April 19, 2022

What's New in Digital Employee Experience?

What's New in Digital Employee Experience?

Ryan shares a life update and talks about his recent work in the DEX space.


  • Ryan's move back to the UK
  • Trying Cazoo car subscriptions 
  • Windows 365 updates
  • What's new in digital employee experience?
  • Lakeside's new DEX packs

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Ryan Purvis 0:00
Hello, and welcome to the digital workspace works Podcast. I'm Ryan Purvis, your host supported by producer Heather big now, in the series, you'll hear stories and opinions from experts in the field story from the frontlines. The problems they face, how they solve them. The areas they're focused on from technology, people and processes to the approaches they took, that will help you to get to grips with a digital workspace inner workings.

Nothing to do,

Heather Bicknell 0:32
there's good, there's good, just just busy. Busy week. So feeling the effects of that one.

Ryan Purvis 0:40
Okay, well, that's good. That's good.

Heather Bicknell 0:45
For you, are you back in the UK,

Ryan Purvis 0:48
we are back in the UK, we got back. The third of April. It was a very cold day. But it was lovely and sunny. And it was like coming into museum our house was was what it was like it was it was like it wasn't we left even though other people have been in and out. And then all the rest of it was quite weird. But the key things were working the internet was working the TV's working the you know, it's it's amazing how the technology like Netflix and Amazon and Disney just just operates very well was our, our heating. That's that, for some reason, had switched off, and I controlled it all from remotely in the sense that I turned it on, on the app. And not they're not thought about it again. Because I set up like a schedule to automatically do it. And when we learned that it wasn't, but we ended up at five in the morning, it was zero degrees. But there was no wind. So it actually was quite it was fresh, it was actually quite warm. And it was actually quite, you know, quite shocked. But we got home and the house was about 10 degrees centigrade. So that's what probably 2030 Fahrenheit or something ridiculous like that even probably lower. So that was a bit funny. But But thankfully hot water was working. And we went to our cousin's place. So he sorted us out with breakfast and bog and what kind of stuff. But yeah, it's been it's been a week of clearing out the house reorganizing things very now a lot of stuff. Thankfully, no, no disasters otherwise. And we're back in the routine, we're like we never left is quite bizarre 10 days later.

Heather Bicknell 2:42
Yeah, that's a huge, huge move. But sure, it's nice to be on the other side of it, how's the time change element going for you?

Ryan Purvis 2:54
It's funny, because, you know, when we saw when we were planning to leave, we originally looked to fly on the second of April, our first secretary, then we know the first of April, they will become the second of April. But that weekend before was the shift in daylight savings for the UK. So, so really, for one week, we had a one hour time changez difference, and then we flew back here and then there's no time change. So it was had almost didn't make a difference. To us too much. It's given me more time. In the evening, that was I actually hadn't realized how many evenings I was working till seven, eight o'clock at night. That is now you know, four or five o'clock, six o'clock, which is a bit more sociable. And these are things you got to bring in, you know, think about when you when you work in the medic is that you you can easily become a worker in all the worst times of the day. So that's, that's been quite nice to get into a normal thing. It's kind of messed up my mornings, though, because I had quite a lot of free time to do things in the morning. So my first call, because of the time zones would be 1130 in the morning, which is when the UK came online, which would be 930. UK time. And that's now 1030 For me here so I've had to like shift Jim around, well, that kind of stuff, but, but it's actually been good we were organized we, we the other thing which I did, which are, which I'm very was very skeptical of to begin with. But this is again, all done online before we got here is instead of going to buy a car. I'm basically renting the car on a lot on a long lease. As a company called kazoo, CA Zed who and which I only realized the other day was was it's like a contraction for Kazu but basically you you pick your car online, you pay for it on your credit card, you pay to a one month deposit and And you you booked your time for to arrive. And it arrives. And and it's it's not a brand new car, it's a secondhand car. But that's that's fine for me. And you agree on a period of rental one one year, two years, three years which I've, you take the max because it makes financial sense. And then if you don't like the car in the first seven days, you give it back and get another one. And you just go pick up the website and you get a loan. So we had a car for the first week, which we didn't like. So we said that back of a second car, all handled online, it's actually quite a nice mobile app and all that stuff. And then if we don't like the car, anytime we just pay a cancellation fee and in the contract. So so he loves sitting with a car, you can't sell if you want to get rid of it, which is one of the things that I didn't want to have was because it didn't hurt us when we moved to South Africa. But I didn't want to have that situation in the future. So it works out really well. And we bought this car now we really liked it. And we've agreed on mileage per month, which is which is part of the fee. And if you go over that mileage, you pay a small fee on top to increase your mileage for that month. And that's it. And I'm really impressed with the the the idea, I think it's a great digital service.

