Keeping Connected On the Go

Keeping Connected On the Go

Take your intranet with you to stay connected and informed about important content, news, sites and people while on the go – for those in-between moments. You can easily get back to what’s relevant to you, alongside powerful search capabilities to find what you need, plus provide feedback via comments and likes – all to keep work moving forward.

Microsoft released their latest round of mobile innovations – all driven by customer use and feedback. This is the most significant update they’ve ever done to SharePoint mobile apps. They’ve simplified the apps to help people focus on the tasks they’ve told us they engage daily. This improved information architecture to make it fast and easy to find and work with the people and content you are looking for.

  • A new Find tab – What was three is now one, and it’s a super powerful, personal tab infused with AI. The new Find tab makes it the easiest way ever to connect with expertise and knowledge across your organization. It brings a best-in-class mobile search experience, with an intelligent understanding of what you work on, how you work, and how your colleagues’ work relates to you. The new Find tab collapses Sites, Links, People and Search into one, streamlined experience. It, too, is where you will find quick answers, notifications, sites, people and more – in an efficient, tailored flow of what you’re looking for, even before you go looking.

The Find tab, coming to the SharePoint mobile app, uses AI to help you find people, content, and answers to your questions while on the go.

  • Direct document library access – as you tap into a SharePoint document library, you will stay within the SharePoint mobile app experience (for viewing and navigating) more before taken through the integrated connection to the OneDrive app – where you can perform richer actions on files and folders.
  • @mentions in comments – the same as mentioned above applies to @mentions in comments via the SharePoint mobile app; like Outlook, it is now possible to @mention someone within the comments of a SharePoint news article and that person will be notified and brought into the discussion.
  • Notifications for page likes – you’ll receive a notification when someone clicks the Like button on a news article you published. How do you like that? If you do like it, you’ll be notified 😉.

 

6th Street Consulting is a Microsoft technology firm specializing in user productivity and collaboration on SharePoint and Office365.  Our biggest differentiator is we put business before technology in creating solutions tailored fit to your organization.

For additional information please contact:

Michelle Hollis

michelle.hollis@6sc.com

(310) 694-3844


What's New in Your SharePoint Intranet

What’s New in Your SharePoint Intranet

At work, it is important for every team member to streamline efforts and stay on the same page. Connected SharePoint team sites provide a central location to manage team files, input and connect to important data, and share timely news. And with insight into what drives the most engagement and value, people can course correct and optimize for greatest impact.

This week, for teamwork powered by SharePoint team sites, Microsoft has announced:

All the important SharePoint capabilities surface within Microsoft Teams. Team members can highlight SharePoint files, lists, pages, news, and more – right inside of the Microsoft Teams user experience. Soon they can:

  • Access the full-power of SharePoint document library files experience inside Microsoft Teams. We are bringing the full power of the SharePoint document library experience to Microsoft Teams. Work together on files with previews, pinned items, metadata, Flows and more – powerful, consistent capabilities no matter where you work with your files. This new experience with files will accrue to your Outlook Online experience, too!

Get the full power of a SharePoint library when you work with your files in Microsoft Teams

  • Connect a SharePoint team site to a Microsoft Teams team in one click. If you’re group-connected team site is not connected to a chat-based hub for teamwork, then it’s just one click of the new Connect to Teams button in bottom-left corner of your site that gets you one.
  • See that a Teams channel is associated to a folder within the SharePoint library. Now it’s easy to tell which folders within your library have an associated Teams channel & chat associated to it – right from within the SharePoint user interface.
  • More easily pick news articles and lists when adding a SharePoint tab to a Teams’ channel. When you add a tab in Teams, you can tab between available lists, pages and news items to quickly bring them into your hub for teamwork. They’re your tabs, use them.

Group-connected SharePoint team site updates.When you share and work together, you need the tools and digital workspaces to communicate, access data, and stay productive. With employer expectations changing, employees are expected to be creative and to think critically. To further support this, we’re introducing:

  • New Microsoft Planner integrations. This is Planner for the team as a full-page app. Simply click New > Plan, and start managing team tasks right inside the SharePoint user experience.

Add a Planner Plan from within SharePoint in Office 365 (click New > Plan)

  • Group inbox activity visible within site activities. Beyond important site activities, like files modifications and published news, now you will see additional important email activity that’s happening in the group inbox.
  • Modern team sites available on-premises within SharePoint Server 2019. Get the benefits of “going modern” on-premises. Team sites in SharePoint Server 2019 will have modern home pages (which give access to modern web parts and pages), modern lists and libraries, and will reflow and look beautiful inside the SharePoint mobile apps. Note: these sites are not “group-connected” as that requires the use of Office 365 groups only available in Office 365.

