The Intelligent Workplace

Education Series

Communication and Employee Engagement Solutions for Disrupted Teams

This episode of the Education Series is a recording from a live session of the Corporate Communications Online Event Series. We created this new series of webinars in response to global disruption caused by the Corona Virus. Each week we discuss the latest trends, challenges and solutions in the industry.
On this episode, I am joined by LiveTiles Chief Product Officer, Simon Tyrrell. Simon is a bit of a renaissance man in the industry, he has a unique skill to be able to get to the core of a problem, and solve it. He enjoys pushing boundaries and trying new things, but also enjoys sharing real-world solutions. On this episode, he is firmly in solution-mode.
Simon shares examples of some of the tech solutions being used to help keep employees engaged and productive while working remotely.
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Chris Lukianenko:            Good morning everybody and welcome to another session in our corporate communications online event series. Welcome back to those of us who joined us last Thursday. My name’s Chris Lukianenko, I’m the host and creator of the Intelligent Workplace podcast here at LiveTiles and will be hosting the event today.

Chris Lukianenko:            Now as you may know we started this new weekly event series in response to the situation that we’re all currently finding ourselves in. It’s fair to say that the worlds an extremely different place to what it was only a few weeks ago. Maybe even only a few days ago, and as a result the business world has changed dramatically.

Chris Lukianenko:            As I said last week, these sessions are designed to appeal to copy communicators. Anybody who’s dealing with communications right now, whether that be internally or externally. The idea is that we’re trying to help you solve some of the problems you’re currently facing. This is an interactive session again today, so if you want to ask a question during the session feel free to do so.

Chris Lukianenko:            I’ll monitor the questions in the questions box and I’ll ask them of our presenter on your behalf. Speaking of, click over to the next slide Simon. Joining me today …

Simon Tyrrell:                    Sorry. Chris, are you recording mate just quickly?

Chris Lukianenko:            Yes we are recording, yes mate.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Awesome, thank you, sorry. Go ahead.

Chris Lukianenko:            As you were. Joining me today in this session is Simon Tyrrell, a colleague of mine here at LiveTiles who I believe is a bit of a Renaissance man in the industry. He enjoys pushing the boundaries, trying new things, and embracing the new ideas of what is an ever-changing industry. As I said, his name’s Simon Tyrrell and he’s the chief product officer here at LiveTiles and since inception Simon has been one of the driving forces behind the LiveTiles product and he’s very passionate about driving innovation.

Chris Lukianenko:            He is the gift, still being able to say the bigger picture, especially in times like this when we’re in such a crisis. Also being able to drill down into the real world details in terms of how our products are used by the likes of all of you on this call here today. Welcome on Simon Tyrrell.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Hello Chris and hello everyone out there.

Chris Lukianenko:            Your home office looks very nice and tidy today.

Simon Tyrrell:                    [crosstalk 00:02:03]. I did clean up a bit last night to be honest, but yeah. It’s an interesting time.

Chris Lukianenko:            I need to find some decorations for mine. I’ve got the picture of my family [inaudible] the best I can do for decoration. All right, we might move on then and have a chat about the agenda now. Today, as we mentioned last week, this session is a followup to the previous session where we’re going to demonstrate some of the pieces of tech that we spoke about in that last session.

Chris Lukianenko:            What we’ll be discussing today, remote employee communications. Simon’s going to give you his thoughts on the state of play with this and demonstrate our mobile communications solution that we spoke about last week which is what we’ve been using ourselves here at LiveTiles as we work from home. We’ll talk about that in terms of communication and then the mobile first approach to actually converting that. Also to engagement with your staff.

Chris Lukianenko:            Next up we’ll move into the world of bots and share how we are seeing bots used in our customers right now to make access to information easier across different channels and reduce the load on things like call centers and help desks. Next we’ll take a look at extending Microsoft teams with access to corporate information and tools by the power panel with another demo from Simon.

Chris Lukianenko:            Then, while we’re on the topic of teams, that is a hot topic right now and we’ll finish up by talking you through some of the approaches to rapidly planning and rolling out teams so your users are not only up and running but getting value out of that in no time at all. As I said, once again, this is an interactive session so ask the questions via the app as we go along, and there’ll also be a bit of time for Q&A at the end. Let’s get into it.

Chris Lukianenko:            I need a chime to tell you to turn the page, Simon. Imagine this is your team. They’re awesome, they’re so smart, they’re so innovative, they collaborate well together and you are building a winning culture with them and then something like COVID-19 strikes and you have to keep all of that going while your people are working from kitchens, bedrooms, lounge rooms, studies and they’ve got distractions such as their partners might also be working from home.

