Benefits of using SharePoint for communications over email

Office 365 / SharePoint Blog

Our Intranet central communication hub contains a calendar, announcement list, and discussion list will become the “water cooler” for the division and that it will become a source of more open dialog between division employees.

We used to use a passive “listserv” way of communicating, which meant that everyone received all the emails. We want to create a more active approach where people retrieve their own information.

I for one am looking forward to having this information distilled to me in a more useful format, and here specifically is what I like about the different apps and the information they provide.

Announcements

Important information will now be front-and-center on the page to which I can refer back any time I want, without needing to hunt for that all-important email.

Calendar

Important division event dates will be prominently available to me so that I can see at a glance when things are happening division-wide. I can also connect that calendar to my outlook and compare it with my own.

Discussion List

This can be a double-edged sword as we hope that more content will be posted to the discussion list than is currently being sent to listserv, which will create two situations simultaneously:

  • GOOD – we have more collaboration and dialog and learn more about what’s happening in the division, and
  • NOT SO GOOD – we get more information served to us which may or may not be relevant to our work or interests.

Here are some ways you can customize your discussion list experience:

  • There is a specific view for “featured items” which will show only the most important information relevant to the division. This should give prominence to certain topics and help sort through some of the clutter that we receive on a daily basis.
  • All the content will now be sorted and categorized by department or committee so if I want to learn about upcoming training opportunities, I can choose the Human Resources category and see all the notes posted by that department. If I want to know about the latest developments in diversity, I can visit the Diversity and Inclusive initiatives page or choose the specific departments and committees involved with that, and I will be able to see everything tied to that topic. I won’t have to hunt or search emails anymore to find the information I want.
  • I can set alerts on the discussion list to receive content when I want to receive it. If I like emails as they happen, I can choose that. If I like emails once a day, I can choose that. If I want to only receive information once a week, I can do that too.
  • I can create my own Views to only show things that are important to me, and then set different alerts on those views according to my preferences. This way, I can choose to receive a digest of all discussion items once a day, and receive immediate emails on the departments or committees of interest to me.

If we all embrace the use of the central communication hub, then we can limit the listserv emails to only those topics that are truly important for the whole division.

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