How to get the most out of your Microsoft Office 365 investment?

Your IT manager suggested migrating to Microsoft Office 365, as it has been addressed as the best option now for your company. You trust him, you trust the IT team. So you did the migration, bought the licenses and now all employees are in. The investment was huge, and it’s time to get the most out of it. But how do you know whether and how your employees are going to use and exploit the possibilities that Office 365 can offer them in terms of productivity, collaboration and smart working?
By helping your end-users understand how those capabilities can improve their team collaboration and simplify their day-to-day tasks, you can make some positive changes for your company, starting to act for your return on investment.

 

Return on investment

 

 

1. Use Targeted Communications

To change the behavior of your end-user community and make them adopt the new technology, a communication strategy is essential. First of all, you have to create awareness and information about what is going on and what this changes will mean for end users.
You need to customize the message to their job role and specify how the new features can help them to be more productive, meaning do more in less time. So, focus on your audience and their needs. The critical question is “What’s in it for me? “ In other words, highlight the benefits for them.

2. Media mix

To implement your communication strategy, you can use several channels.
Printed material such as posters, flyers, brochures, and reference cards. They can be put up in common areas such as break rooms, printer bays, and bathrooms. Communicate your message and boost discussions, questions, dialogues.
Live events such as webinars, workshops, lunch and training. These are a great way for IT to engage with end users, learn about how the tool works, and discover many opportunities to solve real business problems with Office 365.
Audiovisual material. Videos broadcasted in your collaboration platform, internal organizational channels, WhatsApp groups, social media, intranet, corporate emails and newsletter.

media mix

3. Word of mouth

The good old way of communicating always works. People like to talk with people about what is happening in the organization. Everyone is involved in the word of mouth process to communicate the changes and marketing the new technology. Executives and managers are not excluded. They also have to tell their direct reports to peers telling peers. You can harness the power of peers telling peers by creating a champions program.

4. Champions program

Identify people in your company who see the value of Office 365 through personal experience and are willing to mentor their peers. They will be your ambassadors, promoting the use of the tools to their colleagues and inspiring them to follow their example.

5. Technical support for new users

The IT Helpdesk staff should be trained in what Office 365 can do, as well as how to support users facing problems and difficulties. Moreover, the IT help desk can identify a business productivity problem that Office 365 can solve in ways the end user is not aware, or discover common issues experienced by users that need more training.

6. Learning opportunities

Whether it is e-learning sessions, workshops, live or virtual training, the most important thing is to help users familiarize and experiment with Office 365. Learning how it works, the concrete possibilities and actions they can do in the daily work explained by experts is fundamental to avoid the barriers that can stop new users to adapt to the new tools.

 

conference call Skype

 

7. Keep track and monitor the progress

To do so, Microsoft provides many tools, such as Microsoft 365 usage analytics within Power BI. Thanks to this tool, you can gain insights on how your organization is adopting the various services within Office 365 to communicate and collaborate. You can visualize and analyze Office 365 usage data, create custom reports and share the insights within your organization and gain insights into how specific regions or departments are utilizing Office 365.

 

These seven points represent some tips and general ideas on how to proceed when a new technology, like Office 365, is being introduced in your company. However, to ensure a positive rate of user adoption and a successful change management strategy that will pay back your investment, a more structured user adoption strategy and change management methodology are needed.

Pace methodology SilversideSilverside PACE methodology is made of four phases: Plan, Acquire, Change, Enhance. Managing the organizational changes in the method of working and in technologies is just easier for managers, consultants and end users. Firstly, be aware of the organizational culture of your company and plan a complete and predictive change management strategy in all the aspects. Secondly, acquire the new collaborative business vision and the technologies necessary to implement the strategy. A user adoption strategy is fundamental at this stage to instill change at every level in the organization. Lastly, optimize the value gained by adjusting the strategy, address key challenges and align with the required business outcomes.

Download the PACE whitepaper! 

"Towards an enhanced learning experience"

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Jan van Vledder

                                     

     “Experience is one of the most valuable things we can offer.”

                                                              Jan van Vledder

 

 

User adoption, change management and training are very complex topics. To become real experts, a long-term experience is needed for professionals. You cannot learn in books how to deal with these topics, nor someone can just tell you the magic formula. How do user adoption trainers and change managers face these issues in the real life? To answer this question, we interviewed Jan van Vledder, a training consultant with over 25 years of experience in training, change management, and user adoption fields.

