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How Microsoft Office 365 Could Empower Your Digital Transformation

Microsoft Office 365 and its wide variety of capabilities and features sets can increase productivity and decrease the need for IT support.

How Microsoft Office 365 Could Empower Your Digital Transformation

The technologies booming and rapidly growing modern features in the modern enterprise world force the enterprises to alter, speeding up the changes in their culture products, adoption, services and solutions, and helping to transform the enterprise experiences how it should evolve.

And how do we make this all happen? Well, Modern Digital Workplace seems to be the enabler.

In this article, I intend to cover the building blocks that make up a Modern Digital Workplace and Microsoft O365 that empowers them.

What is the Modern Digital Workplace anyway …

Is it to provide a new way of working for employees and new techniques to meet the needs of your business? Is it to help your organization to attract, retain, and engage a new generation of employees that will drive their business forward?

To be clear, it’s not just that. It is a transformation that can help you implement modern communication, collaboration, and data-driven work environment that can:

  • educate and train your team to collaborate within and outside the organization securely;
  • encourage collaboration beyond organizational boundaries;
  • improve digital process between your own employees, partners, suppliers, and customers;
  • help your team discover and act on content across multiple repositories;
  • automate the life cycle management of your documents and content through configurable rules and security types;
  • and most of all, accomplish these via one unified workplace environment.

I’m condensing these goals into the 3 pillars of the Modern Digital Workplace, with security, governance, & compliance, and LOB integration applicable within each of these spaces. They are the building blocks for an intranet that connects the workplace, unifies the communication, and enhances the productivity.

  1. Employee Collaboration
  2. Content Management & Collaboration
  3. Business Processes & Applications
How Microsoft Office 365 Could Empower Your Digital Transformation

Employee collaboration

 
This is the capability of a web-based platform which allows the employees to connect with one another, explore information and content that is relevant to their tasks with ease and simplicity. It brings the information and contexts from different sources into a single user interface that can drive the employees to be productive and work connected without compromising security.
  • Sharing experience across the entire workplace portal
  • Connect your content across the organization and extend them for partners and distributors
  • Collaboration Channels and hubs
  • Emails & meeting on any devices (desktop or mobile)
  • Org chart & employees to look up
  • Enterprise & Departmental wise communications.
  • Campaign launch and company event, Announcement and notification.
Outlook

Employee's everyday collaboration starts here can work efficiently with email responses, scheduling meetings contacts, task lookups and more—together in one place without a need to open a desktop installed application Microsoft Office apps integrate seamlessly and you will be able to share the attachments from OneDrive, access contacts meetings.

Microsoft Teams

It is very interesting to see how this innovative digital hub that can bring conversations, content, assignments, and apps together in one place with the very simple and intuitive user experience.

I would not just call this as chat-based collaboration tool, it is a hub with chat, audio & video calling, scheduling meetings, notes, and upload files, secured sharing, attachments etc., Microsoft Teams is natively integrated with almost all the O365 apps like Skype, SharePoint, OneDrive, Exchange, Dynamics 365, and Yammer.

Delve

Microsoft Delve empowers enterprise search, employees to find and discover content across the portal on personalized insights. Managing employee profile, find and organize the information that's likely to be most interesting to the person based on their interest, likes and things they are following. Connect with others directly from their profile page.

From the profile page, an employee can quickly get back to the documents from where he/she worked on recently, go to other people's pages to see what they're up to etc.

Microsoft Planner

This simple tool gives employees a visual way to organize work within the team. A project team members work on their project and task plans and organize them within this space, tasks can be assigned along with file sharing without leaving the planner. The planner has the ability to spin up the quick chat among project members on the status of the project modules that they are working on.

Yammer

It is a powerful employee social networking tool that can simplify and strength the organization-wide communication. “Within the organization, everyone gets informed on everything” is the key aspect of this tool. Employees can create Yammer communities around their content, innovation, and consolidate, share opinions, ideas, feedback from the organizational network.

Content Management & Collaboration

 
Microsoft O365 makes it easy for employees to work together. The team can share content, knowledge, and collaborate whether they are in Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Yammer, or on the SharePoint site. The OneDrive can be accessed from any content management or collaboration app that are listed above.

SharePoint

Its collaboration is managed primarily through sites & files, team news, lists & libraries, modern pages, site templates etc.

SharePoint Content Management is a very powerful system for any organization to effectively manage information and contents through a content lifecycle, right from content creation to content archiving. Content is well integrated with MS Office Apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.)

Apart from the end to end Content Management, SharePoint sites and pages will let the employees bring together associated sites, to powerful search, and easy co-creation and cohesion with easy navigation and adoptive look-and-feel. They also let everyone keep up-to-date with news, to broadcast internal and external news and activity. Keep people informed about project related task accomplishments, organizational launches, campaigns, events, and policies.

OneDrive

Within O365 space, external sharing is made easy. Half a decade ago, if the content needed to be shared externally, from an intranet it was a nightmare but now, the external users/ partners can securely access files with the email-based identity Login process. There were several OOB policies that can be enforced over secure external sharing.

Business Applications & Automation

 
Process driven content dynamic pages filled with web parts, integrated business forms and the workflow processes, digitalization and automation of paper-based/manual processes, etc., would typically fall under the category of business applications. Business application can include dynamic content from across Office 365 apps, including SharePoint Sites, Search Planner, and Microsoft Forms, Power apps, Flow and PowerBI etc.
 
SharePoint

SharePoint lists, libraries, and OOB web parts let employees consolidate and manage files and data and to streamline the business processes with business forms, enable connections to other data sources by integrating their line of business data, workflows, reports and custom mobile apps etc., the supporting process automation can be created easily with PowerApps and Microsoft Flow.

PowerApps

Data collected from external data sources (Line of Business) can be exposed as lists and libraries in the portal where it is easy to preview, display and share. In addition, these lists and libraries can act as a data source to power business operations for the enterprise. Microsoft PowerApps is a very user-friendly tool to build business forms and the process automation is accompanied by MS flow.

Microsoft Flow

With Microsoft Flow, we will be able to automate and exchange data, synchronize files between the portal and other data sources (LoB). Flow enables us to create and configure organizational processes such as approvals, multi-stage processes and it has built-in alerts, notifications mechanism without reinventing the wheel, it’s all without writing a single line of code. Also, MS flow Integrates with on-premises and third-party services seamlessly

Summary

 
Microsoft Office 365 and its wide variety of capabilities and features sets would increase productivity and decrease the need for IT support. Utilizing its many out-of-the-box features can enable easy collaboration. Though some of the capabilities of SharePoint, Teams, OneDrive, and Yammer overlap a little with respect to sharing and collaborating, every feature in O365 contributes to a more unified, informed, and connected, well-integrated collaboration environment/ portal that I can call “one portal for all”.