On August 20th, HCL held a new webinar on Connections to show us all what is new, and how this product will evolve. Adam Gartenberg did a fantastic job in explaining us what is next and how Connections will evolve.
The webinar focused on a couple of key points, like Empathy Maps, Business Scenarios, User Outcomes, Big Ideas and Storyboards.
As far as Connections user personas are concerned, three types have been identified: The Coach, The Machine, and The Handler.
Business Scenarios and Pain Points
Based on the feedback from users, content, project management, communications and sharing are by far the most often mentioned topics.
- File sharing / Co-Editing
- Main / Info overflow
- Approval management
- Integrate info from 3rd parties
- Office Integration
- Syncing across devices
- Combining content from other communities
- Guest support
- Project Collaboration
- Restricted Communities
The goal would be to ensure that content is easily managed and checked and that you don’t get a number of versions to get lost in.
Project Management / Tasks
- Graphical visualization / GANT charts
- Document tasks / results
- Meeting agendas and results
- Internal / external
- Project status
- Match project managers to projects
Communications / Sharing
- Mentions everywhere
- Integrate general comms into CNX
- Executive announcements / live charts
- Chat / direct messages
- Internal / External comms
- Less / No email
- Sharing knowledge / experience
- IT support via forum
- Q&A Forums
- IT self-help
- Video training
- Wiki-based documentation
- Expert communities
- Self-help via forums, content search
As far as User Outcomes go, here are the important items which have risen during talks:
- Clare (The Coach) can search for a key contact and interact with them so that she can close out a customer enquiry productively
- Rami (The Machine) searches for an expert so that he can ask the right person
- Ellen (The Handler) needs to get search results in one results page so that she can easily find the most important answer (accurate / relevant results).
- Clare is able to curate and moderate content so that she can increase quality and reduce clutter for her Community
- Rami engages partners for a new product launch so that he will get early adopters
- Ellen uses a management report so that she can show how active she and her team are.
- Clare sets an expiration date so that obsolete content is automatically removed
- Rami can collaborate on drafts with others so that only valid content is published in community
- Ellen shares files with team members & customers so that they can co-create relevant content together
As you might expect, AI and digital assistance was one of the top requests from everyone leading to quite a number of other features.
The idea is to have a tool that would help you automate some common workflows. For instance, automation could make onboarding a lot easier, where a newcomer would have all the meetings with their mentors set up. Or it could automatically send a thank-you e-mail once a meeting you were in is over, and other little things that could make your job easier and more effective.
What’s next for Connections
You might wonder what the future development path for Connections might be. Here is the timeline for what’s next:
You will be able to learn more about the features that Connections 6.5 and 7 will bring this week in Munich at Social Connections.
To watch the replay webinar, you can click HERE.
Next Thursday, Sep 26, at 9:00 AM CST, HCL will be hosting their next webinar on Connections roadmap, with information that those of us who didn’t make it to Social Connections have missed.
To register for the webinar, click HERE.