SharePoint is deeply integrated with Microsoft Teams in Office 365. Use SharePoint team sites to manage content and share it with your team members via their hub for teamwork – Microsoft Teams. Create a group-connected site today, and start sharing.


4 Ways to Better Teamwork Using Intranet Software

4 Ways to Better Teamwork Using Intranet Software

Every project manager has had to learn how to keep his or her teams on target when their workloads may be pulling them in dozens of different directions. In some cases, that may mean working with other project managers to prioritize projects, or helping team members get (and stay) organized as the work ramps up, or it may mean giving team members – who may live in different cities, states or countries – the tools they need to collaborate effectively. And while project prioritization skills will come through personal experience, there is intranet software available that can help you not only keep your teams organized and collaborative, but will also allow you to communicate effectively with individuals and your teams.

Of course, not all intranet portal software is created equally, so let’s take a look at four tools to look for in an intranet solution.

Information Management

In order to keep everyone on track, it’s important for your team to know who’s responsible for what, and when. In addition, you’ll also need to give your team information on how to contact other members, details on how to access important web pages or documents (especially if they’re password protected or on staging servers), have the ability to make important announcements or post reminders, etc. So, look for a company intranet that allows you to seamlessly create team pages that can be customized for your needs. This way, you’ll be able to house, and share important information in a central location.

Libraries

Collaboration software should, first and foremost, make it easy for your team to work together. So choose a solution that allows you to give everyone access to the same files, documents, images, meeting notes, etc. By giving you the power to create libraries of documents, labeled in a way that makes sense for your project and your team, everyone can find the most up-to-date information on your project, review past iterations of deliverables, see current artwork, refresh their memories on project requirements and more.

Collaborative Tools

An employee intranet portal should include the ability for your team members to create spaces where they can share and manage information – and work on files together. To that end, look for collaboration software that features things like threaded discussions, as well as surveys – which can help make meeting planning and/or decision-making easier, shared calendars, task lists, and meeting spaces and where you can house all of your meeting notes, documents and agendas, etc. Like meeting spaces, an intranet solution with a work space tool can allow specific team members, like a graphic designer and copywriter, to work on the same file in the same space, without overwriting the other’s work, which can ultimately improve productivity.

Integrates with Existing Tools

No matter how much intranet portal software promises to improve your productivity and collaborative efforts, if it’s challenging to use or requires you to replace your existing tools (like your word processing, spreadsheet, graphic design, and/or email tools), it may be difficult to convince your team to use it. In order to achieve the level of productivity and organization you need, look for an intranet solution that integrates well with the tools that your team already uses. This way, your organization won’t need to purchase costly, and possibly less effective, programs, and your team won’t have to endure a steep learning curve.

When it comes to collaboration software, it should be simple, seamless, and customizable – giving you and your team the things you need to work together as a whole, and in smaller groups. When you choose a solution that allows you to organize your files your way, use your existing tools, and gives you collaborative tools that make it easy for members to simultaneously work on files, share documents and information, and track important discussions, you’ll achieve what every project manager wants – an organized, productive team.

 

6th Street Consulting is a Microsoft technology firm specializing in user productivity and collaboration on SharePoint and Office365.  Our biggest differentiator is we put business before technology in creating solutions tailored fit to your organization.

For additional information please contact:

Michelle Hollis

michelle.hollis@6sc.com

(310) 694-3844


Teams for Intelligent Communications and Collaboration

Teams for Intelligent Communications and Collaboration

Over the last year, Teams has evolved to become the ultimate hub for teamwork. Built on the strength and scale of Office 365 with over 120 million users, Teams delivers chat-based collaboration, meetings, calling, and soon, full enterprise voice features. All of this is underpinned by the Microsoft Graph, allowing for rich AI capabilities. As part of Office 365, Teams uniquely delivers these capabilities at scale, with enterprise-grade security and compliance standards to meet the needs of a global business.

To advance the vision for Intelligent Communications, Microsoft is announcing new Teams features coming later this year, including:

  • Cloud recording—Will provide one-click meeting recordings with automatic transcription and timecoding, enabling all team members the ability to read captions, search within the conversation, and playback all or part of the meeting. In the future, it will also include facial recognition, so remarks can be attributed to specific meeting attendees.
  • Inline message translation—People who speak different languages will be able to fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat.
  • Cortana voice interactions for Teams-enabled devices—Will enable you to easily make a call, join a meeting, or add other people to a meeting in Teams using spoken, natural language. This functionality will extend to IP phones and conference room devices.
  • Background blur on video—The ability to blur your background during video calls will allow other meeting attendees to focus on you, not what’s behind you.
  • Proximity detection for Teams Meetings—This feature will make it easy for you to discover and add a nearby and available Skype Room System to any meeting.
  • Mobile sharing in meetings—Meeting attendees will be able to share a live video stream, photos, or the screen from their mobile device.

