More than an application portal: 7 uses of the adaptive workspace

by | Nov 18, 2021 | All Blogs, Knowledge

What if you could turn your application portal into a digital workplace? So you may have already heard (or read) about how Workspace 365 unites all your applications. How it makes everything you need to work accessible with one click. ‘Great, so, it’s an application portal then?’, you may think.

Well, that is not all the adaptive workspace is or can be. It can be so much more. So let’s get this misunderstanding out of the way once and for all. And dive into all that Workspace 365 can be for you, and how it can be used to add value to your organisation.

We’ll start with the biggest one.

More than application portal_

More than an application portal: A complete united digital workspace

Let’s dive into what Workspace 365 would be and what value it would add if you’d use everything it has to offer. It would unite everything you need to work in one place, make it accessible with one click, and simplify it.

Yes, this does still sound a little like an application portal. But there’s more:

Work smarter and streamline your workday

In an application portal, you have a bunch of tiles you can click on to open your applications. Every time you want to open another app, you go back to your portal and click on it.

In Workspace 365 however, we’d like to reduce the amount of times you switch between applications. To save you time, be more productive, and stay focused on your tasks. After all, excessive switching:

So how do we solve this?

By bringing your most important tasks and primary and secondary processes straight to your dashboard for you to complete right then and there.

We do this by building interfaces that are easy-to-use for specific processes and by allowing you to connect your existing applications to it. That way you don’t have to invest in the development of custom software and you will be able to change the underlying software.

We build the app, you decide the connection

For instance, with our Micro Apps you can bring specific information or tasks from an external application to your dashboard, and view or work on them there. Think protocols and schedules, as well as support tickets, patient files, leave request and so, so much more.

A great example is our Calendar app in which people can easily see what their day or week brings. We notice that office workers usually see information from their Exchange calendar, while healthcare workers see information from to their EPD system and educational institutions connect it to their Scheduling software.

For many tasks there are already Micro Apps and connections (to external systems) available, and we are able to quickly connect to any application that has an API available. Request your connection or Micro App here!

Prioritise and streamline tasks

Another example of how we help you to perform tasks and process information more efficiently, is with our Activity Feed. Here, you can integrate your most important tasks and notifications.

You can even create custom ones with for instance Zapier or Microsoft Power Automate, providing you with endless options and opportunity to streamline your work.

For example, schools can set up that whenever a teacher gets an invitation to co-teach a class, they get a notification and can instantly accept or decline it from the Activity Feed. Or someone from Finance can instantly open or accept and decline an expense claim.

Make smarter decisions: unite information with tasks and processes

When we say that we want to unite everything you need in one place, we’re not kidding. We do mean everything.

This means not just your applications. Not just your company news. Because to perform your tasks in the best way possible, you’re going to need information. So we don’t see the point in separating different parts of your work: it’s all part of the job, isn’t it? That’s why your apps, tasks, processes and information all come together in the adaptive workspace.

A personal and customised working experience for all

Uniting everything sounds a bit much, we know. So maybe we don’t mean literally everything in the IT-landscape, just everything you need to be successful (and happy!).

Workspace 365 is not ‘one size fits all’. Or even ‘one size fits many’. No, not even ‘5 sizes should suit most’. Because we want your digital workspace to be a perfect fit for every individual in your organisation – without your IT department having to set up and maintain separate workspaces for everyone (we see you freaking out over there, don’t worry, we got you!).

Personalise based on Identity Service Provider groups

There are several ways to make this personalised workspace happen. First of all, you can use your Identity Service Provider, such as Microsoft Azure, to make it easier to optimise the workspace for different user groups. With (Shared) Spaces, information can be ‘divided’ into clearly defined spaces.

The adaptive workspace adapts automatically

Also, the workspace automatically adapts to a person’s role, location, device and more, to only show what is relevant to them, in that specific moment.

Personalisation for individuals

Furthermore, the workspace has endless customisation possibilities for people to go ahead and personalise their workspace (or Personal Space) themselves.

7 more ways to get value out of the adaptive workspace

Sometimes, an organisation is looking to achieve very specific purposes with their digital workspace. Purposes for which an application portal simply doesn’t suffice.

