Hi everyone. There has been incredible interest in our employee communication solution, LiveTiles Reach, from our partner and customer community, particularly over the last 10 months, as organisations rise to the challenges of the hybrid workplace. In response to this demand, we have been working hard to bring even more features and functionality and include here some of the key updates you can expect in the coming weeks.
1. Reach Chat
Expected Release date: end of March 2021
What & Why: With the Chat module, Reach will offer people a chat service available within the environment of their secure, branded employee app.
- Direct, instant communications: People can text other colleagues directly and create group chats.
- Chat messages are intuitively organized and extremely simple to write.
- Users can add emojis to the text.
- By clicking the avatar of a user, you can see the user’s profile information including contact details, reporting lines and more.
- Clicking a group avatar, you will see the list of people in the chat.
- Reach Chat underpins our commitment to secure communication by offering people a reliable and user-centred alternative to shadow communications channels.
- Within the context of the company branded app, Reach chat allows employees a tool to send instant messages in a safe, private, and fully governed environment.
- The chat function evolves the impact of Reach, with features like News, Events, and Pages, the employee app delivers “few-to-many” communications.
- Using ‘Chat’ Reach now also delivers “many-to-many” communications.
- The new Chat functionality also ensures that Reach now offers direct communications. If people need to reach out to a specific contact or collaborate with a group of people in the organization, this can be done with Reach Chat.
See it in Action: https://vimeo.com/522278570/34a6e44f7c
2. Reach Moderated Q&A
Expected release date: End April 2021
What & Why: This is a functionality that we have co-innovated together with a major healthcare customer in the European region. We are developing on offering for a Q&A event type within Reach to all customers.
- The Q&A event type will have a specific start time. Before, and while the event is live users can ask questions on the topic of the event in a chat-like interface.
- The questions can be moderated and answered by the event organizer.
- A live feed will show the posted questions and answers to all participants.
- Remaining questions can be both posted and answered after the event, so participants get a complete set of answers.
- Fantastic for driving engagement via different types of events including town hall meetings, ideation workshops or AMA sessions.
- Supports hybrid meetings with multiple physical and online locations.
- Broadens communication across the organisation and enhances transparency and inclusiveness.
- People can communicate openly with all employees and provide answers on a subject for everyone to get briefed on, for example, the CFO can hold a Q&A session to inform and align everyone across the organization by responding to questions from different colleagues faced with different challenges or requirements.
3. Reach Recurring Events
Expected Release date: End of March 2021
What & Why: When you have events that are part of a series (that is, not once-off) you can now set them up to enable easier and collective registrations for users.
- Allows you to set company events and trainings up as a series meaning that you can capture attendee registrations for multiple events in one go.
- Ability to promote sign-ups for an event series and not just for each and every individual event in a series.
- Much more flexible approach to organising events with a particular improvement for the user-experience of the attendees.
- Distinctive icon that differentiates ‘regular’ from ‘recurring’ events
- Hovering over the icon will uncover the dates for the event series, showing you when the series will end, without the need to click through.
- Upcoming events are always the first that are featured in list view
- Toggle view allows you to filter event series so you see only upcoming events
- Possible to register for each individual event (if desired) or simply for the whole series
- Editors can choose from pre-set settings (weekly, monthly, yearly etc.) or you can customize recurring ‘values’ (e.g. the third Friday every second month)
- Toolbar view allows admins to quickly view dates in the series and/or edit the entire series.
See it in action: https://vimeo.com/522077083
4. Unified Component Library
Expected Release date: a continuous process where we will be adding more and more components to the library.
What & Why: To further leverage Reach as a content platform, we are creating a library of UI components for Reach. These components will enable customers to surface content from Reach News, Pages, Events, etc. on a variety of platforms.
- The UI components will be offered in a package that customers can receive via NPM.
- Some components are already available including Event, Page, and News detail view and News list.
- More and more components are being added to the package.
- The UI components can be placed in any kind of web solution.
- This means, customers can easily enable users to consume Reach news in MS Teams, SharePoint, in LiveTiles Everywhere, and even in a HTML page.
- Combined with the Reach Public Access option, companies can, for example, place Reach UI components on their website to create an overview of news and events.
- We have seen many of our membership organization customers benefit from this. By featuring events and news for public audiences on their website via Reach UI components, they can now promote news and events in the Reach app as well as on their website without having to publish the same content twice.
- In this way, they overcome the issue of a mixed audience and avoid duplication of effort.
- Integration between LiveTiles products: The Reach UI components is a step in the direction of integration between all LiveTiles products. With the UI components, customers can integrate Reach and Reach data in other LiveTiles products like Intranet Hub, Intranet Enterprise and LiveTiles Everywhere.
- Superior authoring environment: Reach offers a superior authoring environment with functionality that is not present in SharePoint, like automatic translation, read receipts, alerts, integrated polls, channel and groups, targeting, and external audiences. Now customers can benefit from these authoring tools when publishing content, for example, on their intranet.
- Customization options: The UI components are generic components that can be used by developers to extend to custom solutions.
5. Reach Portal
Expected release date: before the end of June 2021
What & Why? We are developing a portal that will include a landing page where the Reach admin can feature centrally controlled aggregations of different types of content: Corporate News, Posts, Events, etc.
- Control and centralization of the information stream
- Important information does not always stand out from the many news, posts, and events posted in the user’s personalized news feed. With the Reach portal, admins are given a tool to control the user experience and highlight information.
- By featuring specific channels and threads on the landing page, the admin is able to guide the user with an overview of curated, relevant and important content.
Bonus! You can also check out Mariyana’s walk-thru of a quick 2min demo showing how you can now activate Teams notifications from your ‘Reach’ posts.