Does your industry suffer from these common email management challenges?
For decades, email has been central to professional communications. When contracts must be signed, approvals documented, FOIs requested, and proposals suggested, email remains central to communicating essential information both internally and externally. This remains true whether the organization works in retail, manufacturing, professional services or the public sector. Email management stretches across almost every industry. So too, however, do its associated challenges. For actionable advice on how to overcome these challenges, you can download our exclusive eBook - ‘The Challenge of Email Management and What you Need to Solve it’ From document retention policies to accessing information for compliance audits, there are many ways that contemporary email management processes fail to adapt to the challenges of modern business. In local government, professional services, and manufacturing sectors, these challenges are among the most pronounced. State and local government Public sector associations face unique challenges when it comes to managing email. They process a high volume of personal data and are often governed by stringent regulatory and compliance standards. Such organizations must meet the same stringent compliance standards as their private sector counterparts, but often with far more restrictive budgets and resources to help them do it. In a world where people are becoming increasingly aware and concerned about how their data is used, it’s even more important for local government organizations to prove their data compliance credentials. To remain compliant, organizations must ensure that all the data they process is properly archived and readily accessible. They must also maintain comprehensive records of who the data belongs to, when it was processed, and by which means. Unlike data stored in SharePoint or a customer relationship management (CRM) system, information that resides in emails cannot be processed in data audits. That data becomes siloed and therefore poses a real threat to non-compliance. As well as this, much of the data that local governments process is subject to public record requests. Depending on the regulations in the individual state, members of the public can request to view certain pieces of information or data, and the organization is obligated to respond within a certain time period. Data in email inboxes will either be difficult or impossible to track down in the event of such requests. Professional services Workers in professional service-based roles process a uniquely high number of email communications on a regular basis. Some estimates even suggest that information workers could spend 10% of their working life checking and writing. On average, this equates to some 4,000 emails each a year. Effectively and productively managing this constant stream of information is a real challenge for professional service workers. Effective collaboration requires documents and information to be seamlessly passed between workers within an organization. To do this, email information should be easily accessible, with the appropriate metadata added, to ensure a seamless process of searching and accessing email data. Contemporary email management processes don’t make it easy for users to easily do this. It’s vital therefore that professional service businesses take advantage of solutions that make it easier to add metadata to emails and store them in centralized locations. Manufacturing and construction For manufacturing companies, emails are often far more important documents of record than they first seem. In some situations, poor email management could end up costing the business significant amounts of money. If machine warranties are stored as files or attachments in email inboxes, they could be difficult or even impossible to find when they’re needed. In the event of a machine suddenly breaking down, this could mean the company having to buy an entirely new machine from scratch, rather than getting it replaced for free. Both construction and manufacturing industries depend on the smooth running of supply chains. It’s important that goods can move quickly from supplier to site to prevent any hold-ups occurring. But selecting appropriate suppliers requires a complex audit process that assesses their ability to reliably provide the requisite products. Contracts and accreditation documents must be passed between legal, finance and many other departments—and each must be appropriately documented for any future edits. It’s vital that this important documentation can be easily saved and stored in the relevant places, to ensure everyone always has easy access when needed. Solve the email management dilemma Email management processes pose some of the most challenges for businesses working in these industries. But in reality, they affect all businesses in one way or another. It’s natural for workers to simply assume that these challenges are a normal part of daily working life. They don’t stop to consider the harmful effects that poor email management could be having on their organization. It’s important that your company explores what options are available to solve these common email management challenges. We consider these challenges in our recent eBook: The challenge of email management and what you need to solve it. We outline the difficulties in further detail and consider how business leaders in modern organizations can work to alleviate the problems they pose. If you want to find out more about the solutions to common email management challenges, download our eBook today.