Q: Can you tell us something about yourself, background, position?

A: Well… I started working a long time ago at the Philips Research Laboratory during which period I studied for a Bachelor degree in physics. But after five years of working there, I wanted to do something else. I wanted to work in telecommunications. After a few years in Philips Telecommunications, I was offered the opportunity to work in product sales training and I became their sales training manager. I started organizing trainings, creating content in collaboration with the product managers and a more structured training curriculum. In 2003 I started my own company to provide training services and training consultancy. My first client was a satellite communications company, where I was asked to support them with the introduction of their new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) application, Axapta. So, I started to design workshops and work instructions to help users with the new software, especially for finance, sales, legal and marketing staff and I created a simple but effective communication campaign. So, that’s where I started working with change management and user adoption. From that experience, my career in change management and user adoption developed. Later, after joining SES and working as a process manager, I was made responsible for change management specifically. When IBM Connections was introduced in the company, I soon was an enthusiastic user and created a comprehensive wiki, resulting in an integrated digital learning environment on SAP CRM and related business processes.

My motto is: “Towards an enhanced learning experience”. I have always used this quote because I want to provide people with a good learning experience.

Q: Oh, that’s impressive, you are always developing and building up new skills and experiences in different fields.
A: Yes, and what I appreciate so much is that through the years I have learned a lot, always new skills. I can say I am an example of life-long learning. Also during the last years with SES, I had the opportunity to learn and use new tools. It’s not that I reached the retirement age and didn’t want to experiment new things anymore. No, the contrary for me. And now, for example, I am experimenting with Office 365, to see how I can use that platform for user training. I really like my job and I’m still full of energy.

Q: So, in your career, you managed to design and build training for the user adoption of SAP CRM and Axapta. So, from your experience, what do you think is needed to reach a positive rate of user adoption?
A: Erm…in general, it’s all about software: a new program, software, a platform. To get people to feel confident about it, you have not only to teach them how it works but also, and most importantly, they have to start appreciating it. You need to communicate with them what it means for them, what are the benefits for them and then give real concrete examples. And you need a step by step approach, not everything in one session, otherwise, it is useless. Also, you have to focus on the most important things and functionalities that will be used in the company, not on every possibility offered by the software. And speaking the users’ language is very important, fundamental.

Q: So, in the end, will you say that technology is about people first?
A: Definitely yes, technology is about people first. Most people are not experts in technology, they only need to work with it, and do their job with the new technology. Speaking their language, so that they can understand the technology is very important, but also doing a lot of training because they have to understand and learn how to use it. So, from my experience training is about making it as easy as possible for the users. Also, you should make somebody responsible for this adoption process who is a real expert on the topic.

Q: So in your opinion is also about finding the right people, the real experts, to give the training and hold workshops, using the right language and attitude according to the audience?

A: Oh yes, yes. And you have to do everything you can to make it easy for people to learn. Then in small steps, they will learn and appreciate the tool, instead of just saying: “here it is, the new tool, from tomorrow you have to use it”. You have to really hold their hands and accompany them in the adoption process.

Q: So, if you have to summarize your user adoption strategy, your formula would be…?
A: Erm…with respect to user training, a media mix I would say, so not just workshops, videos, e-learning or written materials, but a combination of these methods. Everything that is needed to help people and give them the support they need, so they don’t feel alone in the process. Also, the contents of all training materials must be valuable and consistent and also look good visually. People should recognize that a lot of effort has been put into all material to make it as easy as possible for them. Therefore, I like to use the phrase “towards an enhanced learning experience”.

Q: We also read a nice quote you stated in your LinkedIn profile “where technology meets people”, can you elaborate on that?
A: Yes, technology and people are often a clash, since you are forced to work with something new that, you’re not familiar with, but still, you need to use it. Technology develops also fast and people cannot go along with it in many cases. To help people to work with a new technology, you need experts who understand the technology, but also are able to explain the functionality in normal language to the users.

Q: And according to your experience, which are the main difficulties that users have during the process of user adoption of a new technology?
A: Erm…So first there is reluctance like if it is a new tool, it cannot be good. I heard so many times “if it’s SAP it cannot be good”. So people believe the new application is not good for them or not useful, or too complex. The other difficulty is those people that have a problem with change. I remember a colleague that often said “I hate change”, but she managed to become a superuser because she discovered and learned to appreciate functionalities that really helped her in her job. Of course, there is this well-known technology adaption curve, but these are two examples of difficulties I had to deal with.

