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Reduce your workload when you return from your vacation

VacationWith the holiday season fast approaching we’re all busy planning our own vacation. We’re all looking forward to a couple of weeks of well-deserved peace and quiet, far away from work and all the fuss around it. Fortunately not everyone is going on vacation at the same time. Even in our absence the world keeps on spinning around. If we’re lucky not as fast as usual but still, the pile of work keeps on growing when we’re gone. Files, emails, questions from costumers, projects, reports and much more are waiting for our -fully recharged- return. How can we avoid having to plan a new holiday to recover from getting back on track?

 

By using some of the standard tools, combined with some SharePoint and Skype for Business possibilities, you can already get ahead on track, doesn’t that sound interesting? Here are some of our own tips to minimize the amount of work that will be waiting for you:

 

TIP 1: Make smart use of your out-of-office

The out-of-office function is a standard part of Microsoft Outlook. During a certain period, it automatically sends a message to anyone who wrote you an email. In this message you can explain how long you’ll be unavailable, perhaps why and who they can contact in your absence. Make sure this message is written in all the relevant languages so all of your contacts can understand it.

Having an out-out-of-office message that is well set up will make sure your contacts won’t send you as many emails during your vacation, they will be informed why you can’t answer them right away and how they can be helped by one of your colleagues in case of an emergency. So this means less emails for you and less work to catch up with.

 

TIP 2: Inform your customers and colleagues correctly and well in time

This might sound obvious, but is often forgotten. Inform your clients and colleagues personally by emailing or giving them a call to discuss the situation. It also gives you the time to inform your contact how he can be helped during your absence. If you’re lucky, the project or task can be postponed till your return. People appreciate it when they are contacted in person and you’ll be surprised how this will provide you with more good-will from their side as well.

TIP 3: Help your colleagues during their vacation

Your colleagues also like to go on holiday of course. They are also facing the same issues with a growing pile of work. It’s guaranteed that when you help them during their absence, they’ll do the same for you.

TIP 4: Automate your workflows

Thanks to SharePoint you can automate many business processes. Approvals are automatically requested at the right (available) person, questions from costumers are automatically answered and channeled or the right department is informed at certain occasions. During the whole year tasks are taken care of faster and more efficient so this works during your holidays as well. Moreover, you can set up the workflows so they take the availability of your coworkers into account. SharePoint knows, thanks to your out-of-office, that you’re not reachable and will channel the work to the right person next in line. Get inspired about this way of working and the advantages of SharePoint in one of our free inspiration sessions.

TIP 5: Make use of the self-service portal as much as possible

You can’t imagine not having self-service portals anymore. Taxes, accounting, travel, internet services, telephone subscriptions, groceries,… you can manage nearly everything on a online platform. There probably are a serie of actions and tasks your colleagues and costumers can handle themselves providing them one of those portals, whether you’re in the office or not. If your contact can do it himself, that’s one thing less you’ll have to take care of at your return.

TIP 6: Use smart ‘bots’ that can do your work for you

Bots are preprogrammed contacts in your Skype for Business contact list. These ‘robots’ are available 24/7 and can help your costumers and colleagues if necessary. They can get their information from within the whole company which allows you to ask them anything. Outstanding invoices, received payments, current projects, status updates, KPI follow up, reports,… the bot knows and can do it all. Even if there’s something he can’t handle himself, he’ll guide you to the right person or department, taking their (un)availability into account. Do you want to know more about the endless possibilities? Read our blogpost about CEBP.

Working efficiently Working efficiently

Op 18/06/2015 door Nicolas Van Geluwe

A window to the future

 

After the success of our first ShareCafé there were high hopes for the next one.

The attendees got a preview of the future. More so, the future appears to be now. By real-life examples we’ve demonstrated ‘communication enabled business processes’ and how this will allow you to make your business processes shorter, more efficient and in general more fun. This can be accomplished by using instant messaging, video sharing, email, information management,… in your processes. By combining tools like Lync, SharePoint, CRM and exchange you can save time and effort.

 

2014-11-13 17_54_23-

Eddy the Lync bot

IMG_4038Our newest team member Eddy the Bot was showing off by being hard working and helpful. Eddy is a Lync ‘bot’ that can be used to make contact with colleagues, send alerts and notifications or search proactively for information and communicate about it. He’ll inform you when an invoice has been paid, will ask you if you’ve time to check a document and will contact the right colleague at the right  time.

We also took the liberty of showing our Lync Meeting Reminder, Lync Widget and Lync Location. These are all developments and examples of CEBP who are available today. Our guests were inspired to say the least about the opportunities this evolution may bring.

