February 28, 2020

Automation Expert SmartAssistant™ to Collaborate Email, Chats and Messaging within Microsoft Teams

  • By Sudipto Ghosh
  • October 21, 2019
  • 1 Comment
Automation Expert SmartAssistant™ to Collaborate Email, Chats and Messaging within Microsoft Teams
The SmartAssistant is the world’s first AI-based collaboration tool to link internal and external messaging and chat in the Microsoft Teams.
In a major update to Microsoft Teams, Employee Experience leader harmon.ie has announced the launch of SmartAssistant™. The SmartAssistant is the world’s first AI-based collaboration tool to link internal and external messaging and chat in Office 365. With this tool, users can intelligently connect emails, documents, and Microsoft Teams conversations with better-automated workflow management and reporting analytics.
At the time of this announcement, Yaacov Cohen, CEO and Co-Founder of harmon.ie, said,  “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.”

What SmartAssistant™ Does to Your Microsoft Teams

SmartAssistant™ includes many enticing new features to connect email and Microsoft Teams conversations. harmon.ie will allow users to “Drag and Drop” emails and attachments from Outlook directly to a Teams channel. This saves the email to the Team’s mailbox and saves the attachments to the channel’s underlying files location (in SharePoint). Another feature includes the 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 from 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.

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Most Unique Collaboration Feature — 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 the ‘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 the 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
Currently, Microsoft Teams meets the unique demands of every department in an organization. For example, The Teams usage report inside the admin center provides an accurate overview of the user activity in Teams. These include the number of active users and channels that are using and collaborating on Teams. Admin can plan the collaboration workflow for every department within the organization to further streamline and manage communication and collaboration. The SmartAssistant’s addition to the Teams would take the collaboration beyond the traditional channels of internal messaging and email collaboration. It will help bridge 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.”

The Teams is Microsoft’s Most Successful Business App

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. The Teams is used mainly for internal office communication, while email is used for both internal and external communication with customers, vendors, and other contacts.  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.
Screenshot of the Teams usage report in the Teams admin center with callouts
Yaacov added, “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.”

Currently, harmon.ie delivers information in an intelligent way and unlock the full power of Microsoft Teams and Office 365. Its flagship solution breaks down data silos from Office 365 apps by grouping information using Descriptive Labels. Supported by cognitive science and powered by machine learning, harmon.ie’s SmartAssistant helps organizations bring together all their information and improve productivity. The company is a Microsoft Partner and App of the Year Finalist.

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Sudipto Ghosh

Sudipto is a technology research specialist who brings 11 years of professional blogging and technical writing experience. He has developed cutting-edge content for over 100 websites and mobile applications. Our ‘Wordsmith’ is an engaging conversationalist and has done more than 200 interviews with some of the leading names in automobile, digital advertising, IT/ITES, medical technology, real estate, gemstone certification, HVAC, tourism and food processing industries. Apart from technical writing, he loves to blow off steam by chronicling stories about top medical professionals, innovators, spiritual 'gurus', gym trainers, nutritionists, wedding planners, chefs and off-beat hobbyists. The best place to find him beyond work hours— the shadiest underground gym in the city. He is an ardent sports buff and contributes with his witty live commentary too.

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