The Digital Boardroom in the Public Sector

Diligent Host: Good morning everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar with Diligent. The subject of today’s webinar is the digital boardroom in the public sector. I’m joined today by my colleague MyXa Elgstedt. I’m part of the marketing team here in the London office, looking after marketing in the UK and Ireland and specifically for the public sector. MyXa is in our business development team, also working on the public sector.

Before we get started with today’s webinar, we have a couple of housekeeping notes. This webinar will last approximately 30 minutes long. We’ll try and give you a few minutes back if we can. We are recording today’s webinar, and we will send a copy of that recording out to everybody that registered within the next 23 hours. You can feel free to forward that along to any of your colleagues or board members who may not have been able to attend today’s webinar. If you’d like to ask questions at any time during today’s webinar, you can do so via the Ask Question pane in the GoToWebinar panel on the right hand side of your screen. We will answer as many questions as we can during today’s webinar. Anything that we don’t have time for, we’ll come back to you over email afterwards.

Finally, we do have a powwow today, which we’d very much appreciate if you could participate it. With that, I’m going to hand you over to MyXa, who’s going to [inaudible 00:01:32] you up today’s webinar.

MyXa: Thank you very much. Good morning. As mentioned, my name is MyXa Elgstedt and I’m the business development manager at Diligent, focusing on the public sector here in the UK. You probably noticed, based on my name and accent, that English is not my language. If I speak too fast, just let me know through the chat function, and I’ll do my best to slow down.

On the agenda today, I will go through the following, from left to right. Digital by default and what it means. We will also take a look at a typical process from administrator’s view in creating and delivering board materials, and how directors are receiving, reviewing, and annotating information. Then, we will take a look at how board portals can help. Finally, I’m pleased to show how it all works on the Diligent board system.

As you probably already know, that in 2010, the Digital by Default initiative was put to the UK government to transform the delivery of its public services, making it so easy to access that it becomes a natural place for people to go to. Since then, we have come to understand that digital transformation isn’t just about delivering online services, but actually about the way an organisation thinks, operates, and relates to citizens. This has really has to start from the top. The internal processes and business structures can be enhanced and improved by digital approach, by moving away from paper-based systems. It is just not possible anymore to deliver public-facing services digitally and still retain old system internally, specifically your board of directors’ work.

Your board of directors can become more efficient and collaborate effectively by switching their internal meetings to digital approach, like for instance, their board meetings. That innovation has come in the form of board portals. I’m sure that many of you on the call today are either responsible in preparing the board meeting materials or sitting on a board yourself and are familiar with compiling or receiving stacks of paper. What I’m going to show you in a minute is a typical process from two sides. One from the administrator’s, and then the second part is from a director’s point of view.

Here, what you see now is a typical process that we see in an organisation when it comes to collating and delivering the material. On the left hand side, you see the different departments of an organisation who might contribute content to the board materials. Then, that content can come in a variety format, and the most common one is normally Microsoft Office, for example, Excels, Words, PowerPoints, but also PDFs or some image.

Then, it is the responsibility of the administrator to pull all the information together and collate it into a board meeting package to send out to the directors in a time for them to review ahead of the meeting, usually a week before. If the board pack consists of 200–300 pages, which is average size of a board paper, it is not uncommon for an administrator to have to work with 20–30 different files in different format in order to prepare and deliver that one pack.

Also, on the right hand side, at the bottom, there are maybe updates that are provided and need to be catered. For example, last minute papers or additions that come in, and including those in a way so the directors can work most efficiently.

From a director’s perspective, it’s all about receiving the information in a format that is convenient, so they are able to review, annotate, or maybe share notes with other members on the board. What we see from a director is that they typically travel a lot, so they want to get the information in a fast and efficient way, and if there is any last minute updates, get those effectively and work with it as efficiently as possible. That is what we are seeing today.

Now, we are going to conduct a poll. We are really interested in knowing how you are currently distributing your board materials. As you can see, there are five options. The first one is the documents are printed and delivered by courier. Second, they are created as a PDF and then sent via email. Or, you maybe are using a Dropbox or SharePoint for file sharings. Then the fourth option would be a custom developed in-house tool. The final one, you are currently using a board portal such as Diligent. We are just waiting for a few seconds before closing the poll and then displaying the result in a moment.