Workspace 365 can deliver business value in a multitude of ways and play different roles for your organisation, depending on your needs. The most important ones we’ll explain here.

1. Build a bridge between legacy and the cloud

Transitioning to the cloud is on many organisation’s agenda. And if it isn’t, it should be.

However, many organisations feel as though they’re being held back by past IT investments. Think for instance legacy systems and remote desktops that are simply not yet available as cloud or web applications and are hard (or impossible) to modernise. How can you create a modern workspace if these systems keep dragging you down?

Seeing the context of this article it’s not hard to guess the answer. Workspace 365 can help you implement a hybrid workspace where you’re able to modernise wherever you can, while maintaining your legacy systems until these can be modernised as well.

Whether your apps and systems are web-based, hosted, local or on-premise, all can be integrated and united into one place. With a consistent user-experience and management.

2. Maximise the value of Microsoft 365

At Workspace 365, we are big fans of Microsoft (365). It’s not at the foundation of our workspace for nothing.

That also brings us to the reason that Workspace 365 chose to fully integrate the most used components of Microsoft 365 (or Office 365, back then). And that’s mostly for one big simple reason: people often find working with it a little (or not so little) complicated. After all, it has great many options, functionalities and possibilities.

That’s exactly why many organisations don’t manage to get the most value out of their Microsoft 365 investments: there are so many options, it’s sometimes hard to oversee them all. And to achieve an optimal adoption at the end-user.

Workspace 365 helps you to get the most out of your Microsoft 365 license, by utilising it’s possibilities in the most efficient and clear way. Also, because Workspace 365 is so easy to use, the adoption of Microsoft 365 can be hugely increased.

We had a webinar on this very subject! Discover the webinar recap, or watch the full session on-demand here.

3. Stimulate the adoption of important tools

Speaking of adoption… this doesn’t just apply to Microsoft 365.

Imagine you have a certain routine to do your work, opening the same applications and maintaining the same kind of flow. Then, your organisation wants you to start using another application, disrupting your routine.

Breaking habits is hard (and so is creating new ones)

Most people wouldn’t like this very much. After all, we are creatures of habit. Though it’s good to shake things up once in a while, change is hard. Because habits are there for a reason: they free up energy for more important tasks, and help block distractions. In fact, a whopping 40% of our daily actions are powered by habits.

And now, you need to get used to finding, opening and working with an application you’re not familiar with. And remembering the existence of and need to use this application in the first place. On average, this could take more than two months (anywhere between 18 and 254 days).

Ultimate guide to digital workspace adoption image

A natural transition – and better adoption

Integrating new technology and tools into Workspace 365 can help increase the adoption of it. For one, if it’s integrated into the workspace, people don’t have to go look for it and it’s easy to find and access. This may seem like a small thing, but it can make a huge difference.

If you integrate specific parts of external systems, like with a Micro App, the benefits could be even bigger. If people mostly perform tasks in the workspace itself with a consistent experience, it doesn’t really matter to them which system or technology lies underneath. You can easily switch technology beneath the surface, with minimal impact for the end-user.

Being able to easily switch technology has some other benefits too, which brings us to our next point.

No matter how great your technology, without adoption and change management it won’t matter. Learn more about technology adoption with the following resources:

4. Support your organisation’s digital transformation

Digital transformation is about more than just technology – we can’t emphasise this enough. But it does play a vital part.

Digital transformation is about surviving and thriving in today’s digital world. To do so, a couple of things are simply necessary.

1. You need to be able to adapt quickly

And the adaptive workspace can help you do so. Because as we already mentioned in the previous point, Workspace 365 enables you to interchange technology below the surface, without this having a big negative impact on people’s working experience. This allows you to constantly improve and modernise, and it not being a huge adoption project every single time.

2. Constantly evolve, improve and innovate

And we can be a big help with this – if we may say so ourselves. At Workspace 365, we continuously keep working on creating the optimal digital workspace and supporting features for your organisation.

This way, we make working (together) smarter, easier and more efficient. Giving you better information, allowing you to make smarter decisions. In the end, you are left with more time and resources to spend on becoming a true successful digital business.

Adaptive workspace for digital transformation

5. Elevate your intranet & create a collaboration hub

The boundaries between digital workspaces and intranets are fading. At Workspace 365, we’ve even eliminated it all together. Because collaboration and information about the company and colleagues should all be part of work, not something separate.

