Co-innovation & Office 365

Valo & Tracy van de Schyff

#Office365 is a bit like a box of Legos. If you don’t see the bigger picture, it could be difficult to build processes that add value to your business. Let’s take a step back and take a look at how the Office 365 Apps & Services can work together to streamline and transform activities.




Make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products

“innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any organization”

Co-innovation, or “coupled open innovation” implies that two or more parties, through sharing of knowledge, collaborate to build tools. For me, co-innovation also indicates the use of existing apps together, to form a solution. We live in incredibly exciting times where apps have been prebuilt for us, to use as we see fit. And yes, no longer do we need to be developers to achieve this. Long live the forthcoming era of the Citizen Developer.

Of course, when referring to existing apps, I’m talking about Microsoft or Office 365 (Microsoft 365 also includes the Windows, mobility and security component). When you log into you will be presented with the apps and services available to you. This is dependent on the type of subscription and rights you have, but most of the subscriptions include the following:

Co-innovation will be the ability to use two or more of the above apps or services to build a solution. Nothing will explain co-innovation better than this business scenario around new contacts:


I would like to stop carrying business cards and go digital. I also need a way to better capture and manage my new contacts.

Solution:  Create draft email that I send to new contacts which has my vCard attached. Create a SharePoint list which I can access from my mobile to capture my new contacts.

Product(s):  Outlook, SharePoint

Solution 2: 

Keep a digital business card on my mobile (they can take photos), take photos of new business cards with Office Lens and save to OneNote (it will automatically recognize the card’s contact information and format it nicely into your OneNote notebook).

Product(s):  Office Lens, OneNote

Solution 3: 

Send a URL to new contact with Microsoft Form, asking them to complete their contact details. Once completed, use Microsoft Flow to automatically send an email back to them with your vCard attached.

Product(s):  Microsoft Forms, Outlook, Microsoft Flow

Solution 4: 

Create QR code with Microsoft Forms (which captures their contact details). Create a phone lock screen in PowerPoint with this QR Code. When QR code is scanned, new contact will complete the Microsoft Form. Microsoft Flow will write this data to a SharePoint Contacts List (Dynamics 365 can also be used). Once a new contact is added Microsoft Flow will send an email back to them with your vCard. It then adds a conversation on Teams announcing the new contact you made to your Team, and then logs a task in Planner for you to follow up with the new contact.

Product(s):  Microsoft Forms, Outlook, Microsoft Flow, SharePoint (Dynamics 365), PowerPoint

See how the processed evolved and the solution became better as I was able to add more apps. Here’s an overview of the process I built as well as a short video that takes you through the steps:


See how Tracy goes through the Solution 4 step-by-step.

I would not have been able to design and build this solution without collaborating with the community (internal / external to my company) or understanding the capabilities the other apps in Office 365 has to offer.

My knowledge of the Apps and Services as well as the community around me, allowed me to achieve more and in return helps me, as well as the team that works with me, to be more efficient. Help your citizen developers by ensuring that they receive the necessary training, to achieve more with Office 365.


On top of co-innovating with Office 365, tap into one of your greatest resources and co-innovate with your employees! Need the right tool to make it happen? Look no further! Valo Idea Management makes it easy and fun to get great ideas out of the bright minds in your company!


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