Chris Lukianenko:            They might have kids and there’s lots of daytime television to watch. It’s really, really challenging and look we’re seeing that here at LiveTiles aren’t we Simon?

Simon Tyrrell:                    Yeah, we are mate. I mean we’re in a lucky position in a way in that we’re quite dispersed anyway and our natural inclination has been to work from anywhere as a company. But even then I just came off, a lady she called in and there’s still pockets and teams of people that perhaps that isn’t the norm and I think we have forgotten that a little bit. At times that it’s not the norm and then the social isolation piece, disruption to just standard work practices/processes. Yeah, we’re definitely seeing that and the good news for us and hopefully for all the organizations listening is that we’re also seeing a lot of people stepping up and really taking charge of situations and actually seeing some benefits to be honest.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Less time traveling to work seems to make more time available in the day, so yeah it’s definitely an interesting/challenging times but we’re adapting pretty well in LiveTiles at least.

Chris Lukianenko:            Yeah. For those who were here last week and saw the session, we were using our mobile communications app internally to help stay in contact with each other. You saw screenshots of people posting pictures of their work environments like this. Sharing pictures of dogs and cats and generally having a chat around that. I thought it’d be great just to get Simon to maybe give you a bit of a live … There it is, there on the screen there. That’s the slide from last week.

Chris Lukianenko:            I thought it’d be great for Simon to maybe take you through this tool here and then tell you a little bit more about it. Look at that live demo photo.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Absolutely mate. Let me just jump in. This is, the demos here will be really short and sharp just to show some of the functionality and more importantly why we think it’s important in the current climate. This is our employee communications application and it’s deliberately very simple. It is lightweight and you’re up and running in minutes and then there’s some basic configuration you can do to structure it which I’ll quickly touch on.

Simon Tyrrell:                    But we found in LiveTiles is just the fact this is so focused on communications, it’s not surrounded by noise of calibration tools, et cetera. Allows both top-down and bottom-up communications and it’s very, very easy to get in and publish good looking content, content that can be very, very relevant. Then you’ve got the ability to target the different channels, et cetera. Also, we’ve found just the simplicity of the mobile experience, the ability to push notifications has been a Godsend actually.

Simon Tyrrell:                    It’s been amazing how much this has taken over from other forms of more traditional communications, if you will, within LiveTiles just as a way for people to get messages out so it really [crosstalk 00:07:03].

Chris Lukianenko:            A live example. Can you see this on the screen here on my screen? That’s a view from one of the guys in New York today. This is the mobile device that I’ve got working which is what Simon’s showing you on the screen on the web version.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Yeah, absolutely, and it is being used for all sorts of stuff from updates around Coronavirus responses by government, through alerting mechanisms, through to just yeah, showing pictures of home offices. Showing pictures of coffee machines and now the latest is showing pictures of flowers in gardens. That’s really both a way for people to stay in touch, but also a way to get important information out.

Simon Tyrrell:                    I’ll just quickly touch on some of the key things about it. Basically, as I said, it’s really focused on the news communications side and it’s really important that, that is simple to get that information published. That you don’t have to battle with the tools, if you will. It’s got all the things you would expect in the editing experience, plus it’s got things, there’s an analytics engine behind the background. There’s an ability to turn on or off comments.

Simon Tyrrell:                    You can put basic poling into these articles. You can put on read/acknowledgements into these articles as well. It’s also got the ability to translate so we have the ability to automatically translate between English and German for our colleagues in Switzerland, and you can add additional language capabilities to that as well.

Simon Tyrrell:                    If I just quickly jump into where we do that, so I can jump into the editing experience and this is where anything above the line is stuff still being worked on. Anything below the line is a published article, so to get an article out there I simply come in here and it’s a very much the style. I can add a banner image very, very quickly. Look up some stock images, why don’t we go with the cat, that seems like a good idea.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Okay, and we’ll put a cat in. Then, from there it’s very much what you’d expect. I’m just going to type away here. Then, once you enter the body really quick, insert that image, insert the link to a video, external or internal and insert a document or even insert a quote from somebody. Just styles it. We can select keywords and apply that, so we use that for things like, “This is relevant to a department, or this is relevant to a location.” Okay, or a topic.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Do we want to ask readers to share a poll, so we can quickly put a poll in place here. Once again, it’s not trying to be a full survey tool, but at least it’s got the ability to say, “Did this make sense,” et cetera, et cetera, and you can add more than questions. You can also choose whether those questions are multiple choice or not. As I said earlier, we can ask readers for confirmation of this article.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Really simple to get those articles in, and then you can save as a draft or you can publish and then it gets pushed out to the app and notifies people in their mobile experience as well as the usual email notifications. Just quickly touching on some of the other information possibilities in this, if you don’t have a social tool such as a Yammer, et cetera, and you want to get just quick updates from workers around the world, there’s a post function which is very simply the ability to get bottom-up and top-down communications more like your quick share of stuff.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Might be very useful for those of you who have kiosk workers, or workers in the field. I should point out this app doesn’t require any underpinning Office365 or other licensing so it’s a very good solution for our customers. We’re getting a lot of interest in it, for those workers who maybe have traditionally not been part of that enterprise licensing and systems. It’s got the ability to have structured content as well, so pages, I think of that as just a really simple fast wiki capability where you can start to drill down through certain employee handbook.