From Jan’s experience, a successful formula for reaching a positive rate of user adoption of a new technology always starts with learning. The users’ learning experience has a great impact on the results of the adoption process. That’s why consultants and trainers should follow Jan’s motto “towards an enhanced learning experience”. Consequently, they have to work hard to offer users the best learning experience using different tools and methods. In the end, the success of a user adoption strategy depends highly on the efforts, passion, and experience that consultants and trainers have to offer.

4 reasons why IT is a challenging environment

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We are working in a business environemnt  where every day we see how employees encounter different issues related to the way of  working,  communciating, collaborating,  but also about tools and technologies. Since the business world is becoming more and more demanding, people have more work to do and less time, so employees have to do more in the same amount of time. This is why technology can help us by offering possibilities to be more productive at work. If on one hand technology supports and helps employees and businesses, on the other hand it is tricky and can cause many issues to the users.

Indeed, hardly a day is passing by without at least one novelty in IT environment is released. As a consequence, technology in our working environment is changing very fast: new products, new features and updates are being presented every day. In Silverside working practice we see some main challenges that companies have, but have to overcome.

What are the biggest challenges in this dynamic IT world?

1. Workload

If you think about your work day and all the activities and tasks you have completed… so many things need to be done in a short period of time.

workloadTime is precious, so we have to use it in the right way. Hence, managing your time in a productive way, is critical. This is why people are looking for better options and solutions that can allow them to be more efficient. If you are working with your colleagues, which tool is the best for communicating and collaborating? No matter if you are working alone or in a team, time is always precious and work efficiency is always a priority.

Technology provides all kinds of possibilities: tasks are automated, it is easier for employees to reach their goals in faster ways and it is now possible what some decades ago was impossible. In this context, competition in the market is higher than ever. Moreover, customers all around the world are more and more demanding, pretending high quality products and services, the right support from suppliers and fast responses when they have all kinds of issues. The result? The need for employees to reach maximum productivity in order to keep up with the workload they are assigned to do.

2. Globalization

We are living in a global economy. This means that companies expand all around the globe, opening new branches in different countries and continents, in order to enlarge the profits of the global market. In other words, business doesn’t have any boundaries anymore. This has a great impact on the way of collaborating and working.

Globalization

Nowadays, people can be in the different places and still work together: remote team work is a habit and being part of the same project team together with people from Japan and Canada is now the norm. How can this be possible? Thanks to technology. Hence, it is not possible to imagine working without smart technologies for business communication. If you have a meeting, do you always need to be physically in the same room with your colleague? In this age, the answer is definitely NO. However, the question arises on HOW to do that in a productive way with the right technologies? Which apps and which functionalities to use to have the most effective online meetings and conferences?

3. Fast Changes

The only constant is change.

fast changes

We are facing the challenge of finding that perfect balance between keeping up with change and not changing for its own sake. Change is inevitable, and change is good, but  change must be consistent with corporate objectives and and bring some positive results.

The impact of technology on constant changes is huge, because new tools, apps, new features, and updates are being released on a daily basis. Technology is changing so rapidly for organizations and the ability to adopt new technologies is becoming a vital mechanism. Hence, managers all over the world make many efforts in searching for the best technologies to help employees work better and smarter because nowadays the technologies give us many opportunities on how to improve our work.
However, changing the technologies means changes in the way we work, so people need to adapt and develop new skills.

4. User adoption

When we talk about business technologies the big problem arises when in reality only a few people will actually use these new tools. Why they do so? Because people don’t like changes, they like to behave in the same old ‘’natural’’ way. As a consequence, making change work for your business is the challenge. One of the biggest challenges that technologies bring to business is user adoption: getting employees trained on new tools of working and encourage them to use new tools on a daily basis.
However, at first, employees are stressed about new technologies coming into their workplace. They are worried about how disruptive it will be for them. Usually, they are worried and raising questions like: Will I understand the new tools? Will I be able to use and work with them? When employees are told that new technologies are coming into their workspace, they get stressed and feel under pressure. And so, the fear about how the change will affect their job causes reluctance to use the tool.

 

user adoption

 

One of the biggest mistakes that companies do when they implement the new technology, is thinking that the date when that technology is introduced, correspond to the starting date of its usage. Because it is not! The real struggle is not the switch from one software to another, but the task to make people adopt it.

