Productivity Hacks – brought to you by Microsoft

Your job is your livelihood, but no matter how passionate you are about it – it’s important that’s not your life. Here are some Microsoft-bred tips on how to make the most out of your work day, and keep your mind right outside the office.

Set daily goals

We’re in the era of a constant to-do list. Long term. Short term. At work. At home. But staring at 87 bullet points of things you need to accomplish isn’t going to give you anything more than a headache. But if you prioritize those 87 things, you’ll be in much better shape.

Find out what can wait – but don’t be lazy about it! If you can get it done within 20 minutes, do it that day. Long term project? Find a PIECE that can get done today. Lots to do at home? Again – the 20 minute goal is a good one. Often times we don’t realize a lot of the things we have to do may only actually take 10 minutes.

If you map things out this way, you’ll actually be able to cross things off your list, instead of having them hang over your head.

Set deadlines and hold yourself accountable

This goes hand-in-hand with point one. This one focuses more on the execution of conquering your to-do list – and it’s a bit more solely work-related.

Microsoft has a tool to be your built-in-accountability holder:  Microsoft Project. It allows you to maintain a calendar with multiple moving parts. It also lets you assign deadlines to projects, meetings and tasks – so you’re notified when you’re getting off track.

View Microsoft Project

Take time to save time

Data entry. Standardized emails. Both essentially synonyms for “tedious” and “*groans*” for those who this manually. But you can actually streamline this process. It’ll take time to set up initially – but it will save you time in the future.

If you’re entering data into multiple spreadsheets, set up macros that can do that work for you. Macros can also help automate email responses.

Create or Run Macros

Batch your small tasks

This one is great when it comes to making sure your day has a productive flow. Think about the things you do throughout your work day – i.e. sending emails, scheduling meeting, updating your website, etc. These things inherently don’t take a lot of time, but if you stretch them out while doing more long-winded products, they might. So instead, set aside a chunk of time to get them all done at once.

Separation of home and office

Nowadays, far easier said than done. But it’s essential. And it prevents burnout. According to multiple studies, you need some sort of down time every day to keep your mind right. Work will likely take up most of your day (especially for those of you reading this), and that’s OK. And it’s great that you’re so connected to what you do. But give that connectivity a time limit. When you’re home with your family, be with your family. Working out before work? Be present in your workout. On vacation? Put all your devices on “Do Not Disturb.” Giving your mind a clear break = more clarity when you get back into work mode.

Only say “yes” to meetings that matter

Aiii, what? Don’t all meetings matter? No. If it’s not organized well or does not have a clear purpose – you don’t have time for it! Make sure you know exactly why you’re included in a meeting before you attend, so you can ensure you’re not wasting your time.

Regarding meetings in general, best practices say make sure there’s a “hard” stop time, and ensure everyone is prepared with a specific agenda before you get started.

Take workout breaks

Physical activity = more productivity! It doesn’t have to be crazy, we know you don’t have time to go take a spin class/shower/change your clothes during your lunch break. But if your office is flexible enough and you have the resources, take a short run or get some cardio in during the day. Still unrealistic? A walk outside. Live somewhere to cold? Be sure to get up and walk around the office.

 


Breaking down the differences between SharePoint Online and Google Drive

Breaking down the differences between SharePoint Online and Google Drive

Differences between SharePoint Online and Google Drive

 

As businesses themselves evolve, so does the technology that keeps them going behind the scenes. We know there are a lot of options out there.

SharePoint and Google Drive currently control the market. Both file management platforms are similar at their cores. Users can manage Word, Outlook, Excel and other documents through both platforms. Both use the cloud. Both are user friendly.

Here’s why we think SharePoint goes the extra mile for you.

Functionality

One of the starkest difference between the two platforms is how much more convenient it is to group-edit a document in SharePoint. It allows users to edit documents right there within the program, whereas Google Drive requires you to upload the document to edit it and download it as a Microsoft document when it’s done. An extra step that can inhibit workflow.

Collaboration Simplicity

SharePoint offers automated workflows. That means all edits, feedback, thoughts and approval-granting can all happen on one organized interface. That’s a helpful tool inherently, and it also paves the way for the most experienced of users to manage more complex environments like building websites, managing training sessions and finalizing forms.

SharePoint's Additional Features

And here’s where SharePoint takes its services to an even elevated level, content management: List. It’s a feature that’s not available on Google Drive. The List feature allows you to organize portions of your data by separating them out into their own section within an Excel file. This is helpful and primarily used for things like managing expenses and creating tax reports. Other benefits include the ability to manage contacts and clients, tracking project tasks and projecting data.

