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As a boys' basketball coach, I always tell my sons that if you want to be a star, you've got to learn teamwork. If you hog the ball and constantly try to score yourself, both you and your team are going to get creamed. But if you know where your teammates are on the court, if you're constantly watching to see who's open and frequently pass the ball, you're going to find opportunities to score.
The same is true for business. From The Wisdom of Crowds to Teamwork makes the Dreamwork, numerous books have pointed to the incredible benefits organizations can reap by getting their staff to work effectively as a team. Often, however, the problem is structuring the work environment to make it possible for teams to thrive. Without an underlying infrastructure that makes it easy to share information and collaborate, teamwork can be as difficult as a lone basketball player squaring off against a team of Kobe Bryants.
One of the benefits of Microsoft Office 365 is that it provides the infrastructure for collaboration and information sharing. With Microsoft SharePoint Online, a component of Office 365, organizations can create sites that let them easily share information and collaborate with colleagues and customers. With Microsoft Lync Online, they can connect seamlessly with others through instant messaging, video conferences, and online meetings.
Collaborating effectively couldn't be more critical for SKARF, a medical research and treatment center in Denmark. The organization networks with researchers across the globe to discover, share, and advance knowledge around effective cardiovascular medicine and treatments. "In order for research to be accurate and thorough, it's important that a lot of stakeholders contribute to it," says Kristian Wachtell, a cardiologist at SKARF. "We need easy, fast ways to share knowledge and ideas across borders so we can improve productivity."
The organization had been exchanging drafts and comments with other researchers via email. However, it was cumbersome to manage and consolidate the information it received. Based on a recommendation from its IT support firm, ProActive, SKARF decided to try Office 365 for its collaboration features.
Rather than emailing documents back and forth for feedback, researchers now use the co-authoring feature in Microsoft Word 2010 hosted by SharePoint Online to make edits simultaneously. "SharePoint Online is exactly what we need to quickly and easily share data and files," Wachtell says. "We're definitely more productive. We're probably cutting down document creation time by 25 percent."
The organization also uses Lync Online to hold web conferences, reducing the need for researchers to travel to universities and other research centers to share information about the latest research. "Being able to share what's on our desktops and talk about it in real time expands our horizons," Wachtell says. "We can cut travel time in half and save the company $50,000 annually-that's a significant savings."
Being able to collaborate more productively has made it possible for the researchers to work together better in teams. They're also completing projects faster, which means they can take on more work. "This kind of collaboration is vital to us," Wachtell says. "Office 365 helps us perform better, work more productively, and increase our workload capacity." (Click here to check out the full SKARF case study.)
Has Office 365 improved teamwork in your organization? Feel free to leave a comment.
I have a database that is very nice function in Access 2010 but when I publish it the macros are not web macros. If somebody has skills to convert all my macros in web macros I can pay for that. Are not so many... just for example to open hidden reports or forms, to execute a macro more than one time according a formula and other few... I have total on my database about 250 macros but most of them are the same. I think are not so many. Waiting on my email email@example.com and phone 0040740999006