 

Here I listed four business challenges that I believe have the biggest impact on our daily work. It is not difficult to imagine that in such a condition it is really challenging for us to keep up with this pace and the struggle with personal and group productivity, collaboration,  adoption of new tools and new ways of working is real. Hence, Silverside invites you to participate in our free workshop ‘Office 365 training: 5 min per day to increase user adoption‘, together explore the challenges that the dynamic IT world brings for the end user and find out about possible ways how to overcome these struggles.

The importance of Corporate Email Signature

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Your email signature is as important as any other part of your corporate identity. Using a badly designed, not consistent email signature has a huge negative impact on a client or a prospect since it results in poor professionalism.

Having instead a consistent, simple, clean signature with the corporate logo that reflects the identity of the company is the right approach to increase the positive perception of the company in the eyes of customers and prospects, while providing an instant brand recognition of the organization. That’s why a corporate email signature is fundamental for every company. Indeed, an email signature is like handing a person a business card every time you send an email. When people say: “the first impression is the one that counts the most” is really true, also if we are talking about corporate electronic communications. In the end, why should you risk your professional image by not instituting a company-wide email signature?

 

email signature

 

To sum up, an email signature has four main areas of interest:

  • Legitimacy

Conveying a cohesive and consistent image of your company throughout every email of every employee means that your business is well established and trustworthy.

  • Branding

How to brand every message you send? Through a signature. It establishes and reinforces who you are as a company, enforcing your brand awareness among your customers and prospects.

  • Email marketing

Entrepreneurs and marketing professionals commonly use email marketing for business promotion. But what is the point of email marketing if your corporate email is not attractive? If the logo is not present in the email? If it is not recognizable or doesn’t have the link to the company website?

  • Digital Business Card

This signature is your digital business card, meaning it is a way to connect with customers, leads or potential new clients. Moreover, including the contact details and important links (like your website or social media) is a way to facilitate the communication and connection with your audience.

email signature

 

Dedicated software can be used to design and manage signatures. By managing email branding, you can easily refresh email signatures across your entire organization, as well as regulate them. If you still don’t have an email signature, Crossware can help you.

crossware

Crossware is an international leader in company email signature management. Crossware’s flagship product, Crossware Mail Signature, gives users complete control over their company email signatures. They can easily design an attractive and professional email signature and ensure that these are included on every email leaving their company, even those sent from mobile devices.

Start your 30 days free trial now!

Microsoft Teams external communication

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Since Microsoft Teams has been introduced two years ago, the product has evolved in a reasonable way. Yet, there are still some difficulties to overcome with Microsoft Teams. There are many questions that need to be answered prior moving to Microsoft Teams when coming from Skype for Business.

Let’s say you are working for an international organization and you didn’t implement Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams yet, but the company needs a communication client to communicate with employees all around the world. Currently some departments within the organization are using different communication clients with potential employees, or are communicating with external clients with different tools.

 

conference call Skype

 

Microsoft Teams seems to be THE tool, right? Possibly, I would say.

Depending on the requirements for your internal business it can be a problem. When you want to communicate with external parties, are you going to ask every external person to install Microsoft Teams? Even when it is not an External Client? I don’t believe so!

Currently, many organizations are using the Skype consumer client for external communication. Why? Because people are used to use Skype consumer everywhere around the world for communicating with potential new employees or external clients. And people are using it to communicate with friends and family around the world. It is easy to install, it is a lightweight product and it works on everything: from a simple tablet to phones and notebooks. It doesn’t consume a lot of bandwidth and it doesn’t need a lot of resources to operate smoothly. Next to that, it has persistent chat which stays available.

Are you going to ask a single person to install Microsoft Teams for just a one-hour call, and the hazzle that comes with it? Since not every person is handy with computers and software, you need to guide them with them. With Skype for Business you can communicate with Skype consumer, but it lacks many options that come with Microsoft Teams. Also, Microsoft decided that we need to move to Microsoft Teams, and Skype for Business will be deprecated.

