How to Achieve Employee Success Through Collaboration

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In a fast-paced world where employees are constantly barraged with content and tasks and requirements, collaboration is not just nice-to-have - collaboration is a business imperative. But success doesn’t come through technology alone, but in helping employees understand how to leverage the technology and work more collaboratively.
How do you build a healthy, engaged and aligned culture? And what are the benefits of the entire organisation participating in social? Presentation from Christian buckley, 6-time Microsoft MVP and Beezy evangelist, as well as Founder of CollabTalk LLC.

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  • Not that you need to have a perfect understanding of where you’re going, but to measure success you need three things: an end goal, a baseline of where you are today, and a plan to track progress along the way. Without these basics, it’s a lot of unnecessary pressure not just on your end users (who are not mind readers, and just want to get their work done) and also on the IT team – who historically get blamed for every bad technology decision the business makes, even if they were against the latest fad tool in the first place (yes, I have first-hand experience here, and yes, I am still bitter).
  • In a fast-paced world where employees are constantly barraged with content and tasks and requirements, collaboration is not just nice-to-have - collaboration is a business imperative. But success doesn’t come through technology alone, but in helping employees understand how to leverage the technology and work more collaboratively.
  • How do you build a healthy, engaged and aligned culture? And what are the benefits of the entire organization participating in social?
  • As the old adage goes, if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.
    In many ways, and for many organizations, SharePoint became a hammer, and every business problem a nail. But this says more about us that it does about the platform – because many organizations have gone out and added tools, only to create new standalone solutions, silos of information, cultural islands within our companies.
    One of the primary drivers of SharePoint’s success — providing a single platform for teams to collaborate and communicate — is as important now as it ever has been. Even within the SharePoint ecosystem, the primary features and capabilities we rely on — such as instant messaging, threaded discussions, file sharing, etc — have been around for a couple decades.

    Information Technology seems to run in cycles, with end users identifying new tools and technologies, bringing them back to work, wanting IT to support them. Eventually, as the enterprise experiences the pains that come with security breaches, lost data, and compliance and regulatory issues, most large enterprises retract, locking down what tools can be used, and by whom.

    Companies often hold off from making any big financial decisions about technology, trying to make do with the consumer-based, stand-alone tools for as long as possible. However, what has become abundantly clear is that good collaboration is not just nice-to-have – it is now business-critical. This shoot-from-the-hip attitude toward standalone tools can have a direct impact on collaboration by creating, yet again, siloes of information. Even small to mid-sized companies can quantify the impact of knowledge and experience and intellectual property that is either hidden, or walks out the door because the company does not have the ability to adequately capture and protect their own intellectual property. Most stand-alone tools were simply not designed for the requirements of the enterprise.

