to determine which topics are likely to be of interest for a given user.

Note: It is important to note that Delve never presents users with content they don’t have permission to view.

Three main functions that you need to know

Profile information Content Cards Boards
Delve users can curate their profiles to present information about themselves such as pictures, projects and skills to make it easier for colleagues to find or connect with them. Delve users can also use the people search and discovery feature to locate a colleague. Additionally, if authorised, users can review recent co-worker activity and communications, such as email through an Outlook account that’s integrated with Delve, or documents that a co-worker recently viewed or is working on for a project. Users can access the praise feature to recognise their co-workers for good work. Documents in Delve are presented on content card displays, each of which includes a title, photo and most recent activity that help users understand why a document is relevant to their needs. The top of the content card shows which user modified the document last, and the bottom of the card records where the document is stored and the total views it has received. The picture on the card is extracted from the content of the document.

The Delve profile page includes several menus for locating previously accessed content.

Users can also create boards to collect relevant or related documents to be accessed at a later time. Users can create a board to organise documents related to a specific project, allowing access to everyone involved in that project. This permits those additional users to see that board and contribute content cards to it.

Mobile apps for Delve

Microsoft has published three mobile apps for Delve:

  1. Delve for Android
  2. Delve for iOS
  3. Delve for Windows.

Mobile app users who subscribe to Office 365 can update and curate their profiles from their mobile devices, view documents, and connect to co-workers at any time and from any location. Users also get updates on colleagues’ projects, find relevant documents and easily access documents they are actively working on.

So why use Delve? There are a few key benefits:

  • From an end user perspective, using Delve is simple and straightforward. It doesn’t take long to learn how Delve is laid out and how to view and sort files.
  • Office Graph’s machine learning capability takes over some of the content management and organisation that would otherwise need to be done manually.
  • Delve never changes any file permissions, so private documents stay private. Viewing activity on Delve is also private.

What are some downsides of Delve?

  • There’s no admin UI, so it’s difficult (or impossible) for administrators to control or report on any Delve activity.
  • Content can become disorganised quickly since there’s no ability to enforce a certain
  • Delve may offer more challenges at a larger organisation.

The positives of Office Delve outweigh the negatives, and we’re pretty excited about using the new technology. Please feel free to contact Prometix to understand more about Delve or any other Office 365 App and how it can be used within your organisation.

Prometix have organised a breakfast seminar  –  Learn how to transform your organisation with Digital Workspaces using SharePoint/Office 365 and strategies to make them usable and useful for your business case.  For information and registration please click here.

BreakfastSeminar

 

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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Collaboration Simplified – Microsoft Teams

 

Microsoft announced last September its newest addition Microsoft Teams – the new chat based workspace for office 365.

 

Microsoft Teams is an entirely new experience that brings together people, conversations and content along with the tools that teams need to collaborate on.

Teams is Microsoft’s take on chat-based communication for business, its answer to competing platforms such as Slack. In its simplest of form the service allows users to set up Teams, each of which is essentially a hub for group chat rooms, which are called channels.

Multiple chat rooms or channels can be created within a Team to help keep chats easy to follow, where conversations are threaded, which flow from top to bottom and notify users with updates. If users need face-to-face conversation, they can jump straight into Skype voice or video chats with other channel participants with a single click.

Why this is better than other chat platforms such as Slack? Microsoft is pushing the platform as being more than just a chat hub. Microsoft Team is integrated with Microsoft’s cloud platform – Office 365, which means it is tied to other Microsoft Office services, such as Word and Excel, as well as its cloud storage and sharing services such as SharePoint. PowerPoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI and Delve are also integrated with Teams.

What more? Any documents, spreadsheets, presentations, multimedia which are shared within a Team are synced with a copy stored either in Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage or SharePoint online, so every Team member always has access to the latest version. Collaborative editing of this shared content is also possible, with each user’s changes reflected in the Office software in real time.

Team channels can also communicate with outside services via Connectors. Connectors already exist to push updates from GitHub, Zendesk, MailChimp, SAP and Salesforce to Teams’ channels and an API framework is available for extension. On launch, Microsoft Team shipped with over 70 Connectors and 85 Bots, which can participate in conversations. From within Chat, every Team channel will have access to T-Bot, a bot that can answer simple questions users have about Teams.

