Getting Into Intranet

Flat design illustration concepts for creative process, big data filter, data tunnel, analysis concept Everyone has their morning routine:  drive intowork, fire up your laptop (which is likely outdated making this a twenty-minute activity), and settle in to enjoy your second K-cup of the morning. What comes next is a mixture of checking various devices, logging into multiple networks, and attending various meetings in multiple locations all in hopes of connecting with those in your business.

Now, call me crazy but I’m one that’s partial to simplification. But the modern business landscape seems to have other ideas. It’s true, the office is more accessible than it has ever been but that’s not to say this accessibility doesn’t have strings, or cords, attached. We now have the ability to work from home, however, you must be set up to connect to the company’s network if you want access to the same files you have at work. We have email on our phones, but anyone who has ever tried the frustrating task of opening and analyzing a spreadsheet on a six-inch screen knows it’s hardly ideal. We have created a situation where over-accessibility has led to a dramatic decrease in the quality of communication. In fact, I think the whole thing can be summed up best by the Drew Barrymore and her character from “He’s Just Not That Into You”

I had this guy leave me a voicemail at work so I called him at home and then he e-mailed me to my Blackberry and so I texted to his cell and then he e-mailed me to my home account and the whole thing just got out of control… now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It’s exhausting.”

Now, while our movie star example might have been referencing her love life, I think we can spin this to be applicable to business. This is the conundrum of modern day communication. As business professionals, we now have multiple ways and devices to connect with one another but those efforts always seem to end up scattered and require an inordinate amount of attention. Any manager will tell you wasted attention and scattered communication efforts lead to lower productivity, and as we all know, low productivity means wasted dollars.

With this transitive train of thought in motion, management is left to wonder how to get the collective on the same page and moving in the right direction. If only there was some magical solution that has been developed that can allow individuals to communicate and share all things work-related in one single place no matter what device is being used. Lucky for us someone thought that same thing, and they were technically inclined enough to do something about it. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the INTRANET!

An intranet (by definition) is a local or restricted communications network, especially a private network. While intranets have been around a while, companies have been utilizing the corporate intranet more frequently in an effort to increase collaboration and productivity in the workplace – and not to anyone’s surprise, it’s had resounding results.

 

 

 

 

 

These include but aren’t limited to:

  • 5X more likely to result in an increase in employment
  • 2X more likely to be profitable
  • 2X as likely to outgrow competitors of similar size who lack an intranet
  • Reduced costs
  • Improved interdepartmental relationships
  • Improved relationships with customers and suppliers
  • Increased transparency in the organization

 

How can one simple tool achieve all these things? It’s not rocket science; it’s just a matter of organization. Through providing employees with features like centralized accessible knowledge and quick comprehensive search techniques, individuals can find what they need when they need it. The solution breaks down would-be silos enabling individuals to respond quickly and effectively to problems. And above all, it gives members of your community access to the system anywhere.

So this should be an easy fix, right? Run to Office Max and grab yourself an intranet and everything is going to be a-ok? Wrong. An intranet is not a one-size-fits-all solution. With this in mind, the question becomes: how can you ensure your company implements the right intranet solution to accomplish your business goals?

Some might suggest that building your own network is the way to go. Who knows you better than you, am I right? According to a recent Modalis Research Technology survey, the average costs associated with building an intranet are about $40,000 and it can take up to 15 months to implement. I’m not sure about you but my organization generally likes our solutions to be implemented at a faster pace than that.

So an out-of-the-box solution surely must be the way to go because it’s cheap, easy, and effective right? Unfortunately, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. These all-in-one intranets provide limited opportunity for customization and often lack specific desired components. This means instead of adjusting pain points within the application, you will be left to cope and adjust your way of doing things to adhere to the parameters of the new tool. And that’s not to mention you will have the New Year’s Day-sized headache of trying to integrate this solution into your current systems and networks.

So what could be the true golden ticket of intranets described in the intro of this article? The solution comes from the SharePoint on the Cloud and Microsoft 365 technologies. Utilizing these two products and a trusted SharePoint developer like Synergy Computer Solutions means your company could receive all the aforementioned intranet benefits.

The main component to a useful intranet is the platform it’s built on. There is no doubt that the autonomy and features of SharePoint on a Microsoft 365 cloud platform allow you to benefit from all these perks no matter what your company’s needs may be. With the flexibility SharePoint gives its’ users, your intranet can be designed to incorporate as many or as few elements as your company needs. Furthermore, due to Microsoft’s new version of the program, the entire solution can now be accessed via mobile device without issue. Combine this with the competitive rates and comprehensive security that Microsoft 365 cloud services provides, your company will find itself in a much more economical and secure situation.

The customization that this suite of applications provides is also key because, as we know, no two companies are the same and each firm requires specific features tailored to their way of doing business. Some organizations want a simple build centered on document storage while others might want a social style intranet focused on connecting employees through chat rooms, message boards, and video conferencing applications. Either way, these projects need to be done right and deployed in a reasonable amount of time to prove useful. By utilizing SharePoint on the Cloud, and Microsoft 365 coupled with an expert SharePoint development team, this dream of productivity and connectivity can become a reality.

