The successful key to learn how to use Office 365

Silverside is proud to be the first company based in The Netherlands to collaborate with BrainStorm, providing our customers with a great tool: QuickHelp. The BrainStorm QuickHelp™ Program is a Microsoft-sponsored project created to help end users, all levels employees and also managers to be more satisfied and efficient while using technologies.

Brainstorm, Silverside

By subscribing to the QuickHelp program, customers will receive company-wide access to the QuickHelp platform. This inspires the whole organization to achieve the maximum productivity, by engaging users and improving user adoption and learning.
Quickhelp is a cloud based training solution for Office365 users, that is accessible anywhere at any time. This platform provides a lot of information that are useful for all end-users (from a non-advanced user to a very advanced user.) The majority of content is in videos, that are shot (from 1 to 4 minutes) and very concentrate. It also gives the  opportunity to sign up for ‘’events’’, webinars with Microsoft certificated trainers where participants can ask questions online.

In our practice, we receive questions like: Is QuickHelp comparable to LMS (Learning Management System)?

LMS is a software program that allows internal instructors to create by themselves online courses and trainings. Along with creating, managing and delivering courses to their learners, instructors can track their progress by accessing the reports and statistics that LMS software provides.

In order to create an online learning environment, instructors need to upload all the coursers and training materials such as videos, presentations, PDF etc. Organizations need to crate and manage the content themselves, put the relevant one, delete older information and keep everything updated.

learning

Quick help stands out as being a part of Office 365, and always provides updated and relevant content. This platform, as ‘’final product’’ gives you always available content that is:

  • personalized,
  • relevant
  • timely.

In this way, manages do not need to create the content by themselves, but they have everything ready for a successful learning process applicable to all end users.

Let’s take a look at how QuickHelp achieves all these points:

Personalized content is a key for user adoption. Let’s remember when we were sitting in a meeting room with your other colleges and the trainer kept on talking about the topic and you had a question on your head ‘’ when I will use this information? This is so irrelevant to me.’’ So QuickHelp aims at eliminating inapplicable, irreverent content.
With this platform users are able to reach the information they need based on their previous knowledge, preferences and  role in the company. Silverside-zeroinbox

Why is a customer platform so important? It allows to give relevant content for the users. For example, the company accountant should probably know not only the basics of Excel but also tips and tricks that can save him time. But most probably, he doesn’t know how to create a perfect PowerPoint presentation. This is a great example about how important is to give to the users relevant and personalized content. By creating customer learning paths in QuickHelp, users are able to use the things that they learned right away.

Why is that so important to have timely content? An employee is always focused on his role in the organization and the work that must be done. As the result, the usage of every tool is not a priority. However, an employee needs to receive help when he encounters a problem or  has a specific question about the tool.
Moreover, any employee wants to sit in a workshop for long hours, waiting for the information he wants to know. This is why the videos in QuickHelp are short, straight to the point and focused on specific tasks within the application. This platform gives its users content that is available 24/7, whenever they want.

By taking 5 minutes everyday users can become Office 365 masters. At Silverside we see amazing results and so our customers. Contact us for a DEMO.

Hide groups synced by Azure AD Connect (O365)

When you are syncing local Active Directory groups to Microsoft Office365 using Azure AD Connect, you can hide groups from Outlook’s Global Address List (GAL) by setting “Hide group from Exchange address lists”. This is the same as setting the attribute msExchHideFromAddressLists to True.

 

group synced by Azure      group synced by Azure

 

This method works, but it requires that the Exchange schema is added to your Active Directory. Without the Exchange schema, the msExchHideFromAddressLists attribute will not be available.

If you migrated all your mail servers out to O365, you probably prefer an Active Directory without the Exchange schema. If that’s your situation, you are stuck; you either install the Exchange schema, or accept that synced groups can’t be hidden in the GAL.
I recently came across this situation at a customer, but was able to solve this with some “Azure AD Connect trickery”:

  • This customer named its groups according to best practices, allowing me to filter visibility based on the group name. The client wanted its Global-Groups (GG_*) to be synced to O365, but they should not be visible in address lists.
  • The solution was to add an additional transformation-expression to the inbound synchronization rule in Azure AD Connect. This expression sets the msExchHideFromAddressLists attribute, if the name of the group starts with “GG_”.

group synced by Azure

Expression: CBool(Left([cn],3)=”GG_”)

You can use other expressions as well and be as creative as you can. An extensive description of the available functions can be found here.

Change is the New Normal

“It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones who are most responsive to change” Charles Darwin

Change has always been in our DNA. Yet, now that we are living in the 21st century, change has become the new normal, also in the business world as stated by the Harvard Business Review. Hence, transformation in the technologies, business practices and strategies are just mandatory for organizations in every sector to keep the economy’s pace. But transformations are highly risky, above all when it comes to new technologies and management strategies.

