Organizational News and Communication Site Updates

Inform and engage with rich, engaging organizational news and communication site updates

 

SharePoint powers your intranet to better promote and organize people, content and activities throughout your connected workplace. The sites that you create – of all types – are at the center. You create sites in seconds, and they are mobile ready from the get-go. They support various scenarios like internal cross-company campaigns, product launches, events and more. As you grow, your intranet evolves as an immersive, business-critical asset for the company.

Organizational news + team news. Open, transparent communication is critical to employee engagement. For nearly two decades, employee communications have centered on company-wide emails. Now, you can communicate your message with rich, compelling, and interactive content including documents, video, polls and surveys -- dynamic data dashboards.

Today, we’re excited to share how news evolves to ensure your message lands with users—across devices, geographies, and time zones. You can engage your audience about important efforts in a more-targeted fashion.

  • Select which site sources you want to pull content in from – news web parts filter news from a variety of source sites, filtering based on content you want to show, in the layout you find most conducive to your overall site vision.
  • Hub site news web part update – the unique ‘hub layout’ in the news web part for SharePoint hub sites will provide additional capabilities like pinning news articles, a new compact layout, and carousel support. 

Choose from a new variety of news layouts to best promote your news on your pages.

  • Save for later – you can now save news articles to catch up on later, right from the Web interface of your intranet - as you can today on mobile. Simply click Save for later from the bottom of the news article and it gets added to your saved list, accessible from the Me tab in the SharePoint mobile app. You will also be able to access your saved list from SharePoint home.

Now you will be able to save pages and news to read later, right from the Web interface. Click "Save for later" at the bottom of any page or news article.

  • @mentions in news comments – similar to Outlook, it is now possible to @mention someone who has access to the news article within its comments and they will be notified and brought into the discussion. Did we @mention to you that there’s no easier way to loop someone in? 😉
  • Deem specific sites as “organizational news sources” – as news rolls up to people across their SharePoint home in Office 365, or via the news tab in their SharePoint mobile all, the news that comes from “organizational news source” sites will get special visual treatment bubbling up to the top of one’s view.

Page management updates. The balance of a modern intranet rests in between the dynamic display of information and the ability to better curate and target who can see what – all without customization and without page proliferation. With this coming innovation, communication sites are ready to tackle your most demanding portal scenarios.


Ramp Up Your Enterprise Social Network

Ramp Up Your Enterprise Social Network

When it comes to business, social networks can provide secure spaces where teams in different offices, cities, states or countries can communicate and collaborate on projects in real time. They allow people who may never meet to discuss project details, divide and conquer tasks, discuss clients' needs, and generally come together to accomplish a common goal. As an added benefit, teams who work together regularly can also use their company's enterprise social network to get to know one another, learn about each other's strengths, understand how they think, and bond as a team – which will, in turn, create a stronger team that creates stronger work.

Like social networks for the general population, social media for business organizations begins with being social. They allow real-time communication, and usually include a playful element or two, like emojis that can help message recipients infer tone. But enterprise social media also offers a slew of business-appropriate features and functions that can help teams work more efficiently and effectively. Four things that your teams can benefit from the most include:

  • Document Collaboration: With the power to share and discuss documents as a team, as well as the ability to edit and co-author documents directly within your social network, this feature allows teams to create more insightful, inclusive, and meaningful deliverables. It also gives teams the unique ability to edit and share items on the fly – as they're discussed within the group.
  • Internal Groups & External Collaborators: Internal groups allow your teams to create a space that's just for them – and joined by invitation only. It's a place where they can discuss work, as a team, and tackle projects and initiatives together. In addition to internal groups, some enterprise social networks allow your teams to invite outside client representatives, vendors, consultants, contractors, etc. into the space so that you can all discuss and collaborate on projects either on a limited or an on-going basis.
  • Search & Discovery: Some business social networks allow users to search throughout their system for experts, conversations, and files that are relevant to their work. This can help teams reduce the about of duplicate work, use best practices, and work more efficiently. In addition to search, discovery features that allow users to stay abreast of what's happening within the company (in general) can help your teams find people, information, and groups that are relevant to them, their clients and/or their interests. Through the discovery process, users might meet mentors, and find areas for cross collaboration, etc., which can help them not only grow professionally, but improve their work.
  • Seamless Integration: Regardless of how highly praised an enterprise social media solution may be, if it won't support your current tools, including your word processing and presentation programs, then it's probably not the right solution for you. After all, the point of purchasing a solution like this is to streamline communication and encourage collaboration, and if your teams have to use "tricks" in order to get your programs to work with your platform, it will cost them time and slow down your process.

In addition to the features that your team will use every day, it's the one feature that your team won't see that can truly make social networking for any business a success or failure – and that's security. With an enterprise social network that encrypts data at all times, at-rest and in-transit, and includes multi-factor authentication to enhance identity protection, you can ensure that not only is your data protected, but your employees are protected, too.

 

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


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.


Feeding the Newsfeed

Why Social?

Most companies don't understand the value of a social newsfeed and are worried that by building one, it would distract people from getting their work done.

After I grab my morning coffee, the first thing that I do is bring up my Newsfeed to scope out what’s happening with my co-workers and projects, and to see what’s being discussed across the company. My Newsfeed gives me a sense of comfort, a reassuring feeling that I’m up-to-date on the things that I care about and the things that are happening around me.

In addition to using the feed to see what others are saying and doing, it is also a valuable tool to proactively seek out new information. Who can I ask about progress with the new media plan? Has anybody ever ran google ad words? Does anybody have any contacts on a production team? Posts reach a large audience and I’ve found that I am usually able to get answers within minutes. I can also choose to have a conversation with a smaller group of people to discuss progress on a particular project.

Sharing with Everyone

When I navigate to my Newsfeed and make a post, by default, it will be visible to everyone at my company. I’ve found that this is a key way to share broad information or to get difficult questions answered. The act of posting in the feed is simple and familiar (and we spent a lot of design time ensuring that this would be the case), but there are a few tricks to make sure that the right people are made aware of the post.
When I want to get someone’s attention in a post, I “@mention” that person. Almost every day, I see questions in the feed. I don’t always know the answer, but sometimes I know who does. I’ll often reply to a question, mentioning someone (by typing the @ sign in my reply) to make sure the question gets on their radar. This is still a public post but it appears in that person’s Mentions view and they’ll get an email to draw their attention to it.
Sometimes, when creating a post, I add a #tag to associate the post with a particular topic. As we’ve been building the feed, we’ve found (and fixed!) quite a few bugs. One common way that people report bugs is by posting in the feed with the tag #BugForThat, as in, “There’s a bug for that.” In addition to making it clear that someone’s found a bug, our team leaders can follow #BugForThat to see what’s broken as issues are reported. Or, they can click on #BugForThat and see all of the posts reporting issues. They also find it helpful when posts have screenshots and videos demonstrating a #BugForThat.

Posting to Certain Groups

I love being able to post broad questions, but sometimes I want to have smaller, more private discussions. To do this, I use a Site Feed (just like it sounds, it’s like a Newsfeed, but on a site). Only people with access to that site can read it. Since this feed lives on a SharePoint site, we can also add other apps and functionality to the site to share documents, track tasks, etc. And the best part? If I follow those sites, all of the conversations that happen on them will be consolidated into my Newsfeed, so it truly does become a single place where I can find out about all the things I care about.
After using the Newsfeed every day for the past year, I can’t imagine getting work done without it. I’m way more informed at work than I’ve ever been before, and I feel empowered to get quick answers to my questions and feedback on ideas that I share.