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StrongPoint found the way forward through training and Office 365

- We wanted to digitise and streamline our processes and reduce administration. We were looking for a knowledgeable IT partner with a clear customer focus to support us in this work.

Jenny Danielsson works as Finance Manager at StrongPoint Labels, a company that manufactures and sells self-adhesive labels and is part of a listed group headquartered in Norway. StrongPoint Labels supplies labels to the food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, among others, with several international partnerships and business areas. Jenny is not only responsible for the finances but also acts as HR manager and project manager for IT issues.

- My roles in finance, IT and HR meet in the desire to reduce administration and streamline processes using IT systems. A broad role that is both fun and challenging, says Jenny

Office 365 for the whole group

When the management in Norway decided that Office 365 was the common tool for the whole group, the implementation for Label fell on Jenny's desk. Although most people were already working diligently in Word and Excel, knowledge of the tools and possibilities of Office 365 was quite low. Some used OneDrive but no one had heard of Teams. Jenny got in touch with Anne Klåve at AddPro, whom she met through a networking group.

- We didn't know what to expect from Office 365, what the possibilities were with Teams and how new tools would affect our existing practices. We simply needed some guidance.

Before Office 365, StrongPoint worked with folders on a file server. Folders were created by IT, people were assigned permissions and received an email that the folder had become available. For digital meetings, Skype for Business was used and meetings were booked with long email threads to find available times.

Training showed the possibilities of Office 365 and Teams

To get a grip on what Office 365 and Teams could offer, the Swedish management team attended StrongPoint AddPro's DiscoverIT workshop. It was an eye-opener and, after getting a feel for Office 365, the management team was able to put together a plan for how the company would start its Teams journey.

- Although Teams is not difficult, it takes time for everyone to sit down and figure out the features on their own. By training all employees, we quickly got up to speed and started using channels, discussions and Teams meetings," says Jenny.

Jenny goes on to say that not everyone will have to learn everything. Some will be actively working in Teams with multiple functions such as collaborating on files and creating channels to project teams nationally and internationally, while others will use Teams as an information channel for news. Teams works at all levels of the company, from the management team to customer service and printing.

The next step is more training

Some staff have now also received training in OneNote. Not because the programme is complicated, but as a kick-start to make the most of its possibilities. Training also gives staff an opportunity to discover features and think creatively.

- During a Teams training, a salesperson found Forms. He created a form where salespeople can fill in information that customer service needs. Today, we use that form on most of our customers. Whenever there's a training session, someone always thinks outside the box," says Jenny.

Digitalisation creates engagement

StrongPoint has recently started a pilot where Microsoft Power BI will be integrated with their ERP system. The plan is to automatically pull reports several times a day that are published in Teams and displayed on screens in the coffee room and around the company.

- We believe that transparency creates commitment and want everyone in the company to know how things are going. Will we achieve our goals and are we working effectively?

Already, Jenny and her colleagues can see the benefits of the new tools and ways of working. The sales department has weekly team meetings which reduces travel. IT administration has been reduced as everyone who is authorised can create project groups and share folders via Teams. Small things have made a big difference, saving time, money and frustration.

Training to get your wings flying

Jenny feels that the training they have attended has provided fuel and inspiration that will take collaboration and efficiency to new heights. Teams have grown to become the tool for easy communication within teams and across the company that was previously missing.

- If you want to keep up, you need to invest in training, preferably as early as possible. It takes time to understand how the tools will be most useful, so a few hours of training is money well spent," concludes Jenny.

Has your company started your Teams journey? In our DiscoverIT workshop, you'll get to try working hands-on in Office 365 and see the benefits and opportunities. Book today!