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BrightStarr CEO Jon Parker Presents Unily at Microsoft CIO Summit

17 March 2015   Jon Parker

BrightStarr CEO, Jon Parker, recently received an invitation to attend the exclusive Microsoft CIO Summits hosted in Redmond, WA. With over 300 leading global CIOs in attendance, Jon Parker presented BrightStarr’s out-of-the-box Intranet as a Service, Unily.

BrightStarr Presents Unily Cloud Intranet At Microsoft CIO Summit

James: We have a partner here today and I saw this product maybe four weeks ago and I was blown away, and I was blown away for the simple fact that when I looked at the customers that use this product their usage of this product really was high. So people in the company use it, they don't feel confused by it, they see it as simple and easy to use, and on top of that those customers that use it, they want more and more, and that's the type of customer I love too. So today we have Jon from BrightStarr who's going to show you guys exactly what this product does, what a great product it is. I was really excited about it and I know you guys will be excited by it too. So Jon, here you go.

Jon: Thanks James, thank you very much. So hello everyone I'm Jon Parker I'm the CEO for BrightStarr here in the U.S.. So we are delighted and honored to be here at the CIO summit. I thought I'd start with a little bit of an introduction about BrightStarr and who we are and what we do. So we are a Microsoft Gold partner we've been in business about 10 years and we are a 100% focused on the Microsoft platform. We have about 400 engagements under our belt with SharePoint and all its different flavors and variations, and we're an international company. I'm based here in our U.S. head office right here in Redmond, sort of a stone's throw from Microsoft, as well as in the U.K., New York and we have a development center in Argentina. So we're big believers in a Microsoft platform, we are big believers in Office 365. We do a tremendous amount of work on SharePoint, Windows Azure, using Yammer and all of the great features of the platform. So we've been hearing a lot today about remaining the business just sitting back stage and seeing some of the fantastic demos and the innovations, truly amazing, and we're big believers in the cloud of mobile solutions, and we've really built our business on that.

And we've been invited here today as a partner because we really embrace the ideology of making customers successful, integrating all of these great features with Office 365, and that's Linked, OneDrive, Yammer and SharePoint brought together in a really kind of seamless way to give customers a very kind of innovative and visually appealing product. So I'm going to be doing a demo in a moment so another live demo which we know will go well, but before I do just the straight forward demo I want you to kind of imagine a situation. We're going to show something that's based on fact it's actually about an airline that is fictional, but it's based on a real world scenario, and as we go through this demo today I'd really love you to sort of think about some of the things that you see and how that might apply to your situation in your company, and then maybe potentially how a product like Unily might be able to solve some of these business problems. So we're really looking at the ways that Unily coupled with Office 365 could really turn around a difficult customer situation.

So I'm going to sort of step out of my BrightStarr CEO skin and step into the persona of somebody called James Eastman who's an SVP of customer care at a fictional airline called Evergreen Air, and you can see I'm up on the screen there looking incredibly handsome, so it has to be a demo right it's not real life. So, James is very customer focused everything that he cares about is the customer experience. Evergreen is a very disruptive airline they are quite young in the industry, and their big sort of watch word is delivering on their promises which is interesting for an airline. They're an industry disruptor and James is really concerned with staying connected to his customers and his team. He wants to know what's going on in the business, what people are saying about the airline, and things that might affect their reputation and brand. So, anyone seen the great blue dress white dress controversy that's going on social media right now? Yes James cares about things like that especially when it affects his brand. So, just to sort of set the scene, customer service person for an airline, already a difficult day. He's driving into work and he gets a notification, he gets an alert from his Unily app on his phone that there's a big weather system moving in across the United States and the North East.

So he knows there's going to be a tough day flights are going to get delayed, customers are going to get misplaced; very tough situation. Now just to add a little bit more pressure, James is actually got an exec council in the afternoon. So he's meeting with his executive team and the topic of the day is customer satisfaction, so what a great day to be experiencing this. So James is going go in and he's going to go on to his computer and open his Unily portal. So this is Evergreens Unily portal. This is actually a homepage and this is actually live it's on Office 365, so this is a live demo although the company is fictional. So you can see at the top right hand side of the screen is James's profile. This has his handsome picture and you can see there are a couple of followers there, there a couple of people following him and this information is coming directly from Yammer this is fully integrated into the platform. Then on the left hand side you can see there's a newsflash we talked about. So all of this stuff that's going on around the country. You can see IROps [SP], that means regular operations for the airline, that means flights are getting delayed and people are getting bumped.

