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Buzz-ER turns to cloud and AI to optimise enterprise leadership

If there is one lesson from the last year, it is that organisations which bake resilience into their practice and process have a head start on the competition.

Adelaide-based Buzz-ER (through The Accountable Leader business) has developed a cloud-based enterprise resilience platform designed to help business leaders build better organisations.

During the pandemic, Buzz-ER’s clients in the aged care sector, demonstrated the impact of this approach. Using Buzz-ER’s solution business leaders in aged care were able to ensure consistent behavioral standards were maintained (and managed) to protect residents and carers from COVID-19.

To ensure that all leaders had the tools and skills to manage well, aged care providers used MyEms to manage staff consistently across multiple sites ensuring compliance while keeping personnel safe.

It’s not just during a pandemic when the platform shines, according to Buzz-ER director, Ashleigh Smith. He says that modern businesses need an agile enterprise platform that supports leaders by automating a range of workplace processes such as performance and behavior management, regular leader-staff feedback and complaint and incident management. Our platform will also provide leaders and organisations essential data they need to make fully informed decisions including the ability of their leaders to manage and lead – essential to high performance organisations.

Established in 2016, Buzz-ER’s heritage lies in industrial relations and employment law in its associate entity EMA Consulting, which was established in 1997. Instead of delivering the largely reactive services that employers have traditionally relied on when dealing with workplace issues, Buzz-ER is designed to allow informed action from day one and focuses on building respected and trusted leaders through action and communication.

Born in the cloud, Buzz-ER is a Microsoft Azure based digital platform that proactively allows leaders to take action before workplace problems arise. The first Buzz-ER product (MyEms) has been designed to help managers tackle employee performance and behaviour management by inculcating good leadership practices from the ground up.

According to Smith; “It was pretty rudimentary in its first form, but it worked for managers, it gave them something to follow. The idea was to help them manage things well and consistently when it came to performance and behaviour management and with a view to creating better leaders, because they would earn respect from their teams.

“The idea was to get that consistency with managers and build respect for them as leaders,” says Smith. That initial product – MyEms (Employee Management System) – has continued to evolve but remains the flagship solution offered by Buzz-ER.

Besides supporting aged care providers, Buzz-ER’s platform is being used by clients in aviation, hospitals, aged care and local government. In total around 50 organisations use MyEms, with an average of 4,000 employees per organisation.

The platform particularly resonates for organisations where teams are widely geographically dispersed but centrally managed, according to Smith.

All of the employment and leader related tools of Buzz-ER are under The Accountable Leader brand. Smith explains;

What we’re trying to do is build resilience in enterprises through different facets, the first one being leadership.

Additional modules, My Conversations, designed to promote relationship building across teams, and My Concern, which tackles whistleblowing, complaints, grievances and anonymous management of those issues are also available through the platform. Another platform being launched this year by Buzz-ER to aid organistaions with enterprise resilience is My Security Advisor, focussed on cybersecurity, with additional platforms on sustainability and wellbeing on the drawing board.

Data driven decisions

Parth Pandya, head of technology and data says that all Buzz-ER assets are built in Microsoft Azure. The company leverages Azure Data Factory and Data Pipelines to support analytics Leaders at all levels can access real time data about all employee performance and behaviour issues below them in their reporting line.  Analytics will also provide detailed information about particular areas of concern in relation to geography/departments and behavioural issue types.

Data collected through various Buzz-ER products & leadership impact surveys  gets used to identify underlying employee sentiments for the leadership team. Buzz-ER’s unique approach to identify the areas of improvement in managerial skills, internal processes & tools makes it a unique offering in highlighting departmental or organisational inefficiency to create early intervention to the situation.

Client information is secured on the platform, encrypted at rest and in transit, with access controlled using multi factor authentication to ensure that the right people in the enterprise get access to the data and support they need for their roles.

Buzz-ER is also able to respond using the platform to client requests for support in specific areas, connecting Buzz-ER’s domain expert partners, such as lawyers or industrial relations experts, to Buzz-ER clients using the platform. Within each product, certain users within an organisation can get access to subject matter experts to assist with the particular instance or issue and its current state.  For example, a leader within an organisation using MyEms might be managing a behavioural issue with an employee and they want to confirm what they have written to be generated within a particular letter is correct and detailed sufficiently.

In this instance they can press a button to request assistance internally, or alternatively, request assistance from the respective subject matter expert.  In the instance of MyEms, EMA Consulting (24 year industrial relations experts) will be provided access to the particular event in question and will then call the user directly and provide direct advice on the instance at hand.

Pandya and his team are currently working on developing a common data layer across all of Buzz-ER services which will support the delivery of deeper analytics capability. The organisation is also exploring how AI and machine learning could be used, an initial use case envisaged is to support leader optimisation.  AI and machine learning delivers new possibilities in creating high performance teams.

We’re investing in creating an AI assisted leadership optimization capability that creates good leaders consistently at scale. The data collected from leadership impact surveys, scheduled meetings between managers and employees and employee performance and behaviour events will be used in variety of models to deliver insights via set of tasks and dashboards. Buzz-ER continues to use more Azure services in its data analytics & scalable platform business to deliver value to its customers in this growing domain known as the People Analytics.