How Microsoft Team is has been positioned as part of Office platform? Its tight integration with Office services and Groups, which allows users to seamlessly and securely switch between editing documents, share dashboards and planners, and group chat, video and voice calls. That simplicity of just setting up a Team and having access to all these shared services—without the need to spend hours configuring them—is the main selling point for Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Team’s integration with email also allows messages sent to a designated Team address to be copied to a conversation in Teams.

Is this platform secure via internet when using sensitive corporate data? Data transfer is encrypted in transit and at rest. Microsoft Teams supports key compliance standards including EU Model Clauses, ISO 27001, SOC 2, HIPAA and more. As expected, Microsoft Teams is served out of Microsoft’s hyper-scale global network of data centres, automatically provisioned within Office 365 and managed centrally, just as any other Office 365 application or service.

In summary – Microsoft Team:

  • A hub for teamwork with access to Word, Excel, SharePoint, OneNote and Power BI.
  • Threaded, persistent chat with team conversations, private and 1:1 chats.
  • Supports for audio and video calling on mobile.
  • Supports inbuilt mojis, stickers, GIFs, and custom memes.
  • Allows customisation with access to tabs, connectors and bots from MS and third party connectors
  • Provides secure Hyper-scale, enterprise-grade security that supports global standards including SOC 1, SOC 2, EU Model Clauses, ISO27001 and HIPAA.
  • Allows Mobile audio calling, with video calling on Android (iOS and Windows Phone “coming soon”)
  • Tightly integrates with your email

With the various collaboration tools and apps that comes with O365, read our previous post on when to use which tool based on your use case –

Prometix have organised a breakfast seminar to go through some of these new and cool features and strategies to make them usable and useful for your business case.  For information and registration please click here.

 

Breakfast Seminar

 

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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Office 365 Collaboration APPS

Office 365 Collaboration APPS

 

Digital is constantly evolving and bringing along positive changes to the organisation.

 

New tools are being rolled out to support staff productivity and enhance collaborative working across teams. Embracing change and communicating benefits forms one of the biggest challenges.

The Microsoft ecosystem is no exception. With SharePoint and Office 365, we now have a complete collaboration structure that can be scaled to about any desired size. There always a confusion how some of these cool application can co-exist, importantly when to use what?

Let’s today look at Microsoft Teams vs Office 365 groups vs SharePoint team sites.

There are no hard & fast rule when to use what? However based on experience here are some of our thoughts.

Before diving into details, we need to understand what these are?

  • Office 365 groups is a service that enables teams to come together and get work done by establishing a single team identity and a single set of permissions across Office 365 apps including Outlook, SharePoint, OneNote, Skype for Business, Planner, Power BI, and Dynamics CRM.
  • Microsoft Teams is an entirely new experience that brings together people, conversations, documents and content—along with the tools that teams need—so they can easily collaborate to achieve
  • SharePoint team site is a collaboration area for team within SharePoint eco-system. It provides tools and to help with the collaboration.

 

So the next question is, when do we use these?

Office 365 Groups Microsoft Teams SharePoint team site
Use when your team need access to multiple apps within Office 365. Use when a small team need an area for collaboration. It has conversation (similar to Yammer) and light document collaboration. Use when a large team need a workspace to collaborate with their business related documents. Allows detailed data classification functionality.

 

Here is the summary table that provides feature comparison in detail:

Feature Office 365 Groups Microsoft Teams SharePoint team site
Activity Stream   YES YES – through RSS feeds
Notifications   YES YES
Calendaring YES YES YES
Document Management   YES – Lightweight YES – Detailed
Search YES YES YES
Real Time IM   YES  
Mobility YES YES YES
Tagging   YES YES
Thread conversations   YES  
People directory   YES YES

 

Here are some of the PROS & CONS for the apps mentioned:

App Pros Cons
Office 365 groups Brings together conversations, a calendar and documents in one place

Encourages collaboration and new ways of working

Corresponding document library is associated with the group, so all members can collaborate from the same set of documents

Available everywhere, from a web browser or mobile devices using the OWA for Devices app

Groups are easy to use, staff can create as well as manage groups themselves

Groups can be given a description, logo and easily renamed

Staff can easily browse and join groups, joining a private group requires authorisation

Using subscription feature, members can receive conversations in their inbox, this can be set for the whole group or members can control this themselves

Groups appear in the email directory in Outlook and can be used like a distribution list

New starters or people new to the group can catch-up on previous conversations unlike a distribution list

External people outside of the organization can contribute to groups via email

Overlaps with existing features like distribution lists, Yammer and the our network drives

