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From Paperwork Piles to Customer Data at their Fingertips: How Aurea CRM Catapulted Pluradent into the Digital Age

 

Pluradent is a group of companies that provides services and products for dentists and dental technicians. With over 1,300 employees, 35 subsidiaries across europe and revenues over 300 million Euros, the company is one of the largest retailers in the European healthcare market. Pluradent offers not only dental products, but also logistics, professional training and conference services, as well as consulting on accounting, quality management and more.

 

With so many lines of business, Pluradent’s IT team is focused on implementing easy-to-use, robust tools to support employees. Since 2000, the company’s sales department has used Aurea CRM to help manage and improve client relationships. Today, half of the company leverages our software for everything surrounding customer interactions, with around 200 super users who rely on the Aurea CRM mobile experience every day. The software tracks all the information they need about customers, generates consultation reports and visualizes key sales workflows around the clock.

 

We recently had the chance to speak with Roland Gell, CRM system architect and long-term employee at Pluradent, about his company’s nearly twenty years on Aurea CRM and what he finds most remarkable about the solution.

Copyright "Pluradent AG& Co KG

 

 

Aurea: If you had to sum up what Aurea CRM means to Pluradent in one sentence, what would you say?

 

Roland Gell: Aurea CRM is of fundamental importance for our success today. It keeps our sale representatives on top of their game, providing them with all of the indispensable facts and details they need about their customers, while delivering outstanding usability.

 

Aurea: Why did Pluradent initially choose Aurea CRM?

 

Roland Gell: Our search for a suitable CRM provider started in 1999 before I even joined Pluradent. Back then, the company had paper cards and written reports for everything, so sales reps were carrying around file folders to customer appointments. It took people much longer to gather information or answer customer inquiries because they always had to call the back office to get the details.

 

I was hired after the company selected what was then called update.CRM, because they wanted to ensure a smooth rollout and ongoing administration of the new tool. In those years, the focus was on capturing customer data and making it available at any time—something Aurea still provides today. The system did everything we needed at the time, and has improved quite a bit over the years.

 

Aurea: How did you drive adoption for Aurea CRM?

 

Roland Gell: It took some time for the company and our employees to understand the importance of a well-functioning CRM solution. When we first introduced Aurea CRM, some people were a bit suspicious and reluctant to change their workflows. The biggest challenge was to convince especially older co-workers of the benefits of the system, as they were afraid of being too transparent or doing something wrong.

 

We offered helpful trainings and, once we got our top management on board, many others followed. The executives led by example, so the employees quickly learned to use the software and started enjoying the advantages of having all our customer data in one place. Now they work with Aurea CRM every day and can hardly imagine life without it. These are great accomplishments, given that the dental industry and dealers in Germany are pretty “old school.”

 

Aurea: What do Pluradent’s sales reps like best about the solution?

 

Roland Gell: Aurea CRM really changed their daily work. Today our sales representatives have customer information at their fingertips and can gather details about offers, complaints or pricing before (or even during) a customer meeting. Afterwards they can easily share a recap, so that everybody in the company has insight into what’s been discussed.

 

The modern and intuitive interface of Aurea CRM is easy to understand, and our sales representatives work with it naturally from any place at any time. Now, they can generate all necessary reports and documents without paper, and knowledge becomes immediately accessible to their colleagues. Our reps especially love the mobile app that lets them work on the go and switch seamlessly back and forth from the desktop version. In the words of one of our oldest employees, who has been with Pluradent for more than 40 years: “If I had Aurea CRM 25 years ago, my job would have been so much easier all the way through.”

 

Aurea: What are your future plans for digital transformation?

 

Roland Gell: Pluradent definitely wants to become more digital and use state-of-the-art technology. That is on the top of our priority list for the coming months and years. For Aurea CRM, we are also planning a roll-out across company borders. Our logistics division will be the next adopter of the technology in order to streamline complaint management and make their work easier. With this step, we will probably increase usage by 20%, and I am sure many more groups will follow as soon as they have seen the benefits.

 

Employee Engagement Today, customer expectations are continuously growing, demanding exceptional quality and service. The key to delivering such an experience starts with having an engaged and connected workforce. In fact, a recent survey from Gallup found that companies with high employee engagement had 10 percent higher customer ratings than those with low engagement.