 

Change management risks

 

Leaders are confronted with an increasing rate of change and complexity and need to find ways to deal with it.  Change is needed, but how do organizations deal with it? Here I listed the 7 most common (predictable and avoidable) pitfalls organizations do when dealing with change management.

  • No winning strategy

Without a structured and solid change management strategy, reaching your organization’s goals will never be possible. Planning, implementing and monitoring the outcomes of the changes is fundamental to obtain the wanted results.

  • Thinking about change as a “one-night stand”

Big changes often are announced with big events, assuming that from the day after everything will be different. But this will not happen. The initial energy fades, changes are never implemented and results aren’t realized.

  • Not informing the employees

They can feel left out and not part of the change. It is important instead to involve everyone in the organization in the change process, if you want the change to become real. Moreover, change management communication need to be targeted to each segment of the workforce, so to allow people to make sense of the change.

  • Not dealing with resistance to change

Expecting that there will be some resistance to change and being prepared to proactively manage it is a necessary step. Knowing how to overcome resistance and reluctance in the adoption of what has changed is a vital part of any change management plan. People change, not organizations and user adoption strategies are needed.

  • Ignoring current corporate culture

Change in organizations is challenging and it can only occur when the change strategy is suitable and in line with the organizational culture. That is why, firstly, a deep understanding of your company’s culture is essential to implement the right strategy.

  • Lack of skills and resources

Business changes deserve for the right skills and resources. Organizations often fail to commit the necessary time, people and resources to make change work. So, if you know you do not have the skills, knowledge, expertise or human resources to implement a successful change management strategy, hiring external experts could help you to save time, money and ensuring a positive outcome.

  • Don’t measure the progress

Measuring progress, success or issues caused by the change is fundamental to track and plan the future decisions for a successful change, adjusting the strategy.

 

PACE workshop

 

Pitfall, issues and poor change management can be avoided. If you want to implement the right change management strategy passing from an email culture to a more collaborative culture, increasing productivity and efficiency with the Office 365 apps and tools, register for our PACE workshop!

With the PACE workshop we can teach you the main points of our PACE methodology: the possible culture types of an organization, the adoption strategies and the ‘tricks’ to make change easier. We offer you the knowledge, guidance, expertise and support of our consultants. Everything you need to install the change in your organization and efficiently use Office 365 apps, enhancing the productivity of managers and employees in their daily work.

 

QuickHelp: Employee onboarding with Office 365

Business @ Work report, from Okta, shows the top 25 most widely used SaaS (software as a service) and cloud applications. According to this report of this year (based on number of customers) at the top of the list there is Microsoft Office 365, as it was in the last year. This spring Microsoft announced having nearly 135 million commercial users of Office 365. This number shows that the popularity is still growing and doesn’t seem Office 365 software will drop down soon. In the second place, is Salesforce, followed by Amazon AWS that is in the 3rd place in 2018.

 

Why Office 365 is the most popular SaaS?

Office 365 is a Software that provides a great set of tools and apps and gives the opportunity to work smarter, faster and efficient. Now Office 365 offers 28 apps such as Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Planner, Yammer, Skype for Business, SharePoint.
Microsoft is constantly working in developing these apps by adding new functions. For example, at the moment there are 68 new functionalities that are being rolled out and are not yet available to all applicable customers. The changes are done faster and end users can not follow the same pace without any help. Knowing Office 365 environment and being always up-to-date regarding the functionalities you are using is more than relevant for all new users. However, this variety of different apps and functionalities brings many opportunities, but also many questions when and how to use witch app in the most efficient way.

QuickHelp

 

Onboarding issues

Newcomers have a great variety of skills, they have knowledge in a specific area and are motivated to show their value within an organization. However, in most of the cases they are lacking technical skills in using Office 365 tools effectively.

Onboarding new employees is one of the most critical cross-functional processes in a company. It is not an easy task to be productive when you just started working at a new company and it is also challenging for a company to train a newcomer quickly and effectively. The situation gets even more complicated when a new employee is not familiar with the working tools he has to use, such as software, apps and other communication gadgets and tools.

 

How to be always updated and learn about new functionalities at the same time?

New Microsoft user are constantly surprised by new opportunities. This means they have to discover and explore new functionalities that can make their work easier. The problem appears when people do not know how to use these tools, or they even don’t know that these tools and functions exist.
Microsoft have supported an amazing user adoption initiative – QuickHelp. This is an interactive platform created and almost instantly updated by Brainstorm Inc. This great tool enables new users to get to know Office 365 and the required tools to use within a company in the fastest way.
Quick Help offers a personalized account and this allows managers to assign specific online courses and other content for every individual based on their needs. What is more, Quick Help gives bonus points for using the platform and learning. By using these points, the tool ranks every user and the ranking can been seen by everybody.
Having a high ranked profile means that the person has acquired a lot of knowledge in a specific Office 365 topic. Consequently, he can be seen by other employees as an expert and the right person to ask for a help once a new employee needs an advice regarding different that topic.
We at Silverside are proud to be the first company based in The Netherlands to collaborate with BrainStorm, providing our customers with this great learning tool. Contact us for DEMO and more information.