No way to restore a deleted group

Groups can be setup ad hoc by staff with no way to enforce a consistent naming convention or several similarly named group from being setup

A group might be used to unintentionally expose confidential information, as anyone can view a group within the organization unless marked as private

Can’t change a group from public to private and vice versa

Online only (not including email subscription notifications)

Lots of groups could clutter up the Outlook email directory (GAL)

Not fully integrated in Outlook, have to use the web browser or app for full functionality

No conventional administration management via polices or admin portal

Viewing the documents component in the OWA app e.g for iPad redirects to web page rather the working from within the app

Doesn’t currently integrate with Yammer or Lync though this is on the roadmap

The underlying email address of a group is a onmicrosoft.com address, which you don’t seem to be able to change

Microsoft Teams Real-time. The conversation platform is Skype for Business, which people are already familiar with. You can instant message one on one and replace the Skype for Business client. You can also instant message with the members of a Team and this is saved for later discovery.

Multi-platform app. The Microsoft Teams app is available for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. IT has all the features of the web version on teams.microsoft.com too.

Keeping up. The activity view in Teams makes it simple to see all individual and team conversations you have.

Channels. Channels are a great way to have sub topic conversations with a smaller group of users without creating a new Team.

Tabs. With the tab extensibility, users can add a tab for other services on a as needs basis. If you are using third-party services like Trello for tasks, it’s easy to add that instead of Planner.

Chat bots. If you are reading any tech news right now, you will see it’s all about chat bots. Teams is the only way to have a conversation with a bot in a group mode.

Connectors. (see Groups in Outlook)

Preview. It is still in preview and there seems to be some bugs in the user interface.

600 member limit. Right now, there is a limit. I suspect at some point you’ll be able to create a team and have your whole organization in it though.

No external users. Groups has this capability, so I suspect it won’t be long before this goes away.

Skype calls have 250 member limit. 250 is quite a large number and at this point its more of a broadcast than collaboration. It’s more of a convenience thing that you can spin up a call to the team and let people join if they chose.

Basic administration. The administration needs to get a whole lot more granular for key scenarios.

No permalinks. There is no ability to use a URL to jump to a conversation thread in Teams. This will be frustrating when you want to reference other conversations in e-mail and instant message.

No e-discovery. At general availability, it will have C level compliance.

Basic files experience. (see Groups in Outlook) You can add SharePoint document libraries as a tab though.

 

SharePoint team sites Pages. The ability to create pages with custom layouts and add web parts has always been the major strength.

Advanced Files. With files in SharePoint, users can have metadata, content types, and custom views.

Custom Lists. Custom lists give an easy way of managing data for users. It strengths are item level metadata, versioning, security, and workflow. The custom views, Flow, and PowerApp integration is also compelling.

On-premises. SharePoint is the only option here for on-premises customers.

SharePoint ecosystem. There have been companies building on top of SharePoint since it launched. Companies continue to focus here because of the user base. This allows you to speed up custom Sites by bolting in add-on solutions.

Pages. The ability to create pages with custom layouts and add web parts has always been the major strength.

Advanced Files. With files in SharePoint, users can have metadata, content types, and custom views.

Custom Lists. Custom lists give an easy way of managing data for users. It strengths are item level metadata, versioning, security, and workflow. The custom views, Flow, and PowerApp integration is also compelling.

On-premises. SharePoint is the only option here for on-premises customers.

SharePoint ecosystem. There have been companies building on top of SharePoint since it launched. Companies continue to focus here because of the user base. This allows you to speed up custom Sites by bolting in add-on solutions.

 

Finally apps are there to increase productivity. Identifying right tool for your requirement is the key to our successful outcome.

If you need any assistance to determine which application fits for your requirements please contact one of our experienced consultants.

You can email: enquiries@prometix.com.au Or call (02) 8072 0666

 

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

 

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email: enquiries@prometix.com.au

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Electronic Signatures – what do you need to know?

Electronic Signatures – what do you need to know?

Organisations  plans for going paperless will come to a screeching halt when you need to get someone’s signature on a document.

 

That process typically involves printing the document, signing it yourself, faxing it to the other party, and waiting for them to print, sign, and fax it back—where it’s printed yet a third time and filed away in a cabinet forever.

This process takes time in turn cost to the business. Is there a better way to manage this?

Electronic signature have been in place for long time and not many people have the inside knowledge in understanding this.

What is an electronic signature?

