harmon.ie, the leader in user experience solutions for Microsoft 365 enterprises, announced the launch of SmartAssistant, the world’s first product to link an organization’s internal staff conversations and external communications in Office 365, by intelligently connecting emails, documents, and Microsoft Teams conversations.
Teams is the fastest growing business app in Microsoft history. A recent survey commissioned by harmon.ie found that out of almost 400 respondents, more than 50% use Microsoft Teams more than half of their workday, and only 7% do not use Teams at all. Teams is used mainly for internal office communication, while email is used for both internal and external communication with customers, vendors, and other contacts. The gap between internal and external communication in the enterprise leads to information being scattered across multiple Microsoft apps, which can quickly become a nightmare of disconnected conversations. An urgent customer request for assistance received via email that is discussed via an internal Teams conversation, can quickly become a problem when the case needs to be referenced later, or the complete data must be produced for governance or compliance purposes.
“Users are only human, and people tend to follow the path of least resistance, so the best way to get them to do the right thing is by making it the easy thing. Our new SmartAssistant™ does exactly that,” said Yaacov Cohen, CEO and Co-Founder of harmon.ie. “Knowledge workers are busy, and it’s not practical to manually sync conversations between Teams and email, so discussions quickly become disconnected and people can’t find the information they need to do their jobs. Usage of Teams is quickly becoming universal in the enterprise, so we’re proud to offer the first solution to connect Teams conversations with Office 365 email, attachments, and documents, keeping efficient, productive communication easy and intuitive for knowledge workers. This is a big step toward harmon.ie’s vision of exploiting machine learning to augment employee decision making around information stewardship, and toward the future of digital assistants in the workplace.”
SmartAssistant™ includes the following new features to connect email and Teams conversations:
Drag and drop emails and attachments from Outlook directly to a Teams channel, which saves the email to the Team’s mailbox and saves the attachments to the channel’s underlying files location (in SharePoint).
Seamless Outlook/Teams transitions: After dragging and dropping content to a Teams channel, harmon.ie automatically launches the Teams app to that channel, so users can continue the conversation in Teams.
For the first time, harmon.ie supports “in-place” record management out of the box; when uploading emails and attachments to Teams, emails are saved in Exchange and attachments/documents are saved in SharePoint.
Automatic Team alerts: harmon.ie notifies team members when new email and attachment additions have been added to a conversation by posting the update in an Adaptive Card within the conversation.
Descriptive Labels: When copying emails and attachments to Teams channels, users are prompted to apply harmon.ie’s unique ‘Descriptive Labels;’ these labels describe the contents of emails and documents. Descriptive Labels use existing SharePoint metadata for documents and are used to apply corresponding ‘metadata’ properties to emails in Exchange. With Descriptive Labels, related emails and attachments remain connected even though they are stored in different repositories. Descriptive Labels are also handy for quickly searching for related content.
harmon.ie “Teams” Outlook tab: displays all emails and attachments copied to Teams, directly in the Outlook sidebar. Users can then:
Display emails and attachments previously added to the conversation from harmon.ie.
Filter the list of emails by team, channel, or descriptive labels.
View and edit emails and attachments using their native app (e.g. Word, Powerpoint, Excel).
Notify team members about a saved email and/or attachment.
Display favorite Teams and channels directly in the harmon.ie “Favorites” view.