Engaging and empowering staff in a new work world

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Cat Mules

The question top of mind for many business leaders: how can they keep their remote employees engaged and invested? After all, as the pandemic pushes us towards new ways of working, the steps business take now could impact how they fare into the future.

Meet New Zealand-owned internal communications service SnapComms: a company heading the fight against information-overload with a tool to enable clearer and more effective communication with employees.

 It starts with why

Internal communications is said to be at the centre of effective operations. As communications technologies make global reach instant, the ways to connect are diversifying – not just social media or emails but also virtual communication tools, digital assistants, phone alerts, and more.

But with so many communication devices and options on hand, companies struggle to be seen – let alone heard – by their employees.

Back in 2007, SnapComms landed on this need to grab employees’ attention and developed software to alert them to business-critical messaging – in an engaging manner. The software service now reaches more than 2.5 million users across over 75 countries, with clients including several Fortune 500 companies. Some of the well-known clients on SnapComms’ hefty portfolio include the Holiday Inn, Aecon, Orion Healthcare,  Vodafone and Jucy.

Boosting authentic engagement

SnapComms sees no reason for large businesses to struggle with reaching their employees, despite the many distractions in the workplace, and the emerging WFH or flexible modes of work.

The business model is all about making messages meaningful for staff. Rather than sending all communications through a single overloaded channel, SnapComms’ platform sends them highly-targeted messages of genuine value to staff.

SnapComms’ multi-channel platform has dedicated channels for every communication need, ensuring messages are delivered in the way best suited to the content. This increases awareness and improves engagement – a better outcome for employees and businesses.

Essentially, this means everyone in a business can be connected at a multitude of points, in an easy-to-access manner.

As CEO Chris Leonard explains, the trickle-down communication system of the past no longer works.

“Businesses today are increasingly taking a holistic approach to their employee communications. Aligning communication objectives with channel selection is critical for delivering clear messaging that gets employee attention, provides clarity and delivers to strategic goals.”

SnapComms’ many features include scrolling updates, screensavers and wallpapers transforming into digital billboards, and, for urgent requests, ‘read now’ screen takeovers.

SnapComms also hosts a growing range of use case templates, which are professionally designed with pre-configured content, which communicators can edit and send immediately. This lifts the whole experience of receiving company messages, as well as saving communications staff time and effort in trying to find the ‘right’ words’

Enhancing responsiveness with the cloud

Scaling can present challenges for home-grown business models, as global clients have differing needs. This is what led SnapComms to choose Microsoft Azure. Tyrell Cooney, SnapComms’ General Manager of Technology, explains the company “transitioned from our previous hosting provider to Azure to take advantage of many of the cloud services offered” using a “carefully planned and staged approach to ensure we have kept our solution running effectively.”

“We are now in a position that we are replacing different components of our solution with Azure services which will provide better scalability and reliability,” Cooney explains.

The integration of SnapComms’ web programming software with Azure enabled its vision of creative and smart – evolving with its customers’ problems of message fatigue and attention management.

SnapComms gets ongoing support as Microsoft Gold Partners within the Azure FastTrack and ISV programmes. These, Cooney explains, “offer additional support with training, architects, and other expertise”, and also “connect us with a lot of the right people or information”.

SnapComms’ growth can be partially put down to its link to the largest software provider in the world. But it adds to the strong list of ‘local-gone-global’ innovators from New Zealand, a testament to that good ol’ kiwi drive and ingenuity that continues to make us great on the global market.

The collaborative approach of companies like SnapComms enables us to reach new heights in how we communicate with the world, and also showcasing the broad potential of tech for the future of work – both during the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond.

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Cat Mules

Umbrellar's Digital Journalist, coming from a background in tech reporting and research. Cat's inspired by the epic potential of tech and helping kiwi innovators share their success stories.


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Microsoft is a technology company whose mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. We strive to create local opportunity, growth, and impact in every country around the world.

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Get the Cloud, Done Right. Umbrellar Powered by Pax8 is New Zealand's prime Professional and Managed Cloud Services specialist. Recently acquired by Pax8, we're transitioning into something "harder, better, faster, stronger" (thank you, Daft Punk!). Watch this space!

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