  • Enterprise collaboration is generally thought of as a managed and compliant way for employees to share content and ideas, using various tools, methods, and workflows, and typically generating some kind of structured output, such as a project, a list of data, or a document. Social, on the other hand, is often thought of as communication, whether between two people or within a community, but in an unstructured way. The reality is that the words are synonymous: collaboration is, by nature, social. And if you’re participating in a social activity, you are collaborating. It is easy to get hung up by semantics, when the real focus should be on the business outputs we are trying to achieve, and then mapping the right technologies to achieve the defined business output. Organizations should treat collaboration and social feature requests as one and the same.
  • Yes, yes… we’ve all heard that mobile is coming to the enterprise for many years now – but it is most definitely happening. You don’t need to search for long to find a massive amount of data from the leading analysts showing how fast the mobile market is outpacing PC and tablet growth, especially with the rising generation. Planning your mobile strategy is no longer a "nice to have" but an essential part of your long-term collaboration strategy. Every business scenario that you define needs to have a mobile strategy, period. To be clear, we're not just talking about the device through which people collaborate. Mobile device usage is outpacing PC growth, for sure, but mobile is more about flexibility to access your data and key workloads no matter what the device, or your location. The traditional 9-to-5, work-from-the-office model is being replaced by flexible hours and remote workers who may be using personal equipment to access your systems.
  • A great example of this is the growth in Facebook usage via mobile devices. In April 2014, Facebook announced that they had surpassed the 1 billion mark for monthly active users on phones and tablets.
  • While it may be easier for an your organization to conduct an RFP and select a single device or laptop for all employees, or to approve a particular piece of software that your management teams wants everyone to use, the likelihood that the one-size-fits-all model will work is slim-to-none. Organizations also overly rely on out-of-the-box capabilities and pre-defined scenarios, force-fitting their own requirements rather than taking the time to understand how to leverage the technology to best meet the unique needs of their business. As a result, employees spend more time learning a new way to get their work done, which impacts engagement and productivity. Within the enterprise collaboration space, it is not about single-vendor solutions or single platforms, but about finding the tools and capabilities that fit the way your employees need to work, and about what makes them productive. You can have the most perfectly designed and expertly deployed solution, but if end users don't use it – you have failed.
  • Different teams often come to different conclusions as to the best technology fit for their needs. We ran across one company that used SharePoint on one team, and IBM Connections on another. How each team approached collaboration was very different, and, interestingly, their management team gave them great leeway in the solutions they could select, even though the integration of these systems would inevitably cause the organization great pain. That may be an extreme, but organizations need to be prepared for the unique needs of different teams or projects. Of course, this must be balanced with common sense. It is important to understand your governance, compliance, and security limitations, and then work with your employees to find the right technology that can fit within these limitations while also delivering the capabilities they need.
  • When left on their own, employees generally do the right thing. With proper end user education and oversight, there are surprisingly few posts or actions that break collaboration policies and need to be removed. Communities are not perfect, but they generally do a decent job at self-policing their members. Remember that the more controls you put on a system, the less likely people are to use that system.
  • More and more companies are recognizing the need to capture, retain, and utilize all of their data – much of it being generated from social collaboration tools, and unstructured data through embedded devices, such as GPS and transactional data from a point of sale (POS) system. Companies that are able to capture, store, and automate this data effectively using machine learning will have a distinct competitive advantage over those who cannot. For example, the modern intelligent workplace will be able to recognize the context of the Word document you are creating, and based on your topic, your network connections, and your collaboration platform permissions, the system will suggest relevant content as you work, in real-time. Rather than stop to search through our vast content repositories, our solutions will provide recommendations as we work. We are quickly moving into an analytics-driven world (if we aren’t already there), and leveraging all of our data through automation and machine learning will allow organizations to become more operationally efficient – and remain competitive.
  • The key to collaboration success in the social sphere has been the ability to rapidly connect, share, and iterate. This highly interactive form of collaboration allows organizations to quickly experiment, test with end users, and then roll out new innovations or information assets quickly. There is a reason why more and more companies are adopting agile development models that focus on short, quick iterations – it is a powerful way of using data and rapid feedback to quickly refine and deliver more complex business solutions. When coupled with machine learning and the scalability of cloud solutions, technologies companies are dramatically increasing their rate of innovation. These are invaluable lessons that almost every organization can learn from.
  • One of the goals of collaboration is to enable organizations to connect what would otherwise be independent siloes of information, and then to automate their complex business processes – all with the idea of helping employees get more done. Recognizing the shift in enterprise requirements, many companies are opening and expanding their APIs and providing frameworks for developers to extend and automate their collaboration activities. The goal is to give companies powerful tools, yes, but also flexibility in how they use that capability and data.

    Microsoft is a great example of this shift toward opening their technologies to organizations, offering things like the Microsoft Bot Framework and SharePoint Framework, that allow companies to create more focused and intelligent solutions. Beezy also provides APIs to many of our features, and the data created within our solution, which runs natively as part of SharePoint and Office 365. This allows our customers to leverage all of the capabilities of the platform, but giving them flexibility and extensibility to meet their own unique business requirements.

    If we have learned nothing else from two decades of working with SharePoint, it is the importance of change management — and listening to the needs of end users. Because if the end users don’t show up — the platform fails. As part of the ongoing operational management of collaboration solutions, organizations should be continually evaluating what has been deployed, and looking for ways to further automate and optimize collaboration.
  • Realize that the power of collaboration is not about the technology at all
    There are multiple examples of organizations who thought that they would improve communication by rolling out social and collaboration tools, but instead found that the solutions they deployed had changed their company culture – by unlocking communication, adding context to their data, and unifying discussion around their content. Collaboration has the ability to unlock the potential within your own organization. As people more consistently connect and share ideas, your processes and products will improve due to this increased level of interaction, as will your employee job satisfaction numbers.
  • The evolution of collaboration is changing the business landscape, and delivering on the promises of
    the digital workplace. More than just buzz words, many companies have embarked on efforts to truly transform their internal systems and practices to improve they ways in which they interact with their customers, partners, and employees. The end result is an organization that is more quickly able to respond to industry and economic changes, better able to capture the collective knowledge and
    expertise of their employees, and retain and leverage that knowledge to innovate ahead of their
    competitors.
  • To meet this rapid pace of change, the systems and tools we use must become more intelligent.
    Companies are increasingly moving toward solutions that incorporate real-time communication and
    social collaboration capabilities into the workplace, but the trend is also shifting toward more
    user-generated and data-driven content as a way to pull people into the corporate dialog. By providing
    a much more personal and relevant end user experience, employees are more willing and able to
    discuss and share ideas, and to collaborate.

