The all new Staff Directory app for SharePoint
Are your end users finding it a challenge to search for colleagues on SharePoint? We have a solution.
While Delve builds on SharePoint user profiles, it’s not actually a SharePoint site, which means two things – it looks completely different from SharePoint, as there’s no way to style it, and it takes people out of their intranet, and thus out of the flow of work.
Plus, because you can’t add a Delve web part to a SharePoint page, it can often be a frustrating user experience. For example, as there’s no back button to the intranet, users often end up losing track of where they are.
Enter Cloudwell’s new Staff Directory app built especially for SharePoint and Teams, integrated with Azure Active Directory, launched this week. We sat down with our CEO, Pat McGown to find out the inspiration behind it, and what problems it solves.
Tell us about the new Staff Directory app, why did you build it?
Pat: We built the Staff Directory app because SharePoint does not provide a native directory for staff to find people, and this is consistently a top requested feature by our customers. Our Staff Directory app connects into the Azure Active Directory and displays all users and guests within the organization and Microsoft 365.
How is Cloudwell’s Staff Directory app different from Microsoft Delve?
Pat: First, it is a native and cohesive experience for users. This means they do not have to navigate away to a separate platform to find colleagues because it sits within a company’s SharePoint site. Additionally, the user experience aligns with the patterns and practices of Microsoft 365, so the end user interface and configuration are intuitive and simple.
Second, most organizations use HRIS systems to manage their employee profiles. However, our Staff Directory app offers the ability to integrate with HRIS systems.
This means users will be able to pull in information like work anniversary dates/birthdays – so everyone in the team can see whose celebrations are coming up in the month ahead thanks to a badge displayed on their card etc., which is not possible to do in Delve.
What can SharePoint users do that they can’t do today?
Pat: In the Staff Directory app users can configure the search, sort, and filter from profile properties such as title, role, manager, office location, and more.
They can start a Teams chat or call within the app. Plus, using a QR code they can scan and save the contact information on their mobile device.
Can the Staff Directory app be made to look and feel like a SharePoint site?
Pat: The app is built on the same UI framework as Microsoft 365, SharePoint, and Teams, so the experience feels native and intuitive. It also integrates with Azure AD with no additional configuration needed.
How can IT admins use it?
Pat: From an admin perspective and someone configuring the app, the power behind it is the advanced filters used to create the directory results.
The Staff Directory App shows a true list of people in your directory – and removes unnecessary accounts such as bots, service accounts, external contractors, or non-active users.
Admins can use the advanced filters to pick fields, departments, and data to configure the different settings. When an account is deactivated or an employee’s name is removed from your Microsoft 365 environment, Staff Directory App will automatically update the data in real time.
How will end users benefit from using the Staff Directory app?
Pat: Users can search for colleagues using alphabetical letter filters, or first/last name, job titles, departments, and more.
Employees can even start searching by using a person’s first or last name and the search will automatically pick up on who they’re trying to find and suggest names.
Users can display results in ‘cards’ view – where it’s easy to click on the card and contact their colleague directly by email, Teams chat, or call.
Or can view colleagues in ‘list’ view – which is more of a table style – and filter in columns, departments, or by alphabet.
End users can also export lists, tables, or individual rows to different file types, such as Excel, CSV, or PDF.
How our customers use Staff Directory App
New employees familiarize themselves with colleagues by exploring profiles, understanding team structures and roles, and identifying departmental contacts.
Team members identify and contact colleagues from other departments easily for projects involving multiple units.
Office Relocation or Expansion
Businesses with multiple locations use the directory to pinpoint where team members operate.
Remote Work Collaboration
In remote or hybrid work setups, team members search for colleagues and their contact details using the directory to enhance collaboration.
Team Meetings & Planning
Managers organize team meetings and ensure they include all relevant members from particular departments or roles using the directory.
Directory Integration in Teams
Teams relying on Microsoft Teams integrate the directory, making staff details accessible without switching tools.
Tailored Staff Overviews
Creation of dynamic lists of teams or departments for specific events or initiatives using the advanced filtering.