Hello! Today’s ‘Voice of the ISV’ story is from Patrick Hanley at Dynamic Signal, an independent software vendor (ISV) partner. Dynamic Signal is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that helps companies communicate effectively with their employees through appropriate channels by making communications easy, personal, and measurable. Its customers can use the platform to send communications and analyze results of internal campaigns. They can also empower brand advocates by delivering approved social content that employees post to their networks.
As a business leader, I understand the value of delivering the right message to the right people on the right channels. So, I am delighted that the Microsoft Identity team was able to help Dynamic Signal make its product even more valuable to its customers. Read on to see how Azure Active Directory helped Dynamic Signal simplify the process of creating segmented lists for internal communications.
Azure AD and Dynamic Signal help companies deliver targeted content to employees
By Patrick Hanley, Director of Strategic Alliances, Dynamic Signal
Dynamic Signal integrated its employee engagement platform with Azure AD because it allowed us to offer our customers a much easier way to target corporate messages to the right employees. This is important especially for large companies. Employees are a company’s most valuable assets. To engage them, companies must keep them informed and show them how they fit into the company mission. This takes careful orchestration. Employees are busy and don’t want to get bogged down in irrelevant communication—no matter who sends it.
To illustrate this, here are a few scenarios.
An employee in the Phoenix area receives a company message about a storm in Chicago
The human resources team sends an email reminding a ten-year-veteran employee how to fill out timecards
A company negotiating a merger inadvertently sends sensitive information to a person who has left the company.
Companies face real risks if messages routinely go to people who won’t benefit from the information. If employees get enough irrelevant messages, they’ll turn off the channel or ignore the communications. The merger example represents a scenario that could be a liability. If sensitive information is delivered to an ex-employee through a channel to which they still have access, it could present a legal risk to the company, especially if it spreads beyond this one ex-employee.
The Dynamic Signal employee communications platform allows companies to send the right information to the right employees. However, before the integration with Azure AD, our customers faced a key challenge: it was difficult to maintain accurate, segmented lists. Communication teams needed to create and update segmented lists in a CSV file and then upload it to our platform. This might work if the organization remained static, but employees change roles regularly at most modern corporations. Every time there was a new communication, someone needed to download the CSV file, make updates, and reload it. Some companies were spending ten hours a week just managing the CSV bulk upload. The process wasn’t scalable, and it was prone to error.
Dynamic Signal + Azure AD simplifies employee segmentation
To resolve these issues, we partnered with the Microsoft Identity team to integrate Dynamic Signal with Azure AD. Azure AD is a great solution because it offers the following capabilities:
Serves as the single source of truth for employee roles, including their title, team, location, and seniority, among other details.
Updates role changes in Azure AD automatically when connected to an HR system
Automatically propagates new role information out to connected apps, including Dynamic Signal.
Customers who use Azure AD for identity and access management can now easily segment their employees based on the data that is captured in Azure AD roles. They don’t have to wonder if employee role and team information is accurate. When a person’s role or team is updated in Azure AD (or an Azure AD-connected Human Resources platform) the information is synced to Dynamic Signal—no time-consuming CSV upload required. Communications teams can spend more time creating good content and less on segmenting employees. Here are a few ways a company could personalize communications to their employees:
Create a list of Chicago area employees and send communication across relevant channels to keep them updated on an incoming storm, including transportation/work from home options
Send weekly tips to hourly employees who have been at the company for less than six months. Topics could include when timecards are due, how to fill out expense reports, and how to submit a vacation request
Deliver sensitive company merger information to senior managers, confident that managers that have left the company will no longer receive the communication
As people transition in and out of roles, communications professionals can easily target messages to the right people with less risk that a message will go to the wrong person. Dynamic Signal and Azure AD provide companies the tools to deliver personalized messages that can improve engagement and encourage brand advocacy.
Microsoft is a partner that listens
We chose to integrate with Azure AD because of Azure AD’s large install base and its comprehensive set of capabilities. Dynamic Signal works with a lot of Fortune 500 companies who are invested in Office 365, and Azure is the authentication engine for Office 365. With Azure AD we can offer these companies a simple process for managing identities for corporate communications.
We use the system for cross-domain identity management (SCIM) to automatically sync roles between Azure AD and Dynamic Signal. It is an open standard protocol that automates user provisioning and allows companies to maintain a single system to manage users, roles, and groups. This project was an early adoption of SCIM, but it went well because the Microsoft Identity team listened to our feedback. We also benefited from the team’s history in identity and management.
The Dynamic Signal story illustrates how an Azure AD integration can boost the value of a SaaS solution. If you are an ISV, I hope it helps you think creatively about how Azure AD could help you improve your own solutions. Read the Azure Active Directory Identity Blog series to discover more stories about Azure AD and identity management.