University of London Computer Centre (ULCC) provides a wide range of IT services to the academic and public sectors and also runs the popular Future of Technology in Education (FOTE) conference.

Now in its third year, tickets sold out within 90 minutes and attracted a waiting list of more than 250. We even trended on Twitter which made our year! Yes, we probably need to get out more…

With a particular emphasis on the FOTE conference series, Huddle is our marketing team’s core task management and collaboration tool. It’s used to better manage the planning and implementation of campaigns and events, giving us the ability to share content across a wide range of internal and external stakeholders. This is vital to the success of our campaigns and events as sharing information effectively isn’t an easy task in an organisation that has such a diverse range of business units.

Prior to using Huddle within the marketing team, we used the classic method of email and Microsoft Office for collaboration purposes. As I’m sure many readers of this post would agree, email in particular is an extremely poor tool for collaboration across projects. Actually, I would even go as far as saying that’s an understatement!

Apologies for the over generalisation, but in general, people’s use of email has become flawed and it’s more of a productivity killer than an enabler. Add to this the need to share large documents and keep some kind of kind of grasp over version control and the problems associated with email are compounded. I have lost count of the number of times that I’ve received comments on version one of a document when everyone else is on version five…

These are exactly the type of issues that we were keen to overcome at ULCC, leading us to look at Huddle in more detail. A number of unrealised benefits also presented themselves after using the service for a while.

We have been keen users of Huddle for a little over 18 months and it’s been a massive success.

While we haven’t made full use of all of its features, Huddle is used as a central repository for all our marketing collateral and, as mentioned previously, it’s the key tool for the planning and creation of campaign materials. From a version control and email reduction point of view alone, Huddle has been a lifesaver!

Staff have found Huddle really simple to use and I have been impressed with the level of engagement and enthusiasm shown towards the service. It would be great to see the use of Huddle expand within the organisation and replace our intranet too. Baby steps, baby steps…

Workspaces allow us to easily structure the content associated with individual campaigns. This in turn helps to ensure that everyone is able to access and, if appropriate, update the latest version of a particular document. Seamless integration with Microsoft Office via a handy plug-in has made this even simpler.

Suppliers and partners are also given access to relevant workspaces, which has helped to transform how we deal with folks such as our design agency. I no longer have to battle with the tiny storage allocation on my email every time our agency sends over a high resolution file. The file is now just added directly to the workspace and eliminates the need for email all together. The regular trimming of my inbox, which was getting very tiresome, is now a thing of the past.

All in all, Huddle is now an integral tool within the marketing department and I’m looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into more of Huddle’s features in the near future!

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