So he's getting this alerts, you can see that there's a lot of stuff going on today and a lot of problems. Then below that we have this really nice looking news slider this the latest stories that are going on around the company, sort of promotion of interesting articles and that type of thing, but the one that is on the screen that you can see there is really important to James. Evergreen Air has just opened a brand new hub in Denver and along with that hub they just invested in a multimillion dollar customer lounge and James was part of that project, they really want to take care of their customers for their new hub, and they provide snacks and beverages a nice bowl of hot soup for tired and weary travellers between flights. Moving across to the other side of the screen, you can see there are four app windows. James gets access to his emails via Office and Outlook. The storage you can store documents on OneDrive. There's the employee travel app, the scheduling app. So really all of the key things that he needs to use to get his job done during the day.

Then as we scroll down the page a little bit you can see there some of the news articles for Evergreen Air this are things that we're in the news slider at the top of the page and have faded in relevancy, but nevertheless are interesting articles and you can see that people are commenting on those. So again, integrating Yammer, people leaving comments and able to sort of type inside into these different stories and like the articles and so forth, and then we've got some essential links. So that's to stop him being trapped in a bookmark conundrum, some of the top links they are important in the company both to document, resources, internal and external sites with the company, you can see the link there is to the FAA, and then below that here's that meeting that he's dreading. So the meeting is coming up this afternoon with the executive briefing not a great time to have a weather problem. So James is logged on, this is his portal. Next off he really wants to find out what's going on within his own particular department, and as we scroll up the top of the page there you can see we have work spaces and documents, all of these different resources that they can use with key articles and so forth, but he's really going to dive into work spaces because that's where he spends most of his time.

So he brought up the work spaces, you can see there are team sites, there are sites that are being followed, various documents, and you can see actually on the project side, there's that Denver project site that he's been part of. The one that he's really been interested in though is the customer care portal because that's where he spends most of his day. So we're going to click on to that and you'll see that load and here's customer care. So this is kind of his dashboard, he's got his KPIs [SP] here showing him the number of tickets are open with various customers, complaints issues that needs to resolved internally and externally, and you can see there's a couple of different links. There one's to the company Facebook presence, and there's some insights and some kind of blog material there that he can read through, but we want scroll down the page and find out what's going on with this weather. So see, he looks on the page here, it's a little bit bizarre because everybody is talking about soup. We have flight attendants using in-flight WiFi talking to first class passengers.

We have customer care people, we have gate agents; everyone is complaining about soup, and not only are they complaining about soup to our employees, they're on Facebook complaining about soup to the airline. So that sounds kind of strange right. I mean I was expecting to be dealing with the weather problem today; it turns out soup is the biggest thing in my customers minds which sounds bizarre. I got to check that out and see what people are saying on Facebook, so as I click on the Facebook link. Look Evergreen Air has a Facebook presence, and front and centre; ooh dear, no soup for Denver. Well, it turns out we made a promise to our customers, hot soup in the lounge and we are not making good on that promise, and that's a problem for me. It may seem like a very trivial issue to some people in the audience. Think about things like United Airlines when they broke a gentleman's guitar, and he ended up putting a song in YouTube about it that had x million hits and really damaged the company's reputation. This is very damaging for our reputation because we rely on making good on our commitments to our customers.

So I need to take care of this and I need to take care of it quickly. So just to step out from being James for a moment, this is actually based on a true story. So I'm sure there are a lot of frequent flyers here that do a lot of traveling, I know you all do. There's actually a website called FlyerTalk and there's a certain airline whose name is being protected for the innocent who've had a very similar situation to this. So Jeff, jumping back to being James for a moment, I need to go and fix this right? I need to . . . and I know I've got a flight that's leaving, I got an alert from my mobile app telling me there's a flight leaving from JFK in 10 minutes that's going to Denver, and I'm going to make sure those passengers in the snow have a nice bowl of hot soup available for them. So the first thing I really need to do is find somebody that can help me in my organisation, in Denver. Now I'm based in Seattle, so what I need to do is go and look on my people directory and see if I can find a person in Denver that can help me. So I've opened up my directory, it shows everybody in the company; I can search alphabetically, but I don't know anyone's name there. So what I'm going to do is I just want to see my colleagues in Denver.

