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, Micfosoft 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-degee 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.


Getting Down To Business with Microsoft 365 Business

Getting Down to Business

Getting down to business

The success is in the name: Microsoft 365 Business. Emphasis on business. It’s a hybrid of Windows 10 and Office 365, so you have the security and innovation of the former and the user-friendly function of the latter.

So if you’re in the small-to-medium business range, here’s how it can work for you. Whether you’re getting started, expanding, or just grinding away with the day-to-day, you’re going to want your software to focus on the busy work for you, so you can focus on more important things like your product, your customer and your creativity. Microsoft 365 Business utilizes streamlined maintenance and management capabilities to make those tasks easier, so can work on the big-picture facets of growing your business.

Just like the rest of the Microsoft products we share with you, data security is still top of focus. As is employee productivity. What do we mean by employee productivity? Simplifying online and mobile work movements so people can spend less time fussing and more time – again – on the big picture of the work they’re doing.

Don’t have Office 365 yet? That’s OK – we can get you all set up! And if you DO have it already, it’s an even easier add!

And remember, we’re a business, who knows how to use this business tool, to help your business.


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


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


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

 

 


New in 2018—enriching teamwork across devices

New in 2018—enriching teamwork across devices

There are a ton of great new features launching into 2018 adding great new value to Office 365 subscribers, with updates that enhance how teams work together and unlock new ways to create and manage content across devices. Read on for details.

Get more done in Microsoft Teams

New features for Microsoft Teams enable you to interact with apps in new ways, customize your personal workspace, and take quick actions.

Find and use apps in new waysNow you can include interactive cards from apps in conversations the same way you would add an emoji or GIF. With one click, you can bring important information, like a task from Trello, into a channel conversation or chat. Finding new apps and services in Teams is now easier with the new Store, where you can search for apps by name or category, such as “Project management” or “Analytics & BI.”

Command apps and take quick actions across TeamsAlso introduced is the new command box in Microsoft Teams, a single point of entry that integrates your search and command experiences. Now you can quickly interact with apps, perform tasks, and navigate throughout Teams directly from the command box, in addition to searching across people, messages, files, and apps.

Work together more effectively with updates to iOS and Mac

New Office 365 capabilities for iOS and Mac enhance how teams create content together, make it easier to produce advanced documents, presentations, and spreadsheets from anywhere, and introduce new ways to search, preview, and interact with files.

Co-authoring for iOS and MacIt is now easier for individuals to work together across devices with the general availability of co-authoring in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for iOS and Mac. Now, whether you work on a Mac, PC, or mobile device, you’ll know who else is working with you in a document, see where they’re working, and view changes. Co-authoring is already available on the Office desktop applications for Windows, Office for Android, and Office Online.

Automatically save your work on MacThis month also marks the general availability of AutoSave in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Mac for Office 365 subscribers who store their documents in OneDrive and SharePoint. Whether you’re working alone or with others, your latest changes are now automatically stored in the cloud, so you never need to worry about hitting the Save button again. You can also view and restore content from earlier versions of the document at any time with support for version history.

Drag and drop content and files on iOSThe Office and OneDrive iOS apps now support drag and drop for content and files. One of the most common and powerful tasks when creating content is integrating photos, graphs, and other objects from a variety of sources. Now Office 365 subscribers on iPad and iPhone can easily drag and drop content into documents, presentations, and spreadsheets from other Office apps or OneDrive. Support for drag and drop for iOS also enables you to move files to and from OneDrive and other sources—such as SharePoint or iMessage—making it easier to organize content scattered across different apps and services.

Access OneDrive files from more iOS appsOneDrive for iOS now natively supports the new iOS 11 Files app. This means iPhone and iPad users can upload, access, edit, and save content to OneDrive or SharePoint from any iOS app that supports File app integration—a top requested feature. Users can also tag their favorite OneDrive and SharePoint files from within the Files app, making it easier to find and use the content that matters to you.

Preview more file types with OneDrive for iOSMicrosoft redesigned the OneDrive for iOS app with a more detailed list view, making it easier to scan file names, see relevant information, and sort files by specific attributes. The updated OneDrive for iOS app also creates crisp thumbnails and supports previews for over 130 file types, including Adobe Photoshop and 3D objects, so you can open, view, and share the right content without leaving the app.

Search across your organization with Outlook for iOSThe new search experience in Outlook for iOS leverages the Microsoft Graph to surface results from your top contacts, upcoming travel itineraries, package deliveries, recent attachments, and more. Together with proactive search suggestions and a unified design, it now provides consistent, personalized results that enable you to discover information from across your organization faster.

Improve reading skills with Learning Tools for MacWord for Mac now supports Immersive Reader and Read Aloud, tools previously available in Word for Windows and mobile apps. These tools enable content to be viewed in ways that are optimized for learning differences and allow documents to be read back with simultaneous highlighting. These features make it easier to recognize and correct errors as you write, improving reading and editing accuracy for everyone—especially users with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

Additional updates

  • New ways to share on YammerEarlier this month, Microsoft introduced new ways for users to share engaging company-wide content from wherever they are with the Yammer mobile app. Users can now post announcements to groups, add animated GIFs, and more.