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This is our monthly roundup of changes and new features coming up in Office 365, SharePoint and Kira.
This month sees some important changes to Microsoft Teams, ticking off two features – real-time status, and federation – that were available in Skype for Business, and making it a more complete product than ever. There’s also new security options when sharing files, and improvements to SharePoint too. Plus a top tip for fans of emojis…
Thanks to CompanyNet team members Paul McGonigle, Stuart McLaughlin and Maria Botha-Lopez for their contributions to this round-up.
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Exploring the IT industry’s problematic relationship with change management, understanding why effective user adoption is more important than ever in a cloud-ready world, and looking at some methods and techniques available to those enlightened souls who wish to deliberately and positively deliver change and user adoption.
Bananarama and The Fun Boy Three were definitely onto something back in 1982, when they joined forces to record their version of Sy Oliver and Trummy Young’s 1930s classic ditty. What they probably didn’t realise was that almost 40 years later, the song’s central message would be used as a lighthearted device to illustrate effective ways of managing change in the IT industry.
Build it and they will come?
You see, the IT industry has always had a bit of a problem with change management. “Build it and they will come!” has been the prevailing attitude of IT departments through the years.
It’s been fuelled by a misguided belief that users will simply use the solution put in front of them. And all the evidence points to the fact that, unless they simply have to use it, they won’t. Instead, they’ll seek out an alternative route as the ‘path of least resistance’ – and you’ll have a failed implementation on your hands, thanks to poorly-managed user adoption.
Erm, no they won’t
The ‘build it and they will come’ adage betrays a fundamental arrogance which has been prevalent in the industry for decades. It fails to recognise that IT exists to provide a service to the business; that the business contains users of technology, and that users are very adept at knowing what they need, and what they don’t need. IT departments simply haven’t been providing the tools and technologies their user bases demand; if you need any further evidence, witness the rapid growth of ‘shadow IT’.
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Microsoft has announced that PowerApps has continued to grow in popularity as the first choice for creating data-driven business apps.
More and more businesses have been taking up the technology, which allows business users to create task-specific apps that interact with your business data without having to rely on IT support.
The last quarter has seen companies including Metro Bank in the UK and G&J Pepsi Bottlers (the USA’s largest Pepsi franchise) putting to PowerApps work.
Metro Bank have created an app powered by Dynamics 365 which lets customers pre-book appointments, complete with SMS reminders, letting them get on with their day rather than waiting around in-branch.
G&J are using PowerApps to rapidly develop apps to streamline workflows such as equipment requests and mileage reports, reducing paper usage, processing time, and the potential for mistakes.
PC Magazine recently called the platform “a power user’s dream”, giving it an editor’s choice award for low-code application development – putting it further ahead of similar products from Google and Salesforce.
It’s all testament to the fact that PowerApps is already changing how businesses interact with their data. We’ve been using PowerApps since its inception, and – as a Microsoft Gold Partner for Application Development, we can help your organisation make the most of it, too. Get in touch now.
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