Showcase and shortlist

One of the big challenges of working at such a large and diverse company as Kier, is being able to showcase all of our services in one place and collate content from the many different divisions and offices in a way which gives them equal importance. We have offices all over the country (many of which I have already visited), and abroad, and part of my remit in the central team is to provide the tools for the regional teams to show off what they, and Kier, can do.

This is why I have felt it important to go out in person and talk to everyone who is involved in selling our services - so we can discuss what challenges we all face whilst looking at ways to share knowledge and content. I've even taken to documenting my travels with a bit of office spotting on my Twitter account to serve as an aide-memoire!
This has been a really positive experience and has allowed my team to use the feedback gathered to produce a powerful tool mainly for use by our business development managers. Entitled the 'Kier Showcase' it's exactly that, a showcase of our full range of work we can provide clients which supports our Vision 2020 to help grow the size of our business by aiding cross-selling across divisions.​ As well as being a useful sales instrument, Kier Showcase also helps colleagues to improve their knowledge of Kier, allowing everyone to get a good understanding of the services we offe​r.

This interactive presentation works on either tablets or laptops and can be talked through with clients or anyone else interested in Kier. We've also developed a quarterly schedule to update it and it includes all of our case studies by region and our growing portfolio of videos.

From a technical point of view I had to ensure that this was working on all senior managers tablets and computers but that it was easy to update for the regional teams. To achieve this we actually built it using Powerpoint but used some more sophisticated tools such as embedded videos and  animations in the navigation. Rather than then paying costly hosting fees to Apple etc. to put it on the app store I was recommended another excellent tool called iSpring. This is a Powerpoint plugin that allows us to export the finished 180+ page presentation in a variety of useful formats (.exe, Flash or HTML5). So for PC we use the former and then export an HTML5 version for hosting on a web server. From here the user just downloads the iSpring viewer app, visits the web address of the presentation and it automatically adds itself to their tablet for viewing offline.

As I always say, the technical bit was the easy part. Getting all of the content from the various business units was the most time consuming but the results have been so well received that even the people who were initially skeptical were eager to send us their updates for version 2!

In other news, this blog has made another awards shortlist! This one is particularly close to home as I've been nominated in the Blog category at the first Hertfordshire Digital Awards. I'm extremely honoured and excited to be able to be there with the best digital practitioners in the county and it also means there's only a short journey home from the ceremony in Stevenage! Tickets are booked (out of my own hard earned money) and there are six of us in the category meaning a 50% chance of a gold, silver or bronze. However, the really fun part will be being able to enjoy the night with my wife by my side as my +1.

Watch this space to see how I get on...!
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