Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft Planner’

Another Case Study in Value

Posted on: December 31st, 2020 by jiml | No Comments

In past blog posts we have spoken about getting the value out of Microsoft 365 subscriptions. We would like to share another case study with you to show how partnering with Colden Company can help solve business problems.

Case Study #2

The Business Problem: Hays Service in Macon, GA, was using Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) and other ancillary products to support its business. Hays Service made the decision to migrate to Microsoft 365 and use the wide range of business tools included in a Microsoft 365 subscription to consolidate, simplify, and enhance business processes that previously required multiple tools from multiple vendors.

The Colden Company Solution: Colden Company started by migrating Hays Service email from G Suite to Exchange Online, one of the cornerstone workloads of the Microsoft 365 cloud and a typical entry point for most new Microsoft 365 customers. Once email was migrated, the next step was to expand the use of Microsoft 365 tools and applications. Microsoft 365 is much more than email, yet many customers do not take advantage of the full suite of applications. Hay Service was not going to make this mistake.

Microsoft Teams was next to be rolled out to all Hays Service employees – both in the office and in the field. Hays Service started with a basic Teams implementation – one-to-one and one-to-many chat, a few basic teams and channels, meetings and calls, etc. But armed with the knowledge that Teams is a platform for business improvement and not simply a messaging and meetings tool, Hays Service took its use of Teams much further. Hays Service’s goal was to consolidate as much as possible into Teams to fully realize Microsoft’s vision of Teams as the “hub for teamwork” and not force employees to switch between multiple application throughout the day.

Over the next several weeks, Hays Service and Colden Company collaborated (often using Teams, of course!) and implemented the following business enhancements:

· Using a proven Colden Company methodology, Hays Service created a solid foundation for a Teams rollout by using Azure Active Directory Premium P1 to control team “sprawl” and implement governance, policies, and security around Teams.

· Using Power Automate integration with Teams, a flow was implemented to remind field employees to check in and provide status on projects, keeping the flow of information between the field and the office regarding projects current.

· Using Microsoft Planner, tabs are added to channels to keep work on track, accountable, and consistent from job to job. Integration of Tasks in Teams allows employees to track work assignments without leaving Teams – whether that work is stored in Microsoft To Do or Planner.

· Using Microsoft SharePoint – another cornerstone workload of Microsoft 365 – a secure shared company-wide calendar was implemented to keep all employees updated regarding employee personal time off, birthdays, holidays, and other notable events.

· Using a combination of Microsoft Lists (SharePoint), Microsoft Forms, Azure Active Directory, Power Automate, and Teams, an end-to-end leave/time-off request and approval workflow was implemented with Teams as the front-end. Employees request leave using a form added as a tab in Teams; Power Automate picks up the request, queries Azure Active Directory for the employee’s manager, and sends an approval request to the manager; Power Automate routes

the approval response back to the employee and the result is recorded in Microsoft Lists for record keeping and visibility to Human Resources.

The Result: Hays Service chose to reimagine work and take full advantage of the Microsoft 365 platform, providing its employees with the tools to achieve more with innovative apps, intelligent cloud services, and world-class security. From the office to the field and back again, Hays Service is using Microsoft 365 as the foundation for a new way of working – and they’re only just getting started.

Hays Service Says: Colden Company made our transition into Microsoft 365 very easy and relatively painless. They took our ideas and suggestions about the needs we had for streamlining our office processes and developed a solid plan of action. M365 makes communication within our company so much easier and the possibilities for the future enhancement limitless.” -Alyssa Mathews, Service Coordinator, Hays Service

Are you interested in seeing how Colden Company can propel your business forward? Contact us by phone at (888) 600-4560 or email us at info@coldencompany.com and let’s collaborate!


 

A Case Study in Value

Posted on: November 24th, 2020 by jiml | No Comments

In past blog posts we have spoken about getting the value out of Microsoft 365 subscriptions. We would like to share a case study with you to show how partnering with Colden Company can help solve business problems.

The Business Problem:  The Diabetes Foundation in Hackensack New Jersey implemented a remote worker program due to COVID-19 like many businesses around the United States and the world. Many of the essential programs for providing diabetes care to participants in need had been managed out of their main office. Remote working was a significant challenge to the way their staff had always done business. Meeting with participants in person was no longer a viable option, sitting around the conference table to discuss fundraising events or plan operations was no longer an option. 

