What would a digital workspace look like at your company?

What would your perfect workspace look like? We’ve all dreamed at some point about what our ideal setup would be. Perhaps yours is overlooking the ocean; you have a view of the sun rising and setting, with a hammock close by, in the shade of a coconut tree. The forecast is for blue skies all week and the Tiki bar is only a short walk down the shoreline.

Or maybe your ideal workspace is one where you have everything to hand and organised for you in the most convenient way? A space where you can quickly communicate with your colleagues as well as easily collaborate on projects. In a space like that, complex work can be handled efficiently – whether you’re connected to the cloud from a beach hut in the South Pacific, working from home or at your desk in a bricks and mortar office.

If you can relate to the latter of those two scenarios, then your ideal workspace is a lot more real than you might think. The ‘Digital Workspace’ is, quite simply, the virtual counterpart to the physical workplace and can be defined as follows:

“The digital workplace is the collection of all the digital tools provided by an organization to allow its employees to do their jobs.”

Here, digital tools refers to pretty much every instance of technology that you would use in your business: email, workflows, calendar, word processing software, the company Intranet… the list goes on. In fact, the number of digital tools we’re using at work is constantly increasing.

In today’s post, as part of a brand new series on Fresh – our highly agile and scalable Intranet solution for Office 365 – we’ll take a look at the importance of a great digital workspace and what that would look like in your organisation.

Cultivating your digital workspace

Today it goes without saying that we do the majority of our work almost exclusively via digital means. We’re bombarded with emails, IMs, workflow requests, to-do lists, social updates, not to mention the numerous documents and files we’re working on. And we’re doing all this ‘stuff’ using more devices than ever – from tablets and smartphones, to multiple desktops. Needless to say, it can make the world of difference to your team if they have all the resources they need in front of them to get their work done when they need to. And this is why an improved digital workspace is one of the most important investments you can make.

As we continue to move further and further into a fully digital landscape, more demand is put on the structures we currently have in place. For instance, more value is expected from our corporate Intranets, and with the breadth of focus and pace of change in enterprise IT, business agility is consistently high on the agenda for most organisations.

Introducing Fresh

Fresh is an easily deployed, simple to use digital workspace for Office 365. It provides a communications portal and collaboration hub, bridging the gap between your Intranet and Office 365, helping you create a truly digital workspace. Fresh is designed to bring you all the essentials of the digital workspace fast. While a full roll-out of Office 365 or SharePoint will be the best choice for some companies, Fresh offers all the advantages of these tools but also provides a ‘quick win’. It gives you all the tools you need to have a fully functioning digital workspace, without months of development, roll out and customisation – it just gives you what you want, when you want it.

So, what would a digital workspace powered by Fresh look like in your business?

* A ready-to-use set of essential tools from day one – meaning no waiting around for months while the environment gets built

* Increased employee engagement – there’s no lag between build and deployment, meaning employees get everything they need from day one, meaning they don’t have to wait months for tools to arrive piecemeal

* Easy to access tools, resources and company information – your users get all the most important features of Office 365 at the click of a button. Want to get the most out of Delve? No problem. Want to IM a colleague using Yammer? Go ahead. Fresh integrates fully with your favourite applications.

* A mobile responsive solution that allows for access from anywhere – your colleagues get easy to use access to their environment wherever they are (be that the train or Tahiti!)

* Easy to update and maintain content – Fresh places the user front and centre, meaning communications and HR teams can upload new content and video easily and quickly

* Flexible templates designed for multi-use – many organisations worry about the fact that Office 365 isn’t particularly flexible when it comes to customisation. We understand how important it is for businesses to reuse their own templates and use the company’s own branding everywhere, and Fresh makes this possible.

Alongside the benefits for business users, your IT team will also be able to take advantage of a number of additional features:

* We can provide you with the custom code underpinning Fresh, so you can extend it to your requirements

* An alignment to the Microsoft product roadmap

* A companion app for Office 365

* A ready-to-launch solution

* Flexibility to extend and integrate with other solutions

* Easy access to upgrades and enhancements

* A one-time deployment. The technology behind Fresh won’t die in 3/4/5 years’ time. It will scale as you scale and is fully entwined with Office 365.

Staying Fresh

All too often, corporate IT is unfairly seen as backward looking, sluggish and inefficient. Accustomed to consumer software, many business users simply don’t understand how much more complex the secure management of an enormous digital workspace can be.

However, when we built Fresh we wanted to create an environment which would let you roll out a powerful, secure and easy to use digital environment fast. By finding the balance between security, reliability and flexibility that you know the business needs, while also giving end users an engaging and powerful set of tools fast, Fresh brings the vision of a digital workspace much closer.

Keep an eye out for our next post in this series: How a real-world digital workspace deployment works. To find out more about what Fresh would look like at your company, contact us today.