These new capabilities build on the breadth of new features that have come to Teams in the last year, including guest access, new ways to interact with apps, and new meeting and calling capabilities.

This week Microsoft annouced new enterprise-grade calling features in Teams, including consultative transfer and call delegation and federation. In addition, they introduced Direct Routing, which will enable customers to use their existing telephony infrastructure with Teams for calling. When you combine a Microsoft Calling Plan or Direct Routing with our Phone System for Office 365, Teams becomes a full voice service. These new capabilities are expected to be available in the second quarter of 2018.

Intelligent Communications for your devices

Hardware plays a critical part in delivering consistent, high-quality video and voice experiences. Microsoft annouced that Teams is now enabled for a full spectrum of calling and meeting room devices, including:

  • Microsoft collaboration devices—Microsoft Surface Hub is a powerful all-in-one large-screen team collaboration device. Microsoft Teams will be natively supported on Surface Hub, enhancing the capabilities of Teams in huddle spaces and meeting rooms equipped with Surface Hub.
  • Meeting room systems—Lenovo and HP join existing partners Logitech, Crestron, and Polycom to transform the conference room experience with rich audio, HD video, center-of-room control, and one-touch join. All Skype Room Systems will support Teams meetings.
  • Connections to existing equipment—Teams will certify new solutions from BlueJeans, Pexip, and Polycom to support interoperability for meetings in Teams with existing hardware investments.
  • Desk and conference phones—New desk phones from AudioCodes and Yealink—and new conference room phones from Crestron, Polycom, and Yealink—run a native Teams application for consistent and streamlined calling experiences.
  • Mobile phone stations—New mobile phone stations from Plantronics combine the Teams experience with desk phone capabilities for the mobile user.

To learn more about the portfolio of Teams-powered devices and the roadmap dates, visit the Microsoft Tech Community blog.

Growing ecosystem of Teams apps

No ecosystem would be complete without the apps that make it thrive. Microsoft recently released a new store in Teams featuring a wide array of tools and services from their partners. Some of the most popular apps among Teams customers include Adobe Creative Cloud, Hootsuite, InVision, Polly, SurveyMonkey, Trello, Wrike, Zoom.ai, and many others.


Empowering first line workers

Empowering first line workers

Empowering first line workers

“First line workers are the lifeblood of the world’s largest industries,” says Microsoft’s Farren Roper.

And he’s right. They’re the most physically and directly integrated with the consumer, so they play an imperative role in the communication tree.

“The first line worker is amongst the first to see things and trends and hear from customers,” says Jack Elmore, the Microsoft Product Marketing Director. “And their ability to communicate that digitally and efficiently back to headquarters drives a whole new level of insight many organizations haven’t had previously.”

But so many businesses out there still aren’t using the right tools. Their digital platforms aren’t compatible from the CEO to the first line. But with Microsoft StaffHub, that can all change.

“Microsoft 365 is a complete intelligent solution,” said Andrew Hart, Senior Product Marketing Manager. “It scales across an organization to manage devices on the first line to deliver a digital identity to a first line workforce.”

That digital identity can easily be delivered through StaffHub. It allows first line workers to view schedules, swap shifts, request time off, find information and catch up with the team. From easy-to-read calendars, to message boards, it almost takes the place of another organizational manager.

“As any first line manager knows schedule management swapping shifts accommodating changes is one of the biggest headaches of the job,” says Elmore.

If that’s the headache, think of StaffHub as the pain reliever.  With those tasks taken care of on an easy-to-use platform that can work on any of your first line employee’s devices (and there’s clearly a huge chance that contains a wide variety of tablets, smartphones and computers), managers and executives can focus more on the product and enhancing quality.

 

 


Find Content and Expertise Across Your Company

Find Content and Expertise Across Your Company

In today’s workforce teams are spread out all over the States. In order to stay in the know and discover relevant people and important content when you need it most, based on who you work with and what you work on, SharePoint should be your go to. Read on to discover how SharePoint can help.

Discover relevant, recommended content

 

Search for and discover content when you need it most. See real-timequery suggestions and get personalized results in sites, files, and people with full-text matches across Office 365. See personalized content that Delve surfaces to you from OneDrive, SharePoint, Yammer, and other sources. In Yammer, uncover conversations, groups, and people to leverage the knowledge of others.