Simon Tyrrell:                    We’ve had some customers who have very quickly digitized policies, protocols, procedures information through that feature. Finally, it’s even got a really simple events capability. If you want to promote, say, a digital yoga event which we’re seeing a lot of in our company, and you don’t want to do it for email because once again you may have a user base that doesn’t even have email accounts, then you can do that here and create an event. All other features, such as translation, et cetera, flow through and then has the ability for, you use polling to say what location people are going to be in and then they can register and that information can be fed into another system if you want.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Or the user can actually add it to their calendar, personal calendar as well. [crosstalk 00:11:36].

Chris Lukianenko:            Simon we’re getting a few quick questions mate. Just while you’re still on that one.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Yeah, go for it.

Chris Lukianenko:            I can’t see who’s, I think it might’ve been Daniel Ship who might’ve asked this question. Does the product have SSI integration with Azure AD?

Simon Tyrrell:                    Yeah, it absolutely does, and even better Daniel let me show you something that’s incredibly powerful. That was the demo environment. I’m just going to switch to another subscription which is actually our Swiss organization that we acquired last year, Cycle. This environment here is live, so you can see alerting around update on Coronavirus, a whole bunch of updates going on here from across the company.

Simon Tyrrell:                    What’s interesting about that at a technical level is there’s actually three Azure AD SSI environments. It does have the ability to integrate with multiple Azure AD authentication flows. Which is important, if for example you might want to use this to communicate with suppliers, partners, et cetera, and don’t have the luxury and time of setting up a different authentication mechanism. Absolutely, you can do that and it’s just done in the admin center.

Chris Lukianenko:            Keep those questions coming through peeps if you have any. I’ve just noticed Simon that our friend Christian in, I think he might be in Switzerland, has just got a great delivery of some stay at home coffee which I know interests you.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Absolutely.

Chris Lukianenko:            This is the stuff we’re sharing around the globe to keep everybody entertained and engaged.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Yeah, and just quickly guys. This is what actually started being useful [inaudible] these alerts and just to explain what that is. It’s a simple tickbox in the editing experience, just post that at the top of the page. Visually separates them from the rest of the news. You can expire that, so you can say this is only relevant for the next three days which in the current climate is probably 24 hours. But really simple techniques and then that obviously promotes it in the mobile app as well.

Simon Tyrrell:                    The message here is lightweight, you’re up and running very, very quickly but you have those rich editing experiences. You’ve got management along the lines of channels, for example, which you’re seeing here. The ability to segment it out. Users can choose to follow or subscribe to particular channels. You can also force certain channels must be followed, and then it’s got some additional features that might be relevant to you such as the events, the pages, and the post.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Of course, those can also be turned off if you don’t need them.

Chris Lukianenko:            Simon, you mentioned that you can be up and running quickly. How quickly? Are we talking minutes, [crosstalk 00:13:57], hours?

Simon Tyrrell:                    Yeah, seconds. I created that demo one last night in 30 seconds and I was up and running, able to go. Then, if you needed to integrate with your Azure AD, that can be done with some IT help in five minutes, and you’re up and running. Then it really becomes about … Your efforts right now, to be honest, should not be on technology. Your efforts should be on how you’re going to communicate. Your cadence, your tone of voice, all the stuff that Paul spoke about last week.

Simon Tyrrell:                    We believe that’s where you should be focused, not juggling and struggling with the technology aspect because that’s not going to engage your employees best. It’s how you use those tools and this tool is definitely not a barrier to getting going.

Chris Lukianenko:            It’s absolutely fantastic. Now, look, while Simon gets his next demo sorted out I’ll just quickly touch on another thing that we’re using here at LiveTiles to help with engagement and it’s something I’ll be talking about on Thursday in our next one of these com series events, and that’s internal podcasting. As I said in the intro, I’m the host of our podcast here at LiveTiles and we have both an internal and an external version.