 

DEMO

Below you can find the presentation (in Dutch only). If you’re interested in having a live demo session, please contact us. We’ll gladly repeat our presentation at your office. Besides, we also would like to invite you to check if your company is already CEBP-proof. Thanks to our handy ‘Technology Compass’ you can see with the blink of an eye where your company is standing today and what the next step might be. You can find the compass in the presentation.

We just hope to welcome the same enthusiastic public at our last ShareCafe of this year on December the 11th.

 

 

 

News News

Op 01/12/2014 door Nicolas Van Geluwe

Orbit One and EURELECTRIC: the story continues

Eurelectric EURELECTRIC is the voice of the electricity industry in Europe. They represent the power sector in over 30 European countries, speaking for more than 3,500 companies in power generation, distribution, and supply. They also have affiliates and associates on several other continents. They stand for carbon-neutral electricity by 2050, competitive electricity for customers, and continent-wide electricity through a coherent European approach.

 

In 2012 EURELECTRIC redesigned its public website using Umbraco 4.7.2. We worked closely with them and helped them gain a lot of experience mastering Umbraco. During two years Orbit One enabled EURELECTRIC to expand the features and functionalities of the site themselves. Eventually EURELECTRIC wanted to upgrade their environment to a newer version as it was required for certain modules and also for obvious security reasons. This task turned out to be more complex than anticipated.

 

At Orbit One we believe a customer should be able to freely choose for us, every day. We don’t lock our customers in constraining contracts or complex technologies. We believe in sharing, assisting, enabling and helping a customer achieve his or her goals, not selling as much as possible and force the hand of our customers.

 

Together with EURELECTRIC Orbit One analyzed the complete website and identified the possibilities and constraints. Step by step in an agile way we tackled every horde challenging each other and deciding as we go what the best option is. Orbit One is able to adapt to the way our customer prefers to work, might it be for a small or big project. We believe this is the way it should be and not the other way around.

 

That is why EURELECTRIC and Orbit One choose each other, every day again and this because we want to and don’t have to.

Realizations Realizations

Op 07/08/2014 door Nicolas Van Geluwe

Translators manage 50,000 jobs per year themselves

Logo YamagataIn the very competitive translation industry, unnecessary manual work eats at the profits. For translation agency Yamagata Europe, automation is therefore essential in order to guarantee efficiency and quality at a competitive price.

 

That is why we have developed the Suppliers’ Net: an online application which links more than 750 translators from all around the world to over 45,000 translation jobs. Everyone can always request the status of a translation, a payment or check availability.

 

Translators are given access to Suppliers’ Net following individual screening. We manage their own profile and specify what languages they speak, what software they work with, what their specialist areas are, their rates and their availability.

 

Based on this information, translation jobs are allocated to the right translators. The translation is then processed by the software that checks whether all texts have been translated and which translation libraries were used. The invoicing and payments are also done through Yamagata’s Suppliers’ Net.

 

Suppliers’ Net is custom software developed in Microsoft .Net.

Realizations Realizations

Op 09/05/2014 door Nicolas Van Geluwe

Thanks to the Suppliers’ net Yamagata Europe works more efficiently

 

For many years, Yamagata Europe, which has its headquarters in Ghent, has been active around the world as a leading translation agency. They guarantee to deliver the highest quality translations, time after time. ISO standards, automated quality control and native speakers are just a few of the instruments which allow them to achieve this.

 

The Suppliers’ net

It is essential for Yamagata Europe to automate processes as far as possible so that they can continue to guarantee the maximum efficiency and quality at a competitive price. This is why they developed the Suppliers’ Net in conjunction with Orbit One. The Suppliers’ net is a unique platform on which at least 750 translators located all around the world are almost fully automatically linked to over 45,000 translation assignments.

 

How does it work?

Translators are given access to the platform after rigorous screening. The translators manage their own profiles and enter the languages they dominate, the tools they use, their specialist areas and their availability. This information is used to link translation assignments to suitable translators.
The following applications have been fully integrated into the portal which means that the entire process is then fully automated: download, upload and quality control to invoicing and payment for the translation.
Yamagata Europe, translators and clients are informed where necessary and everyone can always request the status of a translation, a payment or availability.
 
The Suppliers’ net enables Yamagata to offer a solution in which they must not lose any efficiency or quality. They do this in a world of increasingly smaller translations, tighter deadlines and a proliferation of independent translators who are driving down quality and prices.

Realizations Realizations

Op 08/04/2014 door Nicolas Van Geluwe