People and content find you

 

Be discovered and connect with other people—including by their expertise, projects, education, and contact details. Let others find and tap into your expertise with your skills and interests listed in Delve and your conversations in Yammer. Gain insights and perspective to make better business decisions by connecting with the right people and content—even if you didn’t know you needed it.

Get the right information quickly

 

See refined and relevant search results with SharePoint’s built-in enterprise search capabilities. Easily see sites you frequent or files you’ve recently viewed or edited. Take advantage of the type-ahead and smart results features as you search for sites, files, or people. Search for sensitive content and use SharePoint’s search capabilities to support eDiscovery and compliance.

6th Street Consulting is a Microsoft technology firm specializing in user productivity and collaboration on SharePoint and Office365.  Our biggest differentiator is we put business before technology in creating solutions tailored fit to your organization.

For additional information please contact:

Michelle Hollis

michelle.hollis@6sc.com

(310) 694-3844

 

 


Enriching the Mobile and Intelligent Intranet

Enriching the Mobile and Intelligent Intranet

The intranet is the publishing center of all things happening throughout your company. It is where people keep up with news and discover what’s happening around them at work. It’s time, now, to further empower employees—more precisely, give them a way to broadcast their work.

Keep the team informed and up-to-date with team news

Team news is how you keep up with and broadcast key events and accomplishments with other members of the team and extended stakeholders. You can use team news for things like trip reports, best practices, project updates, highlights of new documents and content, welcoming a new team member, sharing team goals and celebrating milestones.

To add a news item, from within the News web part on the team site home page, click + Add to create a news article. Next, add content to the news post using the toolbox—a gallery of web parts—to add text, video, documents, quick links and more. When you’re finished, click Publish and the news article will be featured prominently on the team site home page within the News web part. And when you click See All, you’ll land on a dedicated News page that serves as the team’s news archive.

Below shows how a team site with all the news—front and center—is displayed in the SharePoint mobile app:

Team news in the SharePoint app.                              News articles render beautifully in the SharePoint app.

Team news is a great way to broadcast of all the important content from your team. In the future, you will receive mobile and email notifications to help keep you up to date.


3 Ways You Need to Work at Home to Feel Like You Never Left the Office

3 Ways You Need to Work at Home to Feel Like You Never Left the Office

Whether you’re a full- or part-time telecommuter, or you just like to catch up on projects at home or on the go—you’re not alone. According to Global Workplace Analytics, the number of people who work at home, not including those who are self-employed, has grown by 103 percent since 2005 and it shows no signs of stopping—with 3.7 million employees now working from home at least half the time. Telecommuting offers many benefits for workers, including flexibility and better work-life balance, as well as for employers, who enjoy cost savings and an expanded talent pool, to name a few. As people continue to jump on the telecommuting bandwagon, it’s more important than ever to find ways to stay productive, connected and happy.

Here are three easy ways to make the most of working at home:

1.) Be there with instant messaging (IM)—Instant messaging has two big benefits for telecommuters. First, it makes it possible for coworkers to reach you instantaneously, blasting any preconceived notions that you’re lounging poolside or at the movies. IM also keeps at-home workers from feeling isolated. Years of research on telecommuting has found that the live, synchronous nature of IM enhances people’s feelings of presence, belonging and emotional well-being. Other studies have found that virtual teams who engaged in digital interactions with a social and fun element to them worked better together and built better relationships. Software like Microsoft’s Office 365 offers IM via Skype for Business, allowing for real-time contact on a moment’s notice—complete with emoticons. It’s less formal, more conversational and faster than a phone call.

2.) Bad Internet? Go mobile—Sometimes you can get stuck with sketchy internet service, depending on where you live. About 55 percent of U.S. households have just one provider that offers service at 25 megabits per second, the minimum the FCC deems necessary to access the most advanced online applications. And while about 75 percent American households with Internet still use DSL, cable or fiber connection to get online at home, we may be moving toward a more mobile workforce. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Internet users dropped from 82 percent just a few years before—with mobile-only connections jumping from 10 to 20 percent in the same period. Luckily, Wi-Fi hotspots and broadband data plans have made the possibility of a mobile workforce a reality. Add to that the fact that many popular, top-of-the-line productivity tools are now accessible on your mobile device. That includes office applications that let you create, edit and share from your PC/Mac or your iOS, Android or Windows device with anyone in real-time. That makes it easy to have a mobile backup plan if your Internet isn’t as reliable as it should be.