 

In an effort to improve engagement levels, many companies look to deploy an interactive intranet like Jive to allow employees to easily connect, collaborate and locate information. While its objective is to increase productivity and satisfaction levels, it’s important to realize this doesn’t happen right away. In a recent CMSWire article, I discuss what it takes to have a successful intranet that fosters collaboration and why you need to look at each phase of your intranet’s life to ensure it maps back to your desired business outcomes.

 

Collaborative and connected environments result in happier, more engaged employees, which results in better customer experience. By deploying a hub where connecting with information and one another is easily done, employees, customers and the business can all reap the returns.

 

I’d love to learn more about your best practices and experiences with employee engagement. Please share any thoughts or insights in the comments below.

 

 

 

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

~ John Quincy Adams

 

Last month we gave a long overdue shout out to Helen Chen for her incredible contribution to AureaWorks and other customers in Shout Out to the Incredible AureaWorks Community Member, Helen Chen! It would be a miss on our part not to express our appreciation for someone else that we think deserves recognition for her passion and dedication to helping people work better together. I'm sure you've seen her around the AureaWorks community leading testing groups, offering advice and helping out fellow community members on a daily basis.

 

We want to give a huge shout out to Tracy Maurer!

 

Tracy Maurer (second from left) pours her passion into everything she does both in and out of the office. She's like the mailman of running – nothing but thunderstorms or tornados stop her.

 

One of the many things that really stands out to us about Tracy is her profound passion for not only her work, but making sure her own customers are well-taken care of and informed. We also appreciate her willingness to share her extensive knowledge about Jive and AureaWorks to assist other AureaWorks community members, whether it's answering questions, pointing to documentation or informing them of changes.

 

I talked about how collaboration is not possible without people in my blog about Helen, but I also think an important aspect of collaboration is leadership. You need someone to give direction and to spearhead initiatives to help get things moving. Tracy has gone above and beyond to step up as a leader in the AureaWorks community. As an example, she not only dove into testing for the upcoming release, but she invited other AureaWorks community members to follow her lead making sure to thoroughly test various Jive functionality.

 

Another leadership quality that we admire in Tracy is being willing to point out when things are amiss – taking the time to say "hey, this isn't right" and then working with us to correct the issue.  I've personally seen her working through issues over the weekend to make sure the impact on her customers is mitigated. That kind of care and commitment is something we appreciate about Tracy and why she is such an asset to the AureaWorks community and all of its members.

 

Thank you for everything you do, Tracy! You definitely inspire us to do more and become more. Thank you for being a leader and pillar to the AureaWorks community.

 

~ Sarah O'Meara and the AureaWorks Community Management Team

 

 

P.S. As a little thank you, we are awarding you with a special AureaWorks badge and 1,000 points.

The value of enterprise collaboration (EC) seems intuitive: of course it’s better to have customers, employees, and partners working together in a holistic way. Measuring collaboration, however, isn’t nearly as straightforward. Even when you can see the results of engagement in action, it can be challenging to benchmark and prove the impact of your enterprise collaboration initiative.

 

That’s where Forrester comes in. Register for the on-demand webinar to hear guest speaker, vp and principal analyst Art Schoeller reveal the findings of his February 2018 report, Create a Benchmark Strategy For Your Enterprise Collaboration Technology. Art will explain why organizations often struggle with the benchmarking effort and outline the critical elements of a benchmarking strategy that you can use to improve your understanding of collaboration in the enterprise.

 

Topics covered include:

  • Why measuring adoption isn’t enough. In the report, Art writes that “When it comes to measuring the success of your enterprise collaboration strategy, too many companies go on further than measuring applicationForrester Enterprise Collaboration
    adoption. As organizations implement EC tools, they must
    gather deeper insight into the use of the tools and how they can help drive business results.”
  • How to set up a governance framework. The Forrester report states that “Putting an EC strategy in place requires more than just deploying technology tools: it requires governance.” Art will cover three ways to establish governance in order to focus your benchmarking efforts.
  • 3 ways to better understand your current state. The first step to a successful benchmark program is to clearly understand where you are today. You’ll hear Forrester’s four elements of a strategy for assessing collaboration tool utilization and user satisfaction to create the foundation of your benchmark program.
  • Tips for building your collaboration roadmap. Discover the best way to balance adopting the latest market innovations and maintaining order in your customer experience ecosystem.
  • How to measure the business impact of enterprise collaboration. Perhaps most importantly, Art will answer the C-suite’s favorite question: how does enterprise collaboration add measurable business results? His strategies will help you measure objectives like increased productivity, revenue gains, reduced employee attrition, better customer satisfaction, and more.