Chris Lukianenko:            On Thursday I’ll be taking you through how we got our podcast up and running inside a day for under $500. Some of the software and the bits of equipment that we use, it’s really easy, really simple and I’m happy to share all of that with you. We’ve even developed an internal tool that gets our stuff out there to all of our employees via their podcast mobile apps. It’s all a part up in the Azure cloud and it’s a really great solution that doesn’t cost the earth.

Chris Lukianenko:            In fact, we made it internally in a very short period of time because we found that some of the tools out there were costing into the thousands, 10s of thousands of dollars so if you’re interested in starting that and talking to your employees more, join me on Thursday for another one of these sessions so next up we’ve got, if we flick over we’ve got what bots can do for you now. Which is the AI overlords with chatbots. Simon, chatbots have been around for a while. We’ve had the platform making it easy to build, manage, and deploy them for quite a while now.

Chris Lukianenko:            What are you seeing with the current situation with our customers how they’ve been able to take advantage of this technology. The question I’ve got for you, are they actually useful?

Simon Tyrrell:                    It’s fascinating, this one, because yeah we’ve been working with bots now for, geese, close to four years I think and I definitely cry to the current situation seeing the hype and hope around bots trail off a bit because they fail to live up to a lot of expectations to be honest around what they can do for different use cases. It’s been fascinating just the last week or so what we’ve seen customers start to do. Here is just a screenshot and I’m happy to show it as well.

Simon Tyrrell:                    This is Atlantic Health Systems in New Jersey, in the US who just signed up as a customer [inaudible] for bots prior to the recent events and we’re looking to do some stuff around just general [inaudible] chart use cases and then not the weekend just gone, the weekend before, they reached out with a bit of an issue about how could they get more information out to the public.

Simon Tyrrell:                    In less than three hours a bot was created, published onto their website and you’ll see it there. This is a screenshot of their website, you can go and check it out live and to take a risk assessment takes you to a bot on our bots platform. As I say, this was devised, built, and published in less than three hours on a weekend. Just allow them to offload, a big load to their core center which as you can imagine overloaded with calls and they’ve seen really, really significant uptake in terms of … It’s not going to take away all of those calls, but just allow them to offload some of it to the basic questions that can be asked and based on responses the type of information they can share in terms of simple things.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Have you traveled to China in the last 14 days? Do you have signs of these symptoms? Have you been around someone who has these symptoms, and just guides the members of the public through logical sequence of question and answers and then directs them to the appropriate next step. As I said it’s all about just reducing the load on the call center because it was being smashed.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Interestingly enough, we’re now seeing that within companies as well, so use cases that are all about say taking load off help desk, IT help desks which all of a sudden they’ve got every employee in a company working from home struggling with wifi, struggling with home setup. Can’t work out how to do something in an app and they default to the usual of calling the help desk.

Simon Tyrrell:                    At the same time those help desk workers are working from home and struggling with their own situation, so anything you can do where you can very quickly get something stood up, out to your employee base, that can of course be then exposed in Microsoft teams. They can be exposed on your intranet and if you want to it can be exposed through mobile messaging apps as well.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Just something to consider, and it’s just are quite funny to me that we’ve been working with this stuff for so long and to be honest we’re getting a little bit, are bots really, do they have a future? I think they’re finding a role in just really simple fast use cases that are all about offloading, Q&A, and information style access.

Chris Lukianenko:            That took only three hours to get up and running.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Yes, and that’s a public bot too.

Chris Lukianenko:            Just a very quick example of what the process of what they have to go through to get this up and running.

Simon Tyrrell:                    This one was built in an hour. Out bot designer, our bots platform that which we have and, yeah, it was just done by LiveTiles staff member on a weekend who they reached out to, and built it out and got it all done for them. They’ve also got some analytics tracking it as well. That’s the point, the platform we built, that was its intention [crosstalk 00:19:51].

Chris Lukianenko:            Yeah, absolutely.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Yeah, it’s just been something to think about for an organization who’s maybe seeing call loads just go through the roof and struggling to keep up. How can you maybe redirect a percentage of that traffic or particularly if you think about putting that bot into teams if you’re rolling that out, which I’ll talk to shortly as well.

Chris Lukianenko:            What a great segue mate. Speaking of teams, as I said in the opener Microsoft teams is a really hot topic right now. I’m tipping it for you people on the call. You’re all dealing with teams right now. In fact, someone asked a question before that, “Why aren’t we using Microsoft teams to facilitate the webinar?” There’s quite the functionality there to do that. But I can guarantee you that we’re using teams for just about absolutely everything internally right now.

