Introducing video interviews: Julien Roland from Powell Software

We are happy to introduce you to a new section in our online magazine dedicated to interviews with interesting people from app development. In this section, we are discussing all things concerning digital workspace and ways of improving it with Microsoft Teams apps.

We hope that this section gives the reader and viewer a new perspective of what’s going on behind the scenes in app development companies, and a better idea of what to expect in the future.

For our first guest we invited Julien Roland from Powell Software.

Powell Software is a French based company, that provides employees with a more inclusive and engaging Digital Workplace experience for hybrid work. Their app for Microsoft Teams called Powell Teams is made to enhance end-user experience with an easy-to-use dashboard, catalog of templates, and allows IT professionals to secure governance.

A catalog of customized teams templates to get the best out of your Office 365 applications and collaboration processes. Credit: Powell Software

We asked Julien some questions about the app and it’s tools, and how it changes the experience of a hybrid workspace.

Dasha: How did you come up with the idea of developing an app like this (Powell Teams)? 

Julien: Originally, Powell Software offered solutions for the creation and integration of digital workplace in Office 365.

We historically addressed the market by offering an Intranet, Powell Intranet that has greatly evolved. It now offers the capability to better connect all employees with organization, everywhere, in an engaging and gamified way and with Hybrid Work scenarios.

And then when Microsoft Teams came out, we quickly realized it became the place in which people were communicating, meeting and collaboratively working on projects, becoming the daily hub of every Microsoft 365 users. So we started to create connectors to it as we did with the other Office 365 workloads.

Thanks to all the tools made available by Microsoft around its platform, we were able to accelerate the product development particularly through customer feedback and offer a stand-alone product dedicated to Microsoft Teams environments. 

Dasha: What is the main purpose behind it? In what ways does it facilitate our remote workspace or classroom? 

Julien: Powell Teams is simply the Microsoft teams app for enhanced collaboration, and governance.

But to answer your question let me quickly come back on the recent Digital Workplace evolutions – the current situation and the rise of the Hybrid Work has unsurprisingly led to the sudden adoption of Microsoft Teams by millions. And this fast adoption has consequently led to a sprawl of virtual teams. We know that too many teams and a lack of organization can leave users lost in a daily haze of messages, documents and teams, and IT Teams facing complex Teams management.

These are concrete problems a lot of companies are currently facing or will face in the future with the near Skype for business end-of-life. It is true and common nowadays to hear companies and employees dealing with teams sprawl and information overload, struggling with long and complex teams creation process and admins spending too much time management teams environments. 

Powell Teams solves and avoid these problems with 3 features :

  • Teams templates – a teams gallery with ready-to-use templates to collaborate instantly and effortlessly on daily collaborative scenarios. It is already predefined and preconfigured with channels, tabs and applications and can even be automatically triggered through our Powell Teams API when a specific action is done. It helps employees to streamline day to day activities by templating repeatable business activities.
  • A Teams dashboard – that is an easy-to-use homepage allowing users to find their favorite Teams, view their latest key information and do advanced search.
  • And finally Teams governance & lifecycle management – IT teams can define and set governance policies to ensure IT good practices are respected. They can control the Teams creation and sprawl with an approval workflow and thanks to templates. And they can easily manage Teams environments and lifecycles with dedicated dashboard and advanced reports. 

To illustrate this let me give you the example of a common use-case: the new employee onboarding in the Hybrid work. 

With Powell Teams, HR managers will be able to create in less that 3minutes an advanced onboarding team thanks to an existing template that will include the new employee, his manager, his buddy as well as the HR manager. It will be prepopulated with a 30 days tasks plan, comes with video training, department notes and also integrates the Intranet to provide all relevant company information and documents in a single space. 

We address several use-cases like this one such as sales RFP or the capability to set employee advocacy programs for Comms. 

Dasha: What do you think is the most unique feature of this app? What makes it outstanding? What makes it different?

Julien: Considering the 3 features we have discussed – the real value proposition of Powell Teams is its ability to combine several capabilities addressing IT Teams, employees as well as COMMS and HR departments, the sum of which makes it a unique value proposition with:

  • for the IT the ability to secure the workplace good practices with governance, to overcome teams sprawl and to manage teams environments and lifecycles.
  • For employees the ability to pick ready-to-use and customized teams templates, to get rid of information overload.
  • For COMMS to centralize the Digital Workplace experience in Teams by making it a single hub for communication and collaboration
  • And finally for HR to connect all employees in the Hybrid Work.

Dasha: What are some of your other favorite apps for Microsoft Teams? 

Julien: At Powell Software, we really like the fact to combine our daily applications with our Teams channels. We use several applications, but we have an intensive use of Microsoft Planner for task plans, of Power BI dashboards to have an overview of Teams environments or to have quick business reports and the fact that we have our Intranet directly integrated to access corporate information. 

Dasha: If you could only use one app in Teams, what would it be? (can’t chose yours!) 

Julien: I would personally pick Planner that is very useful to organize collaborative tasks in Teams. 

Dasha: What are your goals for the future? Any updates we can expect?

Julien: Unsurprisingly, the 3 main topics we are working are around governance, interoperability with the information system (mainly HR and IT) and the ways to strengthen company communication through a tool that becomes the main working tool. many collaborators. These are the elements on which we are working as a priority to improve our Digital Workplace. We also have some nice surprises for the 2nd semester, but it is not yet a good time to talk about them. Follow our blog and website to know more about us.

To watch the interview on YouTube, click here.

For the next guest in our video interview section we have Alexandre Cipriani from SalesTim. Don’t miss it – you can find our YouTube channel and all of the interviews on our home page.

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