Announcing Office App 8.0
Microsoft Office Web Apps are gaining in popularity because they fulfill important market needs.  According to Microsoft, Office Web apps are intended to provide basic application capabilities. For more advanced features, you are directed to use the desktop versions of the software. While not full featured, for some applications, the Web App is the right tool for the job. Several examples include organizations that have adopted a ‘zero install’ approach for desktop computers, organizations in which workers don’t have a dedicated desktop computer, and organizations that need mobile access to documents. Zero Installs It’s no secret that many organizations are moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud.  But some organizations are also reducing or eliminating client software running on their employee’s machines. The ability to reduce client software lowers the cost and complexity of desktop management. Kiosk Users In many organizations, workers don’t have a dedicated desktop computer. For example, in retail and manufacturing organizations, many workers access digital resources via shared ‘kiosk’ computers. For these organizations, Web Apps are a practical solution; employees can then access emails, documents, and application data they need to do their job from shared computers. Mobile Users Many mobile users need access to documents on the go. Microsoft provides mobiles apps to access primarily stored in OneDrive. However, sometimes mobile users need to upload important emails directly to their centralized storage in SharePoint, and that is not possible ‘out of the box’ with the Outlook Web App. Announcing App 8.0 understands the needs of these organizations and has created a web app that runs as a sidebar in the Outlook Web App, in Office Web Apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as in Outlook on the desktop. Today, is announcing its latest version of App for Outlook. The new release provides a new contextual footer that shows the currently selected email message and allows you to save the email and its attachments to SharePoint. From today, the new app can also be pinned to the page, making it persistent in the Outlook window. These new features join other exciting features recently added to app including the ability to assign Retention Labels when uploading emails to SharePoint, the ability to quickly find recent files you worked with in Office 365, and of course, the ability to save email and attachments to Microsoft Teams file locations (in addition to SharePoint). There is now a free version of the App that you can download from the Microsoft AppSource. You can learn more about the App and its capabilities, in the product documentation.
February 2020 | Team
The Secret to Attaining Mainstream Adoption of Microsoft Teams
In an earlier post, we looked at the current state of Microsoft Teams adoption and noted that today’s usage is primarily limited to early adopters. We then described the 3 main obstacles to achieving mainstream adoption, namely, changing people’s behavior, trying to reconcile disconnected conversations split between email and Teams, and not being able to find information when number of Teams channels (inevitably) proliferates.   Overcoming Teams Adoption Obstacles There are two keys to overcoming hurdles to Teams adoption and gaining acceptance among mainstream business workers; they are: Reduce the amount of change needed to use Teams – behavioral psychologists have definitely shown how introducing nudges that make it easy for people to do the right thing, will increase desired behavior. In the case of Teams, people already spend their days in Outlook. Enabling users to initiate Teams conversations directly from Outlook goes a long way to getting people to use Teams. Trying to entice or coerce users to use Teams generally doesn’t work with mainstream users; these folks are generally happy with the tools they already use (i.e. Outlook). Start with High-value Business Cases – when it’s clear to business users what they stand to gain from using Teams, they will be more likely to invest the effort to engage.  Providing them with Teams-based workflows for high-value business cases will bring them around. For example, if you can show how Teams helps account managers work with clients faster and with fewer errors, you will get their interest. The same goes for other common business workflows, like those used in case management, customer support, and project management. Drives Mainstream Teams Adoption drives Teams adoption to mainstream users by offering the following capabilities: makes it extremely simple to initiate and join Teams conversations directly from Outlook. Users simply drag and drop emails and attachments from their Inbox directly to Teams channels in the sidebar, without leaving the Outlook window. Users are even prompted to add required metadata so information can be found later. makes it easy to search and filter emails and documents stored in Teams so that information can be found quickly. · makes it easy to implement typical business workflows for common, high-value use cases like account management, case management, and project management. To see how this works in practice, view the recorded webinar Teams Adoption with
January 2020 | Team
The 3 Obstacles to Mainstream Adoption of Microsoft Teams
In our last post, we looked at the state of adoption for Microsoft Teams, concluding that despite the hype, Teams usage is clearly in its early stages, being used mostly by innovators and early adopters. Early adopters are risk takers who seek out new technology to solve problems. By contrast, mainstream users (who make up 75% of the market) are risk averse; these folks are reluctant to change familiar habits, even if they perceive new methods to be better than their existing ones. These folks resist the introduction of new tools and technology because they perceive that what they are doing works just fine. So, rather than trying to coerce mainstream users into using Teams, it is important to understand their challenges, and to meet these challenges head on. This is the most effective way to attain adoption levels that will deliver the benefits available via Microsoft Teams. Mainstream User Challenges There are three primary obstacles to inducing mainstream users to adopt Microsoft Teams; they are: Changing Behavior is tough - “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is the motto of the typical mainstream user.  These people don’t see the advantages afforded by new tools like Microsoft Teams, so they resist them at all cost. They don’t want to waste time learning new tools, they’ve got ‘real work to do.’  Extolling the benefits of the enhanced teamwork afforded by Teams will simply fall on deaf ears. Email – mainstream users love email. Even if you could convince these folks to try Teams, they don’t understand when to use Teams and when to continue to use email.  So, they will likely try Teams internally, while continuing to use mail to communicate with outside parties. The situation creates disconnected conversations that are difficult to piece together.  Part of a business discussion might be contained in an email, while other parts might be in a Teams conversation. As a result, important information falls in the cracks between email and Teams. Getting work done becomes more difficult, not simpler. Until you find a way to reconcile parallel email and Teams conversations, mainstream users will resist moving to Teams. Too Many Channels – Even if you can get mainstream users to try Teams, they will soon find that there are too many channels to find what they need.  It’s like a bad cable TV nightmare; you wake up one day and find you have hundreds of channels and most of them are useless. The result? Mainstream users revert to what they know best… email. How do you overcome these obstacles? Bringing Teams to Mainstream Workers Attend the webinar Teams Adoption and to learn two key strategies for overcoming obstacles to mainstream user adoption of Microsoft Teams. Register now to attend.
