harmon.ie Takes on Productivity Stagnation With Topic Computing

While technology advances and the exploding app economy aim to drive economic growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, year-over-year productivity growth has flat lined overall, despite sporadic quarterly gains. Humanizing the digital experience to overcome the information overload productivity barrier, harmon.ie today debuted the first topic computing solution, harmon.ie Collage, that fully unifies disconnected information from multiple cloud services – all within Outlook, employees’ primary work interface.

“In the past, employees would often hoard knowledge, believing it gave them job security. But today, people are much more adept at sharing, perhaps to a fault. Employees often find themselves so overwhelmed with information that instead of becoming more productive, they grind to a halt. An infinite array of notifications from multiple business application and a mess of disjointed activity streams creates too much distraction, which becomes a major efficiency obstacle,” said Alan Lepofsky, productivity expert and VP at Constellation Research. “If people must use several applications to get their job done, it becomes too complex and cumbersome. To combat this dilemma, people want solutions that aggregate together all the content and colleagues around a given topic, allowing them to stay focused and get their work done.”

Adding its proven machine learning Collage™ technology to its harmon.ie enterprise solution, harmon.ie Collage now surfaces all the important business updates – from a variety of apps (CRM, ERP, etc.), documents, social tools and email – that information workers need.

harmon.ie Collage eliminates app noise and removes the need for workers to open multiple, process-specific applications and email chains by automatically organizing them by topic within Outlook. The advanced, topic-driven sidebar allows workers to see the big picture while staying focused on the topic at hand—be it a specific product, customer, project, campaign or service. With topic computing, harmon.ie aims to give workers the focus they need to get the job done right, and fast.

harmon.ie

“As part of the Swiss Re Digital Workplace Program, we need to adopt the latest technologies,” said Rainer Baumann, CIO for Information and Managing Director at Swiss Re. “We have a strong footprint in the Microsoft world using Exchange, SharePoint, and other platforms.  harmon.ie gives us a way to provide simple access and drive adoption to these technologies. The platform enables workers to share documents in a simple way, as well as interact with colleagues, even their mobile phones. With harmon.ie, I can get access to all of my documents wherever I am in the world.” Hear more about how the Swiss Re Group, a leading wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer, is embracing the digital workplace transformation here.

The first Collage Outlook add-on surfaced key topics contained in email messages and then identified related notifications across a variety of information sources. However, the debut of harmon.ie Collage fully integrates Collage into the harmon.ie-powered Outlook experience so its two million licensed users and the entire Office 365 user community (85+M users and counting) can instantly see all relevant updates in context, within their email window. harmon.ie Collage:

  • Brings all the information workers need to do their jobs directly into Outlook to drive productivity.
  • Adds topical context from a range of business applications, document management systems, and social tools including Office 365 documents and email, IBM Connections, Salesforce, Yammer and Zendesk.
  • Uses its patent-pending artificial intelligence technology and Microsoft Graph advances to sort information by topic based on each user’s needs.
  • Now also allows users to tag open emails directly to make adding topics easier and faster.

“The app economy has failed to deliver economic growth because it is built on distraction. It has created an enormous gap between what workers need to do their job and the technology meant to support them. Traditionally, enterprise software is built around specific processes, but that complicates the digital workplace experience because people naturally think in terms of topics,” added Yaacov Cohen, CEO of harmon.ie. “Organizations don’t need another platform or app to solve the problem; they need to be able to effectively leverage the technology that they already have in place. harmon.ie Collage closes the gap and fosters focus by intuitively delivering all of the updates and content workers need from the vast array of business apps, when they need it.”

To learn more about how harmon.ie is humanizing the digital experience, register for one of the webinar sessions on March 8, 2017. Add harmon.ie Collage to your digital experience now.

About harmon.ie
harmon.ie humanizes the digital experience by providing a suite of user experience products that empower today’s distributed workforce to get work done on their own terms. We put the human in the center, insulating information workers from technology complexity and allowing them to complete workplace tasks directly from the friendly confines of their email client. Fostering focus rather than distraction, harmon.ie delivered the first topic-driven interface to present enterprise events from multiple cloud services the way the human brain works. Thousands of enterprise customers count on harmon.ie to provide humanized information governance, collaboration, knowledge retention, and email and records management using SharePoint, Office 365 and other collaboration tools. harmon.ie is a Microsoft Partner of the Year Finalist and an IBM global partner.

Follow harmon.ie on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Nasdaq GlobeNewswire

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Genesys acquires Silver Lining Solutions to enrich workforce optimisation product offering

Genesys, the global provider of omnichannel customer experience and contact centre solutions, has completed the acquisition of privately held Silver Lining Solutions Ltd., a provider of employee performance optimisation software and Genesys OEM partner.

Silver Lining Solutions develops employee performance optimisation software that helps improve employee engagement and performance, enabling organisations to serve customers better, increase sales and operational effectiveness, and reduce costs.

The acquisition of Silver Lining Solutions further expands Genesys’ capabilities to help organisations elevate employee engagement and improve business results related to sales, collections, workforce productivity, and customer satisfaction.