3.) Stay connected socially—Not all business takes place at the office. SharePoint Newsfeeds allow you to stay in the know on company events and news. Newsfeeds are also a great way to post questions and supply answers to those in need by simply “@”ing co-workers in a thread. The other great part is that it is all searchable so you can come back to an old conversation to find an answer.

Make the most of your company’s software—Products like Office 365, Skype for Business, SharePoint and Windows Phone have helped build a more productive work-at-home environment. Good software will help you make the most of connecting with your teams in real-time via conferencing, IM, video and sharing, while also taking advantage of advanced security and compliance tools, interactive reports, simpler dashboards and compelling data visualizations.

While many workers once used telecommuting to supplement their full-time in-office job, more and more people are using it as a replacement for being in the office. As this trend continues to rise, with approximately 55 percent college graduates reporting they have telecommuted for their jobs, it’s more important than ever to have the right tools to make your work-at-home experience flexible, productive and successful.


Introducing New Ways to Work in Microsoft Project

Introducing New Ways to Work in Microsoft Project

Today’s project teams need to collaborate successfully to deliver value. Project managers and teams want to work in ways that make sense for their projects. Program and portfolio managers want transparency and governance across the entire project portfolio.

How can your company or department support different work styles without losing the power of a centralized project management system? With agile in Project, project managers and teams can choose the methodology that makes sense for the project at hand, including: agile, waterfall, hybrid, or task-oriented. The integration of Project with Microsoft Planner lets you connect Project tasks to a Planner plan and track detailed work in Planner.

Use agility in your Project portfolio

With agile in Project, you can use agile methods to track your projects in Project Online Desktop Client. You can create new agile projects or apply agile views to your existing waterfall projects. You can track your projects using Scrum and Kanban methodologies, including viewing task boards, creating backlogs, and tracking sprints, as well as viewing reports on agile statistics.

For more details, see “Use agile in Microsoft Project.”

Manage Project task work in Planner

With the new integration between the Project Online Desktop Client and Planner, task owners can track granular task details in a lightweight tool. Project managers retain control over the project’s work breakdown structure and can easily view the detailed work being done against a task.

This capability may also be used to reduce complexity of project plans in Project, enabling the project manager to control a smaller number of tasks while task owners can further break down the tasks in Planner. Teams that manage their work in Project Online can better streamline work with teams that use Planner.

For more details, see “Streamline cross-team work with the newly integrated Project Online Desktop Client and Microsoft Planner.”

The new agile functionality for Project and integration with Planner are both now available.


1TB Site Collections: The New Standard for SharePoint Online

1TB Site Collections: The New Standard for SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online now holds 1TB site collections, allowing your teams to store more content in a single location. Now you can spend more time sharing your personal work content. 1TB will let you establish large team document centers that teams can use – and keep using over time – without needing to introduce unwarranted information architecture complexities.

All your site collections – private and public, managed from the SharePoint Online admin center – can now have up to 1TB of storage allocation. You simply assign the desired amount to the selected site collection. The same holds true for users’ OneDrive for Business that start with a default of 25GB/user allocation. Your SharePoint Online admin can now allocate more storage, up to 1TB, to users in the following increments: 50GB, 100GB, 250GB, 500GB, and 1024GB.

The new storage quota increases limits for OneDrive for Business. Manage allocations in the SharePoint Online admin center.

Infinite tenant storage scale

SharePoint Online has seen explosive growth: a 485 percent growth in user access and a 500 percent year over year growth in customer content storage, since April 2013. In the simplest terms, this means customers are leveraging Office 365 more than ever before, both in their OneDrive for Business usage and in collaboration and portal sites.

Office 365 and SharePoint Online have architected the storage design to enable infinite storage scale – for current storage needs and unlimited future potential. Users get a default 25GB of OneDrive for Business storage, + 50GB of email storage, + 5GB for each site mailbox you create, + your total available tenant storage, which for every Office 365 business customer starts at 10GB + 500MB  times the number of users1. If you and your company have growing storage needs across your various work streams and content types, you’ll find Office 365 offers ample headroom–on day one. And if you need more storage, you can now purchase unlimited additional storage right from within your SharePoint Online admin center at a cost per gigabyte (GB) per month.

You can click the Buy Storage button from within the SharePoint Online admin center to buy additional storage.

Whether you are getting started with SharePoint Online for team collaboration, OneDrive for Business, or your company intranet– know that Microsoft’s cloud is ready for you today, tomorrow, and ultimately for the long-term growth and prosperity of your business. At 6th Street Consulting 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.