At a Glance
- Built a more collaborative work culture across the organisation
- Established future ways of working through agile, technology-enabled workspaces
- Achieved operational efficiencies and savings from unifying communication platforms
Driving productivity and innovation through future ways of working
In the heart of Richmond, an emerging ‘tech hub’ in the city of Melbourne, Australia, is a dynamic workplace of the future that has been built on the premise of agile working and innovation. Flexible and open workspaces, mobile video units, and screens fitted for live annotation on documents are some of the features driving a more collaborative and engaging culture among the people who work there.
This is the headquarters MYOB, a leading provider of business management solutions and accounting software – where development teams collaborate every day to discuss, create and deliver the right products for their clients.
First established out of a home office in 1991, the company now has seven sites across Australia and New Zealand, servicing over 1.2 million businesses across the region. MYOB products are built upon the foundation of helping other businesses succeed, be more competitive, and save time and money – and these are principles that are adopted in the organisation’s own daily operations
Launch of productivity initiatives
When the company first opened its new location in Richmond, a major productivity program was embarked upon, to be rolled out across the entire organisation. Technology was a key area for review and the IT team looked to replace old hardwired systems towards a new virtual contact centre as well as migrate to a Microsoft Skype for Business platform. In addition, the seamless integration of video into the same workflow was a major requirement, whether it was for a voice call, IM or video conference. This migration would mean clear productivity gains, not only in terms of vendor management, maintenance and servicing, but also in efficiencies achieved from eliminating communication silos. In addition, the company also looked to equip more spaces with collaboration technology, so employees could meet face-to-face across any distance with ease.
As the only solution partner that offers voice, video and platform solutions that directly integrate with Microsoft Skype for Business, Polycom collaboration solutions were the choice to unify communication platforms across all MYOB offices.
“Connectivity between teams across various sites and countries is critical to our business. Every day, our team of over 200 engineers and developers meet to share code, create software, test systems among many other tasks,” said Martin Longley, MYOB Service Delivery Manager. “We have always prided ourselves on being flexible and innovative towards our customer base and that is because we have established those direct links between our programming and development teams across ANZ.”
Martin explained that another area of focus was technology that would enable teams to work on active documents while in a collaboration session. “One of the key tenets of our productivity initiative was that our teams need to be able to ideate, brainstorm or annotate live and with ease. Sharing content is a core part of any meeting and we wanted to make this process more efficient.”
Agile and innovative workplace
With MYOB’s clear vision for improved productivity, several Polycom solutions were selected to equip over 60 meeting spaces and for a number of applications – from content sharing to Skype for Business video integration. Among the solutions deployed across all offices were Polycom RealPresence Trio, the first smart hub for group collaboration. Offering a rich audio experience, RealPresence Trio lets users easily add HD content sharing and live video interaction into spaces where it wasn’t available before. To enable anytime, anywhere collaboration, MYOB has uniquely fixed RealPresence Trio to mobile carts with a screen attached, enabling employees to simply walk up or wheel one to a convenient location and immediately start a collaboration session.
“We didn’t want our technology deployment to be restricted to use in conference or huddle rooms. We were looking for a solution that delivers location liberation. A workplace of the future, where we can provide people with collaboration on demand, not only when a meeting room becomes available,” said Martin. “We’ve placed a number of these carts around the office, making it as easy for our teams to walk and up and initiate a video call with colleagues in other locations, as it is to pick up a phone.”
In addition, the Polycom CX8000 for Skype for Business was selected to seamlessly integrate into the Skype for Business environment and existing infrastructures. Built on Skype for Business room system software, the solution offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the room along with a tabletop touch control, which allows users to share presentations, annotate on documents, and write notes and drawings on a virtual whiteboard. The in-room experience has been enhanced with Polycom EagleEye cameras, for dynamic framing of the room and focus on the active speaker. “With teams that are coding and programming, they want to be active and draw, jot down ideas and brainstorm on a whiteboard. So some of these meeting rooms aren’t even equipped with seating as it allows participants to walk up to the virtual whiteboard freely and still be correctly framed and followed by the High Definition Polycom EagleEye cameras,” Martin says.
Townhall meetings at the Richmond office are also not confined to just one meeting room. Instead, the company looked to integrate an AV solution and projector into the Polycom CX8000 room solution to utilise the technology further. Staff now take their seats on a wide staircase in the centre of the office, and are able to view the session as it is projected on a wall. “What is discussed and shared at our townhalls is so important and it’s crucial that we have a high level of employee engagement. By breaking down barriers and making sure we had an open space for all employees to assemble, provided that collaborative, open atmosphere that we strive for.”
Changing workplace culture
As a proudly Australian company, the focus for MYOB remains on retaining and nurturing talent across the ANZ region. Collaboration technology in MYOB’s workplace has had far-reaching impact for the workforce, being a fundamental communication tool for geographically-dispersed teams and clients. “A move from just audio to video technology has improved the collaboration within teams and across offices as it provides better cues around body language, engagement and ‘presence’ in a meeting,” says Alla Keogh, General Manager of People and Performance at MYOB. “We do all our code development in Australia and New Zealand and high levels of engagement between our teams is paramount to our organisational culture. Collaborative technology has changed how people work with each other.”
Alla explained that a high volume of HR activity is now conducted via Skype for Business – anything from a simple five-minute conversation to answer a question on policy to more complex calibration meetings with multiple attendees from up to four different locations. HR processes have also become more efficient by enabling recruitment teams to connect with talent faster. “Video technology is allowing us to see and speak with candidates which is incredibly important as we hire as much for culture as we do for technical skills.”
Continued focus on innovation and collaboration
In conclusion Martin states that technology innovation is integral to MYOB’s DNA. “As a dynamic organisation, we are constantly looking for new technologies that will deliver a competitive edge, helping us create a true workplace of the future, today” he comments. The company is committed to investing in new collaboration opportunities that enhance our employees digital experience and help them work smarter. The digital workspace is evolving and MYOB will lead the way.