But there is also an issue with Skype consumer version. You cannot use it in a very strict environment with Proxies. Skype consumer doesn’t like Proxies, and yes, in version 7 you can still use it, but in version 8 it isn’t possible to set a Proxy. And when you have configured a Proxy there is still no guarantee it will work. Skype for Business

So, let’s go back to Microsoft Teams. You would think that Microsoft Teams will support external communication with Skype consumer, since Skype for Business has it? Well, no! After investigating I found out that Microsoft rejected the implementation of integration with the Skype consumer version. The only part that Microsoft will introduce is the PSTN calling from Microsoft Teams to Skype Consumer, but not the ability to chat or send files.

Microsoft is limiting organizations to use Microsoft Teams with no possibility to communicate with external parties that don’t use this app. But nothing to say about the future, Microsoft is still learning from its own mistakes.

Yet there are no decent solutions for organizations who rely on communication with external parties when you are moving to Office 365 and Microsoft Teams. MS Teams is nice for internal communication and organizations who are using Microsoft Teams.

Source:
https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16958347-skype-integration-consumer-federation

 

Join Sasja Beerendonk at Office 365 and SharePoint Connect 2018

This year, Office 365 & SharePoint Connect conference comes to Haarlem, Netherlands. Here the best independent experts from around the world and Microsoft will meet to talk about the possibilities Microsoft offers to innovate the IT and Business sectors and how companies and professionals should deal with it.
Attendees can learn how to move forward with expert speakers who will share their experience, knowledge, and best practices, plus real-world project insights with you.
Moreover, there is also the chance to hear about the latest novelties coming from Microsoft Ignite USA, who will take place in September. This will also include all the latest Ignite releases and updates as Microsoft defines its directions.

The conference format is designed with many personalized sessions, based on the attendees’ interests and levels of knowledge.
Office 365 and SharePoint Connect are once again delighted to work with various user group leaders from SP&C NL, DIWUG, Office 365 NL, and Collab365.

 

Facebook never needed adoption, why does Office 365?

 

Among all the expert speakers of the sessions, we are proud to announce that also our Senior Consultant Sasja Beerendonk will hold the workshop “Facebook never needed adoption, why does Office 365?

Silverside

Resistance to change is what you’ll get without a proper change strategy for your collaboration platform. Unlike IT people, business users are not necessarily thrilled about new technology, features and functionalities.
Introducing a collaboration platform in an organization, does not mean that people will adapt to the changes and adopt the new way of working, using that platform.

Most employees will need to be motivated differently to actively use the new tools. What are the reasons employees do not simply embrace new technology? And most importantly: How can we bend resistance to change? Learn what makes change for technology so difficult and how to motivate your employees by joining Sasja!

 

Silverside

Remote Team Work: How to communicate efficiently in the digital age?

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Nowadays, working in a team remotely is almost a state of mind. More and more companies have different project teams with members located in different parts of the world or teams and departments dislocated all around the globe.

Harvard Business Review reports that, according to recent studies from Gallup and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 22% of Americans work from home, while nearly 50% are involved with remote or virtual teamwork.

 

remote work

 

In the past, the collaboration and communication between these remote teams meant thousands of emails and phone calls. But the impossibility to physically meet and have conversations and discussions negatively impacted the productivity.

Online and virtual meetings revolutionized completely the collaboration and productivity for teams that have to work together remotely. Tools like Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams opened up a completely new world for remote team working (read the blog Online team collaboration with Microsoft Teams to have an example of how to collaborate online using Microsoft Teams). Through an internet connection, basic digital skills and the right tools, it’s now possible to have brainstorming, knowledge meetings, collaborate around projects, solve problems and much more, boosting in this way team productivity. Even though remote team working is now a habit for the majority of companies, people who work on remote teams still face many challenges that require new collaboration skills to be faced.

 

Lack of body language

When working and collaborating remotely, body language is completely missing. This can create misunderstandings, confusion, misinterpretations and other communication issues that cost a lot in terms of social interaction, productivity, and efficiency.

 

Distances

There are three kinds of distance in remote collaboration: physical (place and time), operational (team size and skill levels) affinity (values, trust, and interdependence). Virtual and online meetings reduce physical distances but do not compensate for the differences in skill levels and values among team members.

 

The solution

The solution to these two main challenges cannot come from the technologies used. To perform at the highest levels, remote teams have to find new and better ways to operate, communicate and collaborate.

 

remote team work

 

1. Clarity and consistency

To avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication, it is fundamental that members in the team establish and respect rules and norms on how to communicate and collaborate. Some examples can be a set of acronyms, expected response time, rules on how to use communication platforms like Microsoft Teams.