That’s why we’ve developed several social elements you can integrate into the adaptive workspace as desired, making it easy to scale “the level of intranet” up or down and customise it based on your needs. This ensures that everything you use is useful, relevant and embraced by employees.

By using these elements in Workspace 365, the social and corporate parts of work exist right besides things like documents, data and tools. Resulting once again in less switching, better informed people and more efficiency.

Integrate your existing intranet – or the other way around

Already invested in an intranet solution? No problem. Remember when we said you could integrate your existing systems? This applies to the intranet as well. Integrate parts of your existing intranet, or even the whole thing.

This also goes the other way around: if you prefer to stay in your current intranet, but still want to take advantage of the benefits of Workspace 365, you can simply integrate parts of Workspace 365 into your current intranet platform, and use them there. You can even use Workspace 365 as an application within Microsoft Teams.

6. Optimise the (digital) employee experience

The adaptive workspace is not just a tool that helps people work. It’s a tool that helps people work well, and helps them to be happy while doing so.

Now why is it so important to help people have a happy work life.

Because you care, obviously. But also: happier employees are better employees. They will be dedicated to improve their results, stick around longer, and can be true ambassadors instead of people who just performs tasks within your company.

Employee happiness and technology are connected

The digital employee experience has a big impact on your organisation, and not just regarding how productive and efficient people’s tools enable them to be.

Consider the emotional side and well-being of your employees. And what levels of stress and frustrations you can spare them with the right tools.

Use the workspace for employee well-being

But also, though the name may suggest otherwise, a digital workspace is not just for work. It can be designed in such a way to optimise an employee’s experience and well-being as well.

Think for example of integrating tools to improve employee engagement and foster the connection between them and their colleagues. Use the social possibilities to give recognition and credit where credit is due. Stimulate play, not just work, monitor people’s sentiment and use tools to improve people’s physical and mental wellness.

Within Workspace 365, there are endless possibilities to help people get the best out of their work-lives. Regarding work itself, such as learning tools, as well as their personal well-being.

7. Simplify document management

For this last one we’re going back to the more practical, functionality-based side of the adaptive workspace. But not less important. In fact, quite a few customers have chosen Workspace 365 mainly for this reason.

As we discussed in the very beginning of this article, a big reason to use Workspace 365 is to get more out of their Microsoft 365 investments. Subsequently, many choose the adaptive workspace to simplify and get more out of a specific part of Microsoft 365: Office 365, specifically SharePoint and OneDrive.

Cloud documents, in a familiar interface

SharePoint and OneDrive are often experienced as complicated, while the Workspace 365 Document App is very familiar to the file explorer people are already used to, thus making it easier to work in. For employees who mainly work with files, this can be a great solution to simplify working with these document solutions.

Unite the cloud and file server

Another big reason organisations choose the Workspace 365 Document App, is related to point #1: building a bridge between the old and the new.

Like with other applications, transitioning your documents to the cloud has many benefits, such as collaborating on documents at the same time and having them accessible anywhere, on any device.

However, many organisations still struggle with maintaining their file server and making it accessible besides a cloud document management system.

Workspace 365 document app

In the Workspace 365 Document App, you’re able to unite your SharePoint and OneDrive with the file server and offer it in the same consistent interface – yes, the one we mentioned earlier. This enables organisations to maintain their file server while still enabling working in the cloud, while gradually making the full transition.

Honourable mentions

There are even more ways to use the adaptive workspace to deliver value in your organisation. These are some examples of ways customers have done so, that might offer you some inspiration:

  • Create an extranet: we have seen customers use the workspace as a platform as a type of “intranet for external users” – a portal, if you will. With this, information and collaboration was enabled with external parties.
  • Kiosk mode: some people use IT exclusively as an extension of their work, with just a few applications and some information for very specific tasks. Think for instance shop workers or ambulance staff. In kiosk mode, they only see the workspace that instantly shows them what they need.
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Let’s get specific

Want to know more about the specific features and functionalities Workspace 365 has to offer? Check out the ‘What is Workspace 365’ whitepaper.

Georgien Modijefsky

Georgien Modijefsky

Master of Content

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