March 2019 | David Lavenda
Information management trends for 2019
As the amount of information we are asked to process on a daily basis continues to increase, information management will be among the enterprise and technology trends to be discussed in 2019. This blog lists the key information management trends for 2019. Technology has facilitated an insatiable appetite for data. In the consumer world, unlimited mobile data plans, data-streaming platforms like Netflix and Spotify, and internet connections with faster download speeds and wider network coverage make it easier than ever to consume data. In the enterprise world, business intelligence and data analytics platforms derive more value from data, while tighter regulations make the cost of non-compliance with data privacy steeper than ever before. These business needs dictate that information needs to be managed better than ever before. Information managers should keep on top of the latest information management trends as their jobs become more complex in the modern workplace. Information management trends for 2019 concern how information is generated, captured, classified, and discovered. Information managers that capitalize on these trends will be better positioned to do their job to a higher standard. Here are some of the key information management trends for 2019. · Capture information; maintain control Between 2012-2013, the world generated 90% of the data that had ever been created up to that point. We have repeated this phenomenon every subsequent year. In 2016 our combined data output reached 2.5 trillion gigabytes per day. The ‘Data Never Sleeps’ report claims by 2020 every person in the world will create 1.7MB of data per second. The good news is we’re not at risk of there being ‘too much data’, at least in terms of storage. But so much data has created information overload; its abundance overwhelms workers, shortens attention spans, and disrupts focus. In the rush to unify all the different sources of information within your business, a top information management trend for 2019 is the need to ‘rein in data’. An automated classification scheme can help end-users classify information without the legwork. For example, automated metadata practices remind users to add metadata tags when files are first stored in their document management system like SharePoint to help create a consistent taxonomy of information. · Avoid app overload It’s natural that applications have transformed alongside the rise of data. They are the vehicles for our rapid data consumption. There are more apps than ever, and it has become common practice for us to constantly toggle between them. This is particularly true on smartphones, where notifications act as the bait to hook you into an app and keep you in a near-constant state of multi-tasking and distraction. In the enterprise, distraction is much more of a problem than in the consumer world. The ‘False Promise of the App Economy’ revealed that workers are overwhelmed with the number of apps that they are expected to use to get work done. This leaves them frustrated by the confusion that occurs when they’re switching between app windows to complete tasks, find information, and communicate with colleagues. In 2019, app overload will continue to be a problem unless businesses react. Information managers should look to flip the script on the way they use apps—reserving their focus for the apps that are essential to the work they need to perform. In platforms like Office 365, which house a variety of business apps, identify the apps you actually use and combine them. Creating a single window for your work is the ultimate focus-enhancer. · Manage information in all its forms As the amount of information continues to grow from a variety of sources, more attention is being taken to its legitimacy. While ‘fake news’ shouldn’t make its way into the enterprise, stipulations like the GDPR pose strict regulations and severe fines for non-compliance. Information managers should take careful consideration of the different types of information and the different ways it must be governed. Emails are often overlooked as documents of record. But business-critical and sensitive information can be contained in attachments or within the body of an email itself. When it comes to employees searching for this information at a later date, the problem rears its ugly head. From a compliance perspective, information managers need to treat emails as documents of record, prioritizing email management the same way they prioritize information management, so sensitive information isn’t lost to lengthy email chains or in personal inboxes. · Trust in topic computing Topic computing is a new approach to information management. Instead of asking users to navigate through content repositories to find the information they need, it categorizes information into topics to push to the user in context. For instance, when an employee receives an email about a certain subject, topic computing software uses artificial intelligence to bring them content related to that email from across all the different apps and tools they use. This means information is brought to them at the right time and in the right context—and that they don’t have to visit multiple locations to find it. Topic computing is set to flourish in 2019, and harmon.ie is at the forefront. Information management in 2019 with harmon.ie harmon.ie is striving to change the way information is delivered in the digital workplace through intelligent information management and topic computing. Intelligent information and email management unifies otherwise disconnected information from multiple cloud apps—SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, etc.—within the employee’s current work interface: Outlook. Through topic computing, harmon.ie is looking to revolutionize how information is presented to users to reduce distraction, empower workers, and drive productivity. Stay tuned for general availability of harmon.ie 10 which will debut topic computing technology, coming in 2019. For more information on how to improve your information management practices, get in touch with the harmon.ie team today.