But what if you don’t have an in-house team of SharePoint experts at your disposal? Well, this is where the final piece of the connectivity puzzle comes in. You know you need an intranet, and you know what you want its capabilities to be based on your business needs. Now, you just need a partner to bring it on home. Enter Synergy and our IntraKonnect Solution.

IntraKonnect can be customized to scale up for organizations with thousands of people working remotely or scaled down to be a valuable tool for small businesses alike. With the ability to create a searchable document repository, house and play multiple movies in a YouTube style format, or allow your employees to connect through WhatsApp-style messaging and Skype for Business-style conferencing, IntraKonnect can provide the boost in collaboration your firm needs to take it to the next step.

This all comes delivered in one organized and streamlined dashboard by bringing you a custom built SharePoint solution, that can be housed on the cloud. Looking for a one-stop-shop style intranet that can connect your entire company? Yeah, We DO THAT.

Synergy Supports the NMSDC

cvja7iixeaqywjrMinority Business Enterprises (MBEs) in the United States are part of the under lying fabric of the economy.  By bringing these businesses together, we are able to help strengthen the minority business community and propel our interests forward. The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) helps to facilitate all of these efforts and encourages MBEs to help one another while contributing to the overall economy. During the week of October 23rd the NMSDC did just that by hosting their annual Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange in Chicago, Illinois. Synergy’s Jeff Petrusha, Bruce Gracz, and Matt Petrusha participated in the event and had a great and productive time.

Synergy Computer Solutions had high hopes for Monday at the Business Opportunity Exchange and we were certainly not disappointed. From the ribbon cutting ceremony to the power lunch, there was interaction, cohesion, and comradery as far as the eye could see. The hall looked wonderful, the speakers were charismatic, and above all there were multiple chances for deals to be made, and opportunities for suppliers to find new inroads with major companies both domestically and abroad.

Synergy hit the floor running at the opportunity exchange, visiting all our old friends, and even making some new ones.  A long day of mingling included stops at old favorites such as FCA, Toyota, and Baxter international as well as Blue Cross Blue Shield, CNA Insurance, and Dakkota Integrated Systems, and more. The folks from Synergy were busy from morning till evening at McCormick place and could not have been happier for the opportunity to connect with new MBEs and old friends. One thing is for sure, Synergy is always glad to do our part to solve IT problems in the MBE community and support the NMSDC.

Have you heard about our webinar

sharepoint and synergy combined grahpicSynergy Announces… The Continuous Improvement Tool Webinar

Short of a magnet or the debate on mayonnaise and Miracle Whip, few things are as polarizing as Microsoft SharePoint. Developers say it’s too difficult to make it adaptable to end users. End users say it makes day-to- day tasks too difficult to make it a mainstay. Management often says it’s too time consuming to be valuable which then leads to low adaptation company wide.

With these short comings in mind, how then is it that Microsoft has sold over 120 million licenses for SharePoint? The reason that SharePoint is so often purchased is not just that it is included in the Microsoft 365 suite of products, but rather when used correctly, say, in a manufacturing setting, the program can drastically reduce labor hours and save companies hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yes, let me repeat that. When utilized properly in a quality control/ focused improvement manufacturing environment, Microsoft SharePoint could save a medium sized manufacturing business hundreds of thousands in labor hours alone.

So, this begs another question: how is it some can benefit so greatly from the program and others reap no reward greater than a massive headache? The answer is simple. It’s all about where your organization puts the investment. With this in mind, you should be checking out Synergy Computer Solutions. At Synergy, we know SharePoint, and we can back that statement up with our new Continuous Improvement Tool.

That’s right, Synergy is here and ready to help your company by showing how utilizing a SharePoint-based application can pay massive dividends by making data organization and report generation hassle free. We are so excited to show you just how simple generating useful analytics can be that we have organized an entirely free webinar. This webinar will demonstrate how a properly functioning SharePoint application can save you hassle, hours and money.  All this while it will be providing useful information to employees and executives alike.

Join us on Thursday, July 14th to learn more about Synergy, SharePoint, and our Continuous Improvement Tool. Register on our website at www.synergycom.com/webinar. Leading up to the event you will then receive a reminder and further instructions telling you how to log in on the day of the event. The webinar will begin at 12PM EST and run until 1PM EST. There will also be a section dedicated to questions and feedback.

Synergy looks forward to this participation in this event and is excited to show everyone the benefits of  a properly implemented SharePoint solution – specifically, the Synergy Continuous Improvement Tool.

Synergy Hits its Stride at MMPC

IMG_3092Each year during the first week in May we are reminded again why diversity is so important. No, I’m not referencing a national holiday or even a news story making headlines, but that does not diminish the importance of the events that take place. From May 4-7, the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, (MMSDC), hosted an event that brought Minority Business Enterprises together and served as an intermediary to those companies seeking to allocate their minority spend. Together, minority suppliers and purchasers alike, participated in an amazing three days of celebrating diversity and promoting commerce amongst the business owners in Michigan.