 

Register for the on-demand webinar to hear all of Art’s insights firsthand. Registrants will also receive a complimentary copy of the Forrester report, Create a Benchmark Strategy For Your Enterprise Collaboration Technology, to ensure you gain the tools and techniques you need to successfully measure enterprise collaboration at your organization.

 

>Register for the webinar<

There’s a good reason that so many businesses are moving to cloud-based email services like Gmail and Microsoft Office 365. These are familiar vendors with a promise of exceptional performance and ease of use with seemingly zero trade-offs. Unlike the headache of managing on-premises email systems, cloud vendors take care of hardware, upgrades, availability and more. Your company’s email “just works,” and all you have to do is pay the bill every month. Right? 

 

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Despite the hype, cloud-based email is far from perfect because it can introduce significant vulnerabilities and risk into your organization. While convenient, cloud-based email may not meet all of the needs of your business as it adapts and grows.  We’re not suggesting that customers change their strategy in favor of on-premise, but we do encourage them to make sure they fully understand both the pros and the cons.

Bill Gates famously said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.” Wise words, but how can you take action without understanding exactly what change will occur?

Gartner Research enterprise collaboration

Gartner attempts to answer that question in its recent report, How We Will Work in 2028*. We believe this is an excellent read for anyone in the modern workplace, from CIOs to freelancers, the report covers the evolution of both people and technology, and explores how the two will work together in the near future.

Highlights include:

 

The rise of “We Working. "Gartner defines “We Working” as “a work philosophy that depends on ensembles of autonomous and high-performing teams fulfilling crucial outcomes.” This is a theme near and dear to us at Jive and something we work hard to enable. In practice, it looks like more non-routine work, where people are constantly adapting and improvising, forming ad hoc teams to solve specific problems and then regrouping to tackle new challenges. Gartner’s report illuminates these ideas, exploring how we will get there and what it will mean for traditional management structures.

 

The importance of ongoing learning. It has always been important to stay up-to-date with changes to your industry, but the demand for continuous and agile upskilling will skyrocket. Gartner emphasizes the growing rise in non-routine cognitive work, which will put new pressure on employees and organizations as we shift from traditional education models to constant, organic knowledge-sharing and learning. The report also offers three concrete recommendations for CIOs to improve and foster this required digital dexterity.

 

The blurring of boundaries. No surprise here: we’ve all witnessed the shift to the remote workplace. The allure of freelancing and the gig economy will intensify, according to Gartner.  We believe this is due to boundaries breaking down and teams and technology become more fluid. As the system matures, new challenges (notably security) and solutions will kick in, requiring more of the recommendations provided in the report. Gartner specifically calls out the importance of “continuity and organizational knowledge” for critical roles and how “Strategically minded CIOs will play a key role in using technology and information to build a hybrid workplace - physical and virtual - that embraces work styles of all people.”

 

The revolution of smart machines. AI, machine learning and the like will move from hype to reality. We feel this report does a particularly good job of articulating

what that will look like and how it will impact people across industries and roles, even speculating that “By 2028, departments of ‘robot resources’ will begin to rival ‘human resources’”. Thankfully no hysteria about robots taking our jobs here, though – just a thoughtful analysis of how humans, robots, and AI will work together, with machine intelligence complementing human power versus replacing it.

 

The final point in How We Will Work in 2028 is perhaps the most compelling: that in spite of (or maybe because of) advanced technology and greater flexibility, we will work for purpose and passion, not just money, but that that passion and drive will introduce a dark side to work-life balance. Their analysis here is very interesting and worth the read for leaders who must navigate these new waters and employees who are learning to navigate them.

 

Download the full report to read Gartner’s complete analysis on how we will work in ten years, including their six assumptions and CIO recommendations for each. Get your copy.




*Gartner How We Will Work in 2028, De’Onn Griffin, Mark Coleman, 27 February 2018.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

~ Helen Keller

 

AureaWorks provides a platform for collaboration, but there is no collaboration without people. This is a place for you – Aurea customers – not only to get updates on your products, but also to share your best practices, ask questions of other community members, and inspire ideas to make the most out of your Aurea product(s). You know the saying that two heads are better than one? What about the knowledge and experience of over a thousand heads put together? That's what AureaWorks does, thanks to all of its participating community members.