Heather Bicknell 6:22
Very interesting. I wonder how that compares to more traditional leasing like for a dealership? Is it? Is it less? Or do you know how it's different?

Ryan Purvis 6:33
Well, so So if I went and bought a car on a traditional lease, but it also be a three year or four year or whatever lease, you'd have to put down a big deposit. Which in this case, I don't in fact, my big deposit is spread across the term, which is great. The other thing is you can't get out of that lease. So what happens is, you when you in at least you've got to basically see it out, or buy it out. So if you want to end it early, and this actually happened to my cousin, he was trying to get rid of his car. And I forget, I forget how much time he had left. But uh, basically, we looked at about 4000 pounds to get out of his lease. And he said, Well, that's fine, I'll just keep the car, you know, until it gets to zero. And then I'll still give it back. And he put the phone down. And literally an hour later, someone phoned him up saying, you know, we'd like to buy your car from you, we'll pay you will pay out whatever's remaining on release. And he said, That's perfect, but I don't want to make profit on I just want to get this give me the keys back with the car. And it's done. And they have a right of first refusal. Now, now that, you know, for those guys to go and buy the car, they have to still make money on the car. So in that sense, there is a way to get out of your lease, but your problem is with it with additional lease, unless you can sell the car and make make back what you owe, you ended up having to pay in, which is what I like about this thing, because if we keep this car for for a year, and then we decided to relocate, or we decide we don't like the car and our needs have changed, or we decided to get two cars. The it's a very simple exit at 500 pounds, and I'm out. Whereas if we own the car, you'd have to sell the crop. And then you got to hope that it's thing and these guys will handle all the all the stuff like the servicing and all that sort of thing, which most leases don't do either. Normally what happens with the leases, it's just a financial instrument where you go to a dealership, you buy the vehicle, and you agree your service plan with that brand. And the lease just pay is just it just pays them the money, and you're just paying the financial company every month to pay off that lump sum. Whereas this this service is the full works. You know, any issue I find them they're compared to the car, they're fixed that they give me a courtesy car that's all built in all the insurances are covered. So it's a really good thing and I reckon and I'm saying this anecdote because I actually haven't done the math, I'm probably saving 10 15% on the payments, because I've done it this way. And I don't offload a whole lot of my cash into the deposit which was another big thing for me so yeah, so I'm very impressed. There's a digital service and this is when I was having this debate back in Africa everyone owns multiple cars at the same you know, cars are not assets you never like unless you're buying like a really specialized you know, antique or, or you know, like a Lamborghini or equal those things. Were kind of caused a great high Echelon vehicle where the resale will be good because someone wants that car, high demand vehicle. Anything you drive I was going to be worth nothing after three years or five years, so you just want to rent them, you know. And that's how we've always done our purchases is to rent them. So after three years, we'll give the car back or get another one. And then you normally stick into a brand. So like if you go to our last one was a hound die. You know, we went back now with the house and I there give us a good deal to stay with with the Hyundai brand. So we buy another Honda problem problem for us is that they made some changes to the bodywork, we just didn't like it. So you know, now you don't want to stick with that. But now if you go to another brand, and these other works in the UK and South Africa, if you go to another brand, they won't give you as much for that vehicle. They might give you 90% of what the other guys would given you. So now there's there's almost a cost of moving brands, some respects. So, and I don't know, if you've Well, you probably wouldn't be aware of this, but the UK because of all the Brexit and, and issues with fuel and whatever it is. It's pushed up the price of secondhand cars, and also the trips shoulders has delayed costs. Yeah, so so when we were looking at cars from South Africa, we're thinking Jeez, you know, I'm not spending 20 30% more on a second hand car. Because it's, you know, it's a seller's market. So this, this rental service is perfect for me. Because, you know, I don't I don't feel like I'm, I mean, I'm going to lose the deal. I feel like I've been over in a winning situation. And the service has been pretty good. I mean, a couple of things that can improve.

But it's all digital. The guys rock up with an iPad that take a picture of you with the car, they take pictures of all the like the tires and the rooms and and they shoot and everything's on the website, you can see all the all the dents and scratches and most of these cars are immaculate in this car that I've got now has got one mark on it. It's got 30,000 miles on the clock 2018 car, and it's got one mark on you know, that's that's all brand new. The technology inside it is great. I'm impressed. It's the way to go. Especially for a big purchase.

