Is system and application integration a pipedream? Ask yourself a couple of questions…
- How many applications and systems are in use across your business?
- How easy is it for our employees to find the information they need and work on it with their colleagues?
The likelyhood is that your answers are less than positive.
Many Businesses grow over time, adopting new systems and software as they need more structure and management of their information and processes. The irony is that as more systems get added, the business becomes more disjointed as people begin to get blinkered to working in the system that they need most and resorting to emailing or phoning around to find out information they need that is outside of that. Worse still, is that this culture leads to information entry being duplicated, wasting time and creating inconsistencies across your company. This is hugely frustrating for employees and management alike.
An example list of business systems might include:
- Company Intranet
- HR Management
- Project Management
It is possible, however, to solve all this. Looking at all your information and processes, they will pivot around two central data collections; A list of customers and a list of your people. Fundamentally, all your systems relate to your own people or the people who buy from you. All of your people help provide the service to the people who buy from you. It’s all connected and, therefore, all your information should be two.
So, what can you do?
Office 365 is often used as purely a cloud hosted email platform, yet it offers so much more. As your email solution, it already holds the list of all your employees and they all have access to it. Being able to access their email, also gives them access to all the other features that come with the leading Microsoft Platform; such as Skype, OneDrive, Delve, Yammer and SharePoint Online.
By exploiting and developing these features, you can present all your information in a single intuitive window. The sharing and collaboration functionality within Skype, Yammer and OneDrive, make it easy for employees to find each other, get the answers they need quickly and work on the same documents at the same time, no matter where they are.
Taking this a step further, SharePoint can be developed to offer automation and management to a variety of business functions. Far more than just a place to store documents, you can build applications for CRM, Project Management, Intranet, HR management and much more, right into your main business platform and accessible with a single login.
All these features can be confusing at first, so here’s an overview of what’s available and what features to use when.