An electronic signature can be defined as any electronic method carrying the intention of being a signature, for example, a scan of a person’s signature into a contract.

An ‘electronic signature’ is a broader concept than that of a ‘digital signature’, which is a mathematical process for determining the authenticity of a digital message. Keep in mind, however, that a digital signature is a type of electronic signature.

Electronic signature software and their purpose

Electronic signature schemes have become big business. In fact, the electronic signature software is on track to grow north of $5 billion by the end of the decade, according to DocuSign (an electronic signature software) web site. These software tools represent a high-tech and much-needed response to the vast inefficiencies of dealing with physical signatures.

While these software’s vary from provider to provider, the general idea behind them is the same. You upload a document—Word, PDF, or even an image file—to an online service, then tag it with special annotations where signatures eventually need to go. The service sends this marked-up file to your specified recipients, who then “sign” it with a few clicks, either with stock cursive fonts or with a scrawl they draw using their mouse (or a finger, using a tablet) on the fly. When finished, the signed file is sent back to you, mission accomplished.

What are the applicable laws in Australia?

Electronic signatures are governed by a wide range of laws in Australia, under both Commonwealth and state legislation:

  • Commonwealth: Electronic Transactions Act 1999 (Cth);
  • NSW: Electronic Transactions Act 2000 (NSW);
  • Queensland: Electronic Transactions (Queensland) Act 2001 (Qld);
  • Victoria: Victoria: Electronic Transactions (Victoria) Act 2000 (Vic);
  • ACT: Electronic Transactions Act 2001 (ACT);
  • South Australia: Electronic Transactions Act 2000 (SA);
  • Western Australia: Electronic Transactions Act 2011 (WA);
  • Tasmania: Electronic Transactions Act 2000 (Tas); and
  • Northern Territory: Electronic Transactions (Northern Territory) Act (NT).

If a party wishes to sign a legal document electronically, whether this will be effective will depend on:

  • The jurisdiction — what law applies to the document or transaction?
  • The transaction — is the legal requirement excluded from the electronic communications laws?
  • The method used — does it identify the signatory? Is it reliable?
  • The signatories — do the parties consent to the method used?

If all of these criteria are satisfied, the electronic signature will most likely be binding on the parties to the contract.

Electronic signature softwares

Based on your organisational requirements, technology landscape and required outcomes one of the following can be shortlisted –

DocuSign : A major service provider to the real estate industry, Google-backed (for google drive) DocuSign is a straightforward and feature-filled service that any business should find simple. Upload files to DocuSign (DocuSign puts your files in “envelopes” that you can send as a group), then drag and drop signature boxes onto the documents where you want those autographs. DocuSign then emails the documents to the recipients you specify. You can also set reminders that prod your recipients to e-eign, and set documents to expire if they haven’t been signed in a timely fashion. A dashboard lets you keep track of all your outstanding and completed contracts. iOS and Windows 8 tablet versions are available.

EchoSign : EchoSign (from Adobe) looks and acts a lot like DocuSign, and is comparable to it in most ways. You upload documents, set signature locations (or just specify one signature at the end), and send contracts via email. A simple dashboard lets you track the status of all outgoing and incoming contracts.

A couple of interesting features in EchoSign include the ability to incorporate faxed signatures for recipients who prefer to sign by hand, and an extra layer of verification that lets you require the recipient to enter a password you provide or other personal information, such as the last four digits of their Social Security Number. Naturally, integration with various Adobe products makes this an appealing option for PDF-centric shops. iOS and Windows 8 tablet versions are available.

 

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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Digital Workspaces for Not for Profit Organisations

Digital Workspaces for Not for Profit Organisations

NFPs  are embracing the digital pathway to better support their staff in maximizing donor interactions and fundraising.

Raising funds and channeling available resources into frontline services is of highest priority for Not for Profits.  NFP sector has some of the best social marketers around. They are very successful at running fundraising campaigns and connecting with donors and the wider public through social media such as Facebook, Twitter & You Tube. While the likes of Facebook and Twitter are great front-facing communication tools, they are not so effective for internal communications.

NFP staff need a digital platform that can streamline their operations, simply processes and help them optimise their tasks. A large portion of NFP workforce are casual and pro-bono workers. And so its always a big challenge to put in place systems that are usable and useful. Internal communications and the availability of information is a particularly important issue for NFP as they often have a large volunteer workforce that is geographically dispersed. Also, their governance structures involving boards and committees as well as stakeholders and employees means that there are diverse information and communication needs all within the one organisation. NFP have the data regulations that need to be followed defined by National State Archive and other governance agencies.

