4 Outlook email management tips (to avoid app overload)
Is email central to the running of your business? For many of us, the answer is yes. With that in mind, we wanted to provide you with some useful email management tips. These can help you avoid app overload and improve your productivity, but also ensure accurate records management and provide employees with the modern user experience they have come to expect. But first… We know that for many organizations, email is at the heart of everything they do. Whether that is internal communications or external correspondences, email is how work is completed. Naturally, it comes as no surprise that a significant part of our days are spent in our email client. For ourselves, our customers, and millions of people all over the world, Outlook is the email client of choice. In this post, we look at Outlook, and how the Office 365 suite with SharePoint can drive email management success. 4 Outlook email management tips 1. Make searching for documents easy The amount of time people spend searching for emails has been written about a lot. Harvard Business Review found that we waste 30 minutes per day re-reading emails over and over again. The biggest trigger is when people start searching for an old email. One answer to this problem is the use of metadata, especially for organizations using SharePoint for document and email management. When metadata is correctly added, it can make surfacing emails much easier. There are plenty of situations in which this is essential: Collaborating on work with colleagues Managing long-running cases and clients Compliance audits Referring to previous correspondences with a client/customer Picking up a client’s case from a colleague when they are on holiday FOI requests How harmon.ie helps harmon.ie ensures you can meet all these requirements and fulfil these obligations every time, which will make it easy to discover old email in SharePoint when you need them. It does all this without requiring you to leave Outlook. 2. Let your users take action immediately When it comes to managing your email, carrying out admin as soon as possible is key. The easiest thing to do, is to do things quickly, at the point of receiving or sending an email. Otherwise, important information locked inside emails can quickly be forgotten about or lost. Organizations need to make email management as easy as possible for their employees, because when the right thing is the easy thing, users are much more likely to carry out the desired action. This way you can avoid issues like lost emails, siloed information, multiple versions of documents, and non-compliance with internal or external standards or regulations. How harmon.ie helps harmon.ie’s Outlook sidebar provides a wide range of functionality for knowledge workers in their email client. Without having to lose focus on core work, workers can capture, classify, store, and discover emails and important documents directly from Outlook. 3. Avoid app overload Today, many knowledge workers suffer from app overload – where the need to move between apps actually inhibits their productivity and distracts from the task at hand. What you should be doing is giving users the ability to capture emails as documents of record from anywhere they work – from Outlook, from Office apps, or from a mobile device. A great example of this is case management. Case workers will spend the majority of their day in email, receiving and sending a constant stream of emails with clients. However, important documents relating to cases are saved elsewhere – notably in their document management system, SharePoint. But also, internal communications occur in Microsoft Teams and other apps. Switching between all these apps can prove a distraction, removing the context of the work you are focused on, and it can take time to figure out where the information you need is stored. How harmon.ie helps With the harmon.ie sidebar in Outlook, users can search for important documents without having to switch apps. They can quickly attach a document into an email they are sending to a client. Also, they can drag and drop emails received from clients into SharePoint and apply metadata at the point of receiving/sending an email. But, alternatively, if users spend most of their time in Office apps, then the harmon.ie app for Office can offer SharePoint functionality in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. 4. Organize emails with ease Every day, knowledge workers are bombarded with emails, instant messages, documents, notifications, meeting requests, and so on. This can make it impossible to focus on the task at hand and find relevant information when it is required. How harmon.ie helps harmon.ie’s solution helps knowledge workers organize information consistently across their organization, by putting an emphasis on correct storage in SharePoint. For example, the solution recommends where emails should be filed so that they can easily be found later. Now it’s your turn Getting email management right can dramatically improve the productivity of your business. These have been our four tips for email management success. Use harmon.ie to help knowledge workers manage their emails efficiently. For more Outlook email management tips and to learn more about intelligent email management, get in touch with one of the harmon.ie team today.