 

2. Limit the digital volume

Even though communicating in a platform like Microsoft Teams will significantly reduce the amount of emails team members will receive, this does not mean that you can send hundreds of messages in a team chat. Discussions have always to have an aim and a purpose and having a team conversation full of confused messages and attachments is not going to help the productivity of the team. Try to send one message with the information you want to communicate (only the most important one). In the end, you are not whatsapping your friends, even though the platform is similar.

 

3. Always respect the social rules of interaction

You are communicating remotely through digital devices and online meetings. You are not having physical and face to face conversations with your team members, but they still remain human beings, with feelings and different personalities. Don’t forget to respect the normal norms of social interactions: thank you, good morning, have a nice day, and expressions like these are always welcome also in chats and online conversations.

 

4. Strengthen relationships within your team members

Your team is composed by people with who you are working and communicating on a daily basis. Conversations should not only be about work. Creating occasions for celebrations and socializing can strengthen relationships and lay the foundation for future collaboration. Find ways to shorten the affinity distance. Congratulate for a birthday, create personalized memes, share funny content, tell something personal, ask for advices and so on are also part of a remote team life!

 

As mentioned before, the challenges of digital interactions and remote team working cannot be solved by the technology teams use. Miscommunication is always a high risk, but by understanding the new rules of engagement and building the right communication skills among the team members, can help remote teams to work more efficiently, facing the challenges that our digitally-driven age brings.

Download our whitepaper Collaborate as a team in Office 365 to learn how to foster your team collaboration using Office 365 tools.

 

Migrating Domino or Lotus Notes applications

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It can be quite a challenge to migrate ANY application to another platform. A few of the most difficult topics when migrating are to preserve most of the functionalities people are used to, and to migrate the existing data.  Lotus Notes applications are usually used for many years and hold a lot of valuable information, making migration a not so easy task.

In the current IT landscape, moving applications to the Cloud is becoming the norm. The question that arises is: “Can we move our Lotus Notes application to the Cloud?”

And the short answer is “Yes”. But you probably do not want to use Lotus Notes clients anymore.

 

Moving Lotus Notes applications to the Web

What if you move your Lotus Notes application to the Web first? This would give the users a modern web application, making this platform and device independent and cloud-enabled.

If you have a Domino environment, and you are considering to migrate, you need to look at all your options. And moving applications to the web is quite a good option.

Personally, I developed a lot of applications and a lot of different platforms and to be honest, I really like the Domino server a lot. Yes, the platform has disadvantages, and some odd things too, but it is worth it to at least consider a path to migrate applications to a web frontend.

 

Some of the Domino advantages:

 

Domino

 

* Very robust

In comparison with other platforms, I find the Domino platform far ahead on this topic. You really need to do stupid things or throw a lot of data to cause issues. This also helps a lot to reduce the overall running costs.

 

* Easy setup

The administration and setup are not that hard. And the development environment is pretty straightforward. I saw other platforms that take days to set up a correct working development environment and had a lot of dependencies on components/programs (dependencies tend to make things fragile).

 

* Low on hardware costs

This topic is usually underexposed, but I think those costs could really matter. If I compare the domino platform with other platforms like Microsoft SharePoint, or web environments like LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySql, PHP/Python) Domino is doing a great job with fewer costs.

 

* Rapid Application Development

This is something I want to emphasize. If you know some tips and tricks on how to develop Web applications for Domino, you will be able to make huge steps in a small amount of time (I made a JSON API with 10 small lines of code… that is just WOW).  If (web)developers can think out of the box and do not use some of the default Lotus Notes components, they can really bend this system in every way they want.

 

rapid development

 

* Out of the box default features

A few standard features that are just great are: Security, replication across multiple servers, full-text indexing, speed, templating capabilities.

 

There are disadvantages too:

 

* “Not sexy”

The domino platform is often seen as a legacy platform. And yes, this is one of the biggest downsides of using Domino. This “feeling” is not easy to ignore and does not go away easily. A fact is that the decision making persons often take the safe path, and do not want to be associated with anything that feels like a legacy.

 

* IBM’s progress with the Domino platform has not been something to be happy about

I do feel that they are making progress now because the development has been assigned to an external company called HCL, but that needs time. The new version has out of the box JSON API’s and can run Node.js.

