Customer Enablement: myQuorum Platform Blog Mini-Series, Part 1 of 2
Why does myQuorum Design Studio Fit into your Business Strategy? That’s the question Dan Wallin, Quorum’s VP of Products, and I posed recently during a Qnections 2018 session. We kicked off the session with some initial thoughts about the importance of innovation and what it means for our industry. Better functionality and quality are among a few key reasons why innovation is crucial for our customers.
Before we elaborate on the potential value of Design Studio, it’s essential to understand that we developed it with our customers in mind. Some recurring themes that emerged from various conversations with customers include:
- Digital is changing the way we do business at a fast pace.
- Customers need greater flexibility, agility, and speed to enable them to offer end users solutions quickly and to adapt easily as business needs
- Customers want more frequent updates to the software we deliver, but without the hassle of re-installing or updating their entire infrastructure.
We did two things to address these needs.
- We decoupled the user experience from the underlying business logic and data to deliver mobile-friendly, cross-platform web solutions and more frequent and incremental updates.
- We began the process of further componentizing the applications we built over the years into modules, services, and microservices to allow us to create more shared services across our application architecture and shift towards standards-based technologies that improve scale, interoperability, and innovation
When you consider these efforts together, you now have an architectural foundation that allows us to establish a technology ecosystem and help accelerate that ecosystem’s pace of innovation.
So, what is Design Studio?
In simplest terms, it is a set of tools that allows you — the customer — to personalize the myQuorum UX for your employees and external customers.
With Design Studio, you can design personas, which are amalgamations of a user’s role, their responsibilities and what they need from the software to accomplish their job. These personas can empower you to define what data a user sees and how they interact with it. These personas can be specific to a single employee or a group of employees, and you can create different personas for internal and external users.
Once the business and technical teams have collaborated on a persona’s needs, development can begin on widgets and screens to create the newly-tailored myQuorum solutions.
Last but certainly not least, you can deploy personas and components for testing and end use – independently of your core myQuorum environments.
Design Studio in the context of innovation
Innovation isn’t merely a feat of technology. It is about solving a problem or overcoming a challenge more efficiently. It could be improving upon the status quo or creating an entirely new answer. Meaning, innovation can be a new business process, better customer service, a delivery mechanism for a solution, and on and on.
The most important thing about innovation is that it is on-going, much like digital transformation; it’s not a destination. Successful innovation is continual and forward-looking – sometimes this is a sustained effort, consider processors adhering to Moore’s Law – sometimes it is disruptive (Airbnb, Uber, and Netflix are a few examples).
So, let’s think beyond what Design Studio is to what it can do. It enables you to create powerful and immersive user experiences by presenting actionable information from a myriad of sources (Quorum and non-Quorum). It allows you to tailor a persona or set of personas to keep employees focused on their “to do’s” and orient them to their next task by aligning their dashboard and the information presented to them with the task at hand.
Over time, you can adjust these personas, to account for:
- Pulling information from existing third parties to reduce application switching
- Updates to your core myQuorum apps
- Extensions we may add to the platform
- Expanding your software footprint (new apps)
As you mature your usage, start to think backward from some questions.
- How can we enable our employees to
- Simplify tasks?
- Eliminate redundancies?
- Collaborate more and across departments?
- How can we streamline access to data?
- How can we help our customers be more efficient and more productive?
While it may seem like this is a solution for your IT teams, this is an opportunity to align the business and IT to extract as much value as you can from your technology, i.e., help you grow revenue, reduce risk, and drive the bottom line through user efficiency and productivity.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and iterate, because that is how you will figure out what does and doesn’t move the needle for your company.
Using Design Studio to drive strategic initiatives
Hopefully, you have some ideas rumbling around your head for how to use Design Studio. But how can we use it to drive strategic initiatives? Well, how do your strategic goals translate into the use of software for your employees and customers?
Let’s consider some for instances.
- Do you need to help improve the customer experience?
- Maybe that requires building or tweaking some widgets surface information for your users that can be tedious to get to currently.
- Are you tasked with eradicating business silos that put barriers between sharing information across departments?
- Perhaps you can create a widget that collapses multiple workflows or provides context data from other departments that are upstream or downstream in the workflow.
- Do you have a set of capabilities that you think are unique and provide you with an advantage, so you want to find ways of pushing those across the company or biz unit?
- I won’t even presume to know enough to provide a real example here, but maybe you track a number across departments you found is an excellent leading indicator of financial health and you want to display that for decision makers.
- Are you trying to push more data-driven decisions to reduce risk?
- A lot of information is in your various systems, and presenting contextually-relevant information to a user improves their perspective and helps them make more informed decisions. Meaningful work is a powerful motivator and putting tasks into the context of their contribution to corporate goals will improve workplace morale.
- Maybe you have been given the auspicious opportunity to drive digital transformation within your biz unit or department.
- As I mentioned earlier, digital transformation isn’t a destination; it’s an ongoing effort that requires you to continually evaluate your processes, usage of technology, and market forces. Design Studio is well suited for digitally-enabled transformation. Because now you can iterate and optimize myQuorum in a manner that suits your needs. You can move faster in some areas and slower in others. You can make incremental changes and minor course corrections or impactful changes by pursuing more sophisticated widgets.
As an industry, we need to embrace change and look for ways we can ask several fundamental questions. Why? How? What?
- Why do we do this process this way? What can we do differently to make it better?
- Why haven’t we gotten the response we wanted from customers?
- How can I empower my employees?
Digital has changed a lot. But what it hasn’t and won’t replace is the need for experimentation, and the need to push boundaries.
Quorum is adamant about the modern energy workplace being key to long-term success. It’s a workplace that employees both young and old want to work in and sets the company up for the future of the industry. With it, we leverage all the assets at our disposal from hardware and software to corporate culture and workspace.
If the modern energy workplace is about blending multiple things that are often thought of in silos to give us more than the sum of the parts, myQuorum and Design Studio are the means to bridge us to the modern energy workplace. Time for my shameless plug: let us know how we can help your business, not just with the current set of processes you have but working together to bust silos and make a real difference.