And, as always, 6th Street Consulting can help you get started, so you can be a master of SharePoint – and, in turn, a master of your expedient workflow – in no time.


How do you defend against cyber attacks?

6th Street Consulting can show you how with SharePoint and Microsoft 365.

 

If you are connected to the internet, you are subjected to cyber attacks. from all angles. Dramatic? Maybe, but rooted in a digital reality. A digital reality that’s in need of a multifaceted defense system like Microsoft 365 Business. Protecting your data from external threats 365 days a year – on a 360 degree angle.

And as you gear up for this always-on-the-defensive cyber battle, look to us here at 6th Street Consulting as your lead commander. The go-to that can help channel the right functions of SharePoint and Microsoft 365 to your success.

Your business, in essence, is kind of like your battlefield. With the exception of the fact, of course, that you’re not on the attack. But you ARE navigating to enemy digital territory when you share your sensitive data. Lucky for you, we’ve been in the trenches for years. And we know how to protect that data as you take it where it needs to go.

SharePoint allows your business to manage information, data, and applications seamlessly and effortlessly while connecting users across the organization. Which is what you need to capitalize on day-to-day productivity. Think of that as your “offensive” war strategy. It’s the calculated moves you make to advance. Microsoft 365 has you covered on the “defensive” strategy, proactively working to protect you from external threats, internal leaks, accidental breaches, as well as anything caused by human error.

The best thing about Microsoft 365 – it’s not a blanket security system. It’s tailored to the specific needs of your business, and we can help you navigate that artillery plan.

Encrypting mobile devices, being able to wipe clean stolen assets (such as laptops), removing phishing/ransomware links from emails, as well as require additional authentication to access your business data can all be done with Microsoft 365. What’s the best for you? Tell us.

Microsoft 365 is your shield. Laptop stolen? We can wipe it clean. Worried about breaches in multiple remote mobile devices? We’ll encrypt them. Getting spam emails? We’ll make sure they don’t come back, and that you don’t enable any phishing or ransomware links. Something new hitting ya that you’re not quite sure about? Even if we haven’t seen it before – M365 will adapt, and defend.

6th Street Consulting employs an army of resources to combat data breaches and educate businesses, so you can better protect your company. Let us help you get there today.


The problems with multiple apps and the need for a unified suite

The Problems with Multiple Apps and the Need for a Unified Suite

The Problems with Multiple Apps and the Need for a Unified Suite

Work is hard enough. Fragmented solutions just create an even bigger headache. It’s really difficult to truly be collaborative without a unified suite. Without one, that means multiple apps, too many passwords, different interfaces to learn, and too many places to store files. Not only can that make things less efficient, but it can also put your information at risk, as all files are not always stored securely.

Disparate platforms also create struggles for your IT systems. And if you lose one of your passwords, there’s not much they can do while still keeping your company’s information secure. And sometimes, IT can’t even support all of the apps you may be asking your employees to use.

With so many possibilities out there, workplaces often fall into the trap of just getting more apps to support work systems. Yes, variety is good. But it also means there’s more room for inconsistencies.

Picture this: you want to be on an online conference call. You make the call with one app, the person you’re trying to reach uses a different app. You spend 10 minutes deciding what app works best for both of you. Another 20 getting set up with said app. And likely another 15 making sure you’re still reaching the right person. That’s 45 minutes of time that could be spent actually talking, not behind the scenes.

Here’s another one. A project manager saves an important file, then leaves on vacation. The team doesn’t know where it is, and you can’t get ahold of him or her. Now you’re stuck poring through email threads where it could possibly be hiding out. And there’s not a 100 percent guarantee you’ll even find it.

Office 365 makes collaboration easy for people and secure for businesses. It’s a connected and easy interface of tools that helps teams get things done together. Inside one platform, you can communicate, save files and collaborate, without having to worry about where to find things and how to get ahold of people.


SharePoint Spaces Bring Immersive, Mixed Reality Experiences to Anyone, on Any Device

SharePoint Spaces Bring Immersive, Mixed Reality Experiences to Anyone, on Any Device

Mixed reality is one of the most important technological trends in the modern workplace, with the power to transform work for everyone, from the executive suite to the front line. Earlier this month, Microsoft announced two powerful mixed reality applications: Microsoft Remote Assist and Microsoft Layout.