Chris Lukianenko:            Microsoft are giving it away for free, as you may have heard, and people are really jumping onto it. But even before this all happened we at LiveTiles could see that with the growing number of users were so rapid it was going to be the next big thing so we started on working on a way to augment teams and use some of our own tech to put on the top of it and give you everything you need at your fingertips within teams, and we call it the power panel.

Chris Lukianenko:            We’re pretty proud of this one so I might just hand it over to Simon for another demo on this.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Yeah, so I’ll just jump in here and really quickly, I guess, what this is about and obviously teams is just, it’s growth has been prior to Coronavirus and since has just been phenomenal. I mean, I saw some numbers the other day from within Microsoft, the growth is approaching 50 million daily active users right now.

Simon Tyrrell:                    There’s a few things about this. It gives you that ability to collaborate video meetings, et cetera, all the stuff people are using it for. But one of the things we’re seeing there’s eyeballs are being lost to the corporate world. By that I mean what you might’ve traditionally seen as your role of your intranet. What is its place now? Does it have a place? What the power panel is all about is how do you start to bring in access to corporate information systems, data, without taking people away from teams because what we think users are wanting and what we definitely see their own user base and customers are already talking to about this stuff is that if they’re in teams they just want to be there.

Simon Tyrrell:                    It’s where their meetings are, it’s likely where documents are starting to be shared, and it’s where they’re sharing gifts and having a bit of a social connection. How do you bring that in, and power panel is something. I’ll just quickly show you the concept here. It’s something we’ve had for our share point world which is this side bar, right beside, but it also possible and it has been possible for quite a while to actually bring it into teams.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Here I am in teams, I’m just in the web app here for ease of demonstration. But basically here’s teams, standard teams, and we’ve got the power panel app here pinned to the side. This could, of course, be a tab app if you know what those are in teams. Where it’s actually just embedded within the functionality of a specific team.

Simon Tyrrell:                    But in this case we’ve got it as a pinned app down the side which means no matter where I go in teams I can come back to power panel. The types of things that can then be added are just about anything you can imagine you would put on your intranet. We have the ability, for example, people search, people directory, which is leveraging our intelligent profile agent. Which goes and makes sure all of our user profiles are kept up to date.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Which we’re also getting a lot of customers talking to us, now about trying to fill the gaps in profiles and also keep it up to date if people are moving work locations, et cetera. You can have corporate news coming down from your corporate intranet. That could be our platform which I demoed earlier. It could just be standard share point news, it could be a combination of those things.

Simon Tyrrell:                    That ability to make sure that, that corporate information is delivered to me as a user, access to different services I might want such as, for example, trading services. Might be access to simple forms to go and get stuff done such as maybe request an expense for a new webcam from my home office, that type of thing. Where you can embed search capabilities in. Alerts from your intranet such as what’s happening in different sites or different information across the environment.

Simon Tyrrell:                    You come here, so you see here we’ve got quite a few alerts coming through. You can embed your enterprise social network feeds, such as Yammer. You can even embed your external social feeds if that’s a way you feel you can keep your employees connected. Of course you can even embed a bot into this as well. That ability to get a bot within this environment, it could be multiple bots if you wanted it to just to support your users.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Once again, I can then go out of that and I’m back into standard teams, and if I want to come back I can come back into power panel. Implement this, work out the types of things you’d like to have access to, and it could be corporate data. It could be dashboards, that type of stuff. It could be simple links to corporate and enterprise systems, or it could be a combination of all that along with content.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Just to give you an example of how we use it. I’m just going to jump into my live teams and you see we’ve got power panel across here, slightly different configuration but one of the things we put together was just an official, a combination of official sources of COVID-19 updates. We’ve got CDC information coming through, the World Health Organizations FAQ, right, and just the Microsoft COVID-19 tracker that they’ve done on [inaudible] which is pretty impressive.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Just that ability to combine that all into one panel. As you can see here, I can jump out of that, go into some personal links to systems which I can also add my own if I don’t want to think about getting back to say browser based business application. I can just jump back into that. I can give it a quick read and then jump back into the standard user [inaudible 00:25:53].

Chris Lukianenko:            Hey, Simon.

Simon Tyrrell:                    We think this is very powerful. Yes, mate?

Chris Lukianenko:            Dan had another question here. He says, “Does that profile update app get the data back into AD?”