 

While we have so many amazing and helpful individuals here in the community, all of us at Aurea wanted to take this time to give a special shout out to one person in particular that has stood out in the AureaWorks community, going above and beyond in helping out her fellow community members – Helen Chen from Carbon Black!

 

Helen at JiveWorld17!

Helen hanging out with a dragon at JiveWorld

 

You've probably seen Helen around the community and seen firsthand the impact she's made in AureaWorks over the past several months answering questions, offering advice, and even planning and hosting the Jive Boston User Group along with Stephanie Field. We want to thank her for her contribution to the collaboration happening in AureaWorks on a daily basis. There have been so many times I've logged into AureaWorks prepared to answer questions only to realize that Helen already beat me to it! It's absolutely incredible to see people like Helen offering a helping hand to someone who is new or experimenting with a new idea. This is truly what collaboration is all about.


The past several months we have been so grateful to Helen for her proactive stance on answering questions and helping out other AureaWorks members when she can. We also want to acknowledge the time she has taken out of her day to help out in AureaWorks and with the Jive Boston User Groups.

 

I hope you all join us in thanking Helen for being an impactful presence in the community and for all the work she has done for her peers.

 

Thank you for being a part of the AureaWorks community, the Jive family, and always being willing to help out people in need, Helen!

 

 

~ Sarah O'Meara and the AureaWorks Community Management Team

 

 

P.S. As a little thank you, we are awarding you with a special AureaWorks badge and 1,000 points.

Chat apps are everywhere in the enterprise, and rightfully so. Email is inefficient, nobody (unfortunately) answers the phone anymore, and teams are looking for ways to get work done faster. Real-time messaging apps provide exactly that: a place for employees to gather quickly, seek expertise and stay connected across dozens of departments, offices and countries.

 

But chat should only be one part of a company’s larger real-time collaboration strategy. While chat can bring big benefits, it too often results in fragmented conversations that don’t actually help your business become more efficient on a whole.

 

Check out these pitfalls and recommendations in my latest piece for cmswire to ensure chat plays the optimal role in your company's digital workplace.

Originally published on the Jive Software site on May 3, 2017 by Bill Klco.

 

Care coordination has long been an Achilles heel of the American healthcare industry. Gone are the days when personal relationships among practitioners and organizations were enough to ensure clear communications and hand-offs as patients made their way through the system. These days, the process is fraught with miscues, crossed signals and inefficiencies. It leaves patients struggling to understand their conditions, their treatment options, their care instructions and their payment responsibilities. It drives up costs for providers and payers. It increases the risk of medical mistakes and compromises the quality of care.

 

As the Improving Chronic Illness Care (ICIC) organization puts it, "Across U.S. health care, fragmented systems and communication breakdowns contribute to widespread failures in care coordination that have devastating consequences for patients (Reducing Care Fragmentation: Executive Summary).

 

Need further confirmation? Just ask the patients themselves, as the Commonwealth Fund did in this survey:

 

Those experiences ring just as true now as they did when the survey was conducted in 2008. The situation is unsustainable, especially with the industry's current shift to value-based reimbursement models that emphasize better outcomes at lower cost. Poor care coordination is a big obstacle standing in the way of those efforts. Clearly, something's got to give.

 

Teamwork: The Missing Ingredient

Care coordination has been defined as "the deliberate organization of patient care activities between two or more participants (including the patient) involved in a patient's care to facilitate the appropriate delivery of health care services." In other words, it's all about cross-functional connections and teamwork, and that's where the system so often falls short. While individual healthcare professionals may do an admirable job attending to their separate areas of responsibility, the cracks between them are wide enough for all sorts of important details to fall through. That's true even within single practices and clinical settings, and it gets much worse when a patient's care spans multiple organizations and environments (acute, ambulatory, out-patient, home care and aftercare).

Several factors in particular contribute to the problem:

 

  • Current healthcare systems are often disjointed, and processes vary among and between primary care practices (PCPs) and specialty sites.
  • There is often no central point of responsibility for the entire cycle of care.
  • Many organizations don't have sufficient people or systems dedicated to care coordination.
  • Much of the time and labor that goes into care coordination is not reimbursed.

