The Valo Partnership is unique. By joining the Valo Partner Network members not only benefit from tapping into Valo’s nine in-house Microsoft MVPs’ knowledge, they get to be part of a global community of Microsoft partners too.
The Valo Partner Network, of over 250 members, is made up of Microsoft Partners, Microsoft MVPs, SharePoint experts, Office 365 aficionados and digital workplace pioneers.
Collectively, the Valo Partner Network works together to solve common challenges – of how to create the best digital workplace environment for our customers.
Valo’s product family – including Valo Intranet, Valo Teamwork, Valo Idea Management, and the Valo Mobile App – all leverage the greatest Office 365 capabilities, and are being used by our global Partner Network to meet the rapidly evolving needs of our customers.
In this second blog post, in a series dedicated to uncovering the power of the Valo Partnership, we’ll take a look at how technology is radically altering the workplace. And how Valo has responded by building the tools customers need to do business in this changing landscape.
We’ll take a deep dive into some of the technical features of Valo’s suite of digital workplace tools. Plus, we’ll uncover why joining the Valo Partner Network may be the best IT career move you’ll ever make.
Helping customers thrive in a digital world
Early on, we recognized that the growth of digital connectivity, devices and information was driving sweeping changes to not only to the way we live, but to how we work.
Due to the breakthroughs in cloud technology, and the success of Microsoft cloud services, Office 365 and Azure, we knew that our customers had to digitally transform.
Businesses need to move away from a 20th-century mindset, around individual output and efficiency, to a 21st-century mindset that centers on responsiveness, collaboration and communication.
Meeting the needs of the tech-savvy workforce
At the same time during this period the use of social media became part of every-day life.
Tech-savvy employees were now able to tap on their screens and give instant feedback on how they felt about something they’d seen or read – liking or commenting at the flick of a thumb.
They could seek advice or help on social media and receive responses that helped them form a collective solution.
And we felt that they should be able to do this in the office too.
After all, internal communications is one of the most crucial ways to engage staff, increase their productivity and make them feel valued.
The modern digital workplace
As technology began to infiltrate every aspect of life, the ‘how’ and ‘where’ we were working also changed.
One of Deloitte Insights’ earliest reports on The Digital Workplace, Think, Share, Do, noted back in 2011 that in today’s always connected, instant access environment the lines between the physical office and the place where work actually happens have blurred.
As the distinction between professional and personal life dissolves, and the workplace becomes truly digital, employees are communicating and collaborating in unprecedented ways.
It became increasingly clear that the traditional ‘create and push’ information approach no longer met employees’ evolving needs, and intranets had to change.
Solving three common intranet challenges
As a result, we designed Valo’s suite of digital workplace tools to help businesses adapt, giving them the blueprint of how to rethink their workplace culture and environment.
We created digital workplace products that set out to solve three of the most common challenges about old-style intranets:
- They took too long to build and were too expensive
- Once ‘live’, people still couldn’t find relevant information on them
- They didn’t connect colleagues or build a company culture within the organization
Plus, we designed two new-style tools that would enhance collaboration and foster innovation.
Valo’s suite of digital workplace tools
Our award-winning trio of tools are:
Valo Intranet – an out of the box, customizable, multi-lingual solution built on top of SharePoint and Office 365. It is fast to install and easy to maintain. It is intuitive to use and information is easy to find. Plus, it puts content in the hands of editors.
Valo Teamwork – a single-view dashboard that acts as the interface to all teams, projects, groups and the collaboration spaces, including Microsoft Teams, Yammer, SharePoint Team Sites, OneDrive, and Planner. Users can now find and manage their multiple work-spaces and chat-style tools together in one place.
Valo Idea Management – designed to engage staff, including remote workers, and promote collaboration. Colleagues can add their idea or contribution, and other team members can like and comment on them. Everyone is rewarded for their participation.
Designed and built by the #ValoTeam
Valo’s Digital Workplace products are built directly on top of modern SharePoint (Hub Sites, Home Sites, Communication Sites, and so on) as well as Microsoft Teams. By being integrated on top of Microsoft, customers get the best out of both Valo and Microsoft, without losing access to any innovation from Microsoft.