As in previous years, Cobo Hall was bustling like the auto show was on a reunion tour – and at the center of it all was Synergy Computer Solutions. Synergy, as always, participated in the show’s many events and even sponsored a booth at the MMSDC Minority Procurement Conference’s Opportunity Fair. Everything appeared to be status quo, however, what did change was what Synergy has to offer. This year Synergy Computer Solutions debuted its Continuous Improvement application and it created some buzz!

Armed with a digital media display, Synergy’s Business Development Managers and Sales Reps were busy all day long showing off the new innovation to interested individuals from all walks of industry.  The booth was not the only place Synergy was drawing a crowd. While walking the floor with our new Microsoft Surface Pro, Synergy employees could hardly take a step without being approached to explain what the interesting application was that scrolled across our tablet screen. By day’s end and almost 20 requests for product demonstrations,  Synergy left the MMPC with validation that the application was a hit. From robotics to automobiles, warehouse management to coating applications, Synergy had successfully engaged several companies servicing multiple verticals.

All in all, the MMPC served as a reminder to Synergy, its staff, and its customers that we continue to be on the cusp of new and innovative solutions that help our clients “solve IT problems.” We are truly grateful for the opportunities the MMPC and the MMSDC have presented and we look forward to continuing to support MBEs and expanding diversity in the IT realm. Working to improve our clients’ workplace while promoting diversity? WE DO THAT!

Why is IT So Impersonal?

emaIL ARTICLE BANNERIt’s funny how things we once pegged for dead seem to find their way back into mainstream. Like a cat with nine lives, items from previous decades are rising from the ashes and making their way to the forefront of pop culture. Millennials are grooving to vinyl again, teenagers are walking around snapping Polaroids, and John Lennon’s sunglasses are the hottest thing in fashion. Everywhere you look there is a back to basics approach.  Does this only apply to pop culture? Or in this digital world can this apply to business?

I’m glad you asked, because that’s the reason I sit down in front of my computer to bring you some cold hard truth. Fact is, advertising is going back to basics. What does this mean? Are we going to see “Where’s the beef?” spots and 30-minute TV infomercials again? Does it mean your computer screen will be flooded with popups once more? No, both of these predictions miss the mark. In fact, to see what I am talking about, you will have to look up from your monitor, stand up, and head out the door. That’s right! I am talking about regular, direct mail.

Direct mail is back. That stuff that gets delivered six days a week, the same form of advertising that used to make your heart jump for joy in your youth is making a comeback in the B2B sales realm. Your tech guys might ask, “We have email and it works all right so why do we need direct mail?” Well Mr. IT Guru, your company likely does have email. I’ll even make the prediction some employees have more than one email address. However, if you are like 99% percent of Americans you will agree that email, and furthermore digital communication in general, has become tired. I personally can attest that if I don’t recognize the sender, or your subject line reads, “Dear Sir or Madam,” you are getting
thrown in the trash quicker than an “Office Space” TPS report, (as I said we are bringing things back). In fact, with a house list, e-mails only generate a .01% response rate as compared to direct mail’s 3.7%, (according to a direct marketing association survey). With more companies having in-house tech support devoted to reducing spam, increasing firewall security, and limiting means of digital contact, electronic communication is not only becoming blasé , but it’s also becoming a royal pain in the uh …neck.tps-reports-coversheets-800x450

What is the driving force behind direct mail dusting off the cobwebs and getting back into circulation? Many in the sales realm attribute it to building meaningful relationships again. When asked why he supports direct mail, Scott Langohr, Business Development Manager at Synergy Computer Solutions, stated, “I get hundreds of emails from prospects and companies every week. After a while it all becomes white noise.” Scott continues, “When someone takes the time to type something out and send me a hard copy, it’s attention getting, much harder to look past, and it’s a nice personal touch.”  Recent survey results seem to speak to Scott’s point. That same DMA survey showed direct mail to be up to 30 times more effective than email marketing with over 50% of respondents saying they prefer direct mail to email.

So what’s the overall message here? I think it’s clear that some if not all IT companies have lost that personal touch. Yes, we are all involved in the same space. We often work within or sell similar services built on even more similar platforms but we no longer communicate like we used to. Too often we utilize what we create in our day-to-day jobs to communicate, sell, advertise and broker deals. The driving force behind business is personal communication no matter what line of work you are in. Direct mail allows us to step out from behind the computer screen, to reach out with a more personal touch, and show that the person or entity on the receiving end is worth more to us than a few swift keystrokes.

Synergy is committed to restoring the personal touch into IT business.  That is why we will be reaching out with our new direct mail campaign. We understand that your business and IT resources are important to you and that makes them important to us.  We will be sending personalized letters to our prospective clients with the goal of arranging face-to-face meetings and doing our part to show we value you as a customer, and that you mean more to us than an email. Putting the personal touch back in IT? WE DO THAT.