Simon Tyrrell:                    Absolutely Daniel. The intelligent platform profile we got which used to be known as Hyper Fish, that’s what it’s about. You configure it centrally and you just set a bunch of rules around what profile field you want to get updated, are they mandatory, are they read only, how often do you want to do it, and it reaches out to your users on whatever basis you set it.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Not only to get information that might be empty, but also to go back and confirm is this still correct? Clearly in the current environment things like addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, those types of things which are often not up to date in active directory and it supports both on premise active directory updates as well as Azure AD updates.

Chris Lukianenko:            Daniel, I’ll ask this question for you. Yes, it does do photos so there’s some smarts behind it to make sure you’re not putting up a photo of your dog or your cat, or a cartoon image. That you’ve got a real photo with a real persons face, so.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Absolutely, there’s a whole bunch of analytics on the admin side, too, so you can see how your profiles are tracking. Where do you have gaps, et cetera. Yeah, we’ve got a lot of customers right now reaching out where they’ve realized that their active directory user profile information isn’t quite up to scratch.

Chris Lukianenko:            Absolutely. He’s very happy with that. He’s telling me that’s nice. Thank you very much Daniel.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Thank you.

Chris Lukianenko:            Whilst Simon gets the preso back up and running we’ll keep the teams theme rolling here and let’s talk about implementing it. If you haven’t already implemented it, it takes you a bit of work and there are some really key decisions you need to make on access and channels and privacy, and the like that can make the difference between being a real game changer within your company. Or creating something that’s a bit more of a hindrance that people aren’t really going to use.

Chris Lukianenko:            Recently just before all this outbreak, someone created a fantastic card game to assist with this and we launched it about three weeks ago and now we can’t play it because of social isolation rules because you actually have to be in the room together. There it is, he’s holding it up on his camera. We got it all printed, it was fantastic, it was ready to go. Then, all of a sudden, this happened.

Chris Lukianenko:            But what we have been able to do is take those insights that we worked on in developing that game and we’re using that in a bit of a different way. I’ll let Simon explain what we’re up to now.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Yeah, so this is quite ironic that we created this game and it was all about trying to simplify the method of understanding, how you might roll teams out and doing it in a really fun, engaging, but fast way. We were having great success with it, but of course a card game that’s meant to be played in person isn’t quite as effective in the current environment. Let’s talk about why we did it first.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Teams technically to roll out is relatively straight-forward. However it has huge amount of functionality, and how you structure it really does go to how much value users get out of it. As Chris alluded to, it’s things like the team structure. How many teams you should have. Do you just allow free for all and anyone can create teams. Bearing in mind, a team is basically a silo of information and collaboration. How channels, so channels are just subgroups within a team structure.

Simon Tyrrell:                    How do you best use those? Security settings, governance settings, all these things that you would traditionally have a lot of time to think about and plan around. Right now, you don’t. How do you rapidly approach that? What we’re doing right now for customers is two things. We’re actually running the game as a remote session. We’re still using the physical game, but we’ve got a setup now where we can run it and we’re happy to also guide customers through how you can do it within your own organization.

Simon Tyrrell:                    The concept here is to run a quick 30 – 60 minute session using the cards with teams to say, “Hey, what could we do here. How should we structure?” It also works really well to review how teams. Let’s say a marketing team may have set some stuff up and it’s just not working for them, so the ability to map that out and reverse engineer it into something that works. It’s a very, very powerful, but also fun engaging way which is obviously also important at the moment.

Simon Tyrrell:                    The other thing we’ve done and there’s just a screenshot there. We’ve actually digitized it and we’ve just used one of our own tools, our LiveTiles cloud platform and we’ve just created really simple components that you drag and drop and allow us to do it in a virtual space. Once again, doing it live with customers/users on how to, how they think it should work, capturing all that and then being able to share that post event so you can see visually.

Simon Tyrrell:                    That’s the key thing, the visual structure, it makes it a lot easier to understand. We’ve then got another tool called the teams planning workbook that allows us to take the agreed outcomes of the game and put it into more of a structured definition which also then gives you some reporting around, things like what percentage of public versus private. Do you have external access requirements, et cetera?

Simon Tyrrell:                    Those, and we can provide that to you as a report as well. Really simple things that should mean you can start to think about planning out teams in hours, not weeks. Then, obviously go away and implement that. We’ve got some other tools post that if you want to talk about mass scale management governance controls but it starts with that rapid planning capability so you can really think about how do we best structure teams so it’s actually a useful tool and doesn’t just become another platform with lots of silos, confusion, users being overwhelmed with where they’re meant to go, et cetera.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Also, allow you to take advantage of some of its functionality such as app integration so you can start to bring line of business systems into the experience as opposed to users having to jump out of it to go and get their other work done. If you’re interested in that, there’s two things worth bringing your attention to. Just yesterday we launched a support program for customers called teams accelerator.