January 2020 | Team
The Challenge of Microsoft Teams Mainstream Adoption
With all the buzz around Teams, it seems like everyone is using it. In fact, according to recent Microsoft data, there are now 20 million daily active users of Microsoft, making it the fastest growing product in the company’s history. That’s an incredible achievement. But is everyone using it? And what are they using Teams for?  Let’s look at the numbers to gain a perspective… Microsoft recently divulged that there 200 million monthly active users of Office 365.  Because Teams is part of Office 365, Teams users must be Office 365 subscribers. Let’s calculate how many of the 200M Office 365 subscribers are using Teams.  While it is impossible for observers to reconcile the difference between the ‘daily’ and ‘monthly’ active users provided in the Microsoft data, we can still make a quick approximation as follows: So, by Microsoft’s (perhaps) optimistic numbers, approximately 10% of Office 365 subscribers are using Teams.  Of those, many are likely using Teams strictly for unified communications, migrating from Skype for Business as that service is being deprecated. The bottom line is that the percentage of Office 365 subscribers using Teams for conversations is likely less than 10%. Today's Teams Users are Early Adopters Some of you may be familiar with Prof. Everett Roger’s model for diffusion of innovations, shown below. According to this well-accepted model, you can see that while the number of Teams users is huge, usage is limited to ‘Innovators’ and ‘Early Adopters.’  These folks are risk-takers who look to technology to solve their problems. In short, these people are your co-workers who seek out technology and figure out how to use it on their own. The First 20 Million Is (Not) The Easiest Getting innovators and early adopters to use technology is relatively easy, if they can imagine how it might be useful. The majority of people, usually called mainstream users are far harder to corral. These people are generally averse to change; they feel comfortable with the tools they have, even if a better alternative exists. So, to get mainstream users in your organization to use Teams, you will need to do more than simply make it available to them.  There are several key obstacle to overcome and there are several strategies to help you do so. Bringing Teams to Mainstream Workers Attend the webinar Teams Adoption and to learn the three main obstacles to getting mainstream workers to use Teams. The webinar will also introduce two major strategies to overcome these obstacles. It will also explain how can help achieve Teams adoption with minimum effort. Register now to attend.
January 2020 | Team
Seeing 20/20! Here Comes an Exciting New Year
Welcome back! Shake off the hangover, grab some coffee, and get to work. The holidays are over faster than expected and 2020 is already upon us. It’s only the first work week of January and we at are already getting a jump on what we expect to be a productive and successful year.   Free AND Easy Office 365 is catching on like wildfire. Microsoft recently announced that there are 200 million monthly Office 365 active users. To keep pace with the mass migration to Office 365, is making an exciting change to our free product offering. From today, when you download the Free Edition from the web site, you will get access to the for Outlook app, which installs in your Outlook Web App on the desktop, browser, Mac, or mobile device, directly from the Microsoft App Source. Here is a description of this free offering:® add-in for Outlook® provides access to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business directly from your Windows & Mac Outlook App, Mobile and in the Outlook Web App. You can save email attachments to SharePoint, OneDrive for Business and Teams directly from the email client. Specify metadata and required properties to accurately classify a document, so you can find it easily later. Click through to edit documents or reply with document links.   Note the following important points: The new for Outlook free app offering replaces the previously-free for Outlook plugin, which until now was available from the website…, so …If you want to download the for Outlook desktop plugin, go to the Pricing page, where you can purchase the Enterprise Edition. The minimum number of licenses for the plugin is 15 users. Previous downloads of the free Outlook plugin will continue to work, but this product will no longer be available as a download from the website. The Enterprise Edition of the for Outlook (web) app enables you to upload and classify emails, in addition to document attachments. There IS Something New Under the Sun Later this quarter, will be announcing new versions of all our products; for Outlook, Outlook App, and Mobile. Look forward to exciting new customer success stories and of course, we will continue to provide informative and educational webinars. Subscribe to our blog to be the first to learn of new developments. Enjoy the Ride While you are still getting settled in after the holidays, enjoy this video of highlights from the recent European SharePoint Conference, held in Prague during December 2019. Happy New Year!
January 2020 | Team
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