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BrightStarr integrates Office 365 into intranet

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Today’s post was written by Matthew Boyd, public relations and communications executive for BrightStarr.

At BrightStarr we work with the Microsoft enterprise technology stack, focusing on SharePoint, Office 365 and Yammer. We take great pride in our knowledge of these technologies and our ability to build great solutions for our clients.

We have always had a SharePoint intranet for unifying our global business and making sharing and collaborating easier and faster. As Microsoft’s cloud platforms have continued to mature, we wanted to help our clients take full advantage of everything it had to offer so we developed Unily. Unily is our cloud Intranet as a Service built on Office 365, SharePoint Online and Yammer that delivers a cloud, mobile, social intranet all within a consumer quality user experience. Once we developed this solution for our customers we adopted it within our business.  Just like Microsoft, we drink our own wine.

Our Office 365 intranet has surfaced a raft of Office 365 capabilities within a unified portal, allowing us to be as productive as possible from a single digital location. Within the main navigation we have surfaced our various SharePoint sub sites for quick access to our own projects and workspaces. For example, the marketing department accesses all of its assets and information from within Unily, whether it is press releases written in Word, budgets created in Excel, or artwork files stored with previews.  We use Skype for Business for project calls between locations. Within Unily we have a marketing calendar that features a list of all upcoming marketing events. This is really important for increasing exposure of marketing activities internally, allowing our colleagues to remain up to date at a glance.

By having all of our marketing documents in Office 365, we have eliminated the hassle of sending emails with document attachments for collaborating on content. SharePoint search allows us to find everything we need in a matter of seconds, and using Office Apps we are able to edit documents directly within the intranet at the click of a button.

With our Office 365 subscription, we also get access to Yammer, which we love! We have integrated Yammer comprehensively with the Unily solution so we can utilize our enterprise social functionality within our Office 365 intranet and across a variety of forms of content. Yammer is allowing us to start quick and insightful conversation around documents, videos, blogs and news articles. We use Yammer’s robust functionality to @ mention and tag people to quickly bring them into important discussions. We also monitor all of this social activity through our all company feed so we never miss a discussion that is important to us. And if enterprise social isn’t instant enough for us, we can always turn to Skype for Business for a quick catch-up or meeting.

Also, as a part of our marketing work, we do attend and sponsor events (such as Microsoft Ignite). With the power of the Microsoft cloud and Unily’s inclusive native mobile applications for Windows Phone, iOS and Android, we are able to access our intranet when we are out of the office.

While it might sound like we have it all, we have a lot more to look forward to in the very near future, thanks to the combination of the Office 365 roadmap and Unily’s own customer-led roadmap. The imminent launch of Unily’s spring update is a perfect example of the evolving nature of the platform. Aside from the amazing new user experiences you can see in these images the spring update is Delve ready. Once the Delve API is released from beta, our document and people experiences will be surfacing the content most relevant to the current user. It will also be used to populate the new dynamic smart feed on the solution homepage, which will target news and blogs for individual users.

These are just a few ways that BrightStarr’s marketing teams are capitalizing on the amazing Office 365 feature set as an integrated intranet solution. I hope you found a marketer’s perspective on how the full Office 365 suite had made our working day much more efficient of interest.

—Matthew Boyd

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