Working with a Virtual Team? Microsoft’s Office 365 Gets Social, Gets Smarter
Microsoft’s Office 365 is a suite of programs that you can access from anywhere because the components reside in the cloud. Create a presentation on your office computer, email it to the team from your iPhone while you’re on the plane, present the presentation to a customer two states over using your iPad.
But cloud computing isn’t just for people on the go, it’s also a way of creating an office environment when your team members are scattered all over the globe. But this isn’t an advertisement for Office 365. What it is, is a look at the rise of the office graph.
In this case, “graph” doesn’t mean a multicolored bar chart. It’s a series of connected data points that changes depending on what you search for and who you are. In this case, it’s about how individuals in your office are connected to each other. Using technology developed by Yammer, Office Graph looks at email, social conversations, documents, sites, instant messages, and meetings to map the relationship between people in your company.
From there, Office 365 will use a new app code named “Oslo” to present materials that might be important to an individual in real time.
I love this overview. You open up Oslo in the morning and get a quick look at what everyone is working on. No more old school, email routing lists. Everything you need is right on your screen and it updates automatically as the day goes on. What I like best about this concept is that it allows you a glimpse at what’s trending in the company, even if you’re not directly involved. Or. . . the team doesn’t think you need to be involved.
If you prefer to control who sees what, Office 365 will soon offer the ability to create Groups. They’re also adding a social component to all documents so team members can have a virtual conversation about anything that’s been uploaded to the site.
A new survey by PGI shows that almost 50% of all employees telecommute at least one day a week. I don’t have the stats to back it up, but I imagine that number would be even higher if you looked only at online businesses. Learning to communicate in an efficient manner is vital to the survival of your business. What I like about this Office Graph idea is that it keeps everyone in the loop so the person running the Facebook won’t be caught off-guard by the unexpected release of a new product.
Sometimes it seems like the marketer is always the last to know.