Employee training and development: is more important than you think

Making the right investments in learning and development programs has never been more important – or more of a challenge – for business leaders.

In general, there are many benefits of Employee Training and Development, such as:

– Increased job satisfaction among employees
– Increased employee motivation
– Increased efficiency in business processes
– Increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods
– Increased innovation in strategies and products

In the business environment that is constantly changing, millennials play an important role. They are people who were born from the early 1980s and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years. According to demographic data, the percentage of millennials in the working environment is expanding every day.

But let’s take a look at the chart below. It presents working benefits that millennials value the most in their work environment.

Statista

As we see from the chart that was presented by Statista, the biggest number of millennials consider professional training and development opportunities as the most valuable working benefit. While flexible hours were considered the most valuable benefit by 19 percent of those surveyed, cash bonuses are seen as a priority by 14 percent of respondents.

This chart proves that companies have to motivate their employees and train them. Hence, training is not a luxury, but it is a ‘must’ if a company wants to be successful in a modern dynamic business environment. Employers have to help their people to increase their knowledge, skills and abilities to help the organization achieve its goals.

What is the role of training and development in organizations?

Firstly, in order to understand the topic, it is necessary to present the concept of ‘’training and development’. The main role of ’training and development’ is learning, so employees develop their knowledge, competence, skills, behaviour etc.
The goal of training is for employees is to gain the knowledge, job related skills, competences, and behaviour and apply them in their daily activities.
Development is quite similar to training, but it is more focused on the future. It refers to training, formal education, and if focuses on increasing and maintaining company’s performance.

At the end, managers and leaders should remember that having highly trained, updated and satisfied employees is an added value for the whole company. Providing learning and development possibilities for employees is an essential long-term investment in human resources. Indeed, they contribute to achieve the organization’s future results, improve business performance, productivity and efficiency. It’s critical to develop a training strategy for employees within the framework of a comprehensive, ongoing and consistent program. The trainings cannot be unstructured, instead they should be coherent and have a logic sequence in time. The new learning platform, created by Brainstorm.inc provides a clear example of how a learning journey should look like for end-users. Extensive information is presented in my previous article Getting on-board quickly with QuickHelp.

Office 365 training: Collaborate as a Team

Read more

Description

Do you want to get started with Office 365 in your organisation? Have you used Microsoft Teams yet in your organisation? With all the apps and possibilities in Office 365, what should we do to start ‘Collaborating as a Team’ effectively? Most organisations struggle with the real effective use of Office 365. Are you curious how to motivate your employees to start using Office 365 Teams? Learn how to get your employees to ‘Collaborate as a Team’ using Microsoft Teams in this free Office 365 training: Collaborate as a Team on 16th July 2018 at Silverside (Rotterdam).

 

About Collaborating as a Team

This training will help you get started with how to ‘Collaborate as a Team’ using Microsoft Teams in Office 365.
Microsoft Teams helps your team work better together. It’s one app that brings your team’s conversations, meetings, files, and notes together into a single place for open and seamless collaboration. This chat-based workspace combines chat, documents, people, and tools in one secure place.

 

What’s in it for you?

  • Learn how to work together as a team in Office 365, using Teams as a single place for all your conversations, files, planning and meetings.
  • Experience Microsoft Teams in a free 30 days demo environment, or participate with your own Office 365 account.
  • Get practical tips and information on how to transform the way your team works using Microsoft Teams.
  • Re-think the tools teams use today, with all the new possibilities Microsot Teams offers.
  • Get examples of practical use cases for using Microsoft Teams for sales, marketing, customer service and legal.
  • Get 45 days of free online training with QuickHelp.

Full program

08:00 Walk-in with coffee/tea & optional breakfast
09:00 Me – We – Key: When to use what
09:30 A new way of working: From ‘Send to’ to ‘Share with’
09:50 Getting to know Microsoft Teams
Have fruitful conversations
Share & Collaborate on files
Stay on top of what’s going on
10:50 Building your Team
Hands-on experience of Microsoft Teams and building the work scenario for your team
11:50 Team examples for marketing, sales, customer service and legal
12:10 Get your employees started
QuickHelp demo
Silverside PACE
12:30 Wrapup & Lunch

 

Register now for free!

Date: July 16
Start: 9:00 / End: 12:30
Location: Siverside, Rivium Qudrant 75, Capelle a/d IJssel