July 2019 | harmon.ie Team
The importance of intelligent email management software in professional services
In professional services, email is central to both internal and external communications. In fact, 80% of important documents in an organization are actually emails. From sharing contracts to providing updates to customers, workers rely heavily on a constant flow of emails. With so much depending on email management, are organizations giving workers the tools they need to intelligently store and classify emails? In this blog we’ll outline why email management is so important in professional services, and the steps your organization can take to improve its own strategy. Eliminating email chaos Interacting with clients is carried out by email, and important documents, such as contracts or invoices, are sent and received by email too. Enormous streams of emails come in and out of an organization every day. Despite the large amount of important emails, there’s an even larger amount of emails that need to be discarded. Separating what needs to be kept and what doesn’t is a big challenge. An intelligent and effective email management solution is essential to eliminating email chaos. Without the right solution, organizations face a variety of issues. The gap between a document management system and an email inbox can cause siloes, which prevents workers from finding the information they need. Being unable to use tagging or applying metadata to manage emails can also cause organizations to lose business-critical information. This leads to a poor customer experience when the correct customer history isn’t available to workers, causing them to give incorrect advice. If records aren’t maintained correctly or are erased, this can lead to potential regulatory problems. Finding the right email management software Organizations use a variety of methods to tackle email management. Some look to additional management software beyond their email client, and while they can be effective, they can also require a great deal of additional rollout and training. Organizations around the world rely on Outlook and the wider Microsoft environment, using a combination of different Office 365 apps to manage their documents and emails. This can be effective, allowing workers to take advantage of the impressive collaborative and communication apps available on the platform. But using Outlook for email management and SharePoint for document management can create siloes between important records. Many modern email management solutions aren’t capable of treating emails as the documents of record that they are. To combat email chaos, organizations must create a centralized repository for both documents and emails. With the right modifications, SharePoint can be the ideal email management solution – capable of storing emails and documents in one centralized location for total visibility. SharePoint and professional services SharePoint is a Microsoft collaboration platform that gives workers a single location to store documents of record. Content is structured in Sites, Libraries, Folders and Document Sets - allowing flexibility for how an organization wishes to store its records. Every record is subject to the same metadata conventions and retention policies, enabling an effective, yet slightly limited level of control over documents. This approach enables workers to access all of their business-critical information from one interface, creating greater visibility and improving discoverability. However, SharePoint does have its drawbacks. It can’t be fully integrated with Outlook, causing your inbox and its important emails to become siloed away from the rest of your Microsoft environment. Unless workers take the time to manually upload emails to SharePoint, this creates a gap between documents of record, leaving information where workers can’t easily find it. SharePoint also requires users to manually apply the correct metadata. This extra level of administrative work can prevent workers from making the most of the platform’s capabilities and cause mistakes. With these drawbacks in mind, how can your organization leverage SharePoint for email management success? The answer is to give workers the ability to upload emails as well as documents of record to SharePoint. Tailoring SharePoint for success In order to create the best user experience for their workers, organizations must find a way to quickly and easily store emails in SharePoint and apply metadata to those files. Many organizations make the same mistakes when it comes to modifying SharePoint, either by adopting ineffective third-party solutions or by using multiple disconnected Microsoft apps. However, there’s a solution that’s much more effective and allows you to make the most of your existing SharePoint environment. harmon.ie is an intelligent email management system that allows workers to take the best functionality from SharePoint and use it within Outlook, the app where they do most of their work. harmon.ie helps workers take control of their inboxes by allowing users to drag and drop emails directly into SharePoint, therefore simplifying metadata processes. Using harmon.ie, workers can: Capture emails and store them as documents of record Use metadata to classify emails for easy future retrieval Discover information relevant to their current focus Create a repository of essential business information for complete visibility To find out more about the benefits of intelligent email management in professional services, download our free eBook today
