A different flight path

By Toby Harris

2 minute read

Many learning platforms are selling a utopian vision of a beautiful interface, free from the pressures of work, that asks: 'what do you want to learn today?' A palace of learning in the clouds.

We disagree. We see deep, meaningful integrations between learning technology and workflow tools as one of three central pillars of our offering (the other two are recommendations and data services).

Because you don't care about a culture of learning for its own sake. You don't care about building palaces in the clouds.

As a HR professional, you know that learning new skills is inseparable from getting things done.

So you care about action: the microchanges in behaviour that add up to your business reaching its objectives faster and in better shape.

Better collaboration. Better management. Better productivity. Challenging received ideas. 

This change doesn't happen inside a learning platform. It happens at work. In the fog of war.

MS Teams is the future of work and the centrepiece of transformation in most organisations. Using MS Teams is both a means of achieving digital behaviour change and the goal of that change itself. There are dozens of potential platforms to build integrations with and many vendors made bad choices. We picked Teams after a lot of reflection, not because it was our favourite but because it will be the integration point of the future, more than any other platform.

We've prioritised this integration project. In 2019, we ran multiple pilots with customers to gather feedback and test hypotheses. We built and launched a Slackbot and tested that too.

We found that a Teams integration was highly effective. Of users who piloted magpie in Teams, 80% spent more time on their development and 75% applied a recommendation to their work vs 56% and 50% for the same questions of those using magpie in a pilot as a standalone tool. User feedback like ‘Very powerful - it is embedded in Teams / in the flow of work’ was common.

However, Teams wasn’t a magic bullet. Nothing works without proactive messages. Or the right skills framework and the right content. And the integration was effective only as part of a multichannel engagement strategy - email and live events are still vital. 

In other words, any bot or app that sits on a shelf is just as bad as yet another 'total learning platform' sitting on a shelf.

In October, in collaboration with our biggest client, we devised a Teams integration that combines magpie with our marketing technology we use to run personalised email engagement campaigns that regularly hit 80% open rates and 40% click rates. And now it's ready.

LT2020_ Teams integration
 
A proactive Teams integration: a bot that lives in your channels, reaches out based on custom engagement campaigns written specifically for your change initiative and launches a fully featured magpie from inside Teams.
 
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Many stakeholders in your organisation will prefer that you buy or build a beautiful platform in the clouds because they don't want to challenge or change anything. Your CEO would not agree.

We could have built another beautiful place in the clouds like everyone else. But we chose the hard road: embedding recommendations that inspire and change behaviour deeply into MS Teams. 

Ours is the most sophisticated and effective Teams integration and it launched last week at Learning Technologies 2020. Book a demo to see it in action now.

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