eBusiness Club provides specialist eBusiness support to 11,500 companies across the five counties that make up the East Midlands. It delivers a range of ERDF-funded business support projects that help businesses to exploit technology. 

The remit of eBusiness Club is to raise awareness of how businesses can make the best use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to boost their performance. The eBusiness Club delivers support through two key channels.

The first is a series of 14 individual eBiz byte seminars, which run throughout the year and are hosted by local Chambers of Commerce. Topics range from website development and social media through to cloud computing and mobile marketing and apps development. The sessions are held in 12 delivery locations across the East Midlands in both remote areas, such as Corby, East Lindsey and the High Peak, and urban cities such as Derby, Nottingham and Leicester. Delivered by experienced freelance practitioners, the two hour educational programmes give owners, managers and senior members of staff an overview of the latest technologies and their business benefits. Delegates will leave the sessions with a better idea of what the technology is, what it can enable and if it’s right for their company.

The second way that eBusiness Club provides support to its members is through a series of full-day action planning workshops delivered in a boardroom style setting. A maximum of 15 business delegates are given in-depth insight into a specific topic and use a workbook to develop an action plan tailored to their business. Subject areas are constantly evolving and reviewed monthly to ensure that they remain current. This detailed level of support generates a lot of content and requires a large amount of organization.

Jon Egley, eBusiness Club ICT Adviser, explains: “All trainers send us content for review and approval before they run a session, especially if it’s a new topic. In the past, they would send us their presentation via email or Dropbox. We would comment on it, then it would go back to them, have our changes integrated and so on and so forth.”

“Doing all of this via email was time consuming and version control was extremely difficult to manage as several trainers may be involved in developing the same content.”

Using Huddle, eBusiness Club has been able to streamline the review and approval process for presentations as well as create workspaces for each of the different topic areas and set tasks for trainers. All trainers who run seminars or workshops on the same subject, for example Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), can input into material development and swap ideas through the Huddle comment facility. This enables eBusiness Club to have a complete audit trail of the development process. The Trainer’s area is entirely separate to those who specialise in other workshop themes such as Analytics and Conversion. The collaboration between professional trainers improves the quality of the materials presented to eBusiness Club members and freelancers don’t have to worry about giving away their competitive advantage.

Previously, version control was a big headache for the eBusiness Club, but now team members know there is just one final presentation hosted on Huddle. This can then be shared with other relevant workspace members such as project staff, funding organizations and printers. As the organization has opened up the platform to all of its partners, venues can download the appropriate presentation directly to their computers or get access to the latest marketing materials. eBusiness Club has used Huddle to create a simple one-stop shop for all documents. As well as workbooks for attendees, Huddle is used to work collaboratively with team members for other project documentation. This includes marketing materials, event control sheets, budgets, finance documentation and even the quarterly project claims are produced and approval via Huddle. 

“Huddle is pretty handy when it comes to updating collateral as well. Beforehand, if we needed to modify a presentation, what a performance! But now, a trainer can go in, make the change and then keep me updated throughout the process. The new presentation is then officially approved by myself, the eBusiness Club Manager and the funding partner if necessary. The external designer of each presentation workbook is then notified to update the print pdf document and the collaboration and approval process is followed in the same way. Finally, a document link is sent to the external printer to print the relevant workbooks and an update is sent to the Office Administrator to raise the relevant orders.”

“The collaboration between internal and external team members is now all done via Huddle. This helps us to manage the entire supply chain, provide better project audit control and manage workloads and priorities more efficiently – our day-to-day management processes have become much simpler. When you’re actively working with thousands upon thousands of businesses, that’s exactly what you need,” continues Jon.

We now have 50 users accessing Huddle regularly, including the eBusiness Club project team, the event host organizations, trainers, designers, printers, and even our funding organizations. We have complete confidence in our version control. It took us a few weeks to encourage our users to use Huddle on a day-to-day basis and it’s now working brilliantly. In fact, a lot of external suppliers are so impressed that they even use it in their own business to share documents with clients. I’d fight kicking and screaming if anyone tried to take it from us!”


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