The Mobile, Intelligent Intranet
For fifteen years, hundreds of millions of customers around the world have relied on SharePoint to build rich intranets that connect people, content and processes across collaborative team sites, departmental and organizational portals and custom business applications. The most important part of a team or organization is its people. It’s not only what you know, it’s who you know. People cards, now in SharePoint document libraries and OneDrive—surface details about the people you work with and the content they work on, so you can connect with expertise and discover new resources.
People cards bring profile information, organizational relationships and content from your colleagues right into the context of your work in SharePoint or in OneDrive for Business.
An Office 365 group defines a team of people and gives them access to shared content and to the collaborative resources of the group—such as a calendar, a OneNote notebook, a Plan to manage tasks, and conversations powered by Outlook or Yammer.
Teams also need to stay on the same page, and today the SharePoint home page provides team news—modern pages to keep your team up to date and in the know. SharePoint pages have rich support for multimedia and tight integration with Yammer, can be extended with custom web parts, and are mobile by default. Team news articles are featured at the top of the team site home page. And the SharePoint mobile app’s News tab pulls together news from all your team sites and groups.
The team site home page in the browser and in the SharePoint mobile app features team news, so your team can stay informed about what’s new and what’s important.
News articles offer a great reading experience in SharePoint mobile. Multimedia and embedded files can now be included and it’s all mobile by default. The News tab, now on iOS, aggregates news from across your team sites for a holistic look at what’s going on across your teams.
You can collect, manage or collaborate on data with SharePoint like never before. You’ll find the modern experience makes it easy in the browser and in the SharePoint mobile app. But the powerful capabilities you need are still there. People experiences, team news and powerful integration across SharePoint means now its all about who you can discover and what they know is what matters.
New FastTrack Offer for SharePoint 2013 Migrations
Are you looking to move your SharePoint 2013 on premises environment to SharePoint Online and reap the benefits of Microsoft’s cloud platform? If you answered yes, you might be aware of just how big of a task moving from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint Online is. Dependent upon how much data you have, a move to the cloud can costs tens of thousands of dollars. Not only do you need to plan, onboard and drive adoption of the new platform – you need to ensure that data is not lost along the way.
Microsoft has announced a limited-time offer of migration services from on-premises SharePoint 2013 to Office 365—available at no additional cost to eligible Office 365 customers until March 31, 2017. This offer is available to customers with at least 150 licenses for an eligible service or plan for their Office 365 tenant. For customers who take advantage of this offer, the FastTrack team will assess your SharePoint 2013 environment, and help you build and execute a plan to migrate from your on-premises team sites and MySites to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, respectively.
To date, Microsoft FastTrack has enabled more than 22,000 customers, migrated 2.45 PB of data and is currently taking on more than 4,000 new customers every month. Watch this video below to learn more about the value of FastTrack from customers who have experience it firsthand:
Working with a Microsoft Partner like 6th Street Consulting will not only aid in your FastTrack migration, but can provide valuable services during and after the execution. One of the keys to any successful migration, once an organization has deployed the new tools, is to make sure people are learning and using them. 6SC offers a comprehensive range of services to aid companies of all sizes in taking full advantage of Office 365 and SharePoint Online.
6th Street Consulting, the 2013 Global Microsoft Partner of the Year Winner for Collaboration & Content, is a strategy and technology consulting firm located in Redondo Beach, California. 6SC is a company built on user productivity and team collaboration. Allow us to implement our time-tested features with years of development and user testing behind them. Our SharePoint solutions help you to get more out of each and every work day. Integrated features across applications save time and allow you to focus on efforts that add value and profitability. Set yourself apart and grow your business by sharpening your competitive edge with 6SC.
Workforce on Demand
Having independent contractors at companies of all sizes is the new normal. Busy seasons demand extra bandwidth; full-time employees take temporary leave or unique/temporary roles need to be filled.
Whatever the reason, getting support from contractors can provide scale, flexibility and specialized skills to your team—which is why their popularity continues to grow. For example, 51 percent of companies say their need for contingent workers will continue to grow within the next three to five years. Alongside, the talent pool is changing to match this trend: By 2020, 43 percent of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers.
Finding the right contractor for the right job is only the first step. They’ll likely be working outside of your office, but will still need to rely on the resources your internal teams use daily. If you want to enable your contractors to do their best work, you need to ensure they have the right tools to collaborate with your internal teams. Office 365 and SharePoint Online offer a flexible way to give your contractors just that.
Here are the top four reasons why Office 365 and SharePoint Online are key to set your independent contractors up for success:
Make it easy for your contractors to stay in touch. Set up technology that allows them to communicate with and get to know your internal teams. This can (and should) come in the form of many tools, but Office 365 offers a comprehensive all in one solution. Enable them to send instant messages to anyone in the company via Skype for Business. Also, promote the use of video conferencing and screen sharing for efficient collaboration. Not only will this increase productivity, but it will allow full-time employees and contractors to build more personal relationships with face-to-face communication.
#2—Share Files with Ease
Depending on when and where your contractors work, coordinating across time zones and locations may be a factor in their success. Avoid a situation where a contractor is stuck waiting for a team member to come online to gain access to files. Instead, opt for SharePoint Online a cloud-based file sharing and storing platform. That way, contractors can get the files and documents they need around the clock to get the job done. And with permission settings, you can restrict and permit access to the specific files an independent contractor needs, and revoke access when a contract ends.
#3—Stay on the Same Page
Enhance collaboration with the ability to co-author (edit and work) on the same online documents. It’ll prevent excessive back-and-forth on email between team members. Digital files automatically sync and update over the internet, so your team is always looking at the most up-to-date version. And since your files live in the cloud, you’ll always know who made the last edit and can review and revoke changes if you ever need to go back to an older version.
