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Beyond Microsoft Teams… How to obtain more value from Office 365?

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15 October 2020

The need to work remotely has accelerated the emerging and adoption of collaboration and communication tools at a large number for organisations and companies. As a result, the Microsoft Office 365 platform has become positioned as one of the leading solutions in this area, both due to the number of active users and the high value from the ecosystem of applications offered.

Microsoft Teams ability to connect us and hold online meetings, has often been employed as a pilot test for the adoption of the rest of the Microsoft suite. Teams has managed to become the main tool used, displacing email in many cases and leaving intranets and other corporate tools in third place. In this new context, companies who have chosen this platform now wonder, how we can take advantage of the current inertia using these tools and extend the usage to the other capacities of Microsoft 365—often unknown— and to respond to the new corporate challenges emerging:

  • How can I adapt to the new dynamics of collaboration, communication and leadership in this new normal?
  • How can I favor hybrid working models at home and in the office without losing, and even gaining, productivity?
  • How can I detect, develop and retain talent in this new flexible working scenario?
  • How can I digitally transform my business processes while increasing their efficiency?
  • How can I do this entire process securely and flexibly, with full compliance with corporate policies and minimizing risk?

At everis, in order to answer these questions and with the aim of increasing the business benefits and positive impact of Office 365 in our organisation, a methodology has been developed based on three broad blocks or steps:

  1. Definition of the usage strategy, analysing the user profile types for each organisation, as well as the user requirements. This will therefore shape the use cases which need to be developed and the KPIs we must fulfil for our initiatives to be successful.
  2. Analysis and adaptation of tools: After the use cases are defined, the next step is to analyse the different Office 365 tools and select those which best cover these use cases. Depending on the complexity, there are studies to determine if they need to be adapted, extended or modelled in order to functionally meet these needs. The outcome of this exercise will be used to define the platform’s corporate governance model, which must ensure compliance with our organisation’s regulations and policies for the use we will make of these applications.
  3. Development of an adoption strategy, which includes the training required, as well as identifying those key profiles and roles that will help us with our implementation. As part of this strategy, monitoring the initiatives allows us to prioritise them,  and to strengthen or adapt them, depending on the implementation that users progressively make of them and the previously-agreed KPIs.

Applying this methodology to companies who have opted for Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, at everis we have achieved widespread results in different areas including:

  • 100% personalised corporate communication, so that employees have access both to the company’s strategic information and information related to their fields of interest. Each employee can register for groups or knowledge areas based on their roles and functions so that they are always up-to-date on the topics most relevant to them.
  • Improved cooperation based on Microsoft TEAMS, converting TEAMS workgroups into communities, shared by the rest of the organisation, where employees are informed and provided with knowledge. Similarly, the information shared in TEAMS feeds the communities and grants employees access to contents from the different groups they belong to, quickly and cross.
  • Application of agile practices in our business processes, grouping the different groups (tribes, guilds, chapters…) into corporate communities where their members can share initiatives, align themselves with strategy and follow and share the most relevant topics with the rest of the organisation.
  • Improved access to business processes, in many cases bringing these to employees via the integration in Microsoft Teams or with conversational bots.  If the process needs to have queries handled or to be integrated with other tools, we can use the capacities of Power Platform to develop a complete integrated solution, and very quickly.
  • Creation of a knowledge search engine, based both on structured and unstructured information available at our company. Using artificial intelligence, we can promote and recommend results based on the profile of the employee who is using the application.

The logging and use of data on the behaviour of our users also lets us know how much the platform is used, which initiatives are being most adopted and which contents and campaigns are generating the most interest amongst our users. With the results of analysing this data, we can define or redesign strategies based on the objectives we set.

In many of these scenarios, we have the products at everis that can accelerate the resolution of use cases, reducing time and effort and significantly increasing employee experiences:

  • TŌGŌ (www.everistogo.com) is a product developed based on Office 365, completely aligned with the Microsoft roadmap which transforms the way our users communicate, collaborate, connect and share information.
  • Knowler (www.everisknowler.com) is the knowledge management tool based on artificial intelligence, which extracts information and transforms it into knowledge, bringing it to the employees who need it at the right time.
  • EVA (www.eva.bot) is the cognitive architecture for employees’ virtual assistants. This tool supports training for multiple channels, thus saving on development times and costs.

 

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