14 Sep 2012

Integration + Technology = Productivity

Every day we use Microsoft productivity software for managing emails, arranging appointments, writing documents, calculating financial models and a hundred other activities. But are we utilising the full potential of the tools we use on a daily basis? When attending the Microsoft conference in Brisbane last week, I was struck by the realisation that every successive release of Microsoft products brings deeper integration between all the products and the opportunity to gain incredible gains in time savings and efficiency. Let’s run through a few scenarios… If I want to stay productive while working in the field, I can use a Windows mobile device to access my emails, appointments, contacts in Outlook and my documents in SharePoint. I can view and edit Word and Excel documents in the browser, or even download them to my local device to work on them directly. Back in the office, inbox overload afflicts many people. Using tools like the ’conversation view’ brings related emails together for ease of reading and faster understanding. When an important email from a client arrives in your inbox, rather than storing it in a public folder or a shared drive, a couple of clicks means it’s automatically saved against a client’s record in MS Dynamics’ CRM system. Alternatively, a couple of clicks and the document can be made available to everyone in the organisation via MS SharePoint’s built in document management capabilities. When teams work on large projects, tender responses and important documents, multiple people are involved and version control is vital. You can avoid versions of documents bouncing backwards and forwards between team members using the integration of MS Word and MS SharePoint to enable co-authoring of documents at the same time, version control and approval processes. This is just a small sample of the productivity gains available through the integration capabilities being launched at the moment.