 

Why New Collaborative Solutions Are Needed

It's critical for healthcare organizations to invest in new solutions that bridge the gaps and support better coordination. Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems being adopted by major healthcare institutions are a start, but they're not nearly enough, as a recent report by Frost and Sullivan made clear (Analysis of Care Coordination Software: Overview and Outlook, 2014-2020). Though EHRs are helping to eliminate disconnects and discrepancies in patient records, they don't provide the dynamic collaboration and communication capabilities needed to make collective decisions, fully orchestrate care and make sure all participants are informed and on the same page. They capture records of clinical decisions that were made, but they're missing a lot of the essential context around those decisions – the conversations and communications that are such an important piece of the process. Decisions made by different care teams can conflict, and without robust information on why decisions were made, physicians can be left guessing.What's really needed is a digital collaboration platform where all stakeholders can come together to share information, make care decisions, track progress and make adjustments as necessary. Such a platform serves as a hub for coordinated care, solving many of the issues described above. A clinical hub:

 

  • Creates accountability by bringing the entire care team into a collaborative environment.
  • Provides clinical alerts, reminders and messaging to the entire care team.
  • Bridges the gap between care providers and makes it easier to consider all aspects of a patient's condition beyond the EHR.
  • Provides a way to easily manage the conversations associated with transitions of care, keeping all caregivers on the same page. Specialists consistently receive clear reasons for the referral or adequate information on tests that have already been done.
  • Helps scale your existing care coordination resources to provide increased service to more patients, improving aggregation, analysis, and communication of patient information.

 

Of course, the collaborative platform has must comply with all rules and regulations (such as HIPAA and HITECH), and it must be secure. It should be easy for people to access and use via mobile devices, not just computers, since clinicians spend much of their time away from their desks. And it should tightly integrate with other essential tools and systems, such as secure texting and clinical communication systems, learning management tools and IT ticketing systems.

 

A successful clinical collaboration hub can dramatically improve care transitions and make the process better for everyone involved. By powering better collaboration, a hub reduces costly missteps, enables more timely decisions and actions, and cuts down on duplication and confusion. It eliminates many of the frustrations of disconnected processes and increases satisfaction not only for patients but also the caregivers themselves. It drives greater value across the entire spectrum of care. And most importantly it leads to healthier patient outcomes and the best care experience possible.

Learn how a clinical collaboration hub can improve care coordination for your organization.

Originally published on the Jive Software site on April 19, 2017 by Bill Klco.

 

The adoption of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems by the healthcare industry has led to real improvements in medical record-keeping, but those gains have come at an enormous price. Hospitals and other institutions routinely spend hundreds of millions of dollars on their EHRs (also known as EMRs, for "Electronic Medical Record" systems), with some implementations topping $1 billion (8 Epic EHR implementations with the biggest price tags in 2015, 8 hospitals' finances hurt by EHR costs). The costs continue to rise as the implementations get bigger and complex.

 

And it doesn't end there. Even after rollout, the costs continue to pile up due to ongoing upgrades and optimization processes. On top of all that, clinicians often have trouble using the systems and incur expensive penalties for incorrect use.

 

Not surprisingly, EHR systems are a putting a serious financial strain on the healthcare industry, and can take a hefty toll on the bottom line. For instance, EHR costs contributed to a 15% drop in net income at one major health system in 2012, and forced another to lay off 130 people at three hospitals in 2015 (Unpacking hospitals' EHR implementation costs: What's behind the million-dollar price tags?). This comes at a time when healthcare providers are under intense pressure to trim costs and become more efficient.

 

The problem isn't simply that EHRs are expensive; it's the inability of healthcare organizations to fully reckon with and plan for all the elements a successful implementation entails. Nearly every EHR rollout is plagued by major cost overruns due to unanticipated expenses in areas such as training, additional hardware purchases, operational costs, consulting fees, and change requests and fixes required because of miscommunications and difficulty gathering and implementing feedback. It's these overruns – not simply the intrinsic price of the systems themselves – that are really hurting the healthcare industry.