So I'm actually going to click on the Denver filter and narrow down that list, and there we go. I'm also going to narrow it done a little bit further because I want to find someone who's responsible for catering. So we click on that again, and here we go, there are a couple of folks here. It looks like Joy is going to be the person I need to talk to, so I want Joy to bring some customer joy and see if she can help me. So as I click on her profile, you can see this is up here on the screen and it's got all her contact information, it's got her Twitter address, telephone number, all of that good stuff. But I actually noticed Joy is online right now on Linked, so I want start a link message, or shortly to be Skype for business message with Joy, "Hey Joy what's going on with the soup in Denver?". So I'm sending that off to her, I want to find out what's going on and actually Joy gives me a response and tells me that actually it's really frustrating for her that there's this policy that we have as a company that we'll only make two terrains of soup per day, irrespective of the weather, irrespective of the number of people that are flying with us.

So I got to fix that, and she tells me that she has actually sent me a requisition for approval; she can't order more soup unless she has executive's approval. That's crazy to me so I want to go take care of that. So I jump back to my homepage and I'm going to scroll down the screen and you'll see as we scroll down the screen there will be a work flow there for my soup approval. So I want to go and take care of that, I'm going to go click on that and it will come up as a SharePoint workflow and we'll approve that and get that taken care of and there it is, so I just want to get that done. So that's the immediate problem at hand solved, but I really need to make sure that this doesn't happen, I need to change the policy if the policy is wrong. So I'm really not a guru, I'm a customer service guy. I'm a great user, I love Office 365, I love Outlook and my Office 365 apps, but I'm by no means a SharePoint expert. Customer service is my focus and with Unily and Office 365 I have a very easy way of managing my documents and managing my content and that's what I'm going to show you next. So I want to create a new policy and upload it and by the incredible magic of demo land we already have a document prepared earlier.

Here it is, here's the new soup policy, and we're simply going to drag and drop that onto the file box here and upload it, done. That's now in the document library, that's now the policy. I have the necessary rights based on active directory and my persona to be able to do that, so I've just taken care of it, but I want to go one step further, I want to draw people's attention to the fact that the policy is changed. So that we've got consistent information for all of our customers and our employees. So, what I want to do is upload an article and make it a featured news story, like you've seen at the beginning. So again, by the power of demo, I actually have a humorous article already prepared so we're going to jump into our CMS; the custom CMS that we have as part of the Unily platform, and I've created this news article that's about soup. So, I'm going to upload that and I want to make that a featured article. So we're having a quick preview of translation services in the Unily engine as well here. Anyone speak French? So I want to make that a featured article, the document is ready to go, the story is ready to go; I just quick on featured and boom it's done. It will be featured on the front page in the main news slider to catch everybody's attention.

So I've taken care of that, I think I've fixed the problem. I've uploaded my article and published it, I've solved the operational issue by the ability to find the right people to solve the problem and now it's a couple of hours later I'm heading off to my exec meeting. So I'm looking on my phone here to make sure that I get an update and problem solved we have a Windows Native app for Unily, and I can see that the soup is on, problem is resolved, and I can go to my executive meeting with peace of mind. So, just talking about resolving a fairly straight forward business issue that potentially has big impact. This was a great outcome for James but the real hero of the story is the CIO of Evergreen Air. So this is sort of an insightful investment giving employees the level of agility to be able publish content, change policy, reach people in the organization very easily and very effectively, be able to access all that great information and those resources on any device, that's really enabled James to save the day. So that was a problem that maybe took 15 to 20 minutes to solve on Unily accepting that we had some pre-made documents.

In the real world this problem is still ongoing, in respect to the original airline that we discovered this. Its eight years later and 42,000 posts and they still haven't been able to fix the problem effectively. What's the soup in your organization? What is the small thing that seems trivial that may have a big effect on your brand, your customer experience or your employees?

Built on Office 365, SharePoint and Yammer, Unily draws on the full power of the Microsoft Cloud to deliver unparalleled collaboration and productivity. Check out the full story above!

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