August should be about buying new school supplies—new pens and (i)Pads, textbooks, and calculators. While we may not be going back to school in the normal way, Powell Software does not disappoint. They’ve just dropped their list of August updates to Powell Teams and Powell 365 (their intranet offering built on SharePoint), and I’m seeing plenty of cool new features in the bag.
For those who might need a primer, Powell is our premier software partner (read about our partnership here). Together we work closely to build digital workplaces that focus on the needs of the end users. The release of Powell Teams was one major step; the integration of the intranet into the Teams experience is another.
Now without further ado…
POWELL 365 August Updates
Powell 365 is Powell’s intranet solution that integrates seamlessly with O365 and Sharepoint to optimize communication to employees. We’re excited to get our hands on some of these upgrades, particularly around Modern theming of their Orion template. Lots of managers ask for the features and functionalities of SharePoint Modern while wanting to use the out-of-the-box Orion theme. This allows for that.
Flexdesk: This is a big one that will help HR and facilities leaders using flexible office spaces to manage pandemic return-to-work. Flexdesk displays all employee space or resource reservations on a map by day or by week to have a global vision of the people at the office.
Birthdays view: This new view displays the upcoming birthdays of coworkers. It’s directly linked to the user profiles so there’s no need to create any content.
Powell alerts: All users can now choose « read all » in alerts to mark all alerts as read and hide the banner.
Usage monitoring (New page template): Analyze the most popular content of your site, the latest changes, the number of connections, etc.
Outlook/To-do tasks: New widget views allow admins to add a category to a task and define recurrent tasks.
Button webpart: When adding a link to a button, users can choose to open the link in the same tab, a new tab, or as a pop-up.
Orgchart webpart: Conquer org chart sprawl by displaying only 3 people under a user; an “expand” button shows more if needed.
Search query webpart: You can now select if you want to link your search webpart to the query string parameter or not. (Before, all the search webparts were updated with the parameters put in the URL; now you can define the webparts that should be updated.)
Favorite webpart: Improvements on loading results.
Orion compatibility with modern Sharepoint theming: You can now choose the Modern theming and all your Orion designs will be updated.
POWELL TEAMS August 2020 Updates
Our favorites updates build on Powell Teams, the add-on app that empowers your people to #UseTeams Better. In particular, they’ve greatly expanded the functionality of templates for better governance with better user, tag, and template management. This will enhance a manager’s ability to limit sprawl while still enabling flexible team creation.
External Users: This new option in the member section of a team template allows external users. A valuable enhancement if you allow collaborators outside your organization to work within your Teams instance.
Inactive Teams report: A new report identifies the inactive teams in your O365 tenant based on team activities.
Team template – Default content: Powell Teams now allows uploading default content in a team template in the files tab.
Tags edit for team owners: Team owners can now change the tags values of the team in the user dashboard.
Accessibility: Select Dark & High contrast modes in the user dashboard.
Tags – Choice type: This new option supports multi-values selection for choice type tags.
Team template – tab configuration: Change the configuration of the app associated to a tab after the team’s sync. (Supported apps: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Planner, Wiki, Site, SharePoint)
Automation service: The support for Power Automate and the schema is extended with the list of owners/members, requester, and team tags.
Promoted teams: Now promoted teams can be edited creation.
Enter the future of the Digital Workplace…
We’re particularly thrilled about Powell’s move to combining Microsoft Teams (for collaboration) with a SharePoint-based intranet (for communication). We see this as the future of the Digital Workplace.
We’re so thrilled, in fact, that we co-hosted a webinar on the topic with Powell. View it here.
Thousands of organizations have adopted Teams this year—and most of them are suffering from governance and sprawl issues resulting from too-fast ramp-up. We can help—learn how you can start using Teams better in 2 weeks.