Finding a unified platform that will address all those requirements as well as being cost-effective is a challenge. Or is it?

At Prometix, we have developed digital work space platform for not for profit organisations based on Microsoft’s Office 365 as a platform. This solution provides following benefits:

  • Increased communication
  • Improved processes and information sharing
  • Better engagement with staff and volunteers
  • Cost-effectiveness and mobile access.
  • Staff/volunteers on boarding/off boarding
  • Documents sharing and collaboration
  • Share content/documents with external parties
  • Meeting management solution
  • Staff/volunteers contact details search feature

 

This solution is a great enabler of communication and is particularly relevant for organisations and staff members that are in different locations or who work outside the standard office environment.

A intuitive Intranet forms the gateway to the digital platform. An intranet home page featuring your top news updates with what’s hot buttons, engaging visuals or videos is a great way to increase communication and knowledge sharing within the organisation.

Access to information on the intranet can also be controlled by permission rights (which are invisible to the user). In this way, intranet users, be it employees, board members or volunteers, can only see the information that is relevant to them. This negates the need for several slightly different versions of the same email being sent around the organisation, or for the endless forwarding of email messages. There are also savings to be made in the reduction of printing costs as demand for paper copies of documents decreases.

An intranet company calendar highlighting key events, fundraising campaigns or closing dates for funding applications is another great communication tool. Having this information in one place for all users to access is a great time saver and makes life much easier across the organisation.

Another aspect is improved opportunities for collaborative working. The Yammer (Facebook like solution), discussion forums and project areas within this intranet solution enable and encourage collaborative working across the NFP  organisation. Furthermore, NFP can be confident that all information shared on the intranet is secured with the latest SSL encryption technology.

Similarly, internal processes can be streamlined using the intranet solution. For example, booking leave, completing an expenses claim or ordering stationery is a much easier process when completed online with a few clicks of the mouse. Again this represents a considerable saving for the NFP organisation in time and resources and releases funds that could be spent on frontline services.

Using the intranet’s interactive tools such as quizzes and surveys, blogs, staff biographies and messaging will improve the levels of engagement, team morale and loyalty to the non-profit organisation. Staff and volunteers of non-profits are traditionally highly committed and motivated individuals. Maintaining and enhancing that commitment and loyalty is, however, a real possibility with this intranet platform.

Integrate you line of business applications, Salesforce CRM and more with the platform to provide your users with a unified workspace for all their information needs.

Having mobile access for employees or volunteers that are out in the field is another must for non-profits. Cloud intranets can be accessed remotely using a PC, tablet or smartphone and an internet connection. Staff and volunteers will have access to all the company information they need, 24/7.

What is the cost to you as a non-profit organisation of not having an effective internal business management tool?

Inefficient processes, wasted resources, disengaged staff and volunteers, higher staff and volunteer turnover are all real possibilities. Keeping running costs and overheads to an absolute minimum is a priority for non-profits that rely on donor funding. Ask us how a digital platform could support your cause by empowering NFP staff  and volunteers.

 

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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Governing your SharePoint

Governing your SharePoint – Part (1 of 5)

SharePoint Governance has become bigger than it actually has to be. It can almost be compared to the burden of carrying the heavy iron on your shoulder.

When starting your SharePoint project, you will be hearing about how SharePoint Governance Plan is crucial for success, but no one tells you how to build it. While Microsoft has released a lot of help on the matter but I think it’s important to have a real world example and explanations for organisations to develop their own plan of action. So I decided to write this series of articles to help you build this SharePoint Governance Plan without over complicating things.

In this 5 part series we will discuss practical ways of developing your Governance plan to support your implementation and support SharePoint environments/applications on an ongoing basis allowing to achieve the benefits and desired outcomes.

Let’s start with the fundamentals.

So what is SharePoint governance plan? The SharePoint Governance Plan is a guidebook outlining the administration, maintenance, and support plan for your SharePoint environments. It identifies lines of ownership for both business and technical teams, defining who is responsible for what areas of the system. Furthermore it establishes rules for appropriate usage of the SharePoint environments.