Okay. We’re almost there. One second. I can see that majority of you are currently PDF and send via email. The second is a Dropbox or a SharePoint, and the final one is you print it out and then deliver via courier. Some of you are using a board portal.

Well, it’s not a surprise, really. The result is pretty much aligned with our previous surveys that we have done before. I’m going to highlight the options. What we see are the typical concerns. If you are currently printing out the documents and deliver those by courier, what we see is it’s fairly time consuming. As you can imagine, when an administrator needs to print it out and then copy 200 pages to those different board members, and then binding them before sending it out. Most of our clients tell us, before they changed the way they do things, it took them up to two days to do it. We see also it’s a huge postage cost. As I mentioned before, most of the directors are travelling a lot. Sometimes getting the materials in a timely fashion is not really happening.

The other option is when you are converting into a PDF before you send out email. What we see is a high security concern, because once you send it out, you lose actually track of it, because most normally, when you send to non-directors, they are not part of your email account. You can’t track it and it can be easily pass it on to other email accounts. That’s what we see. Then, when it comes to Dropbox and SharePoint, it’s not the most user friendly, and also, Dropbox has been successfully hacked before. The fourth option some of you using is … the support is fairly limited, unlike if you use a board portal.

Now, I’m going to go to the final one, a board portal, and what is it really. Basically, a board portal is a faster, better, and a more secure way of distributing and receiving information, allowing your board to collaborate effectively. Basically, it’s a system for you to easily exchange information and a place for you to store all the documents, the most confidential ones, securely. It also gives the directors instant access to the information via tablets or laptops. The final one, the most important one is all the information only gets to the right people who needs to see it.

Now, I’m going to show how that works on Diligent boards basically. Bear with me for a second because I’m going to change to the air server, which going to mirror my iPad. One moment. What you see now is my iPpad. It’s from a director’s point of view, it’s an application that you can download from the Apple store. Once you have it, you simply tap on it. As we mentioned, only the people with the right credential can open it. Here, I need to enter my unique user name and password.

Once logged in, it will show you all the meeting groups that I’m part of. For this specific example, this organisation, Delta Trust, I sit on the main board, the audit committee, and the executive committee. Really, from this demonstration, I really want to show you how easy for a director to use it. It’s three things you need to remember. What I’m going to show you is how you access the information, how you navigate around it, and third and final one is how you make annotations.

As you see now, once a board paper has been published, for me, I will see it as New, and to access it, you simply tap on the circle on the book, and it will download a secure copy from our servers down to my application, which means if you are travelling a lot, as I mentioned, and don’t have any internet connection, you can still review your documents. It’s the same user experience online as offline. If that happens, most of our … you probably try not or avoid last minute updates, but if that happens, you can see here, it’s Updates Available. To access that is the same way. You tap on the circle and you will only download those updates. Unlike PDFs where you have to scroll and find where those updates is, you can easily see it here by tapping Update History, and it would immediately take you to the updates pages.

Once you have downloaded and you would like to open the book, you can either tap on the book or go to Agenda. Either way, it will take you to the very first page of the agenda, as you can see. It really is meant to work like a book. Unlike PDF, it doesn’t scroll up and down, so to turn the pages, you can simply swipe, tap to the right to move forward, tap to the left to move backwards. On the bottom of the screen, you can see there’s a slider. You can use that one to scroll to the specific section or page you would like to go through. What’s good about this is it’s like seamlessly one single book, so even if an item finished, you do not need to go in and out of section. If the chair or the chairman says, “Let’s everyone go to page 50,” you simply tap on your lower corner, on the right side, and there, you type in “50” and press Go, it would jump to that specific page.

That’s how you basically navigate around things. If you would like to go back to the very first page, you can do that by tapping to the lower left corner there with the A on it, and it will take you back.