Simon Tyrrell:                    The links just there on the screen. Encourage you to go have a look and reach out to us. This is both running the game for you, doing that planning tool and helping you with that, and providing that to you as well. But also providing you with our ongoing support, whether that be helping you review the use of teams. Maybe it’s, “Hey, we’ve got a hotspot over here where people are complaining that they need to do something differently.”

Simon Tyrrell:                    Once again, you can scale out to us and we can help go and help make that a better situation for those users using some of these things I’ve just mentioned. Please check that out and if you’re interested in the teams game itself I’ll put the URL there. Once again, we were sending out physical kits to customers. We will continue to do that into the future, but if you think running a different style of event even if it’s just to engage your users with something different and a bit of fun while talking about work stuff, please reach out to us and we’ll get something set up for you.

Chris Lukianenko:            Thanks for that mate. We’re going into a quick recap here and while I’m talking you through this maybe have a bit of a think if you’ve got any questions for Simon. First up, we showed you our mobile communications platform which we’ve been using internally to not only engage with each other but send out important messages. Whether that be via the website or on the mobile phones.

Chris Lukianenko:            We’ve had some great success with that. We quickly touched on the power of podcast, which we will talk about on Thursday in a followup session. Simon then showed you how we’re using the power panel within teams to bring everything into one location to make life a little bit easier and then of course he just touched on how we’re working on accelerating teams implementations and adoption.

Chris Lukianenko:            We’re aware of the teams game and us helping you along with it. If you are interested in any of those things at all feel free to reach out there. Our email address is there on the screen there, we’re only too happy to help you out. We’ve covered a fair bit in this quick 30 minute session here today so thanks Simon for taking us through all of that and I’m sure there must be a few questions out there, although we’ve had a few people drop off.

Chris Lukianenko:            If you do have a question, like Greg Edmonds has just put here. He says … Beg my pardon. “When you say rapid deployment, how long do you see this on average?” Obviously this changes based on the customers requirements.

Simon Tyrrell:                    In terms of teams, I think Greg are you referring to that? I’ll assume that’s the case unless you …

Chris Lukianenko:            [crosstalk 00:34:40].

Simon Tyrrell:                    Yeah, look it’s, the deployment itself is not necessarily the issue. It depends on if you want a governed environment. As I mentioned before, we’ve got some customers who are providing self provisioning of teams but doing in a more governed way. That’s a number of days to implement that side of things. In terms of if you’ve got a particular group, it might be a leadership team, it might be a marketing team. HR team, who are just struggling to understand what the role of teams is and what we’ve found is, and I encourage you to do it in your own organizations.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Ask people what they think teams is for. 99.9% of the conversations we’ve had people are associating it with video meetings. Right now they’re not even thinking about the broader set of capabilities it provides, or collaboration/teamwork, integration of data sources, et cetera. Yet there might be some really powerful use cases for particular teams in your organization that can really help them get work done better in this pretty unique world we’re operating in now.

Simon Tyrrell:                    It all really does come down to how quickly you can get that definition rather than just free for all, which may work but it may not. But also not going into traditional project style workshop and documentation requirements. Which either are going to be very hard to do in the current climate and are just going to take to long. Things like the teams game, the rapid planning, gives you that clarity on here’s what we’re going to do.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Which means you can then go and build it, manually still. We can help you build it under our teams accelerate program, or we could work with you to implement that governance provisioning platform which I say is a matter of days. That allows you to set up templates. Allows you to catch meta data, and allows you track usage. Okay, so really simple things that just enables you to have that centralized platform.

Simon Tyrrell:                    To your users you can still give them self provisioning, that ability to create their own teams. But you put a little bit more structure around them. The answer to the question is, we’re talking hours of effort for teams to start getting an understanding of what they should be doing and how they should be doing it and why, and most importantly try to reach consensus on that.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Then, you’re talking, go and build it either manually, internally, get some help, or we can look at setting you up for an ongoing provisioning and management which is [inaudible] set of days. But we are not talking weeks of effort to get this going. Then the other important thing we’ll note as this situation drags on and the biggest unknown is, we just don’t know.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Making sure that you evolve, that teams can change with potentially different ways of working as people get more mature with its use, their expectations might go higher. Having this ability to have this ongoing touch point and review of what’s going on, how it’s working, what’s not working and being able to change what we think it’s going to be absolutely critical. [crosstalk 00:37:34].

Chris Lukianenko:            I’ve got a couple questions … Yeah, we’ve got a couple of questions here form Hayden. Hayden, we might just take that offline with you in terms of he wants to get a bit of a view of the digitized teams actually are already 10 minutes over time, so I’ll make a note to follow up with you Hayden post this event and we can take you through that.