Heather Bicknell 12:12
Yeah, no, that's very interesting. It's funny, so I have a 2019 hybrid. And because of all the shortages, it's apparently going for, like what I bought it for. So that did make me think it'll be a good time to sell it. Because that's so unusual, as you pointed out, but usually they depreciate but because of the shortage is right now, hybrid cars in particular in demand.

Ryan Purvis 12:41
Well, we've wasted a lot of time, the last couple of days driving around looking for fuel. Because we both both here because we've had a diesels. And for some reason, that's the that's the that's the fuel path that has the most issues getting. So now we're looking at electric cars, but this is the nice thing we can now take our time. Do the research Kabbalah call one cancel, and carry out. So

Heather Bicknell 13:09
yeah, yeah. Well, have you visited the office yet? Or do you plan to do it?

Ryan Purvis 13:18
I wait last week Friday. It was an interesting experience. So we don't, because we only have one car to rent a car. And that also was quite quite neat. That was through a through enterprise app was quite good. I booked the car when it collected pretty much a paperless experience which which always like, go out there. It's a very difficult place to get to be honest. It's been a while I even put an office where they put it per day. And there was no one day. It was a In fact, when I got there, one person was leaving. And the entire office was empty. And in fact, the whole office block was pretty much empty. So I still I still see people not wanting to go into office, especially on a Friday. So that that's going to be interesting. But yeah, I've been there, done that. In fact, I had a meeting with someone who actually met them at the airport, because that's where they were. That's where they were doing all the meetings because they're turning that night. So I'd have to move upstairs. Okay. Right. Yeah. So that's so that's actually sorry, as we are moving upstairs. I'll tell you a funny story. So I think we're not when we first started this I had my setup at home, which had two screens and all the rest of it is that there's a there's a funny bug with with Apple, that you actually can't for some reason, share your screen across two monitors. You can only extend onto one. So I've got these two screens that show exactly the same thing. And it's quite disconcerting because you have you sort of want to put One on the left one on the right. But they're both shown exactly the same thing. And you can't turn your main screen off, which is on my laptop, for example, and use those two screens, you have to have always on the laptop, which is bizarre. So that's been the one frustrating thing about my working place. For some reason, Apple decided that you shouldn't be able to do that.

Heather Bicknell 15:26
That's interesting. I don't think I have that problem. And I have a Mac with the external monitor.

Ryan Purvis 15:36
Do your two external monitors with just one?

Heather Bicknell 15:38
Oh, just one. Yeah.

Ryan Purvis 15:42
So it works fine with one. So I thought was my docking stations I went aboard and other documentation that that hasn't made a difference. And then I thought, well, let me let me have a dig around and, and see what's happening online. And there's about a year long thread of people moaning about this issue. So yeah, funny games. It's on a Mac in a while.

Heather Bicknell 16:09
Yeah, it was rare. Now, right, I mean, with, particularly with remote work, and, you know, having the multiple monitor setup at home, and I think some people potentially even still, you know, bringing their own device, like working off of a home laptop, and I'm using a virtual desktop for work or however, seems like a, an oversight to, to make that challenging.

Ryan Purvis 16:44
Yeah, oh, I don't know, if you've seen the latest, from Windows from Microsoft released with a Windows Virtual Desktop, we, it's now going to be almost a hybrid, where you can run a localized version of your desktop, and then you still connect to the cloud as well, when you're back online. I think that's gonna be very interesting as a concept, but they could do it because they own the whole value chain. Whereas other vendors like Citrix and VMware, who've tried to do that, you know, obviously don't. So that's, I'm very keen to see how that works. I might, I might, then in that sense, look at the Windows machine, again, as a work machine.

Heather Bicknell 17:23
Yeah, I didn't watch the whole video with Jeremy and Scott. But I did catch a little bit of it. And it is funny to seeing windows 11. And then playing around with it. I'm like, I have a little bit of FOMO over here. Not experiencing that operating system now having moved on to a match.

Ryan Purvis 17:45
Yeah, it's, I mean, I'm playing with it at the moment, because we're doing this, we're building out this infrastructure. And it's still clunky. It's amazing how clunky it is. In fact, if I look at any issue I have on my Apple product, it's a Windows product that causes the trouble. So they needed a lot of work there. But then again, apples also did some funny things the last couple of weeks, so none of them are perfect. So easy to find whatever works for you to get the job done.

Heather Bicknell 18:18
Definitely. I got off you want to get? Did you want to join to catch up at all on what's new in the digital employee experience space as seniors, the deck packs and whatnot that you've been putting out?