Following are some of the areas that are included as part of the governance plan:

  • Logical Architecture
  • Site Request
  • Site Template
  • Site Management and Control
  • Site Templates definition
  • Site Retention and Deletion policies
  • User Agreement
  • Security Management
  • General Guidelines
  • Social Policies
  • Multilingual Policies
  • Support Model
  • Working Environments
  • Object Naming Conventions
  • Backup Schedule
  • Communication and Training Plan

 

An effective governance plan anticipates the needs and goals of your organisation’s business divisions and IT teams. Because every enterprise is unique, we recommend that you tailor a governance plan to your environment by using the following steps.

Step 1 – Determine initial principles and goals.   The governance committee should develop a governance vision, policies, and standards that can be measured to track compliance and to quantify the benefit to your organization. For example, your plan should identify service delivery requirements for both technical and business aspects of your SharePoint deployment.

Step 2 – Classify your business information.   Organise your information according to an existing taxonomy, or create a custom taxonomy that includes all the information that supports your business solution. After your information is organised, design an information architecture to manage it. Then, determine the most appropriate IT services to support it.

Step 3 – Develop an education strategy.   The human element is, after the governance plan, the most important ingredient in the success or failure of a SharePoint deployment. A comprehensive training plan should show how to use SharePoint according to the standards and practices that you are implementing and explain why those standards and practices are important. Your plan should cover the kinds of training required for specific user groups and describe appropriate training tools. For example, your IT department might maintain a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page about its SharePoint service offerings, or your business division might provide online training that shows how to set up and use a new document management process.

Step 4 – Develop an ongoing plan.   Successful governance is ongoing. The governance team (with business & technical users) should meet regularly to review new requirements in the governance plan, revaluate and adjust governance principles, and resolve conflicts among business divisions for IT resources. This should provide regular reports to its executive sponsors to promote accountability and to help enforce compliance across your organisation.

Although this process seems complicated, its goals are to increase the return on your investment in SharePoint, take full advantage of the usefulness of your SharePoint solution, and improve the productivity of your organisation.

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

 

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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Key to successful SharePoint projects

Key to successful SharePoint based solutions

Successful projects deliver the desired benefits and outcomes. We have been talking to various organisations and here are some lesson learned.

Usually the complaints range from  –  “my application runs very slowly”, “there are too many sites and we don’t know why and who is using it”, “not many people are using the application” & “it is a failed project”. These complains varies from governance, user adoption to solution architecture.

These are some of the lesson learned that we have gathered over the years based from our successfully implemented SharePoint based projects:

Don’t boil the ocean- all or nothing approach

SharePoint platform provides a huge amount of features and capabilities. In order to be digitalised quickly, we have seen organisations trying implement all the features at once. These features are great but they can be overwhelming for end users. If they are not rolled out in a managed and structured way, this can be a disaster in waiting.

In order to create a successful SharePoint platform in your company, you need to take it step-by-step approach.

We at Prometix always have a simple motto – “Don’t boil the ocean at once”

SharePoint is like a Swiss knife – you only turn on the feature that is required. This allows users to learn and improve. By prioritising and delivering these features in phased approach can certainly will certainly get some wins on the board. This will then allow greater success and user adoption.

When people see the results, they become enthusiastic to follow suit, then start working with the remaining departments. You will have a much better chance of user engagement and success.

Clearly understanding the limits and boundaries

Before you commence your commence your next SharePoint based project please take your time to understand its threshold limits & boundaries. This will surely stop head

Also clearly understand the differences between limits and boundaries:

  • Boundaries: These are hard limits that cannot be changed by you, your site owner, or your IT department. This is a strict limit set by Microsoft.
  • Thresholds limits: Both are suggested limits that can be changed or surpassed, but values put in place are recommended based on Microsoft testing. You want to break the limit? Take your chances on performance. The limits are based on the ability for SharePoint to perform a given action (e.g., you can upload a 2-GB file—SharePoint’s cool with it—but it takes a long time and you could experience a browser timeout error during it, making the limit a practical one, and not even one that SharePoint can always control) or limit performance issues on the user side of things (e.g., having tens of millions of files in one document library will affect how quickly that library loads whenever you open it).

Setup governance plan from DAY ONE

We have seen organisations leave governance to the end of the solution build. This can be a disaster – before you realise the content will 200Gig mark. Setting up policies, defining roles and responsibilities and processes to guide how your company is going to use SharePoint is crucial. Without doing so, you’re taking a huge risk.

Without a governance plan, the people in your organisation (e.g., end users, managers, developers, support staff, administration staff) will not have realistic expectations. Realistic expectations can only be set by defining the policies, people, and processes that will deliver SharePoint services.