January 2019 | Harmon.ie Team
harmon.ie Kicks Off 2019 - Partnering for Success
The first annual harmon.ie Partners Summit kicked off with an early morning flight from Tel Aviv, Israel to the beautiful southern town of Eilat. Crested on the mouth of the Red Sea, the town is perhaps the perfect place to celebrate, relax and rejuvenate. It’s a great place to reconnect with old friends, collaborate with colleagues and meet a few new faces. Bringing in the new year, celebrating recent wins and looking forward to the future as harmon.ie partners, the employee-owners, together with the development, marketing, and sales partners was the order of the four-day gathering. A gathering which: Recapped 2018 in numbers and celebrated our various successes Highlighted new goals for the coming year Showcased a roadmap for our intelligent email management product suite Brought together everything and everyone that makes harmon.ie special As a global company with offices across Europe, North America and our headquarters in Israel we like to use every opportunity to come together as a group to share feedback and discuss ideas for future success. Day 1 – A recap of 2018, a look toward 2019 and the harmon.ie Partner summit Gala We arrived in Eilat and before checking into our hotel we were into the first meeting of the week. Yaacov Cohen, CEO of harmon.ie presented his annual “State of harmon.ie” address, covering the previous year in numbers. The opening session celebrated the success of 2018, including some of the big deals that were successfully won in 2018—including a large-scale partnership with German engineering and electronics giant, Bosch, as well as the employee buyout of the company earlier in the year. In addition to looking back at 2018, we looked toward the new year and where we want to be as an organization. Intelligent email management is the future Where our company is going has to do with topic computing and our flagship product, harmon.ie 10. In his opening session, Yaacov put forth the roadmap for the release of harmon.ie 10, the first app to use the Microsoft Graph and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to bring vital information directly to users. The Microsoft Graph helps organizations work better by collating the data users generate across Office 365. harmon.ie takes the power of the Microsoft Graph to connect users to their work in a place where they will see it: their Outlook client. Harmon.ie 7, released in preview from January, will run on the Microsoft Graph and will be our Topics Early Access product where organizations can sign up to test out our cutting-edge solution. harmon.ie 7 general availability is coming in March and harmon.ie 10 GA will be available in July. Pillar objectives In conjunction with the forthcoming product release, Yaacov also covered the main company objectives and the direction, plans and messaging for the year ahead. In the afternoon, we broke out into our various department groups—sales, marketing, IT, etc.—and workshopped different ways we could set measurable goals to ensure we, as a company, achieve these objectives. Later: Day 1 After a day of travel and meetings, some of us decided to relax before the inaugural harmon.ie Partners Gala. Others partook in the annual five-on-five football/soccer game that brings harmon.ie employees and partners from all over the world together to show off their skills and win bragging rights for the year. Then it was on to the trendy Eilat club, 5th Avenue and the sumptuous feast of food, dancing and company shares as we celebrated the future of harmon.ie together. Day 2 – To King Solomon’s Mines and beyond On Day 2 we cleared away the cobwebs with a hike in the beautiful Timna Valley region about an hour from Eilat. Here, in the vast expanse of copper mines that date back to the reign of King Solomon, we marched across rocks and cliff-faces, admiring the landscape while taking care to survive it. The day centered around teamwork, including several non-verbal communication exercises, a bike ride down to the resort front, and building and designing a monument to our values. The day was about working together, communication, creativity and stamina! All ideals that we think helps make us the organization we are. Day 3/4 – Sales and Marketing for 2019 On our third and fourth day, team bonding and celebration turned to the serious business of getting ready for the coming year. We opened with a presentation from Ran Shribman, VP of Sales, showcasing 2019’s key initiatives, including the importance of our harmon.ie Early Access Program and Customer Success Program. Ran covered the new email management playbook and our focus on specific verticals to emphasize in 2019. Godspeed, Topic Computing These sales and marketing lookaheads were followed with a comprehensive look into how the harmon.ie Topic Engine works, giving partners some insight into the new technology. The Topic Engine is how harmon.ie is differentiating ourselves from our competitors in 2019. So, expect to see plenty of content on our blog showcasing the power of harmon.ie with NLP and Microsoft Graph technology when it comes to helping knowledge workers be more efficient and productive. And lookout for us in 2019 where we’ll be putting into practice everything we’ve learned from our four days in Eilat! If you’d like to find out more about our vision for 2019 and how our solution can enable business productivity rather than complicate it, contact us today.