The Colden Company Solution: Colden Company implemented Microsoft Teams as a first step to improve communications remotely between staff, key partners and participants needing diabetes counseling.  Next, we implemented a Voice over IP phone system to replace their analog system which did not lend itself to remote working.  Their old system had no method of reaching staff members at home. The new phone system allowed staff to take their phone home and be available at their normal extension regardless of location and dramatically improve phone communications with participants as well for care calls.

The next challenge after solving the communications component was solving the operations component. The Diabetes Foundation was an organization used to sitting around the conference table to strategize.  Colden Company implemented specific teams and channels inside of Microsoft Teams for their various operational needs and linked Microsoft Planner to the newly created Teams to help them manage their various ongoing projects. These tools, like Teams and Planner, were already owned by the Foundation through their Microsoft 365 subscription, so there was no out of pocket expense.

The Result: Remote workers now have all the tools they need to effectively maintain their programs.  The new systems are allowing them to be even more organized than pre-COVID-19. Communications with participants, suppliers and donors are seamless even with the main office still closed from COVID-19.

Diabetes Foundation Says: “When COVID-19 forced us out of our main office, we honestly didn’t know how we were going to be able to continue providing the kinds of programs and services that our participants need from us. Colden Company contacted us and foresaw the problems ahead for us and came to us with a solution.  Their plan for us has been a miracle. We are operating more efficiently and helping more people than ever before. We can’t thank Colden Company enough!” – Ginine Cilenti, Executive Director, Diabetes Foundation.

Could your business benefit from some business process improvements? Contact us today at (888) 600-4560 or by email at info@coldencompany.com and see why Colden Company was selected as an MSP of the Year by Channel Partners!


Underutilized Features in Microsoft 365

Posted on: September 29th, 2020 by jiml | No Comments

The two largest competitors in the corporate email and office suite spaces have been Google and Microsoft for many years now. Microsoft has been steadily eating into Google’s market share with Microsoft 365 and continues to do so by adding value to is subscription service. If your business is just using Microsoft 365 as an email service, you probably are not getting the full value from your subscription.

It is important to note that there are many different types of subscriptions of Microsoft 365, each containing different components, so it is imperative to start by understanding the licenses you have.  What does not help is Microsoft propensity to continual rebrand not only products but also licenses. What used to be called Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium, as an example, is now Microsoft 365 Business Standard and the product formerly known as Office 365 Business, is now Microsoft 365 Business Premium.  So, what used to be called Business Premium is now a completely different license than today’s Business Premium license. (Microsoft rebranded the entire product line from Office 365 to Microsoft 365 as well to make matters even more confusing)

Once you understand what licenses you have, you can see what products are available to you.  Almost every subscription has Microsoft Teams.  Certainly, this product has been gaining traction rapidly and the remote worker push from COVID-19 only accelerated that curve.  We would argue that Teams is still under utilized by many businesses. It is not just an instant messenger and meeting platform. It can perform those functions surely, but its value is in the collaboration components, the Teams and the channels. We have found, here at Colden Company, that simply downloading Teams for users is not a recipe for success. Success comes with a planned rollout with a project champion on site who can help make the business case for the tool. Find a project where Microsoft Teams can be of value to the business and roll out a pilot program. Make sure your pilot users are using the tool (Take away other options if need be) and see the value it brings.  A successful pilot will be a starting point for future Teams within the organization.

Beyond Teams, another component utilized but perhaps not as effectively as it could be is OneDrive for Business. This tool can be utilized in a few different ways one of those ways being a desktop and document backup for users. For those users with simple needs, this may be a great way to backup important files without increasing your costs.

There are many other components, some also recently renamed.  Flow, which is now Automate or Power Automate, is a handle tool for automating workflow.  Power BI is part of the Power Apps and is a highly rated business intelligence tool.  (See our webinar on the topic in case you missed it)

Microsoft Planner is a free application that can help organize and manage tasks.  It ties in nicely to Microsoft 365 by sending email reminders of due and overdue tasks and can even be integrated into Microsoft Teams as a tab on a Team site. Microsoft To Do is a simplified version for personal to-do items as well.

A newly released app is called Microsoft Lists. This can be a great checklist type app for your organization. This can also be integrated into Teams which many will find handy.

You can see the central theme here with Microsoft. Teams is becoming the hub for where employees will go to work. Microsoft is heavily invested in Teams and continues to make improvements as they compete with Slack and Zoom.

Not getting the full value out of your Microsoft 365 subscription?  Contact us today at (888) 600-4560 or email us at info@coldencompany.com.