#4—Secure Your Data
Security may not always be top of mind for your employees and contractors—but it is for you and your IT team. Strike a balance between giving your extended team what they need while retaining control over your company’s data. The file access you give to your freelancers doesn’t need to last forever. When their contract is over, simply revoke access remotely. Even if your independent contractor has used their own device to access your data, cloud-based tools can delete your company’s files from that device.
With the right technology and infrastructure, independent contractors can become an effective extension of your team. Forget disruptions, lost files or a lack of security. Office 365 and SharePoint Online provide the right tools to solve those problems and help your teams do their best work from anywhere in the world.
6SC teams up with Microsoft and the Small Business Administration to explain how SharePoint can used for business process automation.
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The all new Office
Microsoft Office 365 can help you achieve real gains in innovation by strengthening the connections that your employees have with one another, with partners, and with your customers. Employees can seamlessly connect to information and move between all types of communications, from virtually anywhere, on all your favorite devices. This flexibility is absolutely critical to enable collaboration in context as your employees work together to achieve more.
40% or more of the U.S. workforce is expected to be made up of contingent or independent workers by 2020.
With the recent release of Office 2016, there are a host of great new features that allows you to produce professional documents fast with intelligent suggestions, information, and insights at just the right time. Office 2016 is truly built for teamwork and reduces the friction in co-creation, making it easier to share documents, work together, and use coauthoring, IM, voice and video to get things done. Below I will touch on some of the improvements of Office 2016.
Access your documents and work whenever and wherever with full fidelity viewing and editing from your PC or Mac to your Windows, Apple, and Android phones and tablets. Engage with your colleagues in all facets of the business, including trusted partners, in a highly collaborative open-discussion forum to identify new ideas.
Work in collaborative workspaces with virtual teams and research partners to reduce ramp-up costa, co-create proposals, and fast-track innovation, while protecting company IP. Collaborate like never before in Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Real-time typing in Word lets you see others’ edits as they happen.
Work like you’re all in one room, even when you’re not. Use Skype for Business for HD video conferencing, coauthoring, desktop sharing, presentations, and IM to run your meetings from anywhere. Make your virtual meetings effective, while reducing travel costs.
Share business insights to improve decision-making and produce better products and services. Enable seamless project collaboration to optimize project portfolios and manage costs against the budget.
Office 365 is the best-in-class solution delivered to you on a single cloud-based platform. It enables you to accelerate new capabilities to users, while reducing time spent on admin and upgrades. Giving you consistent, familiar, and intuitive tools to reduce training costs and minimize disruption. This helps you keep your data and devices safe with enterprise-grade security and IT controls. Widen your ideation pipeline and accelerate time to market by delivering higher quality products and new customer experiences with Office 365.
In many of the conversations that I have with customers to date, I’m often asked how SharePoint is going to evolve in regards to Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. As we move into 2016 and get closer to the next on-premises server release, I wanted to talk about how the cloud enables us to bring not only SharePoint, but all of the Office technologies together.
SharePoint began as a document management collaboration solution, primarily focused on team sites. As the product has evolved over the years there have been new experiences added such as client portals, business intelligence (BI), a powerful intelligent search platform powered by FAST Search, and much more. SharePoint in the cloud with Office 365 and Azure allows you to take advantage of all the new Office technologies such as Office Delve and Office 365 Video alongside email with Outlook, instant messaging with Skype for Business and the traditional SharePoint workloads, while maintaining core IT and Dev capabilities for management and extensibility across all these experiences.
These new experiences are built around collaboration – bringing teams together, mobility – being truly productive using any device, intelligence – contextual, relevant and personalized information, and integration – the blending of experiences across Office 365 and blurring the lines across traditional product silos.
To illustrate this, let’s take a look at some of the innovations within Office 365:
Search – Going beyond traditional enterprise search, Office Delve is a new way to discover relevant information and connections from data across Office 365, as well as provide predictive search capabilities. Delve personalizes content based on insights delivered from the Office Graph, helping people connect with the right information at the right time.
Files – In addition to the general purpose document libraries in SharePoint, OneDrive provides users with one place to easily store, sync and share personal files across devices—with security, reliability and manageability squarely in place for IT. OneDrive ultimately removes the need for personal file servers and local hard drives while enabling easier sharing and collaboration across the organization.
Team Sites – Within Office 365, we have the opportunity to expand the concept of team sites. In doing so, we can bring together team content traditionally kept in SharePoint, along with the broader set of information across Office 365 including email, instant messaging, tasks, contacts, personal files, social feeds and more. This integrated team experience across Office 365 offers simplified permissions for the user and complete management, governance and extensibility models, making it a win for IT and for users.
BI – With Power BI Microsoft took forward the vision of creating a “ready to go” solution that users and IT can get up and running in minutes. Built on top of Office 365, Power BI provides an integrated analytical platform in the cloud that connects to your important information from where it lives via the Excel interface users know.
Social – Social is evolving from a standalone newsfeed to immersive experiences across Office 365. As part of Office 365, Yammer makes it easy for users to participate in the conversations that matter most, quickly go over ideas within a team and scale impact across the company. To help users work in new, more dynamic ways, Microsoft has integrated the Yammer experience alongside Office documents and videos, as well as common line of business applications such as Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com, and offer mobile access across platforms.
I understand the cloud doesn’t happen all at once, but I’ve seen a growing demand for SharePoint Online and Office 365 from our customer base. I also recognize that our customers have a range of requirements that make maintaining existing SharePoint Server deployments the right decision for some. Office 365 and SharePoint Online allow for flexible pricing options that give you predictability and flexibility for all or part of your organization. Microsoft’s vision for Office 365 and SharePoint Online is complete business productivity and you can begin to see the benefits of this vision almost immediately after your Office 365 implementation.