Best of 2016: intranets and digital workplace

januari 06, 2017

Happy New Year!  2016 brought us lots of new friends, fascinating projects, exciting ideas and technologies.

In the last year, we’ve continued our work guiding the development of digital workplace. Bright spots included ongoing work with financial multinational, RBC Royal Bank; Canada Post Corporation; global life insurance giant, Sun Life Financial; and the Ohio-based network of hospitals and care facilities, Premier Health.

2016 also saw the launch of our digital workplace assessment quiz: an interactive tool to gauge the maturity of your digital workplace.

The Valtech team of road warriors toured North America – sharing our views on digital workplace, digital transformation, intranets, internal communications, enterprise collaboration, SharePoint, UX and more.  We’ve got several amazing events lined up for 2017 too!

Highlights from the Valtech blog

On the blog, these 10 posts emerged as the most popular.  Topics related to Microsoft were white-hot; as well as those related to understanding the evolving nature of digitally-supported work.

If you’re a regular reader –  a very heartfelt thank you for your ongoing interest and support.  We’d actually really love to hear from you. What interests you?  What troubles you?  What key trends stand out to you?

Twitter is a great way to reach us @valtech.  For weightier conversations we can be reached here.

Without further ado, our top blog posts for 2016…

Office 365: What should I use and when?

You’re working with plenty of different people every day and you want to make sure they understand what you’re up to, read what you produce and have access to the information you think they need.

This useful infographic produced by Amanda Holtstrom will help you decide how to use the Office 365 Suite of tools efficiently and effectively by taking the guess-work out of when to use which tool.

A guide to sharing and collaborating in Office 365


Ready or not it’s Yammer Time

Last February, Microsoft announced its intention to activate Yammer in every eligible Office 365 tenant.  We’re huge fans of Yammer at Nonlinear.  It’s a transformative tool – the pulse of the company, a silo-buster and the cradle of innovation.  But learning to work and lead in a radically transparent environment requires preparation and shift in mindset.

Gain a better understanding of Yammer’s central value and how to work with it


Slack vs. Microsoft Teams: a feature comparison

It’s impossible to ignore how rapidly Slack has made its way into the world’s organizations and teams.  The ever-flowing conversational interface, a healthy dose of fun and a broad ecosystem of apps and bots culminated to form one of the greatest enterprise success stories of the last decade.

Microsoft, who apparently passed up the opportunity to acquire Slack, has developed their own team chat application.  Part of Office 365, Microsoft Teams offers deep compatibility with their hugely popular productivity suite and other applications.

See a side-by-side feature comparison of Slack and Microsoft Teams as they exist today


14 Essential questions for your digital workplace

In the early nineties, Peter Drucker anticipated the advent of a “knowledge society.”  25 years later, we still encounter organizations struggling to understand the new world of work.  Managers tend to value tangible “things” over intangible knowledge, collaboration and learning.  How do you comprehensively shift the conversation?

Shannon Ryan frames digital work in a way that will augment performance and employee experience. These are the 14 questions he believes to be critical to the operation of a successful digital workplace.


Why digital transformation for law firms is important to stay competitive

For the sixth consecutive year, the legal industry has experienced largely flat demand, weakening pricing power and failing productivity.

Chris Wightman argues that digital has fundamentally changed the operating context of the law firm. He explores the “iceberg” of the legal digital workplace – offering key insights into architecting the digital firm of the future.

Find out why it’s so urgent for law firms to address digital transformation head-on.


Dear Intranet

Should your relationship status with your company intranet be listed as "it's complicated"?

Leigh-Ann Redmond breaks up with her intranet and never looks back in this hilarious series of Dear John letters.

We feel her pain.


Conversation as a platform: Microsoft's goal to be your new right hand

Microsoft wants to help you do more.  Be better at your job.  Spend less time on the trivial things.

During Microsoft Build 2016, the annual conference aimed at developers, CEO Satya Nadella revealed the company’s vision for “Conversation-as-a-platform” (CaaP.)  They want to empower people to do more in a way that feels more deeply natural - more human - than previously possible with current devices and applications. The power of human language lies at the heart of the strategy.

Find out how natural language processing, artificial intelligence, personal digital assistants, bots and the “conversational canvases” that connect us all together fit into Microsoft’s vision for the future.


6 Microsoft technologies designed to boost employee productivity

January is a time for resolutions.  At this time last year, we were thinking a lot about our workplace resolutions.  How do we reach our goals? Get more done? Discover critical business insights that lead to competitive advantage?  Develop fruitful and productive relationships?

As part of this post we highlighted 6 hot and emerging Microsoft tools designed to turbo-charge your work.


What I learned about enterprise UX from Microsoft, Google and IBM

What’s next on the horizon for enterprise UX? Design-thinking at serious scale, the evolution of inclusive design, increasingly natural interactions, a departure from the screen and Material Design are on the minds of the largest makers of enterprise software – IBM, Microsoft and Google.

More about the coolest design practices and tools hatched at Microsoft, Google and IBM.


Getting Started with Microsoft Planner

The ever-changing and fast-paced nature of work in the digital age requires agile planning and coordination tools; Microsoft Planner fits the bill.  Shawn Crabtree gives a tour of this fabulous new Office 365 application and offers tips for making use of it.

Take a peek at Microsoft Planner



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