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Fueling Creativity with Office 365

2013 December 13

This post below is an excellent example of what I consider a key value in working in partnership with customers to solve problems, creating solutions or helping to align organizational culture with the right type of solution (whether that is methodology, technology or a blend of both).

At Advisicon, one of the key values in creative solution is to believe that any solution is possible, if we can allow the customer and our teams to think about what solution ideas will accomplish those core requirements. With Office 365 and the Project Online solution we are seeing that organizations are now able to afford, manage and take advantage of business technologies in a simplistic way, allowing them to uncover with metrics, processes and key functional workflows that can be improved.

A case in point; we were assisting a major training partner in the Project Management community to establish a SharePoint automation solution that would allow customers to improve the PM culture and standards, while not having to build something from the ground up. With the joint creative and interactive team process we build a solution that allows any SharePoint document to be updated regardless of where it sits in the SharePoint farm by mapping and tagging key metadata fields.

This iterative process taking an originally manual process and leveraging the power of technology suddenly allows organizations to rapidly keep key information current, while simultaneously spawning new SharePoint Sites with templates and processes helping to standardize the metrics and reporting that the PM organizations needed.

I love solving problems and I love what technology can do. Staying creative and focused on the solution and balancing process workflow with technology allowed us to create something that was larger than the sum of all the parts.

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_This article excerpt, by Amanda Reynolds, originally appeared here: [http://bit.ly/1bdDnK9][1]_

We’re all creators—each in our own way. I’m part of an organization that advocates for those who are creatively talented or gifted: artists, creators, and entrepreneurs. But I’ve found that we all bring creativity to our jobs in some form or another. I know that I can approach problems in a more creative way and find innovative solutions when I have the right tools and information within easy reach.

At Copyright Alliance, we’re a small team that serves more than 40 institutional members and thousands of artists around the country. For each of us, the ability to find and share files while on the go is a huge priority, especially because we tend to fill in for each other on different projects at a moment’s notice. Balancing tasks like writing opinion pieces for news publications, giving talks at conferences, and meeting with members—all in the same day—is the norm.

In the past, technology issues sometimes sapped my creative energy, making it difficult to stay focused on the task in front of me. Instead, I would have to scramble to find a document or a presentation that I needed. We had a file server at the office and I would routinely download all the documents I thought I would need before dashing off to the next engagement. This not only took extra time out of my day, it also wasn’t a foolproof system. There were times when I just couldn’t access the information I needed while out in the field.

With Microsoft Office 365, all that has changed. Now that we have an online suite of tools for creating documents and managing them in a systematic way, we can all work together more fluidly. The menus and navigation in Microsoft SharePoint Online are simple to use, and it’s reassuring to see exactly when a document was last updated. We’re looking forward to using more of the tools in Office 365, including Microsoft Lync Online to make calls and hold meetings—all in a couple of clicks.

I hardly think about the technology we use anymore. The transition to Office 365 has been seamless, thanks in part to the wonderful help we’ve received from our Microsoft partner, [New Signature][2]. With familiar tools that I can always access through a web browser, I can spend more time thinking about new ways to serve our members. Office 365 helps me be more creative, which is a great place to be in my line of work.

Read the full case study [here][3].

[1]: http://bit.ly/1bdDnK9
[2]: http://newsignature.com/
[3]: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Microsoft-Office-365/Copyright-Alliance/Artist-Advocacy-Group-Fuels-Creativity-Efficiency-with-Cloud-Collaboration-Solution/710000002147

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Tim Runcie is the President and Founder of Advisicon, a Project Management consulting company with a global headquarters based in Vancouver, Washington. Advisicon specializes in training for project management best practices and the use of Microsoft’s project management tools like Microsoft Project, Project Server, and SharePoint.

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