Ryan Purvis 18:36
Yes, very exciting. So so we made our deadline of launching them all by the end of the quarter. So now on the lakeside customer gateway, which is the new name for the customer portal. On our first nine packs of them, we got another or I want to say eight or nine and a duty come out soon, or covering off better ways to answer key questions in the business. So we have a green it pack. We have winners live migration pack. We have a product by T pack. And what these packs are doing is they are showing the data in a very specific use case in a simple way. So those of you who've used the product will know that we have a very rich, rich, deep data set that we leverage. The challenge with that is trying to find the data sometimes to answer the question. So what we've been doing with the text packs is bringing it all together into a simple way. And they're looking quite good. We've done one for Google workspace. We've done one for employee wellbeing. We're working on now. A security one for vulnerabilities. And as a I mean this this packs coming out and Now, we're going to probably do a couple of months to get them out. And they've got a landing page, which has got the introductory information, how to document installation guide, a run through video on what's in the pack. And it will leverage, obviously, the strike platform. And we're doing quite a nice one now for executive insights, which I want to talk too much about, because I think that that is going to be officially released in a big thing. But yeah, it's exciting. It's, we've seen a single adoption from customers, excitement from customers, which is always good. And I did show it to a few CIOs that I knew were ex customers or current customers. And they, they positive comments around the packs. And some of them are not technical. So the more technical side of the product they didn't want to look at. But they wanted to look at the packs, and they liked what they got out of the packs. And they could say, the wine said I could definitely show this to an HR person looking employee wellness, where they could never show them the original soundtrack stuff. And that's not because such a bad product. It's just it's too technical for for an HR person who's not a techie. So these positive things, it's all looking good.

Heather Bicknell 21:16
No, that's great. That sounds sounds like you've packed them up in a in a really consumable way, which is key, because that's always the challenge, right? It's the, in that space, I think the you know, like side has the edge on data collection, and just having access to those insights. But the challenge is really making it consumable documenting easy to use all of that. So I think that's great that you've kind of packaged it into a solution focus to kind of make those use cases just easier to leverage for customers. So exactly. What kind of things is it showing in the well being one just out of interest, kind of things are being highlighted.

Ryan Purvis 22:09
So we look at a time people are working on the screen. So, you know, it's very difficult to categorically say, you know, someone that's worked nine hours on the screen is heavy, it is an unhealthy worker. But what we are saying is, if you see, you know, long periods of screen time, you know, to suggest breaks and that sort of thing. The other thing we're doing, which I think is a really neat thing, is we're working out whether someone needs a second screen or not. And we do that based on how much time they spent focused on application. Which is really cool. I think that's a really good it's a common, it's a common question I used to get. And it's a really good one to that you've got data to work it out. And probably with a third thing is highly with what the third item is. But that's basically the main two. And obviously, because we're not tracking necessarily every device, we can't say if someone who's who's not at their desk, eight hours a day, isn't working on the phone, or doing some some pen and paper work or something like that. So it's not completely the entire picture. But it's a good one, I think, into getting visibility in people's work habits, oh, weed, other one is Office versus remote. We can tell if someone's in the office or light or remote. And we're looking at the we use the health score, which is obviously quite a key indicator to determine if they're having a good experience or not, within office or at home. And that that's about giving the IT people insight into what kind of service they're offering to the end user. Because in the end, it's all about the employee experience, and getting them into a state where they get the most most productivity out of their day to do their work. The other one that's that I think is going to be very interesting. As we as we build it out, is the Java one, we do one specifically for Java. So Java licensing, Java versioning. That's, that's always a painful one for for people running our software. So that's I think it's very interesting. And then we're doing a new pack now for Microsoft 365. And that's going to tie into applications being used performance of those applications. And I think we do some of our licensing as well. Recommended licensing. So that'll be quite cool. Then we have an add one, which is working out the right sizing of VMs. And again, it's all about experience and user experience. So there's some cool ones. ones I'm very excited to Good feedback from customers on some that I wish I had when I was a customer. So I was thinking good.

Heather Bicknell 25:10
Well, you know, it's fun that you can come over and then build some of the things that you wouldn't wanted to see this great insight to have anything.

Ryan Purvis 25:20
Well, that's it. That's it. Exactly. So as I was saying to someone yesterday, I used to moan about all these things now, but I fixed them, a lot of moan about them anymore.

So I think we can wrap up David Armand, next, is a

thank you for listening to today's episode. Hey, the big news producer, editor. Thank you, Heather. For your hard work on this episode. Please subscribe to the series and rate us on iTunes or the Google Playstore. Follow us on Twitter at the DW W podcast. The show notes and transcripts will be available on the website www dot digital workspace that works. Please also visit our website www dot digital workspace works and subscribe to our newsletter. And lastly, if you found this episode useful, please share with your friends or colleagues.

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