January 2019 | Harmon.ie Team
Boost collaboration in the modern workplace with the harmon.ie partner program
Orangutech has been a key member of the harmon.ie partner program for over five years now and is a great example of how the program is a win-win for everyone involved. In this blog series, we shine a spotlight on our partner program, highlighting some of our key partners and the success they’ve had. We sat down with Orangutech’s CEO Barry Doucette to discuss how they deliver value for its clients and how harmon.ie helps them solve key problems around collaboration in the modern workplace. Collaboration in the modern workplace Orangutech is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner that excels in helping large enterprises modernize their workplace through the latest in collaboration technology – with a focus on software add-ons for SharePoint, Dynamics 365, and Office 365. Based in Ottawa, Orangutech works primarily with the Canadian Federal Government and Crown Corporations. In fact, an impressive 60% of core Canadian Federal Government departments rely on Orangutech’s services to support the Microsoft technology that allows them to flourish. In today’s world, collaboration is at the centre of all business activities. Orangutech understands this and makes sure that all employees within an organization are well-connected and collaborating via tools, technology, training and expertise. As CEO of Orangutech, Barry Doucette says, “the key to the success of any IT solution involves getting user adoption and change management right.” “The real challenge is how do we make sure the client is actually adopting the technology? We focus on ease-of-use and change management. Those are big challenges which we help our clients overcome.” Email management in government As a large portion of its clients are departments within the Canadian Federal Government, Orangutech helps them deal with several key challenges around how they store, manage, and access information and documents. Records and email management are an essential part of this. All departments within the Canadian Federal Government use GCDocs – a centralized records management system that ensures the departments meet the legal and policy requirements for information management. One of the big challenges for these organizations is the integration of Microsoft technology with GCDocs and ensuring all users work in compliance with agreed regulations. As Barry explains: “We make sure we get everything in SharePoint into GCDocs, ensuring documents of value are managed long-term. When we talk about this to our clients, it sparks their interest and then they start looking at what the right tools are to get this done. harmon.ie is absolutely one of the big players for us. Barry goes on to answer the question…“How does harmon.ie help our business? It helps our clients adopt and use technology. Our message to clients is about collaboration and change management – we make sure that users are adopting those technologies and that these tools are easy-to-use. Well, that’s what harmon.ie does for us; especially around email management.” “A lot of emails get left behind – either, they are not managed efficiently, or are records but are not treated as such. There’s important information that has great value, so you must make sure they are managed as records. One example of how harmon.ie helps is that the government has a limit on the size of mailboxes (2GBs). Users receive a notification when they approach their limit, and people simply go to the bottom of their email list and start deleting emails. harmon.ie makes it easy for users to save important emails and store them as records for the future.” The beginning of the partnership harmon.ie was initially recommended to Orangutech by a client. As Barry explains: “We reached out to a client and asked if there were any tools they really liked. They recommended harmon.ie as a fabulous productivity tool, an email management tool, and an Outlook-to-SharePoint tool. So, we reached out to harmon.ie and we’ve been partners for at least five years now.” “harmon.ie is enterprise ready. We can confidently put harmon.ie in front of clients with tens of thousands of users without worry. Our solutions are customized according to our client’s needs for email management, collaboration and leveraging these tools for maximum efficiency. This directly influences how they manage their work. harmon.ie plays a very important role when we tell our clients that we can help them with SharePoint adoption, training and change management.” Become a partner today If your organization has a strong presence with companies that have migrated to, or are planning on migrating to Office 365, then the harmon.ie partner program is for you. The program is a fantastic way for businesses to help their customers derive more value from their Microsoft investment and improve collaboration in the modern workplace. harmon.ie boosts user adoption across the whole ecosystem of the Microsoft productivity suite, by making it as easy as possible for the end user. You can sell harmon.ie licenses to generate extra revenue while improving your customers’ capabilities for email management, information governance, case management and enterprise collaboration in Office 365. To find out more about the harmon.ie partner program and how it can improve collaboration in the modern workplace, get in touch with the harmon.ie team or join us today.
December 2018 | David Lavenda
What are the new features in SharePoint 2019?