SharePoint spaces allows for immersive, mixed reality experiences—which enable you to view and interact with content from every angle and visualize and manipulate data and product models in real-time. SharePoint mainstreams mixed reality, empowering everyone to create visually compelling spaces that are available to anyone, on any device.

Mixed reality experiences immerse you, focus your attention, engage your senses, and spark your curiosity and imagination to unlock new scenarios for communication, learning, and collaboration, including:

Recruiting and onboarding​—Recruits or new employees can learn about a company in a compelling, 360-degree virtual welcome and orientation, including a 360-degree video message from leadership. They can navigate the campus or building with 3D maps, learn the organizational structure with an interactive organization chart, or explore rich information about coworkers and the organization’s products.

LearningWith mixed reality, learning comes to life by captivating your focus and attention. Gain broad perspective with a panoramic view of a topic and learning objectives. Then explore personalized, relevant, and dynamic content. Ignite your curiosity by discovering new insights, and dive deep into topics that matter to you. Learn not just by reading or watching, but by experiencing, with your senses engaged.

Product developmentCreate an inspiring space for your team to spark innovation. Surround yourself with experts to look at data, content, and processes from every angle. Explore a prototype in 3D to identify new opportunities, attach annotations, and visualize improvements.

Until now, it has been prohibitively expensive and complex to develop customized mixed reality apps to address these and other business scenarios, and to make mixed reality apps broadly accessible in the workplace, because most require costly headsets.

SharePoint spaces empower creators to build immersive experiences with point-and-click simplicity. You can get started with smart templates to create a mixed reality environment complete with beautiful surroundings, ambient sounds, rich textures, and lighting. You then add content, which can include files you already have in SharePoint, allowing you to repurpose your existing data, documents, and images. Our customers already store over a petabyte of 3D content, including 360-degree videos created with mobile phones. SharePoint spaces are the most natural way to view and interact with 3D content, empowering people to interact with objects that might be too numerous, too large, or too dynamic to experience in the real world or in a two-dimensional environment.

This animated gif demonstrates how authors can add web parts to a SharePoint space.

Authors use familiar skills to add web parts to a SharePoint space.

Anyone can immerse themselves in a compelling virtual space to view and interact with content, information, and video on any device—in a browser, mobile browser, or headset. SharePoint spaces will be available in all Office 365 commercial plans, enabling new scenarios for information workers and Firstline Workers alike.

SharePoint spaces are infused with Microsoft AI, unlocking knowledge from Microsoft Graph and driving rich, personalized experiences that let you explore connections between people and content, gain insights from data, and find relevant information and expertise.

SharePoint spaces are integrated and extensible. You can augment a space with content from across Microsoft 365 and from other data sources and services. You can customize a space to reflect your brand. And you can build new capabilities for SharePoint spaces with the SharePoint Framework. We expect partners to embrace SharePoint spaces and to develop powerful web parts and experiences that will drive a new wave of innovation for customers.

SharePoint is the first unified content collaboration and services solution to span files, websites and, soon, mixed reality spaces. Customers and partners can apply to be part of an early, limited preview by visiting SharePoint spaces.


Meeting the needs of remote workers

Meeting The Needs of Remote Workers

Microsoft breaks remote workers down into six categories. Your night owls, jet-setters, road warriors, commuters, migrators and industry experts. Here’s how we can cater to each one.

Night Owls

These are the ones who get their work done in the evenings, because their days are so full of meeting and other distractions. So closing time means uninterrupted time, and their chance to focus.

Key tools: Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint

They may work out-of-sight, but Microsoft Teams ensures they don’t go out-of-mind. This helps them maintain crucial contact outside of business hours. Meanwhile, SharePoint and OneDrive give them the 24-hour access they need, so they can hit the books when no one’s around.

Jet-Setters

Their presentation is at 10 a.m. tomorrow. Tonight, they’re in an airport with weak Wi-Fi. They need security, accessibility, and the ability to work on or offline on any device.

Key Tools: Advanced Threat Protection, Microsoft Teams, Mobile Device Manager, OneDrive, SharePoint

With SharePoint, the jet-setter can work on any device. Extremely convenient – especially if one of their devices run out of juice. OneDrive lets them work offline, which is key while they’re waiting at the gate. All of the changes made will automatically update when they reconnect. Microsoft Teams puts them right inside the meeting room from their mobile device.

Road Warriors

These are typically your sales reps. They’re constantly on the road, and don’t often have a spot to access the internet.