What I hear from our customer is, “Okay, but I would like to see the agenda of the book.” You can do that by tapping navigation panel icon on your upper left side here. That will give you your overview the structure of the book. If you would like to go, for example, Other Business section, you can do that by tapping on it and it will take you there.

What I’ve shown you so far is how easy it is to sync, to navigate, and the final thing I want to show you is once you have come to a page and you would like to make some notes, you can do that by tapping the pen icon on your upper right side here. There, once you tap on it, there are a few options, like what you normally would do if you had a paper. If you would like to highlight, you just choose the highlighter here … so it’s with yellow now. You can change colour if you like if you tap the colour drip icon. Yellow with the question marks, green for everything I agree with, and then red one for everything I disagree with, for example. If you want to scribble something, you just tap on the pen icon here, you can do this. You can write on it either with your finger or a stylus pen, it’s up to you, really.

Next here … now that I’ve come, I would like to write longer notes. I can do that by tapping the sticky note here. Here you can write note, and then you simply tap Save and it will save nicely and neatly to the right side. You can write and save as many sticky note as you like, and by default, everything is kept as private. However, if you would like to share with others, you can do so by tapping the Private icon here. That gives you a choice of you can either share with all the board members in that specific meeting group, or with selected viewers.

Here, for example, I have a specific question to Alex, so I just choose Alex and press OK to confirm, and then tap Share. Now, it has been shared with Alex, and he will receive it as a blue sticky note to be notified. You can see the difference between the one I have kept private and the one I have shared with others. If you tap and hold a bit longer on the sticky note, you can place it wherever you like on the page. Then you can continue.

If you have come to a specific page, you don’t have any time to make any notes, you can simply bookmark it by tapping on your upper right corner where it says Bookmark. That’s how you make your notes. Obviously, once you have [inaudible 00:18:30] and close your book, you probably would like to get back to your notes. You can see it easily by tapping on the same icon to see the agenda, and next to it, you can see there’s annotations. If you tap on that, that will give you overview of all where your notes are. Yeah, that is mainly how the directors are using us, where they can instantly get information, reviewing it, and make notes.

Before I end this, I want to show you, so as a customer, you get unlimited storage and that are divided into three different section. To got there, I’m just tapping the books to go back to the bookshelf view. Here, on your upper left side, there are three stripes icon. We are now at Current Books, where you see all your meetings. Once a meeting has finished, you can go to the archive books where you can see or refer back to any historical meetings. That’s perfect if you have any new board member and would like to be up to speed to any previous discussions.

The final section is what we call a Resource Centre. This is very useful. Basically, this is your private library, and here you can upload all the documents that you might it useful to have on a daily basis, where you need to refer it back to. It can be terms of references or policies or procedures, or maybe, you sit on a board where you need to make a decision, but before you can do that, you need to review some of your documents. This is a perfect place to put it to.

The final part is you can search for all the documents in all three reading rooms here by tapping the magnifying glass icon here. This is … you just simply type the keyword that you’re looking for, for example me, I’m typing balance sheet … and you can either search in the Resource Centre, combined with archived books or all three of them at the same time. Any combination you like … but in my example today, I’m just going to search balance sheet in the current books and I press Search. Then it will search in real time all the documents that include the word balance sheets in the current books and list it on the left side. It doesn’t catch any data. It found 34 results, and I’m looking for the documents in the main board, so I’m going to tap on the board of directors document, and you can see, you can preview it on the right side. If I zoom in, you see it highlights all the keywords so it’s easy for you to review it quickly.

That’s what I want to show you from a director’s point of view. Now the second part is from an an administrator’s point of view. Bear with me, I’m going to change now from my iPad to my laptop … one second, so you can easily see. Okay, excellent. What you see now, same here, is an application for the PC. You log in with your credentials, and here is the landing page from the admin view. Today, I’m going to show you how easy it is to create a book and then publish it to your directors, and also how easy it is to make any last minute updates.

What you do is you simply right click, and here you have a choice of either copy or rename existing books. Let’s say you have already created a meeting book from a previous meeting, and the next meeting is similar, you can use that one as a template. Or, you can create book from scratch. I’m going to choose create book from scratch. Here, you choose the meeting dates. If your next meeting is let’s say the 21st of September, you just choose that and then you enter title. I’m going to enter Board Set, and then click OK.

