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A Message From Our CEO

Cool Cloud Applications for a Remote Workforce

Mike Fowler, CEO of Iconic IT

If you’re like me you are tethered to technology morning till night.  I think we can agree that too much screen time is bad for us, but the beauty is that we can control this if we choose.  Today I wanted to talk about some of the cloud based apps that help the Iconic IT team stay connected.   

First I want to point out that part of a Modern Workplace is secure Single Sign-On (SSO). With SSO you can better secure your applications through multi-factor authentication.  Here is an example of what my SSO page looks like.  I just click on the app I want to open and I can securely get to work. 

Now that you know how to safely access your programs and applications through Single-Sign-On, let’s take a look at some cool productivity apps. This isn’t a commercial for any app, and there are lots of similar apps with even more coming every day.  I just wanted to mention some that we rely on, and that might be useful to you and your business.  Ready? Here we go…

15Five: With our dispersed, work from anywhere workforce, 15Five provides for weekly feedback between employees and managers.  When properly and consistently used, the app helps improve communication, document successes, and request help solving issues.  We also use this app to conduct employee surveys and watch the trends. 

Bonusly: Employees do great things all the time.  How do we acknowledge and reward them?  Simple! With the Bonusly app, anyone can send thanks or praise to another person.  Not just that, we send each other points that can be redeemed for prizes.  This app helps to draw attention to all the great things that are going on for the whole company to see.  This also helps to promote a positive culture of encouragement and praise.  It can be contagious!

Whiteboard and/or Mural: Do you miss those days of writing on the whiteboard and problem solving?  Zoom meetings with cameras on can help, but collaboration is challenged.  Microsoft Whiteboard (included on Office 365) and Mural (cost extra) are incredible apps for turning your desktop into a whiteboard for all to share and contribute.  For the last 9 months, every major planning meeting we’ve had has used Mural.  Meetings are much more productive, and everyone can participate.  This might be my favorite app.

Traction Tools: I will remind you that this is not a commercial for any app and certainly not Traction Tools.  It is a bit clunky, in fact, but it does provide a framework and agenda for all weekly meetings at Iconic IT.  It ensures key metrics are part of every meeting, issues are discussed, and action items are tracked.  When coupled with the book “Traction,” it supports a tried-and-true process any business can implement to bring greater alignment and faster results.

Planner: This is another Office 365 product, and it’s a very simple way to plan and track projects or department initiatives.  As with other collaboration tools I’ve mentioned, the ability for everyone to participate and update the plans makes meetings more productive and helps to further align the team.  What’s really cool is how this integrates with Teams and many of the other Office 365 apps.

I could keep going, but I suppose my point is that there are a lot of great cloud-based productivity tools out there.  If you feel there are “opportunities for improvement,” please let me know.  I’ll be happy to help you search for a solution.

Wishing you a safe and happy new year,

Mike Fowler

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