“Silver Lining Solutions has been a valued Genesys OEM partner since 2009,” said Paul Segre, chief executive officer of Genesys. “Employee engagement is key to customer experience. This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to innovation and leadership in this rapidly evolving market. Assessing and evaluating employee behaviours, skills, and capabilities is critical for managing and understanding overall workforce performance and customer satisfaction – and ultimately, in improving a company’s bottom line.”

The award-winning U.K.-based company was founded in 2001 and has offices in the U.K., Asia Pacific and the U.S. Genesys has been offering the Silver Lining Solutions Performance DNA portfolio comprised of Optimizer and Planner, through Genesys Skills Management, which bundles Genesys Skills Assessor with Genesys Training Manager into one package.

“This announcement underlines our strategy for augmenting organic growth with acquisitions that give us complementary best-of-breed technologies,” Segre said. “This strategy not only gives our customers a competitive advantage, but is integral to our mission of powering the best customer experiences on the planet.”

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The need to systemise critical business processes could mean the end of the spreadsheet, suggests Crimson & Co

Organisations can no longer afford to be heavily reliant on spreadsheet programmes to manage increasingly complex planning processes.

According to Eddie Groom, Consultant at global supply chain consultancy Crimson & Co, spreadsheets are often introduced as a temporary technology to support planning and modelling processes, but typically end up taking permanent residence within an organisation, leading to massive deficiencies amongst critical business practices.

Groom states: “The world is becoming increasingly complex. As such, agile capabilities and the ability to quickly adapt to changes in global environments is becoming more and more important. In practice this might be reacting to the extremes such as Britain’s decision to leave the EU and threats of terrorism, to advances in technology streamlining critical business processes.

“Having an effective business planning strategy in place is crucial to how firms react to sudden changes and for this to be effective these strategies must be supported by the right technology – the reality, however is that this is not always the case.

“For years, one of the most common business planning tools was Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. It has been, and still is, popular within businesses looking to collect, store, manage and interpret data for a number of business activities. This can include product planning, manufacturing or service delivery as well as shipping and logistics management. Effectively, an ERP system links up supply with demand to enable better business decision-making. Traditional ERP systems tend to plan in a linear way following the rules set down and do not have the flexibility to create and manage complex supply chain scenarios

Arguably, inflexibility is the ERP systems’ biggest drawback and a major barrier for companies looking to flourish in modern business. Having to rely on spreadsheets and programmes like Excel to manage supply chain models, scenarios and unexpected events should not be acceptable to businesses that need robust, auditable planning tools to comply with essential business processes.

ERP systems, they can be slow to update or make changes to in reaction to fluctuating market conditions or events. If supply routes need to change following a disaster, for example, or old trade agreements can no longer direct freight transport, businesses leaning on ERP systems can find themselves on the back foot. A continued reliance upon spreadsheets as a serious planning tool prevents a firm from rising to challenges.”

Logistics is not the only business department suffering due to the limitations of the spreadsheet. Industry research suggests that pain-points are also felt in other departments notably finance, with 80 per cent of CFO’s reporting failures in their planning processes due to spreadsheet usage.

Groom states that the start of a new year provides an opportunity for organisations to take stock and turn over a new leaf when it comes to implementing more effective technologies in order to manage their planning processes.

“Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) systems offer significant advantages to managing supply chain complexity over ERP systems alone. Moving away from spreadsheets and into an adaptable modern supply chain planning tool, allows you to handle any variations, provide better visibility over your suppliers and handle more product routes and options. Doing so, will allow firms to optimise their supply chain to achieve desired business objectives. In short, businesses supported by APS systems can act quicker to changing global environments since they have greater information, oversight and options available to them.

“Ultimately, good planning cannot consist of programmes which are widely open to error and instead it is imperative that organisations implement suitable technologies to systemise critical business processes. APS systems are an example of a solution best placed to handle this level of intricacy within the logistics process, whereas the spreadsheet is an example of a technology no longer suitable for this process.”

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Survey reveals a need for EDI integration among ERP users

Almost 88% of EDI users have an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, a MRP (Materials Resource Planning) system or other planning system, according to a survey of companies conducted recently by leading EDI company, Data Interchange.

While the vast majority can import and export messages – which one would expect of a modern ERP – the survey reveals a small but significant number of companies that can’t.

These tend to be hampered by legacy systems, according to Colin Fisher, Head of Sales at Data Interchange. “If a company has invested in an ERP, they are likely to be getting significant benefit in terms of costs and integration. However, for a small additional investment, Data Interchange can help a company realise the full potential of their ERP.”

The survey also found that, of the companies that are using customer web portals only, 64% have an ERP, MRP or planning system. Only approximately half of these can import and export.

“If the ERP is capable of integration, which most are, why is there a reliance on portals?” Fisher asked. “By not making the leap to full integration, those companies are using a manual process to export from the portal and import into the ERP, which incurs risk and cost.”

Out of the non-EDI users, the survey found that 38% have an ERP, MRP or planning system, but only 1 in 10 can import and export.

“If you have a fully functional ERP system, you should have EDI,” said Fisher. “Without it, a company is adding complexity, cost and risk.”

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