They have been all been designed by the talented Valo Team, who are at the cutting edge of Microsoft’s latest technologies, leveraging the power of Azure, which utilizes Cognitive Services and Azure Functions.
Collectively, our 50+ professionals are continuing to build products that address the current challenges our customers face.
The MVP community loves Valo Products because they are built by a trusted team for the community. They know what the customer’s pain points are and have built pretty cool products around them on top of what Microsoft Office 365 is offering.
This is one of the reasons our partners love working with us so much.
Valo’s MVPs have their finger on the pulse. They use their knowledge to shape the Valo products and fill the gaps that exist in SharePoint.
Following Microsoft’s road-map
But we haven’t just stopped there. We are continually keeping pace with Microsoft. Our suite of digital workplace tools all closely follow Microsoft’s road-map, which makes them safe and future proof.
Our products all fully integrate into the Microsoft tech stack and are compatible with Microsoft cloud and Office 365. This means customers not only benefit from keeping up to date with Microsoft’s latest features, but they also get our “Valo secret sauce” on top.
Although this is ultimately a customer benefit, our partners (who are also Microsoft Partners) can feel secure in the knowledge that Valo will never be in conflict with Microsoft. And they can use Valo’s tools as an accelerator.
Adding value to SharePoint users
Our suite of products fully integrate into SharePoint but gives users a little extra. We have added extremely useful features on top of the basic SharePoint and Office 365 experience.
- Configurable feeds with the customizable web part templates
- Centralized navigation manager
- A branding tool for controlled CSS additions
- Multilingual features with machine translation support
- Support for Google Analytics
- A powerful “who is who” section
- Modern SharePoint UI for page editing
- All out-of-the-box SharePoint web parts
- Custom SharePoint SPFx web parts
Our existing Valo Partners tell us how happy they are with the features. And they love the fact that there’s no coding to do during installation!
Plus, they no longer have to reinvent the wheel or start each intranet project from scratch, making these big projects smoother and faster.
There’s a lot of work that goes into building a sophisticated intranet just from a base platform. So, being able to deploy a solution that meets 80% of our customers needs quickly, leaving us to customize the rest, is super beneficial.
We’re always looking at ways we can improve our products. So, we work closely with our partners, listening to their requests and finding out what their customers want us to build. And as a result, each quarter we release new functions that continue to enhance the user experience.
We continue to stay in touch with all our partners via our online Partner Hub, which includes, for example, ready-made marketing and sales material for partners to use, detailed product road-maps, a place for partners to request support. We also have a dedicated Yammer channel for our Valo Partners.
Plus, we regularly host partner meet-ups and Valo Summits to hear first hand from our partners about their experiences of installing Valo’s tools, and how we can improve.
And we’re always on hand to help with the installation and implementation phase should you need us.
The Valo Team are great. They are really responsive to issues. I’m constantly sending things to them to take a look at and they are very willing to work with us.
Live demo environment
One of the bonuses of working with Valo is being able to deploy a live demo for your potential customers.
This means before a customer approves and signs up for the project, they are given access to a live demo environment, where they can experience all the Valo features themselves, including the popular news hub, people finder and multi-lingual tool.
The demo environment can be fully branded and adapted to carry the prospects’ live content – giving customers an instant feel for the product before they commit to buy.
This means customers get exactly what they were expecting. As a result, customer satisfaction is higher with Valo than traditional products because it really works as expected.
Joining the Valo Partner Network
Joining the Valo Partner Network couldn’t be easier. Once you’re a member, you’ll work closely with one of our dedicated Partner Managers in your region, who is on hand to make your life as simple as possible.
Plus, as a Valo Partner, you’ll have direct access to our development team, who will provide you technical support 24/5.
Valo empowers us with training. They give us the tools we need to do the deployment. They regularly host annual partner meet ups, Valo Summits and monthly platinum webinars. The on-going training really empowers me to be more successful with the product.
We’d love you to join our awesome Partner Network and grow with us!
Still need convincing?
To find out more about the benefits of joining the Valo Partner Network, read:
15 Reasons why partnering with Valo is the best thing for your business
The Power of the Valo Partnership: Becoming a Valo Partner
Join our awesome Valo Partner Network and grow with us!