From ClearBox HQ: an independent analysis of the LiveTiles employee experience platform

Trusted by SMEs and enterprise leaders for their comprehensive, unbiased, and ‘user-first’ intranet reviews for 10 years, ClearBox Consulting LTD is one of the leading voices for organizations who want to multiply productivity, solve business problems, and grow their profits.

This short excerpt from their 2022 intranet review report explores the good and not-so-good of today’s internal communication platforms, and is a reliable benchmark endorsed by global brands and teams.   

LiveTiles is honored to be regularly featured in this report and we’ve summarized the feedback. It is important to note the ‘intranet-in-a-box’ space has evolved since LiveTiles entered the market six years ago.   

We do not see ourselves as a monolithic intranet company because we have deliberately transformed, and continue to evolve, into a leading Employee Experience (EX) company offering first class, holistic services and products for organizations and companies eager to thrive in the hybrid and fast-moving world of work. 

For example, beyond the ‘mere’ digital workplace technology innovation we’re (so) passionate about, we also provide professional services in parallel and regularly support our customers from the beginning of their journey by designing EX exploratory diagnosis workshops (and building out best practice solutions) tailored for their needs and business challenges.   

In short, we are  focused on adding  more value to our customers than the provision of a technology solution because we know  technology is about people, and we need to support customers throughout the entire journey from: identifying needs and solutions to adoption, onboarding, and personalization of user-experiences.  

This is something we are committed to even though it is typically not ranked in third-party reviews like ClearBox. 

And now to the highlights! 

While this mammoth report from LiveTiles comes in at over 600 pages, ClearBox did manage to synthesize it all down to a snappy tweet-sized review: 

The @LiveTiles platform offers intuitive ways to improve your SharePoint intranet out of the box and Reach engages frontline staff who don’t need an M365 licence. 

ClearBox highlighted how the LiveTiles ‘modular’ approach is fit-for-purpose for all clients (especially) enterprise-level: “Overall, LiveTiles offers a good modular approach to customers. The Enterprise solution presented here would appeal to larger or more complex organizations, as it is offered at a good price-point.”   

Finding information fast

LiveTiles was identified as a solutions provider that “stands out” when it comes to Search:

“Findability has always been a problem area for intranets, but we’re pleased to see  tangible advances. Here we do not just mean the improvements to search; people finding, and knowledge management have grown in importance.”  

The report went on to say that “the search works well, and despite the coming together of different products, the overall user experience is good. There are differences and some inconsistencies with the ways the products work, however.

Given there are overlaps with what a product does, customers should take  time to work with LiveTiles or a partner to understand the range of services. A clear content strategy is also needed to make sure users have a smooth experience.”  

Here are ClearBox’s thoughts on using LiveTiles’ products 

  • Searchable mega menus add a nice touch for organizations with complex information architecture – and for users who want to get to the content they know, quickly.  
  • The user experience across the modules we reviewed works well.
     
  • The Reach solution works with or without SharePoint; it offers a way to connect users from multiple active directories and provides access for frontline staff without the need for Microsoft 365 licenses.
     
  • The additional LiveTiles Directory module is excellent, offering some of the best people and expert finding tools we’ve seen.
     
  • We’re delighted to read the strong endorsement of our Directory solution because this investment took years in the making, as we knew that profile data accuracy and flexibility was one of the biggest barriers to achieving  personalized and meaningful experiences for users. Profiles flow through to everything we provide across our platform and, as has been noted at our design meetings – you can’t talk about collaboration if you can’t find the colleagues and skills you need to collaborate in the first place!   

Improvements we’ve seen and heard 

ClearBox noted that, “LiveTiles offers a consultative approach, which is good as there is a range of products for organizations to understand and choose from; intranet teams need to ensure they select the right package.”

With reference to the SharePoint intranet product, customers say  LiveTiles offers a “decent product, out of the box,” providing some very good functionality.   

It offers “easy administration, without needing to be a developer” with “better options for corporate news than SharePoint online.”

Customer praise was included on the “Global elements – the navigation and toolbar (mega menu and ‘LiveTiles Everywhere’ panel).” 