 

Why do so many EHR implementations exceed their budgets? One big reason is a failure to fully address some key questions up front:

  • How do you effectively manage communications within the EHR selection committee?
  • How do you capture all the design and build decisions as well as validation test results, and how do you communicate progress?
  • How do you work with diverse stakeholders across a large health system to communicate and coordinate the rollout?
  • As EHR champions are identified, how do bring them together to share best practices and support each other?
  • How do you train users and administrators during the rollout and provide ongoing education on upgrades and new features?
  • How do you gather feedback and process improvement suggestions from clinicians after rollout?
  • How do you provide ongoing support to clinical and administrative users (on current and previous builds at the same time)?

 

These are critical considerations, but they're often overlooked because they involve communication technologies beyond the EHR system itself. Many organizations make the mistake of assuming that existing tools like email and support tickets will suffice, but none provides the kind of powerful conversational and cross-functional collaborative capabilities needed to connect all stakeholders, share information, gather feedback and work together in a timely way. Given that even simple changes within an EHR can cause major issues with interfaces, clinical workflows and training, it's not surprising that the lack of a suitable communication and collaboration platform can lead to all sorts of mistakes, inefficiencies and extra costs.

 

That's where new-generation clinical collaboration hubs come in. These systems provide a single destination for organizing, informing and connecting all parties involved in EHR usage, including clinicians, care teams, administrators, IT and other staff. State-of-the-art platforms provide a broad array of capabilities, including news and announcements; departmental portals; team collaboration spaces; individual and group communications; document collaboration; people directories; rapid search for people and content; and support spaces.

 

These functions provide a comprehensive answer to all of the issues listed above:

  • The EHR selection committee can manage all communications, documentation and decision-making around each phase of the EHR lifecycle in a single, private collaboration space.
  • The design and build process can have its own space, where all decisions and test results are captured and shared, and where updates can be pushed out to clinical staff.
  • Targeted blogs and tailored news feeds keep all stakeholders informed on the EHR rollout.
  • EHR champions can have their own spaces for education and knowledge-sharing.
  • Training spaces provide all the resources – including discussions, Q&A, documents and videos – needed to educate users and administrators on EHR use, upgrades and new features.
  • Collaborative hubs enable a wide array of two-way communications and feedback channels, such as the ability to comment and reply to communications and content.
  • Hubs offer a very efficient combination of self-service, peer-to-peer and staff-assisted support. For instance, users can quickly find answers by searching existing content, or submit their questions to be answered by knowledgeable colleagues. Staff can jump in to field or clarify any unanswered issues.

 

Whether you're implementing a new EHR, upgrading your existing system, or optimizing processes, a secure collaboration hub can save you substantial time, resources and money. It also improves clinician productivity with support through all aspects of EHR lifecycle, from selection through ongoing optimization efforts. Major health systems have saved millions of dollars in their EHR optimization efforts by streamlining project communication and clinician feedback using a collaboration hub. One Midwestern health system reduced their backlog of clinical change requests from over 8 months to 3 weeks simply by moving to a hub.

 

Creating a successful EHR system requires the expertise, understanding and contributions of many participants. A well-designed collaboration hub provides a place for all of that to happen. In doing so, it reduces risks, reins in expenditures, helps organizations reap much greater ROI from their EHR investments, and brings a new predictability to fiscal planning.

Want to end cost overruns on your EHR/EMR project? Learn more: HIPAA-Compliant Healthcare Communication | Jive Software


For fun, I typed “digital transformation” into Google and scoured a few of the 58 million results. It didn’t take long before I noticed a pattern: most of the discussion is centered on technology. Countless articles cover the social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies you need to pull off a successful transformation initiative.

 

But digital transformation is not just an IT project. If done well, it drives a massive shift in human behavior that reshapes the way we live, work and what we expect from our daily interactions with friends and colleagues. A battle that big can’t be won by infrastructure and process improvements alone. It also requires companies to fundamentally rethink how they attract, engage and retain top talent to remain competitive.

 

So what is the missing link, you ask?

 

Read the piece on cmswire and let me know if you agree!

Over the past five years, we've seen a definite shift in how organizations implement workplace tools. In the past, when a department or team wanted new software, the CIO and IT department would recommended solutions and finalize all purchasing decisions. With the introduction of the cloud, procuring and acquiring new workplace tools has become easier than ever.

 

Now, any team – or even a single employee – can hop online and purchase a tool with a credit card!

 

While their intentions are usually to enhance workflow, productivity or collaboration, this often results in more silos within organizations. Ironically, many communication and collaboration tools don’t integrate seamlessly with others, so finding content or experts often becomes both difficult and time consuming.