The next thing you’ll see is a blank page. Here is really where you create the structure of the book, and I’m going to show you how easy it is to do that. What I showed you in the previous slides, you saw from the left side, you collect all the different documents, and probably, you put it in a folder like this, as you can see on the right side here. In my folder, I have all different formats, as Word, PDF, PowerPoint, images, etc. What you do is, you just click on that folder and you drag it over to our system, and then you release it.

Here is we’ll ask you how would you like your tab structure. Most of our clients would like all the different documents had different section, so I’m going to choose Create tab per file. Click it right here, and what you do is, you just click Import, and it will start uploading the structure that wanted to with the documents securely to our server. When it has uploaded 50%, you can actually turn off your laptop and do something else, if it’s something more priority, because most of the work is already done.

Now, we’re just waiting for it to converted into our format. Once it has done that, we’re going to approve this. Here, you can see it has … uploading … It’s completed, so the next step is for you to approve it. You click on View, and you only need to click it once. You do not need to click on every single item, and it will take you to the approved page. Here you see the structure on the left side and the documents on the right side. To approve this, you just go to Approve final. There’s a one-step approval or two-step, whichever is your way of doing it currently. You can either approve this document to document, section per section, or the entire book. In my case, everything has been pre-approved already and I’m happy with it, so I’m just going to approve everything. You will see, once it has been approved, the colour changes from red to black. That’s how you approve it.

The final step for you to do is just click on the Book status, it says Hidden. You click on it, you change from Hidden to Current, and you click OK. Now, it has been published to your directors, and that’s how easy it is to create a book.

The final thing is, if you have any last minute changes and you need to replace a document, you just open the folder and you click on the document you would like to replace it with, you drag it over to the existing document, and you click upload note preview, then it will upload the same way that I showed you when I created the structure. The final step for you to do is approve this once it has been uploaded. That’s how it is.

What I’ve shown you right now is how you collect all the documents then uploading it, and then publish it to your director. Basically, to summarise it, the key benefits of a board portal are improved board governance, better security of our board papers and confidential information, added convenience for your directors, time saving for administrators, and also, final one, better handling of late changes.

Some of you are not going to … might not know about Diligent. I’m not going to go through this very much, you can see the numbers. What I’m going to say very briefly is we have one of the highest client retention rate in the industry, 99% of our clients renew year over year, and that’s down to our support, who will provide true 24/7 support. Whenever you have a issue, you call us, within five rings, someone at Diligent will take your call.

Now, I’m going to warmly hand it back.

Diligent Host: Thanks MyXa. Thanks to everybody on the line. We’ve had lots and lots of questions [inaudible 00:28:52], so we’re definitely not going to be able to get through all of them today, I’m afraid. We will come back to you over email on as many of those as we can. A couple that will benefit the large majority of people on the line, this one is, it’s all very well having a system like this, but where is the data actually typically hosted?

For our European customers, the data is hosted in a German data centre, where the primary one is in Frankfurt and the back up disaster recovery one is in Dusseldorf. Great, thanks MyXa.

A director’s able to print the board papers. This really depends on your organisation’s policy. If you allow your directors to do so, they can. If you don’t, we can set up a setting that they’re not allowed to print anything.

Great, so we are running out of time, so as I said, we will come back to everyone over email or phone call with answers to all the questions that we’ve had through. Just to wrap things up today, obviously you can see MyXa’s contact details there on the screen. If you would like to get in touch with her for more information, [inaudible 00:30:13] quick demo, but obviously you have no obligation for that, please feel free to contact MyXa or myself with any of your questions. Alternatively, you can visit to download all of our resources that we have on board portal adoption. There’s white papers and customer success stories, including a number of success stories from the public sector. Finally, there is the option to schedule a demonstration.

With that, all that remains for me to say on behalf of myself and MyXa, is thank you very much for joining us today. We hope that you found the webinar informative and an introduction to board portals. Thank you very much everyone and have a great day.

MyXa: Thank you.