At Microsoft Ignite in November, Microsoft announced their vision and strategy for SharePoint Server 2019. The latest on-premises iteration will incorporate some of the most impressive features from SharePoint Online to improve the overall user experience. While businesses who aren’t quite ready to migrate to the cloud will also be able to enjoy the new features in SharePoint 2019, previously only available in Office 365. One of the highly anticipated aspects of SharePoint 2019 is that it will bring major UI updates. Step forward modern experiences. Modern experiences were introduced to SharePoint Online in February 2018 to innovate SharePoint’s interface (which hadn’t been redesigned since 2002!). As Bob German, Technology Architect at Microsoft says “Microsoft is on a mission to modernize”. Modern experiences were developed to streamline workflows, allowing users to integrate their Calendar and Outlook apps and providing AI intelligence. The big change in 2019 is that this functionality, previously only available for SharePoint Online, will be made available for its on-premises users soon. So what else is coming to SharePoint 2019? Modern Lists One of the more collaborative areas of SharePoint, Lists are web parts where workers can create tables of contacts or task workflows. Lists also supports attachments, so key information can be shared in relation to different tasks or projects. The Classic Lists experience has been updated to simplify the UI and make editing easier. The navigation and speed of Lists have also been improved and optimized for mobile. New Lists features include: AI in Microsoft Flow will be able to provide cognitive text analysis, used for sentiment analysis, identifying key phrases or translation. Users will be able to highlight text for sentiment analysis or translation within SharePoint. Images can also be scanned using image recognition and they’ll then be tagged using metadata for easier retrieval. The option to copy files from Excel simplifies the creation of new lists – users can copy previous business templates Real-time List updates will keep workers up to date Lists are a useful way for workers to group together necessary information, but it’s not able to group by topic rather than by file type. This doesn’t realistically address the way people work and stops SharePoint being as effective as it could be. Modern Libraries Businesses naturally store their information in Libraries. Thanks to an upgraded OneDrive Sync client, SharePoint 2019 will now support personal and team sites. Users can now sync OneDrive files with SharePoint, meaning they can move away from software like external Dropbox and Google Suite. Custom column formatting allows workers to Users can add metadata to individual files Users can add metadata to multiple files at once Useful documents and links can be pinned to the top of a library view Views are customizable and can be created for personal or team documents SharePoint 2019 has made improvements in terms of helping workers classify their documents with metadata – this is a fantastic tool for archiving information. However, the SharePoint 2019 library doesn’t treat emails like documents of records—which in all practicality they are. This remains a gap in the Microsoft offering. When there is a disconnect between SharePoint and Outlook, important information tends to get siloed away in inboxes, affecting workers’ productivity as they much search for what they need. Modern Sharing A key aspect of SharePoint is its capability for enabling the sharing of information within a business. The Modern sharing update will make sharing information within SharePoint 2019 more flexible, thanks to the following features: Guests no longer require SharePoint licenses or anonymous access Permissions are distinguished between Team sites and Communication sites Permissions can be grouped to prevent repetitive approvals The UI has been simplified SharePoint will notify users if they’re sharing multiple files or if they’re sharing files with a large group to prevent information breaches. These updates streamline the sharing process, allowing for more granularity or more flexibility to be applied to document permissions. This will help users share documents, but they still won’t be able to create equal visibility for the valuable information in their email inboxes. While SharePoint has prioritized document sharing, it hasn’t addressed the key information stored in emails. By distinguishing documents and emails as separate systems of record, SharePoint 2019 will continue to force users to move between different apps, wearing away their concentration and inhibiting productivity. Modern sites Modern SharePoint was designed to be more intuitive, more flexible, and more mobile. SharePoint 2019 benefits from these design changes. Sites are where your team can find the information and apps that your business relies on - businesses can create Team sites or Communication sites to relay information to workers. Updates to sites include: Improved and simplified UI on the homepage Sites are much more mobile-friendly Quick links, Calendar and Site activity keep workers connected New Hero web part displays up to five relevant items on communication sites Real time updates keep workers in the know Workers can build their own sites without the need to involve their IT team However, since SharePoint 2019 lacks the cloud integration of Office 365, it won’t connect with Planner, create a shared calendar, or integrate with Outlook. SharePoint 2019 users won’t be able to streamline their workflows efficiently if they can’t create a single platform for information management that includes both documents and emails. Modern Search The improved search function that SharePoint Online delivered was robust – users could search for files in on-premises and online environments. The Modern search bar is included on the SharePoint Homepage, Communication sites, and Team sites. Here are some of the key updates to SharePoint 2019’s search feature: Results are prompted with autofill and suggested files Suggestions are grouped by type Improved search for hybrid environments Increased search index size These are intelligent improvements to the search functions, but they lack the AI-driven power of topic computing. By integrating topic computing, SharePoint 2019 would be able to present users with information relevant to them and suggest additional information based on the topic of the information. New features in SharePoint 2019 Microsoft has focused on including the effectiveness of SharePoint Online’s powerful and intelligent new features in SharePoint Server 2019, and it goes a long way towards simplifying and improving the user experience. But until SharePoint users can treat the information in documents and the information in emails the same way, the user experience is always going to be somewhat disconnected. harmon.ie offers the perfect solution to integrate your email inbox and SharePoint library, creating a single system of record to improve information management. With harmon.ie, businesses can drag and drop emails from Outlook into SharePoint, saving and classifying the information. Find out how harmon.ie can help you use SharePoint effectively and create an intelligent, dynamic system of record
December 2018 | David Lavenda