Chris Lukianenko:            Marie’s got a quick question here which is, “What is the case for keeping an old style intranet if you shift to a dynamic power panel?” There you go.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Very good point, Marie, thank you for asking that and I was wondering if I’d get through the presentation without mentioning the word intranet. It’s a really good point. We’re seeing, and I’ll give you just what we’re seeing in customs right now. Obviously, our core platform traditionally has been really built around intranets. Enterprise intranets and intelligent intranets. We assume that, that might flatten off very, very quickly and actually hasn’t.

Simon Tyrrell:                    We’re seeing a few things. We’re still seeing organizations who are looking to either stand a new intranet, because maybe that’s something they wanted to do or improve their existing intranet. But the timeframes of that are being brought into days and weeks, not weeks and months. We think the role here is there’s still a central place of access to stuff and you are still going to have users in your organization who go to the intranet and rely on the intranet.

Simon Tyrrell:                    But where we think you can really benefit from that, with things like teams being rolled out, is things like the power panel allow you to bring that set of information. Whether it’s corporate news, whether it’s access to policies and procedures which still need to be managed. Right? We can’t take all our policies/procedures/documents and just dump them into teams and go for it because that’s a risk to your organization.

Simon Tyrrell:                    You’ve got all of those structured governed pieces of information, you’ll still have the need to be able to jump off and access sites that exist for teams that were already running. You want to be able to have a central point of access to simple things like quick links, enterprise search. What we don’t see the power panel replacing the intranet, it’s just a different access point that puts it in the place where your users eyeballs are.

Simon Tyrrell:                    We think that’s going to be really important, we’ve thought this for a while regardless of the current situation. Simply because it means you’re not asking your users to have to remember where to go or jump through hoops to get there. You can just put the important stuff front and center. Once again, with the power panel it’s not a do once and forget. It can evolve with your organization, so it’s configured centrally and then deployed out everywhere.

Simon Tyrrell:                    You can do things, smart things like targeting. For example, the high chart team might have a panel or a component within one of those panels that nobody else sees. All of those standard enterprise intranet capabilities are supported by power panel and we definitely don’t think it’s a replacement for the intranet, it just augments it with a different access point and maybe combines it with some other stuff specific to say meetings.

Simon Tyrrell:                    We think there’s a role for power panel in helping you get ready for your upcoming meetings and might bring that all together and that’s something we’re working on right now. Yeah, definitely the intranet has an important role to play, but I think the reality is a lot of your users if you’re rolling out teams are going to gravitate towards it, because as I said before it’s where the meetings are happening.

Simon Tyrrell:                    It’s where they’re doing video calls to stay in touch, so we can bring the stuff to them and someone internally actually made a really good comment the other day. It’s about the intranet adopting your users, not your users adopting the intranet. It’s that sort of a bit of a [inaudible] we’ve got going on at the moment.

Chris Lukianenko:            Yeah. Absolutely, absolutely. I don’t think there are any more questions and I can tell you what, I’m really hanging through my next cup of coffee this morning so we might wrap this one up a bit. Yeah, everybody who’s still here as you know this is a new weekly series that we started here at LiveTiles and today’s session is actually a bonus one for all of you who’ve attended.

Chris Lukianenko:            From here on we’ll be settling in to a weekly Thursday time slot at 8:30 a.m. Australian time. You can jump on through our event page at at any time to see the upcoming events because these will be rolling out, as I say, every Thursday. Speaking of Thursday, this week I’ll be back again at this time and I’ll be talking more about the power of the podcast and how we’ve been able to develop one internally. It’s been really efficient, effective, and a really secure way to share information with remote workers.

Chris Lukianenko:            Plus it’s a really great way to stay human in these disruptive times, so join me on Thursday and that again is another interactive session so bring your questions along, I’m happy to answer them, and I can take you through how we got that up and running pretty, pretty quickly. Thanks everybody for joining us here today. It’s been really great having you here and having this conversation. That was a really great session where lots of Q&A, which is exactly how we want to run these things.

Chris Lukianenko:            We want to make sure it’s an open conversation because that’s key at this current time. As I said, if you need any follow up on anything here, feel free to contact Simon or myself, or your local LiveTiles representative and hopefully we’ll see you here on Thursday for our next session. Thank you Simon for your time this morning.

Simon Tyrrell:                    Thank you everyone for taking time. Thanks Chris, and yeah, stay safe everyone.

Chris Lukianenko:            Thanks guys.


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