In a sample scenario, we explain how using Office 365 supports team collaboration and productivity and how it facilitates info retrieval.
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Our workday world has changed dramatically. Those changes present the enterprises and their information workers today with a number of important challenges:
- higher workplace flexibility (working remotely and offline, from home as well as on-the-go);
- usage of mobile devices;
- the expectation that tools will improve productivity, and
- the trend of bring-your-own-device
On February 10 2015, we organized a seminar where we explained some possibilities of Microsoft Office 365 by means of a fictional company called Contoso. This is a transcript of that presentation.
How can Office 365 help the sales department of a fictional company Contoso?
Contoso is a company with 13,000 employees worldwide, across corporate offices in three countries and it is one of the big players within the world of consumer products, recognized for their constant innovation. With their warehouse and reseller network spanning four continents, they can play the market very dynamically.
In our fictional example, a general ‘info’ mailbox is monitored by the sales department for new leads. That sales team receives an email from a new customer with a request for an order, but the company in question wants to set up a meeting first. How can Office 365 help?
#1 Using Office 365 Groups to centralize information, content and team collaboration
One of the sales assistants, Karen, receives the request for information. Her boss, Veronica, considers it a very good opportunity and creates an Office 365 Group to collaborate and discuss the request. She adds other stakeholders and shares the original e-mail in the Group, then adds a calendar event to the Group in order to plan the meeting with the representatives of the new prospect.
By setting up an Office Group Karen wants to centralize all information about the request, ensuring that the stakeholders are kept in the loop. Groups are easily set up and combine a number of Office 365 features: a Group mailbox for tracking conversations, a Group calendar and a OneDrive document storage.
#2 Productive on-the-go with OneNote and Office Lens
The day of the meeting has come and Karen represents Contoso at the customer's headquarters. During this meeting she takes down any details in a OneNote notebook on her mobile device. When the prospect presents her with a print-out of the specifications they need, she uses the Office Lens feature of OneNote. Directly from OneNote she can access the camera of her tablet and insert a picture of the handout into the notes. After the insertion, the photo is transformed and OCR is performed. This functionality allows Karen to select and copy the text within the image. Searches throughout the document now also highlight text results within the picture.
When she is logged in to OneNote on her tablet with her Office 365 account, the notebook will automatically be synced with her personal OneDrive. From this OneDrive account she can share the file with the external client and her Contoso colleagues.
When the file is accessible by the correct people, she posts a message on Yammer requesting her peers to review the document and connect her with people who are able to help her formulate a proposal to the client.
#3 Easy collaboration and information retrieval with Office Delve
Back in the office, the team reviews Karen's meeting notes and starts looking for answers to the prospect's questions. Alan, one of Karen's colleagues, remembers seeing some internal presentations relating to the subject and uses Office Delve to surface those documents quickly. A traditional keyword search could also be used to find the information needed, but the power of Delve is its capability to unify data which is trending around you. As Alan remembers that relevant information was shared with him before by colleagues in his network, Delve is the ideal tool to discover the document in question, but also related content.
Sanjay, another colleague, accesses the corporate Intranet on SharePoint Online. He knows there is a product site within Research and Development, combining all information available about the new product. As they have a lot of products in development, he is happy with his personalized Dashboards. Contoso used a custom SharePoint application to add additional metadata on site level, which is then crawled by the SharePoint search.
With this additional metadata, they created Dashboards that show personal search results: only the sites for products he is product manager of where his department is taking the lead. The refinement filters available allow him to trim down the search results to find the site he was looking for.
As soon as the team has the necessary information, they start a document to answer the client’s needs on the OneDrive associated with the Office 365 Group. They collaborate using Word Online, a Word application accessible from the browser, so they can all edit the document at the same time. Edits made by colleagues show up instantaneously on their own version and they can see who is writing what and when. Yammer is also integrated inside the Word Online applications, so they can discuss the contents of the document in real time.
Office 365's productivity gains
Karen and Veronica's team benefits from the various apps within Office 365 and the integration between those apps.
- Using the Office 365 Group helps the team in a number of ways:
- Veronica doesn't need the IT department to intervene - she can set up the group herself, without needing to configure it;
- She can decide who has access to the group;
- Groups are ideal for ad hoc collaboration with the user as the most important driver.
- With OneNote and Office Lens, Karen is making good use of Microsoft's cross device strategy which offers a seamless integration between apps;
- Office Delve helps the team to retrieve relevant information on the spot.
When you combine all the available tools cross-device and cross-platform, the digital experience and productivity of your end-users improves significantly: they can work wherever and whenever they want, on the device of their choice.