July 2019 | Richard Poole
harmon.ie acquires new talent
It’s been a busy few months for us at harmon.ie. We recently had an employee buyout from previous investors, allowing us to focus on long-term growth. We just released harmon.ie 7, which with thanks to our talented product team , delivers more innovation and capabilities to our harmon.ie product, and very recently, announced that Yoram Yaacovi and Shalom Passy have joined our board, with the goal of driving us forward as a company and new talent has joined our AI department. And the train of announcements doesn’t stop there! To ensure that we remain at the forefront of intelligent email management, we’ve recently appointed a new VP of Artificial Intelligence, Sasha Apartsin. We’re delighted to welcome Sasha to the team and in todays' blog, Sasha gives his insights into what he’s most looking forward to achieving with harmon.ie. Sasha Apartsin helps keep harmon.ie at the forefront of AI Sasha joins harmon.ie from Motorola Solutions Israel, where he was Head of AI Research. Focusing on machine/deep learning, computer vision, and natural language processing, his knowledge is truly cutting-edge, and puts him at the forefront of the AI revolution. His extensive background in machine learning and data science spans over 20 years. Beginning as a software and algorithm developer, Sasha has worked in many areas. These include designing algorithms, data analysis, product development, system architecture, and more. The addition of new talent with such wealth of experience, as Sasha brings to harmon.ie, will contribute to building the products that modern workers need. The chance to make a difference with new talent “Data is the new oil” observes Sasha. “We have access to huge amounts of corporate data – but lots of people are focusing on tools when they should be focusing on AI.” One of the things that attracted him to harmon.ie was the company’s current standing. As a small company, harmon.ie can move quickly and make the agile business decisions that keep us at the forefront of modern technology. But the smaller size of the company means workers like Sasha have more limited resources – this is a challenge that Sasha relishes. In his first months at harmon.ie, Sasha has taken on the challenge of building a roadmap of harmon.ie’s future AI technologies and features – he says of his plans: “We need to build the technology to help us win in the product space.” He notes that joining harmon.ie ‘offered a great opportunity to change the way that people complete their day-to-day work’. In terms of the future of harmon.ie, Sasha says, “Email is just the beginning. It’s one of the most commonly used applications, but it’s messy. It’s used as a project management tool, an operation tool, a sharing tool… and transforming email is just the first step. The next step is the workspace. The workspace is built more around tasks, semantics, and meaning, and less about applications and tools. Eventually, this will be a streamlined experience, in which workers won’t need to worry about which application or piece of technology they’re using.” In the coming years, the evolution of the modern workplace will see the need for intelligent business technology explode. harmon.ie will be at the forefront of the space, transforming daily work with email management and topic computing tools that help knowledge workers achieve more. With people like Sasha, harmon.ie is sure to remain at the cutting edge of technology. To find out more about how harmon.ie is transforming the modern workplace contact us today.
June 2019 | harmon.ie Team
Working smarter, not harder with Outlook
Email is as important today in the modern enterprise as it has ever been before and requires having the best tools at hand to start working smarter. From sales contracts to sensitive HR information, proposals to internal reviews, email contains vital information from every area of your organization. In fact, 80% of documents of record in an organization are emails. It’s also the primary method of communicating and sharing information not only internally but externally. Since Teams, Slack or Whatsapp aren’t formal enough for sharing information with clients, Outlook, by default, becomes the platform through which most documents and records are formally shared. 69% of workers waste up to an hour each day navigating between communication apps, which is equal to 32 wasted days a year. This kind of inefficiency isn’t sustainable – it’s time for businesses to transform their internal communications. However, many businesses aren’t making the most of Office 365’s capabilities, especially when it comes to intelligent email management. Here are the three tips you need to use Outlook effectively. 1. Utilize your data to start working smarter In the modern workplace, data sits in many disparate locations, including other Office 365 apps, your email inbox, your servers or your hard drive, your CRM, and in other communications apps, like IM threads. This creates silos and prevents workers from finding the information they need. It also prevents you from making the most of all of the data spread out across your organization and makes it hard to see the bigger picture. In order to fully use and understand data in a meaningful way, workers must be able to easily capture, classify, share, and discover data throughout your IT environment. This is especially relevant for emails – as so much important work happens in email. Treating emails as the essential source of information they are will help your organization create complete internal visibility. Consider investing in a solution that enables you to integrate employee inboxes with your document management system to ensure that no important information slips through the cracks. 