 

* Good developers are not always web developers

Good Lotus Notes developers are NOT by default good Web developers. Web development is quite different. You need to train developers. But this is a common issue. Good developers are hard to find anyway (on any platform). Despite this, a lot can be achieved with training.

 

Migrating a Lotus Notes application to the Web is certainly a way to preserve your data and to be more future proof. There are many suppliers on the market that offer toolings or help you to migrate your application to the web. Or you can do it yourself (you may want to consider training if you do). But if you see the advantages that the Domino platform has to offer… then it should be a real option.

 

“At Silverside we strongly believe that you should use the things you have to the maximum”

The Silverside shop just landed on our website

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The Silverside Shop just landed on our website!

We’re proud to announce a new entry in our Silverside website. We’ve created our online shop! The Silverside Shop is the place where to get the latest products and content to make change easier and increase the user adoption of your Microsoft Office 365 or IBM Connections environment. Indeed, all our knowledge, the expertise of our consultants and our great experience is stored in one single place. Content, materials, and workshops are directly available for everyone with just one click.

 

The idea behind it

The idea of creating our own e-shop originated from a necessity. How can we make sure that our customers are updated constantly on all the content, offerings, products, knowledge and experiences we can offer them? How can we help them in easily find the solutions to their issues? How can we provide ready-to-use specific content and support to everyone addressing the same challenges with change management, user adoption with Office 365 and IBM Connections?

An online content shop 24/7 available is the best solution to all these needs.

silverside shop

 

What can you find in the Silverside Shop?

Literally everything:

  • Products whitepapers: summary of management theories, customer experiences, consult with the authors;
  • Books;
  • Ebooks;
  • Working Materials;
  • Workshops, training, webinars;
  • Free previews.

silverside shop

 

Which topics are addressed by our products?

We are the experts on productivity, change management and user adoption strategy for Microsoft Office 365 and IBM Connections. Everything we know is embedded in our products that you can find in the e-shop. For example, the series of our productivity scenarios is already there to help you run projects more effectively, do meetings in a smarter way, onboard new employees in an efficient way and profiling and finding expertise with the right strategy. Everything we do is to make change easier for you, even in the payment and delivery: you can pay with credit card or PayPal and all materials are delivered by email via PACE online.

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Online Webinar: Smarter Sales Meetings with Microsoft Teams and OneNote

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Together with the European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference

Sasja Beerendonk, Change Consultant, Silverside, Netherlands

 

When?

Wed, Sep 19, 2018 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CEST

 

Smarter Sales Meetings with Microsoft Teams and OneNote

At an international client, spread out across EMEA, the sales organisation wanted better insights from meetings held with large customers or resellers of their products.
They needed more alignment between the regions and countries sales meetings. The current practice meant each regional or even sub-regional team had their own way of working, with many different forms of meeting notes taking, in many different formats (Word, Excel, paper-based, or other forms), and in many locations (laptop hard drives, shared network drives). Consequently, there was no single place to be able to find all sales meeting notes.
The solution? Using OneNote notebooks in each channel in Microsoft Teams where sales people share their meeting notes for that region. Subsequently, each regional notebook is set up, with section groups, sections, and pages.

 

Key benefits of attending

  • Learn about practical Office 365 Client Use Case: centralizing sales meeting notes with Teams and OneNote.
  • Learn how to design the Team channels and tabs, structure the OneNote notebook with specific access rights for section groups and using page templates.
  • Learn how sales people went through training, and what typical current behavior was though to tackle.

Will WhatsApp Business threaten the supremacy of Microsoft Teams?

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What is WhatsApp? Probably this question is just asked by grandmas and grandpas today. Who doesn’t know what WhatsApp is? Who doesn’t use it?  In my personal experience, everyone knows and use it, even my grandparents. Indeed, WhatsApp has more than 1billion users all over the world. WhatsApp is available both in your phone, but also as a desktop app in your laptop. And it’s free. With WhatsApp you can do many things: chatting with your friends, create groups, do calls and even video calls, send pictures, videos, voice messages and even documents…and many more…

Have you ever thought about using WhatsApp as a tool for your business?

If you find it an easy, user friendly tool to use to communicate with your friends, relatives, colleagues, acquaintances, clients…then what about using it also to work and collaborate?