 

Business or IT leaders who are concerned their employees use too many different, fragmented tools should evaluate their internal tech landscape and look for opportunities to improve the flow of information.

 

Within this article, I look at three reasons why you should work to declutter your workplace today as well as some pertinent advice on how to fine-tune and get the most out of what you have.

 

Read the full article and let me know what you think.

I'm excited to share an excellent article written by one of our very own community members, Michael Wegscheider from the Allianz Group. This piece in ITProPortal showcases his digital transformation expertise and highlights several of the key learnings and results his organization realized with its Jive-powered interactive intranet, Allianz Connect.

 

In the article, Michael talks about the insurance giant's journey going from 70 subsidiaries with their own distinct cultures and intranets, to a unified Allianz that's faster, more agile and more transparent across silos. He details four important best practices his team employed to create a gateway to the company's worldwide people and knowledge:

 

  1. Take Small Steps that Make Immediate Impact

  2. Translate Local Wins into a Global Transformation

  3. Embrace a Different Kind of Global Corporate Communication

  4. Use the Interactive Intranet to Accelerate Cultural Change

 

Read the full article for more great insights here:

Four keys to global digital transformation success | ITProPortal

 

What else have you learned along your company's digital transformation evolution?

I recently had the pleasure of publishing an article on customer experience and measurement in CMSWire, and the process gave me some food for thought. At Aurea, one of our own key tenets is a focus on customer success – and we love to see our CX Platform customers take a similar approach.

 

A good CX requires both invisible design and a powerful infrastructure to enable it. This is only possible when your tools, systems, processes and people work together seamlessly to deliver the best and most optimized messages, transactions and experiences to your customers. In my piece, titled “With Customer Experience Design, Less is More,” we discuss how to measure whether you’re getting it right by closely monitoring customer interaction analytics, net promoter scores (NPS) and retention.

 

For instance, here at Aurea we meticulously track, benchmark and manage to the NPS associated with customer support across our various products and services. In addition, we focus on our installed base customers and build product roadmaps to meet their needs long into the future. And, as you know, our infrastructure products combine seamless messaging, workflow and process integration, and system performance to help all kinds of businesses create optimized, invisible infrastructures on which the best experiences can be crafted.

 

Check out my full article for more tips on how to deliver transformative CX: https://www.cmswire.com/customer-experience/with-customer-experience-design-less-is-more/

I worked at an amusement park in high school, and was told to "be patient and understanding when you get asked the same questions over and over. While you may have answered that question dozens of times already, it's probably the first time that guest has asked that question."

 

That doesn't seem like a very efficient process, does it? Rather than pay someone to stand around answering the same question repeatedly, why not streamline and simplify to save time, labor and resources? While it may be an inevitable reality at an amusement park, most corporations operate in a similar way. Think about when your IT team sends out an email blast informing employees of a required security training. IT then spends the next several days fielding one-off questions and troubleshooting through email. What a waste of productivity and resources!

 

John Schneider, VP of Product Marketing here at Jive Software, an Aurea company, addresses this kind of pain point in his article, Aligning Workplace Collaboration and Communication with Your Intranet. He talks about how companies of the future are investing in digital transformation today, and explains the critical role an interactive intranet plays as a knowledge gateway for employees (rather than a tool for one-way communication). For example, rather than sending an email blast that triggers fragmented communication, an interactive intranet would eliminate this resource drain and increase productivity by allowing the sender and employees to address issues and comments all at once in a single blog with comments. This reduces the number of questions received by the sender, and helps employees easily find answers before they even need to ask!

 

This type of communication can only be done if everyone is in the same place, not fragmented across a variety of tools. In John's article, he emphasizes that "people want one place to access their company's information, people and applications" and outlines three ways an interactive intranet can bring a company together to achieve this kind of cohesiveness - through communication, collaboration and people and knowledge discovery.

 

Don’t set up your employees with the expectation that communication duplication and fragmentation is to be expected and accepted (like at the amusement park where I worked). Instead, empower your employees with the ability to openly communicate, collaborate and access the resources they need via an interactive intranet.

 

Read the article to learn more about how to grant employees unfettered access to their company's information, people and applications. Aurea51, the interactive intranet for Aurea that is powered by Jive, is my central place where I start and end my day - every day. Where does your company come together online?

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