Key Tools: Microsoft Teams, Mobile Device Manager, OneDrive

Microsoft Teams give the road warrior timely flexibility. They can check in on their mobile device between meetings to get up-to-the-minute updates from the home base. OneDrive keeps their productivity high, when their signal isn’t. They can upload their files, and share them with the team once they reconnect.

Commuters

For this group, travel time, and the inevitability of opting to work from home on a regular basis can make things tricky. They need be able to securely access files and effectively communicate with people at the office.

Key Tools: Advanced Threat Protection, Microsoft Teams, Mobile Device Manager, OneDrive, SharePoint

SharePoint gives the commuter access to the most updated company files. So they can check-up on their ride in, or not miss a beat if they’re working from home. With Microsoft Teams, they can shoot a quick message to the office or easily jump in on a video call. And OneDrive lets them co-author documents in real time on any device.

Migrators

It’s 2018. The internet has connected us more than ever. So yeah, it’s highly possible one (or more) of your company’s key assets lives in another country. The biggest key here is eliminating borders.

Key tools: Microsoft Teams, Mobile Device Manager, OneDrive, SharePoint

The migrator needs to coordinate with headquarters. OneDrive and SharePoint let them do so across different time zones. Microsoft Teams ensures they’re always kept in the loop. Mobile Device Manager keeps your data safe. If a migrator loses a piece of equipment, IT can wipe it instantly.

Industry Experts

Bringing in the big guns? You need to integrate them, so they don’t function as an outsider.

Key Tools: Microsoft Teams, Mobile Device Manager, OneDrive, SharePoint

With SharePoint, you can share only necessary files with the industry expert. That way, you keep private what needs to stay private, and you don’t inundate the expert with files he or she doesn’t need.  OneDrive lets them collaborate on their own time, and Microsoft Teams brings them directly into your team’s conversation.

 

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


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


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

 

 


Women in Technology at Microsoft Inspire

Women in Technology at Microsoft Inspire 

Smart companies have developed policies directed at hiring and nurturing creative, innovative and hardworking women. The Women in Technology community is a networking group of like-minded business professionals in the Microsoft Technology eco-system.

Microsoft & Women in Partner and the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) – Women in Technology (WIT) are announcing their recent partnership. Both communities are focused on inspiring female leaders in the tech ecosystem and together, believe they can strengthen the connections between female leaders in Microsoft and the partner community, extend the reach of inspiring stories, recognize women that are empowering the ecosystem and promote opportunities & events across the organizations.

Lindsay Zwart, General Manager, Microsoft & Founder of Microsoft & Women in Partner, “I am thrilled to partner with the IAMCP – Women in Technology. We need to be relentless in our commitment to support the growth of women in leadership. This requires the willingness to be transformed into the person we were created to be; Microsoft & Women in Partner and IAMCP – Women in Technology complement each other well with a shared focus on women in leadership.”

https://player.vimeo.com/video/202841888

IAMCP WIT has an outstanding presence at Microsoft Inspire, the premier event for partners in the Microsoft ecosystem. Activities include the annual WIT Luncheon, where women from across the globe connect about the impact they achieved over the year, as well as the WIT panel discussion and annual business meeting. The WIT group brings significant energy and momentum to the conference experience.

Microsoft and partner employees interested in joining either community – can visit them at the IAMCP Women in Technology (WIT) Booth in the Community Hub and join the women in leadership opportunities at Inspire in Washington, DC July 9-13 to learn more.


6th Street Consulting named among RCP's Top 200 Microsoft Solution Providers of 2017

6th Street Consulting was recently granted one of the top honors in Microsoft service providers: Redmond Channel Partner's (RCP) top 200 list.

The prestigious list determines which consultants are the best Microsoft partners in the United States.

"It takes a special set of skills and attitudes to be a great Microsoft service provider," according to the article released June 26, 2017. Microsoft has a multitude of products, and it takes savvy consultants to to understand each one and properly pair them with the necessary customers.

"The genius of the Microsoft Partner Network is that it relies on the variety, creativity and business acumen of Microsoft's channel to offer solutions to every customer's unique requirements from the raw material of Microsoft's product set," the article states.

RCP compiled the list based after digging through its own archives, as well as Microsoft award lists and invitation-only Microsoft partner programs.

6th Street Consulting is proud and humbled to accept the recognition, and will continue to treat its customers and uphold its mission statement in a way that allows us to keep serving our customers in an effective, engaging and respectful manner.

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.

Click here to read the full article in RCP Magazine!

For additional information please contact:

Michelle Hollis

michelle.hollis@6sc.com

(310) 694-3844