This is great to hear because we have seen and listened to the strong increase in customer demand for advisory and support services throughout their digital workplace and EX journey.

The good old days when everyone hoped they could just plug in an intranet platform and away you go — are gone, if they were ever truly there!

We know digital workplace projects are ultimately about people and that means they are complex.   

Customers are now asking for more support to ensure what they do not only works today, but continues to evolve into the future, so they continue to compete, innovate, and thrive. We are excited to provide our customers with a broader range of support across the EX journey, one that is also cognizant of the employee experience and contributes to a range of business-critical issues including employee retention and talent recruitment. 

“Overall, LiveTiles offers a good modular approach to customers. The Enterprise solution presented here would appeal to larger or more complex organizations, especially as it is offered at a good price-point.” 

Download LiveTiles Extract here

What clients are saying about Reach 

“The overall experience was very good, we had professional and quick support with all our questions and requests.”

Using the “easy and intuitive editor” of the Reach platform means communicators  offer targeted, regional, and themed content  to frontline staff around the world. Customers shared their feedback  saying Reach has “significantly increased engagement with our distributed network.” One customer noted how easy the interface is to use to the extent that the Reach channels  are managed locally.

Customers like how the people directory product  updates Active Directory (AD) and “keep it correct” while giving end users a phone directory and org chart.

While it was acknowledged  the company has been through expansion and changes over the years, customers welcomed the responsive and knowledgeable support they receive from LiveTiles.

One customer said “the overall experience was very good, we had professional and quick support with all our questions and requests. The flexibility and willingness to help was much appreciated.” 

Be where the user is! 

The report also positively referenced navigation and UX which is based on the LiveTiles design principle of be where the user is! “We like the searchable navigation option which  helps users find the content they need quickly.

Additionally, there is an ‘everywhere panel’ (available as a separate product), which is a vertical floating navigation bar  and customizable with shortcuts to content and intranet functionality.

LiveTiles, or their partners, will work with clients to design and configure the site themselves. It is easy to change the theme to create an attractive look-and-feel without in-depth technical knowledge. 

Maximizing content value in a world where internal and external comms are ever-merging. 

Some clients have taken this even further and used the Reach publishing platform to create a light extranet – publishing articles internally and then tagging content  for public access.

This could also be of interest to organizations that are happy for all, or a large section, of their intranet to be freely available, rather than behind a login screen.  

The chat feature removes the need for shadow tech like WhatsApp or needing expensive Microsoft licenses for the frontline and is accessible via MS Teams, bringing company chat tools together for desk-based users.  

“Reach provides an attractive interface with a good user experience. And, the chat tool is simple, but effective.” 

At LiveTiles we are dedicated to supporting the frontline employees and enabling organizations to be as inclusive as possible. Our solution to solve this is ‘Reach’ and so we are thrilled it got a special call out from ClearBox — noting especially its ability as a standalone employee mobile-first app or to integrate seamlessly into the corporate users SharePoint experience — something a few tools deliver.

This is  a massive advantage for any organization  with a large frontline employee population, a federated model of brand families, a hybrid work model or a distributed multilingual workforce. 

The road ahead – what to look forward 

According to ClearBox: LiveTiles is an experienced vendor with mature products; it also has knowledge and experience from acquisitions of companies founded in 1999 and 2001.

The market has moved rapidly in the last few years as Microsoft keeps adding new functionality to SharePoint Online. 

They have worked closely with Microsoft in the past and we look forward to seeing how they evolve to support the Viva suite and further integrations.

Overall, the LiveTiles platform offers a flexible set of modules that can be configured and joined to offer businesses a suite of tools to match their needs. 

With UX and improving more features on our timeline, we hope this short report helped you see an overview of what LiveTiles offers for enterprises looking to elevate their employee experience. To read the comprehensive report, download your copy at https://www.clearbox.co.uk/best-intranet-platforms-reviewed-2022/ 

Thank you for taking time to review this independent analysis of our employee experience and digital workplace tech.  

Let’s Connect if you would like to speak with one of our digital workplace and employee experience experts: https://livetilesglobal.com/contact-us/ 

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