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The Search for Everything Starts with harmon.ie 8.2
Introduction to harmon.ie 8.2 In today’s world of swelling information stockpiles, finding what you need is becoming a bigger challenge with every passing day. And now that we are mostly working isolated at home, with nobody to ask for help, we are in even more dire straits, especially when looking for important emails and documents. That’s why Search tools are more important than ever. By making it possible to find an important email or document quickly, Search is one of the most useful tools we have in our productivity quiver. Which is why harmon.ie is proud to announce the new harmon.ie release 8.2, featuring enhanced search capabilities for emails and documents stored in SharePoint or Microsoft Teams. Problems with Search Search is great when it works, and wildly frustrating when it doesn’t. A big problem with search is picking the best search terms and setting the appropriate search scope. Go too broad and get a zillion items; go too narrow, and you end up with the dreaded “No results found” message. Often, the problem is context. When you don’t remember what you called a document or where you put it, or you don’t remember who sent that email you are looking for, you start with a broad scope. For example, if you are searching for a project plan, you might search for a customer’s name together with a project name. But if the project was a big one, Search will return many matches. Digging for information this way is not only inefficient, but also frustrating. Metadata Helps, But… Information managers have long understood the role of metadata in helping to classify information, to make it readily available. But even if you accurately capture and classify emails and documents in SharePoint or Microsoft Teams, you still need search tools to help you find them quickly. harmon.ie 8.2 to the Rescue And that is why today’s announcement of harmon.ie 8.2 is so exciting. Because with the advent of this new release, it has never been easier to search for emails and documents in SharePoint and Teams using metadata. In this new release, harmon.ie adds a new search toolbar and scope selection box that help you zero in on what you are looking for. To search, you simply select a field from a list of metadata used in your organization, and then you type the value for which you are searching. For example, if you want to find an email you sent to Bill Majors, you can select the email metadata field To and then type Majors. Now, select the search scope, using the scope pull down menu. For SharePoint locations, you can search in the current folder, library, list, site, or all SharePoint locations. For Teams, you can search in the current channel, current Team, all Teams and Groups, or all SharePoint locations, which includes other SharePoint content. To learn more about what’s new in harmon.ie 8.2, register for the upcoming webinar Five Strategies for Finding Information Quickly in SharePoint and Microsoft Teams, on Wednesday, September 23 2020, 11:00 ET / 11:00 BST.
September 2020 | harmon.ie Team
Key Strategies for Insuring Information Governance When Working from Home
With continued and possibly growing social isolation, businesses need to prepare a long-term work from home information governance strategy. Because what initially looked like a short shelter in place hiatus has evolved into the ongoing status quo for many organizations and workers.  (For more on this, see Working from Home, The New Normal.) New Challenges As we learn more about the dynamics of working from home, it is becoming clear that we need more than just Microsoft Teams or Zoom meetings to sync workers and keep them on the same page. For example, work from homers continue to interact with customers, suppliers, and partners; as a result, emails and documents continue to fly back and forth at a dizzying pace. The difference now? Many of these emails and documents are locked away on local drives or in personal Inboxes. Not only can team members not view or access the latest information and updates, they are also unaware of the latest communications with outside parties. The result? Burgeoning document chaos at best, and huge, looming liabilities at worst. Information Governance is More Important Than Ever That’s why information managers need to review and revise information governance strategies now and communicate those strategies with remote workers. Moreover, key business processes need to be analyzed, particularly those that involve external constituents, like account management and case management. To key you into critical issues, harmon.ie has prepared an ebook, entitled Why a collaborative mindset is integral to information management, that spotlights what you need to know about information governance in today’s work from home environment. Here are some key takeaways from the ebook: Governance is a broad term. It means more than simply records management. It is also about being able to find the right information across your business when it’s needed. When information isn’t captured and classified correctly, employees waste a serious amount of time searching for the documents they need to efficiently do their job. When you implement easy to follow information governance actions, you leave workers more time to focus on the business and less on managing information.
