Collaboration: this quarters theme at SoftwareMedia

2020 is going to be an exciting year! Throughout the past few years, as current technologies evolve and new solutions enter the market, the choices organizations have are endless. From office productivity to security and data governance, each service available within the Microsoft 365 and Azure ecosystem have a direct impact on your business outcomes. However, according to a recent survey, organizations’ internal adoption of those Microsoft services is only around 15%. Adopting less than 15% poses a lost opportunity to more efficiently utilize the services you are already consuming. 

For these reasons, we are hosting quarterly, theme-based campaigns to help educate and show very important services that are available to you, most likely within your current licensing model. 
During the first quarter of 2020, our theme is Collaboration. Yes, collaboration has become a bit of a buzzword, but recent studies are showing that organizations that collaborate tend to be more financially sound, more aligned to the organizations goals and objectives, and client engagement rates are higher and deeper, creating longer term success.  

What is collaboration and why is it important? I think it is key to answer the “why” before the “what”. Employees skills are getting very specialized and clients are asking to engage in specific topics. In order to provide the depth of services clients are requesting, employees with different skill sets have to work together in order to contribute their expertise for the benefit of a shared project. Therefore, the need to collaborate was created through the evolved needs of the client. So, what is it? It is the natural process of identifying objectives, understanding strengths and weaknesses, and assembling groups of employees with specific skills who can impact the outcome of those objectives.  

There are many platforms available for collaboration, but most are either third party solutions with no natural relationship to a service ecosystem, or they require a retraining of employees on a totally separate platform. During 2019 we adopted Microsoft Teams as our internal platform for all business and employee communication. We definitely went through our own set of growing pains: transitioning from using Outlook for internal communication, moving local file shares into OneDrive, utilizing chat for conversations between employees (or even clients) instead of email or the phone, and Microsoft Teams Meetings for conference calls. Our adoption of the platform was aggressive, and we wanted to share with you our experiences, the do’s and don’ts, and the biggest value that we have reaped from taking the plunge. 
The following is a brief overview of the monthly themes and content we will share: 
February: Microsoft Teams as your Modern Workplace Platform 
  • Building a modern workplace with Microsoft Teams empowers organizations to be creative and work together, securely and responsibly. The modern workplace is evolving at lightning speed, with distributed teams, brand-new business models, and complex security issues.  
  • We will show you Teams features, how to help employees interact more efficiently, and managing tools so Teams remains impactful to your organization.  
  • A second webinar towards the end of the month will build from those learnings through an interview with SoftwareMedia and a transparent review of their full adoption of Teams company wide.    
March: OneDrive / SharePoint – Maintaining document integrity in a cloud world 
  • Collaboration plays a big part in our lives, both in and outside of work. We collaborate with our colleagues across teams and departments on all sorts of projects. What does all this collaboration have in common? Content.  
  • Content collaboration has become so important that it's spawned a whole category of apps and services. Microsoft, of course, came out with its own solution. As content collaboration is an essential element of Teams employee and business productivity, there can be some challenges with master and sub-master documents.  
  • During this webinar, we will share (and show) document best practices within a cloud world so efficiencies remain high and your organization reaps the benefits of the services you are using. Additionally, towards the end of the month, we will share a real example of document sprawl, and how we realigned OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams document libraries to match our business processes.    
We hope you will find this very informative, opening new ways to look at the technologies you currently have and new ways to incorporate the solutions tighter into your business structure. As always, we are here to help you integrate these solutions into your operations as our team has done many times. There is no better partner than the one who has experienced the adoption cycle.   

George Phipps 
Vice President, Strategy 


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