Some time ago, WhatsApp marked the news:

“Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from. That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight. We all get these messages elsewhere today – through text messages and phone calls – so we want to test new tools to make this easier to do on WhatsApp, while still giving you an experience without third-party ads and spam. “

From that moment on, businesses have been flooding WhatsApp with emailed enquiries over how they could access the network.  But businesses want more than just WhatsApp as it is now. They want analytics, infrastructure for sending messages to large numbers of customers at once, automated messages or “bots”, new functionalities to share ideas, files and to collaborate, and more security.

Finally, in January 2018 WhatsApp announced the release of the new app WhatsApp Business. It is a free Android app created for businesses so that they can interact and communicate internally or externally with customers, easily by using a tool that they already know.

WhatsApp Business

WhatsApp Business will even improve the business experience

The new functionalities are:

  • Business Profiles: companies and organizations can have and create their business profile, facilitating the communication with customers, giving immediate useful information such as a business description, email or physical address and link to the website.
  • Messaging Tools: Quick replies for fast answers to the FAQ, greeting messages for customers and away messages to inform them you are busy.
  • Messaging Statistics: Just like other social media, you can review simple metrics like the number of messages read, to monitor your work.
  • WhatsApp Web: use the app WhatsApp Business also in your desktop.
  • Account Type: your business account, linked to the phone number of your organization, so that customers are sure they are chatting with the right profile.
  • Spam: you as user and as customer or private user will be able of course to block or report as spam also businesses profiles.

The new WhatsApp Business app seems to have produced already very positive results. Indeed, over 80% of small businesses in India and Brazil consider WhatsApp a valuable tool to help them communicate with customers and grow their business.  As a consequence, the app is spreading all over the world: it is now available in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, U.K. and U.S.

If WhatsApp Business will continue riding at this pace, evolving and becoming even more useful for bigger businesses and companies, how will the future scenario look like?

Will WhatsApp Business become one of the main competitors of Microsoft Teams, the currently most used communication hub and collaboration app by big businesses and ventures?

Microsoft Teams and Smarter Meetings

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Recently, Microsoft announced further progress on its intelligent communications vision for Microsoft Teams, adding support for its own and third-party calling and meeting room devices. Microsoft’s Surface Hub device will run Microsoft Teams natively from later in 2018, and audio and video conferencing room systems from multiple partners will be able to plug into Microsoft Teams, enabling Teams to be used as a solution for meeting rooms. With the momentum behind Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft’s intent to retire Skype for Business Online in favour of Teams, this allows third-party vendors to carry forward their “Skype Room Systems” into Microsoft Teams. It does, indeed, seem intelligent to leverage the existing ecosystem of vendors and devices to propel Teams to even greater heights.

Of course, “intelligent” is an easy word for vendors to throw around (along with phrases like “machine learning,” “big data,” and “deep learning”), but the real test is intelligent utilisation.

One technical capability to support intelligent utilisation is having video cameras that sense where the participants are in the room. This is offered by Logitech and Crestron to support two end goals:
– Dynamically adjust where the camera focuses to give the remote party the best viewing experience (e.g., removing a hindrance to intelligent utilisation).
– Automatically capture and log the number of people in each meeting room throughout the course of each day, and to make this data available for understanding room utilisation rates. Decision makers can see the reality of how the meeting room infrastructure is being used, and make plans accordingly.

Microsoft Teams silverside

We hold one major concern for intelligent utilisation, however, and it’s a concern that further technological development and Microsoft’s own roadmap for Teams will never be able to resolve. It’s the very human issue of how to run a productive and effective meeting in this new world of work. How do you bring together a diverse group of people, in one room or multiples, to combine their human experience, insight, intelligence and wisdom to explore an idea, make a decision, and further the reach and impact of a team, department or organization? It’s an issue that endures in the face of technological advancements that are incredibly amazing, and forces us to face up to the fundamental questions once again:

  • What is the purpose of this meeting?
  • Who should be here?
  • What agenda topics best enable us to address the purpose?
  • How do we enable a tool like Microsoft Teams and its intelligent capabilities to add to the productivity of a team, not detract from it?

Teams

Beyond questions, we have answers. For those, please check out our brand new principles whitepaper on holding smarter meetings, and our companion workbook on using Microsoft Teams in Office 365 to do so. The first offers a deep dive into the state of meetings today and how they need to improve, and the second gives clear guidance on how meetings can be brought to life in Microsoft Teams aligned with our principles whitepaper.

Intelligent capabilities must be met with intelligent utilisation, otherwise it is just dumb.