5 features of Fresh that will delight your end users

25 January 2017 | Chris Marshall

A recent industry report found SharePoint 2010 was deployed in as many as 54% organisations across the world. 2007 accounted for 19%, while 2003 had 4%. Remarkably, a handful of companies – 1% – were still using SharePoint 2001. While there is a crossover between those using some legacy versions with newer versions, what it showed is the sheer number of organisations still using old environments, and not taking advantage of the cloud or mobile.

What we’re seeing, is that many companies currently invested in these older versions of SharePoint and who have a SharePoint Intranet, are now wanting to make the ‘step up’ to Office 365. While Microsoft is just as keen for this happen, it’s certainly easier said than done. As with any new implementation, it can prove difficult; the rollout phase itself can be time-consuming, requirements can change, the process can be disjointed, buy-in from senior stakeholders can be a challenge, and the happiness of end users? Well, they are often left to fend for themselves.

Power to the people

Fresh can remove those frustrations. Fresh is a communications portal; an Intranet solution built specifically for Office 365 that has been designed to offer an easy and accessible approach to the deployment stage whilst still offering the core functionalities that make an Intranet such as valuable asset. For a while now, there has been a noticeable gap between company Intranets and Microsoft’s collaboration platform. Fresh is here to bridge that gap – built for the present, and the future, Fresh is a digital workspace that serves as a companion to Office 365 in the form of a feature-packed communications and collaboration hub.

Fresh is programmed differently; it can be deployed with far less hassle and works perfectly with Office 365 – supplying all the benefits of familiar tools such as Yammer, OneDrive and Delve.

Office 365 can suffer from a lengthy deployment process, but this process is a necessary step if you want to get the most out of Office 365. With Fresh, by contrast, you get a much more streamlined rollout.

Features your users already love

There’s no doubt that Office 365 is an extremely capable and popular platform – toting a 400% monthly active user growth since June of last year – and is Microsoft’s fastest growing commercial product to date. But, like any platform whose audience is so vast, the platform won’t prove a perfect fit for everyone. Smaller companies, for instance, may be put off by the enormity of the stack – which to some is almost too much – and feel like they simply wouldn’t use enough of the functionalities for it to prove worthwhile. Fresh counteracts this problem; offering the core functionalities of Office 365 in a smaller, more targeted package.

Businesses implementing Fresh can expect to see an increase in employee engagement with easily updated content and flexible templates, as well as access to upgrades and enhancements aligned with Microsoft’s product roadmap. Below are five features that are sure to do just that:

1. User Interface (UI)

The Fresh UI doesn’t stray too far from Office 365’s easy to use interface, meaning it will feel very familiar to anyone who’s used Microsoft products in recent years. Starting from the innovative app-launcher, users can navigate around their digital workspace naturally without the need for much (if any) user training.

2. Scalability

Fresh comes in two shapes and sizes: Instant is perfect for small/medium businesses and organizations that want to get their Intranet set up as quickly as possible. Accelerator is more suited to companies that want to scale up to get the best of breed Intranet – whilst still saving big on cash for core functionality.

3. Flexibility

Designed to be fully responsive, Fresh lets you stay prepared no matter where you are. In order to keep up with the fast pace of work; anytime, anywhere access is becoming more of a need than a luxury in today’s business world. Fresh for mobile lets you keep Office 365 functionality in your pocket so you can access it whenever you need to.

4. Complete integration

Office 365 holds a selection of tools that every business should consider implementing. Social is one of the driving elements of the modern enterprise, and Yammer has brought the success found with networks such as Twitter and Facebook to businesses around the world. The Cloud received a similar reception, seeing massive growth over a very short time span. OneDrive for Business lets users store, share and sync work files in the Cloud as part of Office 365 across any device. Powered by Office Graph, Microsoft Delve surfaces and identifies relevant content to users across the entirety of Office 365, bringing you applicable information based on what you’re working on, who you’re working with and the permissions you have. These three core components of the Office 365 experience are fully integrated with Fresh.

5. Rapid deployment

Deploying Fresh is focused on a simple methodology that’s quick and easy to employ:

1. Planning

Project Definition, information architecture, branding and integration with your business.

2. Building

Provisioning Fresh and deploying to the client environment.

3. Rollout

Launch preparation, training packs, communications plans and executive briefing.

4. Enjoy

Usage reports, support desk access and quarterly solution check-ins.

Tell me more? If Fresh sounds like the Intranet for you, talk to us today.

Stay tuned for our next post in this series – What industry research says about the digital workspace.

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