    That’s where Beezy can help. Our value is our ability to take an increasingly complex set of collaboration and communication capabilities, and deliver them in one unifying and comprehensive user experience.
    We enable our customers to connect-the-dots between the productivity and collaboration solutions that Microsoft provides – but with additional enterprise collaboration features and intelligence that business users need.

  • Organizations that recognize the qualitative and quantitative benefits of enterprise collaboration — and of the need to gain permission to communicate and collaborate with their employees — will find their employees much more willing to participate in the corporate dialog.

    The end result is a more contextual and intuitive platform, with productive and engaged end users.
  • How to Achieve Employee Success Through Collaboration

    1. 1. How to Achieve Employee Success Through Collaboration Christian Buckley Chief Evangelist Office Server and Services MVP
    2. 2. Christian Buckley Chief Evangelist at Beezy Office Servers and Services MVP www.beezy.net @buckleyplanet cbuck@beezy.net www.buckleyplanet.com
    3. 3. Beezy is the Intelligent Workplace for Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint, extending the feature set and improving the user experience for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid deployments. We are on a mission to transform the way people work, and to help employees be more connected, innovative, and happy. Learn more at www.beezy.net or @FollowBeezy on Twitter.
    4. 4. Best Office 365 Solution, ESPC 2015 Lecko Leader in information dissemination & circulation, knowledge management & productivity, Paris 2016 Trend Setting Product of 2016, KM World Top 10 Intranets rated ’genuinely enjoyable’ for employees, Digital Workplace Group Best Intranet of 2013, Nielsen Norman Group Best Social Collaboration Solution, Vodafone, Chicago 2015 Most Innovative Cloud Solution, ESPC 2016 Microsoft Gold Partner
    5. 5. What does success look like?
    6. 6. If you haven’t defined the end result, how do you know when you’ve reached it?
    7. 7. What is the current state of enterprise collaboration?
    8. 8. Culture is Important
    9. 9. Markets are evolving fast, and organizations need to promote new ways of working
    10. 10. Digital-born companies are disrupting markets and incumbents across all sectors.
    11. 11. Millennials and remote workers are joining organizations with the mindset of the digital consumer.
    12. 12. Most large organizations care a lot about their physical workplace…
    13. 13. But they care less about how their digital workplace looks
    14. 14. SharePoint Intranet Email Network folders My PC files SAP
    15. 15. How can you help your employees to be more successful?
    16. 16. 10 tips to help you achieve employee success through collaboration
    17. 17. 1. Stop looking for another hammer
    18. 18. 2. Allow people to be more social
    19. 19. 3. Think seriously about mobile
    20. 20. 4. Don’t force fit the technology
    21. 21. 5. Understand why some teams stray before trying to “fix” them
    22. 22. 6. Increase your level of trust
    23. 23. 7. Embrace machine learning and AI
    24. 24. 8. Innovate quickly and iterate
    25. 25. 10. Focus on the user experience
    26. 26. What is your Digital Workplace strategy?
    27. 27. Building your Digital Workplace
    28. 28. The ingredients of an intelligent workplace Communication Collaboration Knowledge Processes
    29. 29. Systems and tools must be  Intelligent, automated  Integrated with real-time communications  Social  Personalized  Contextual
    30. 30. Beezy is the enterprise collaboration solution built in SharePoint
    31. 31. The perfect platform The Microsoft stack is the most fertile ground to build a collaboration solution A powerful engine Beezy stiches the pieces of the puzzle together, ensures high performance and feature availability through its API An award winning UX Consumer-like user experience that requires no training and will delight your employees.
    32. 32. Installed in a matter of hours…
    33. 33. Incredibly customizable!
    34. 34. Incredibly customizable!
    35. 35. User Interface Proposal Intranet Design
    36. 36. Find out more
    37. 37. For more on this topic, be sure to download the whitepaper http://hubs.ly/H06l1ZV0 Or visit our website to see a full demo of the award-winning Beezy solution http://www.Beezy.net
    38. 38. Christian Buckley cbuck@beezy.net @buckleyplanet Thank you very much!

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