So, if you don’t have a governance plan in place, dedicate your time and resources into formulating one, even if you’ve already implemented some SharePoint projects. (Make formulating a governance plan your next SharePoint project.)

Don’t take SharePoint project lightly

Project resourcing and  specialist skills forms one of the most important aspects of SharePoint project. A successful team has a good combination of technical resources, Business users. and specialist skills (PM, Change Manager, Ux Designer,  SharePoint specific skills and more)   SharePoint has a real potential for increasing end user productivity and offers array of features – collaboration, search, portal, business process automation, content management, and business intelligence—BI.

Unfortunately, most organisations don’t take the time to accurately estimate the cost of employees’ time when determining how much money a SharePoint project can save a company.

Horses for courses

Making a SharePoint project success has many facets. Some organisations rely completely on their internal IT staff who has some SharePoint knowledge to get projects over the line. This lack of knowledge can lead to a disaster.

For example, SharePoint is pretty easy to install. But if the administrator doesn’t understand the effect of version control, archiving, records management, and a whole lot more, then the site can come to a grinding halt within 12 months. Make sure you have the right resources to complete the SharePoint based projects.

 

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

 

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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Intranet your Digital Oasis

Intranet your Digital Oasis

Intranets have been around for more than few decades and have evolved like any other business solution..

They are no longer set of static pages that once would just give you access to company policies ( which btw are equally important).

Intranets of today do much more than just providing access to documents. They also offer more than just collaborative working capabilities. Enhancing communication channels is one of the advantages that good intranets provides to organisations. Intranets now have become a platform to engage your staff, provide relevant services while helping get work done and forms a gateway to your digital and social workspace.

Intranet platforms are very powerful in assisting with organisation’s digital transformation and usually forms a part of larger program of work. In fact one of our customers have named their Intranet redevelopment project as – Enterprise Moderinsation program.

Intranets in the digital economy truly brings people together with information and processes allowing your staff anytime anywhere access to various line of business applications allowing them to make timely informed decision. In order to achieve this  the digital workspaces needs a cohesive architecture. Various studies have revealed that  in next few years many of manual repeat tasks will be automated using information and knowledge extracted from organisational data sets and organisations will prefer using visual and graph based applications for their information analysis needs. There are various tools  already available in the market space  that support analytical and visual representation of data.

Here are some of our recommendations to consider for your Digital workspace-

  • The traditional Intranet features that have been popular are still relevant including but not limited to:
    • Organisational information and communications (News/Announcements/Feedback/User Voice/ Polls/Surveys/Documents)
    • Staff Search and Employee Directory including Org charts and Staff profiles
    • Team collaboration (Blogs/Wikis/Team Sites/Communities/Forums)
    • Dashboards providing key analytics
    • Applications gateway
    • Admin activities like – Timesheets / Leaves/Travel/Approvals/Onboarding
    • Rich content including videos
    • Search continues to be one of the most important make or break factor for your users. If they can find what they have been looking for they will come back for more. Tools like Office Graph or Microsoft Delve allow connections between staff and work related information artefacts allowing staff to follow other team members and also follow information sets for latest updates.
  • Business stakeholders today discover and utilise technology on their own (and without sometimes consulting IT) to support their business outcomes. Easy access to anything from cloud based storage apps to third party products and applications has resulted in an Information Management challenge and increased data silos. Staff also bring their digital legacy along to from their previous roles. Consumerisation of IT has made us all “ tech savvy”. Your Intranet platform needs to be carefully architected to support the digital needs of your users while supporting applications framework.
  • Intranet forms the landing page that allows personalised information from various LOB systems to be searchable and accessed directly and not just a place to go for hyperlinks. Try Office 365 PowerApps and Microsoft Flow and to connect to your LOB systems while allowing your business processes.
  • Modern reporting and visualization tools allows to showcase your dashboards within your Intranet. Access Power BI reports directly from within SharePoint Online based intranet.
  • Intranet of things (IOT) allows your intranets to connect to various in field devices allowing to tap into the vast amount of data collected and finally using that data via an analytical & visual intelligence tool to dashboard on your intranet.
  • Support self service by using intelligent Bots on your intranet to assist your users with a specific service for example Level 0 support type queries. Or even helping them look for answers/information around the company. “ Do we have a social club for bike riders?”, develop a bot for your staff to book meeting rooms, their next leave and many more. Microsoft provides cognitive services and language interpreters (LUIS) to support your next bot application.
  • Integrate your Document Management system to leverage organisational Knowledge and provide your users with unified experience.
  • With various modern platforms (including Microsoft tool sets, SharePoint and Office 365 applications like Groups, Planner, Delve, Yammer  and the latest StaffHub) Intranet today should targeted information to follow your users giving them a pleasant surprise
  • Better support your staff via providing them access to relevant information and actions while on mobile rather than just a responsive design with nice design
  • Enterprise Social Networks(ESN) are not just cool to have features, rather they truly support collaborative work management and helps connect people and information in a context by supporting conversations about specific information and content. Based around your organisational culture fun features like Gamification could result in team building and better supporting your staff.
  • Delivering successful outcomes for any digital project needs carefully crafted change management. Adoption is the key to any business systems.