2. Streamline your applications The proliferation of business applications is beneficial for workers, but it has the potential to become too much of a good thing. By adopting more apps, organizations risk overwhelming workers with too many options and preventing them from finding what they need. Switching between apps to find and share information actually degrades productivity and prevents deep work. To tackle this problem and start working smarter, you should consider making all your business information accessible from one screen – this means cutting out ineffective apps and finding ways to connect Outlook with your document management system, for maximum integration. This breaks down the barriers between applications and helps workers complete tasks effectively without losing focus. 3. Embrace AI The Microsoft Graph helps users leverage Office 365 data using AI. By integrating Microsoft apps, it’s possible to build unique, intelligent applications that surface relevant information. Extending the power of Office 365 in this way will increase the value of your Microsoft investment, and it can also help you use every app more effectively. Using this technology, it’s possible to surface content related to relevant topics for individual users. Instead of searching individual apps for information, workers should be able to find emails and documents from a single window. This helps workers gain full visibility of their projects and tasks, giving them access to all the relevant information available. The future of email management As the number of emails we receive on a daily basis continues to grow at an exponential rate, organizations must find ways to start working smarter and more effectively. Between the sheer volume of data that workers must interact with, the need to manage records efficiently, and the need to meet all regulatory standards, email management is a challenge for many organizations. However, there are steps you can take to ensure that it’s your email management tools working harder, not your employees. Email will remain a primary method of communication, so if you use Office 365, this means Outlook is going to become more important to your organization. Optimizing your use of Outlook is the best way to get ready for the future. Making the most of Outlook and the wider Office 365 environment will require looking to third-party applications. To choose the right solution, organizations must prioritize easy integration with Office 365, creating a single source of truth, and the ability to treat emails as documents of record. Taking full advantage of these will allow Outlook to work to its maximum potential. To find out more about how harmon.ie can help your business work smarter with Outlook, contact us today.
June 2019 | David Lavenda
Announcing the Top 25 International SharePoint Influencers of 2019
SharePoint remains a constant in today’s business world. Among other things, it’s the document management system that organizations of all sizes rely on, and every year it continues to grow in popularity. SharePoint has an enormous following and has generated a highly engaged online community. SharePoint influencers are experts and thought leaders who extol the benefits of not only SharePoint but the Microsoft environment to readers around the world. Yaacov Cohen, CEO of harmon.ie commented: “We really value and recognize people within the community. As we do every year, we want to independently serve the ecosystem – by helping others connect and recognize the incredible work done by influencers around the world who are working with SharePoint”. Every year we recognize these influencers and thought leaders in the community who share their expertise and help companies make the most of SharePoint. With our series of international SharePoint Summits underway, and this week’s SharePoint North America Conference, now is the perfect time to announce the top 25 international SharePoint influencers of 2019. Sharing knowledge around the world Some of our key findings this year include: The country with the largest representation of international SharePoint influencers was the US with 28% of the top 25. Germany was next with 20%, followed by Canada at 12%. This year the top 25 has 150% more women compared to 2018, with women representing 5 of the 25 influencers. 80% of the Top 25 had a personal blog compared to 48% of the average SharePoint influencer. Our International SharePoint Influencers ranking is formed by many factors, including engagement, frequency of activity, backlinks, follower base, and more. But this list is only representative of a small fraction of the wider SharePoint community. At harmon.ie, we recognize the value in building communities of SharePoint and Office 365 experts around the world. To bring together the key figures in the industry, every year we hold SharePoint Summits; events where business leaders can create new connections and learn about how SharePoint is transforming document management within organizations.
May 2019 | harmon.ie Team