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It’s a Web, Web World

There’s a reason you don’t need a big, big hard drive anymore. Just about everything we do on a computer – or tablet or phone – can be done using a web-based app. It opens up a universe of work possibilities and imposes a new set of considerations. Among them is our responsibility to be on the same page as vendors when it comes to terminology.

Every business has its own jargon, and many companies have their own variations for some terms. When you have human interaction, it’s not a problem to ask questions and ensure new team members are on board with definitions of terms. If you’re working remotely, it might take a phone call or screen share on a videoconference, but there’s room to ask questions until everything is clarified.

In the web world, two things are going on. First, there’s hardly any human interaction. Even if you use a chat function or voice system, you’re increasingly likely interacting with a chatbot – and getting to an actual human can be maddening. Second, terminology will vary among vendors, and because the terminology is built into their programming and distributed worldwide, it’s not going to change.

That puts the onus on you – as a business owner/manager or user – to learn the terminology, use it exactly as the vendor requires, and take or provide the training necessary to use the app effectively. The tech world doesn’t make allowances for shades of differences in meaning.

Artificial intelligence may help you get by, but regardless of how much latitude it gives you in terminology, it’s going to play a more prominent role in using apps. We’re seeing it in Microsoft Viva’s Briefing email, which, we admit, can get creepy.

The Briefing email is designed to help you stay in control of your calendar and be intentional about your day. Depending on how you set it up in Outlook, you’ll get an email within two hours of your workday start about any relevant items to help you better prepare for the day ahead, including:

  • Outstanding commitments, requests, and follow-ups to and from other collaborators might have fallen through the cracks.
  • Documents related to today’s meetings that you might want to review beforehand.
  • Suggested focus time you can schedule to get other work done.

It works by looking for actionable tasks in Outlook and includes the top results in the email. If these tasks are related to upcoming meetings, they’ll be listed in context with the meeting. Meetings will also have links to any attached or potentially related documents. The Adaptive version of the Briefing email also includes last-minute options to schedule a time to focus on deep work or work through any of the tasks in the email. It also notes any existing focus time that’s already scheduled.

The Briefing email is generated automatically by a scan of your inbox, not by a human, and it’s seen only by the recipient.

We can help you navigate the brave new app world by providing training sessions for offices on using apps, and we can help you set up Outlook to make Viva work for your office. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to discuss your needs and create an action plan.