The Technologies booming and rapidly growing modern features in the modern enterprise world, it forces the enterprise to alter, speeding up the changes in their culture products, adoption, services and solutions, and helping to transform the enterprise experiences how it’s should  evolve."

And how do we make this all happen? Modern Digital Workplace seems to be the enabler.

In this article, I intend to cover the building blocks that make up a Modern Digital Workplace and the Microsoft O365 that empower them.

What is Modern Digital Workplace anyway?

Is it to provide a new way of working for employees and new techniques to meet the needs of your business? Is it to help your organization to attract, retain and engage a new generation of employees that will drive their business forward? It’s just not that. It is a transformation that can help you implement modern communication, collaboration, and data-driven work environment that can

  • Educate and train your team to collaborate, within the organization and outside the organization securely
  • Encourage collaboration beyond organizational boundaries
  • Improve digital process between your own employees, partners, suppliers, and customers
  • Help your team discover and act on content across multiple repositories
  • Automate the life cycle management of your documents & content through configurable rules and security types

And most of all, accomplish these via one unified workplace environment

I’m condensing these goals into the 3 pillars of the Modern Digital Workplace, with the security, governance & compliance, and LOB integration applicable within each of these spaces. They are the building blocks for an intranet that connects the workplace, unifies communication and enhance the productivity. 

  1.  Employee Collaboration
  2.  Content Management & Collaboration 
  3.  Business Processes & Applications

Employee collaboration

Capabilities within a web-based platform which allows employees to connect with one another, exploring information, content that is relevant to his tasks with ease and simplicity. It brings information and contexts from different sources into a single user interface that can drive employees to be productive and work connected without compromising security

  • Sharing experience across an entire workplace portal
  • Connect your content across an organization and extend them for partners and distributors
  • Collaboration Channels and hubs
  • Emails & meeting on any devices (desktop or mobile)
  • Org chart & employees to look up
  • Enterprise & Departmental wise communications.
  • Campaign launch and company event, Announcement and notification.

Outlook

Employees everyday collaboration starts here can work efficiently with email responses, scheduling meetings contacts, tasks lookups and more—together in one place without a need to open a desktop installed application Microsoft Office apps integrate seamlessly and you will be able to Share attachments from One Drive, access contacts meetings.

Microsoft Teams

It is very interesting to see how this innovative digital hub can bring conversations, content, assignments, and apps together in one place with very simple and intuitive user experience.

I would not just call this as chat-based collaboration tool, it is a hub with chat, audio & video calling, scheduling meetings, notes, and upload files, secured sharing, attachments etc., Microsoft Teams is natively integrating with almost all the O365 apps like Skype, SharePoint, OneDrive, Exchange, Dynamics 365 and Yammer.

Delve

Microsoft Delve empowers enterprise search, employees to find and discover content across the portal on personalized insights. Managing employee profile, find and organize the information that's likely to be most interesting to the person based on their interest, likes and things they are following. Connect with others directly from their profile page.

From the profile page employee can quickly get back to documents he/she worked on recently, go to other people's pages to see what they're up to etc., 

Microsoft Planner

This simple tool gives employees a visual way to organize work within the team. A project team members work on their project and task plans and organize them within this space, tasks can be assigned along with file sharing without leaving the planner. The planner has the ability to spin up the quick chat among project members on the status of the project modules that they are working on.  

Yammer

It is a powerful employee social networking tool that can simplify and strength the organization-wide communication.  “Within the organization, everyone gets informed on everything” is the key aspect of this tool. Employees can create Yammer communities around their content, innovation, and consolidate, share opinions, ideas, feedback from the organizational network.

Content Management & Collaboration

Microsoft O365 make it easy for employees to work together. Team can share content, knowledge and collaborate whether they are in Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Yammer, or on the SharePoint site. The OneDrive can be accessed from any content management or collaboration app that are listed above.

 

SharePoint:

Its collaboration is managed primarily through sites & files, team news, lists & libraries, modern pages, site templates etc. 

SharePoint Content Management is a very powerful system for any organization to effectively manage information and contents through a content lifecycle, right from content creation to content archiving. Content is well integrated with MS Office Apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.)

Apart from the end to end Content management, SharePoint sites and pages will let the employees bring together associated sites, to powerful search, and easy co-creation and cohesion with easy navigation and adoptive look-and-feel. They also let everyone keep up-to-date with news, to broadcast internal and external news and activity. Keep people informed about project related task accomplishments, organizational launches, campaigns, events, and policies. 

OneDrive

Within O365 space external sharing is made easy. Half a decade ago, if the content needs to be shared externally from an intranet was a nightmare but now the external users/ partners can securely access files with an email-based identity Login process. There were several OOB policies that can be enforced over secure external sharing.

Business Applications & Automation

Process driven content, dynamic pages filled with web parts, integrated business forms and the workflow processes, digitalization and automation of paper-based/manual processes, etc., would typically fall under the category of business applications. Business application can include dynamic content from across Office 365 apps, including SharePoint Sites, Search Planner, and Microsoft Forms, Power apps, Flow and PowerBI etc. These technologies empower business users to automate workflows and to create, connect and share business apps without writing any code, reducing dependencies on IT or software developers.

SharePoint

SharePoint lists, libraries and OOB web parts let employees consolidate and manage files and data and to streamline the business processes with business forms, enable connections to other data sources by integrating their line of business data, workflows, reports and custom mobile apps etc., the supporting process automation can be created easily with PowerApps and Microsoft Flow. 

PowerApps

Data collected from external data sources (Line of Business) can be exposed as lists and libraries in the portal where it is easy to preview, display and share. In addition, these lists and libraries can act as a data source to power business operations for the enterprise. Microsoft PowerApps is a very user-friendly tool to build business forms and the process automation is accompanied by MS flow.

Microsoft Flow

With Microsoft Flow, we will be able to automate and exchange data, synchronize files between the portal and other data sources (LoB). Flow enables us to create and configure organizational processes such as approvals, multi-stage processes and it has built-in alerts, notifications mechanism without reinventing the wheel, it’s all without writing a single line of code. Also, MS flow Integrates with on-premises and third-party services seamlessly 

Summary

Microsoft Office 365 and its wide variety of capabilities and features sets would increase productivity and decrease the need for IT support. Utilizing its many out-of-the-box features can enable easy collaboration. Though some of the capabilities of SharePoint, Teams, OneDrive, and Yammer overlap a little with respect to sharing and collaborating, every feature in O365 contributes to a more unified, informed, and connected, well-integrated collaboration environment/ portal that I can call “one portal for all”.

Reference

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/