September 2020 | harmon.ie Team
Back to School with Teams and SharePoint
As the summer winds down and it's back to school time, this is a great time to catch up with recent collaboration announcements from Microsoft, including exciting new Teams and SharePoint features specifically designed for the education market. Teams The 75 million Teams users are primarily using Teams for its meeting and chat capabilities, so it is not surprising that newly announced features enhance these experiences. Some of the key features include: ‘Spotlight’ enables meeting organizers and presenters to lock their video as the main view for all meeting participants. This is great for school presentations where the teacher wants to remain in focus, in front of the class. And while we are on the topic of going back to school, Teams has some new admin capabilities for the education market including analytics and dashboards to report on which students are engaged. Real-time presence awareness to see who is online – this was a great feature in Skype for Business; it will now be available in Teams. Being able to see who is available for questions or consultation and then reach out to them in context, is a huge productivity booster. Other admin features for the government market include new controls for meeting participation and information sharing. SharePoint SharePoint is going back to school as well with Look Book, a set of SharePoint configurations that enable schools to connect news, events, highlighted content, and links for schools, students, staff, and individual classes. You can find more information on the Teams updates here, and the SharePoint updates here.  Fall is Basketball? With Fall just around the corner, we should be preparing for the NFL season kickoff. But in these COVID-crazy days, instead, we are virtually watching the delayed NBA playoffs, play out in Orlando. The connection? You may not know it, but Microsoft Teams is playing a key role in the NBA playoffs. Teams provides the virtual fan experience for the playoffs.  How is that working? Well, CBS Sports calls the experience “surreal” and goes on to explain why in 2020, the human element is (still) so important to providing a satisfactory experience. It explains that when fans log in to a Teams meeting to watch a game, “a small group of magnanimous, infinitely patient staff members soothingly talk you through the process of getting your screen to look the way it's supposed to look.” If it is any consolation, getting the technology ‘to work as directed’ is as much a challenge for the NBA, as it is for you at work.  At harmon.ie, we have always believed that making the right thing the easy thing is the key to enabling people to be productive with new Microsoft collaboration tools.  From early reviews, it seems that the NBA and its fans aren’t quite there yet. If you are interested in understanding how Teams contributes to the fans’ and players’ game experience, I highly recommend the article.  The bottom line? CBS Sports concludes that “technology, combined with genuine human enthusiasm, patience and determination, can help get us through even the most unusual, frustrating and unprecedented of times.”
September 2020 | harmon.ie Team
What you Need to Know to Be Productive While Working from Home
As summer turns to fall, exuberance from work from home (WFH) productivity is turning to fatigue and cabin fever. This new phenomenon of WFH fatigue is receiving high profile exposure as spotlighted in recent articles with titles like “Companies Start to Think Remote Work Isn’t So Great After All” and “Working from Home is Starting to Pall” that have appeared in mainstream publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times. What is behind this shift in attitudes? Part of it is related to a loss of personal contact with colleagues.  But it’s more than that. A study commissioned by Lenovo, entitled: Technology and the Evolving World of Work found that people are increasingly distracted at home and find themselves doing an inordinate number of remote meetings. All of which cause fatigue and depression. What can we do? The reality is that WFH isn’t going anywhere soon. A recent WSJ article entitled  Remote Work Is Here to Stay. Bosses Better Adjust quotes a CEO from a non-profit organization commenting on the COVID work from home lockdown: “At first, I viewed it as a sprint, then a marathon, then a 100-mile ultramarathon. Now I see it as a hard way of life.”  Ouch. Comfortable and familiar tools are key to bringing remote workers into a productive circle of colleagues. One of the most important success factors is to make it easy for people to be self-sufficient at home. Not being able to reach out to a colleague in the next cubicle or office is a real pain point for workers who are under pressure to get stuff done. Bringing information together from multiple applications is a great start. And two of the most used apps for the home worker are Microsoft Teams and Outlook email. People at home are struggling to connect conversations with partners, suppliers, and customers in email, with internal discussions in Microsoft Teams. harmon.ie to the Rescue harmon.ie makes it easy for people at work to connect email with Teams conversations so there is only one discussion to follow, instead of two. We presented practical ways to do this during yesterday's webinar Strategies for Working from Home with Microsoft Teams. If you missed the webinar, you need to watch it now. During the webinar, you will see understand what is behind the key challenges of bringing email and Teams conversations together, and you will see a demo of how harmon.ie makes it easy to connect email and Teams conversations. Equally important, you will learn how to use new harmon.ie 'search' capabilities to find emails and documents quickly, whether they are stored in Teams or in SharePoint locations.
August 2020 | harmon.ie Team
Working from Home, the New Normal: Learn the Challenges
Companies are embracing the advantages of work from home policies in droves. CNN recently reported the following companies have announced work from home (WFH) policies through the end of 2020. Google Universal Music Group Warner Music Group Sony Music Amazon corporate Viacom Scotiabank RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) Group Nine Media Indeed And the following companies have announced work from home forever policies: Facebook Twitter Square Slack Shopify Zillow So it seems like there is more to working at home than just avoiding the COVID-19 virus; it appears to be a new mode of work that will be with us for a long time. In part, it has been enabled by powerful collaboration tools, including Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Of course, the ability to arrange videoconferencing has been around for a long time, but the combination of easy to use cloud software, ubiquitous high bandwidth Internet connectivity and built-in A/V accessories has made videoconferencing practical for the masses for the first time. We were headed towards work from anywhere for a long time, but it has been a slow process. The current COVID-19 crisis kicked the trend into overdrive. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently noted that “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” Being Productive at Home There is a big difference between having the tools to work from home and actually being productive in the home environment, and most of us are feeling the pains of adjusting. Certainly, tools like Microsoft Teams are a boon for people working from home, but most folks are only scratching the surface of what these tools have to offer. A recent survey found that over 90% of Teams users held virtual meetings and over 80% were using chat, but a far lower percentage were aware of the ability for Teams to support document sharing. At the same time, almost 100% of the survey respondents said they were still using email. The results clearly show that we have a long way to go before we have a clear understanding of how to use the tools at hand to be most productive. Join harmon.ie Chief Product Officer, David Lavenda, to get valuable insights about Strategies for Working from Home Using Microsoft Teams.
August 2020 | harmon.ie Team
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