 

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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Document Management - The Basics

Document Management – The Basics

Let’s face it, talking about document control or document management is probably not a topic you would pick to discuss at any gathering.

However, understanding document management can make a major impact for your organisation. In this article we will cover the fundamentals of document management.

In a nutshell, document management is the capture, storage and retrieval of documents. With or without document management solution, your organisation already captures, stores and retrieves documents every day. In many organisation this process is not properly implemented. These are some of the pitfalls in not running a proper document management solution:

  1. No version control
  2. Multiple source locations dependent upon business unit
  3. Uncertain ownership between business units
  4. Processes not streamlined
  5. No integration with business system for the core data
  6. Not secure

 

Information these days is not just stored in documents. Key knowledge elements of information can be found in social posts or a team chat room, even in blogs, discussion groups and many more. A stand alone Document management system that only manages document based information is not enough. That is where organisations today are integrating various sources of information into a Knowledge Management hub. With the digital transformation phenomenon, Knowledge Management and digitalisation of data  has been helping organisations retain, reuse important information and assists in making quick and informed decisions.

In understanding this need, Prometix has developed a framework to deliver the Document and Knowledge management in Microsoft’s SharePoint platform (on premise or cloud).

Prometix document management planning process consists of the following high level steps:

Identifying roles of various stakeholders: This is the first step in overall document management planning, wherein, we define and analyse organisations’ key stakeholders.

Identifying the different business units: This is the step to identify which business units will be using this document management.

Identifying various data sources: including file shares, social groups and forums, various information hubs, structured and unstructured data sets and many more

Change Management and Adoption: forms one of the most important aspects of any successful documents and knowledge management roll outs.

Identifying different document types and associated process: This is key step in getting information from various business units to collect all the document types are being used. This process will collect following information:

  • What type documents?
  • Who owns the document?
  • Who can view/edit the document
  • What is the process of creating and approving the documents?

Define document lifecycle: includes the process from creating a document to either archiving it or completely deleting it from the knowledge system.

Information architecture: Information architecture (IA) is the art and science of structuring and organising documents that support business goals and objectives. The construction of an IA is the act of specifying the systems that will hold the data that support the business. Within the IA the navigational, operational and business taxonomies’ provide the means to help users, ‘store’ and ‘retrieve’ information.  This also covers who can view/edit documents. Prometix has developed a framework to create an effective information architecture for different business sectors.

Workflow planning: Defining document approval process for a specific document type.

Plan for ongoing governance: SharePoint roles and responsibilities define the people who will govern and manage the SharePoint environment, along with their various areas of responsibility.  Documenting roles and responsibilities is a critical aspect of the governance framework for a SharePoint rollout.

Document Migration: It is expected that there will be a significant portion of documents that will need to be migrated from the current location to the new document management solution. Prometix proposes following activities included as part of the migration process –

  • Analysis of Data Migration Requirements
    • Scoping of data to be migrated
    • Analysis of nature of data to be migrated which includes rules for migration and potential issues
    • Required data cleansing activities
  • Design Data Migration processes Mechanism
    • Define areas for – Automated Vs Manual migration
    • Design mechanism for ensuing traceability and auditability of the data migration process.

Finally Transition: is a key factor and includes accessing various technical and functional dependencies before teams can be transitioned to the new Knowledge platform.

 

About Prometix: At Prometix, we design implement and support Microsoft based technology solutions that help our client’s staff to more easily use and share information as individuals and in teams. We work with our clients to establish a structure that makes information easier to create, store, find and share with others. We’ve worked hard to understand how people want to access and share information.

 

For more information on our success stories please feel free to call us on (02) 8072 0666 or email enquiries@prometix.com.au

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