Part three of our series, Tavio & Tony Talking Tech. Tavio Roxo, CEO and Co-founder OWLS Software.
Tony: We are constantly being bombarded with new technology or updates on existing platforms and applications. Are we, as a business, doing enough to make sure that we are not running too fast ahead of the people that are supposed to benefit by using these systems?
Tavio: The starting point is that people do not like to change. This is not an indictment on a specific user, it is a biological truth. A study conducted in 2009, by the European Journal of Social Psychology, concluded that it takes between 18 and 254 days to form a new habit. That is quite an indicative thing because if you are looking to adopt new tech, you must give your users a period of time to adopt it.
We all think that period of time should be one training session or a couple of weeks and it is just not. The science backs us up, saying that you must do continuous training, continuous improvement, which is a continuous journey in order to change. So, if you are evolving your technology at a rate faster than a new enhancement every month, it’s going to be difficult for the users to keep up, for sure.
Tony: As a tech provider, you have so many ideas and potential solutions, how do you limit that and decide where you are going to lose the user? What is that barrier, because not all users are the same?
Tavio: It is the other way around, in that you provide a full stack of functionality, and the users typically then choose the functionality which serves them. In the Owls case, for instance, there are over 9000 features, I am certain there is not one single user that uses even 1% of those features in their daily use.
However, what ultimately drives the user to adopt a new piece of technology, a new system or a new way of doing things, is when they are exceptionally frustrated with the way in which they are doing it right now.
If you have a frustration where every time you open a mail, it does not go to a certain page that you need it to or it does not go to the inbox but opens into a subfolder or something, you can Google that and just do that one little intervention in your life and it will make your life much easier. It does not have to be this full blown, change everything that you do. But it is those minor tweaks that give one joy, and make it easier for you to navigate the tech. And by doing that you are changing your habits, you are changing your way, adopting a new process and a new way of doing things.
Tony: I suppose you mean something like that password example that I used in one of our previous discussions, my frustration with passwords.
Tavio: Yes, that is a good example, if you went and googled it, there are a few technologies out there that aggregate all your passwords, puts them into one place and uses one password, and ultimately it is used for every single one of the logins that you have. Also, there is a few pieces of literature on how to build your own password so that you can remember it easily across all 30 different types of services that you use.
Then have you ever received that message from Apple saying that your password is compromised, it is too simple, you need to change it. And it is effective in the following 20 places. You must change it in 20 Different places?
Tony: I have had that. I made the mistake of going onto one of those sites to check if you have been hacked. And I had been hacked everywhere.
Tavio: That is scary, and security is one of the reasons that will force a user to adopt a new technology. Because we are all very fearful of security or a lack of security or a potential breach that might occur either on us personally or in our bank or anything like that. So that would be a very good example of someone then looking to adopt a new technology to make life more secure for them.
Tony: OWLS software has 9000 features. How can companies make sure that their staff get optimal benefit from the sytem?
Tavio Roxo: Two words; education and training continuously, there is no way around it.
There must be a constant engagement between us, or other system provider, with the users, trying to bring them on board as to the new functions and the new enhancements, establishing the connection of how that enhancement or that function will in fact improve the user’s life. It all comes down to the improvement of the user’s life, if the user is experiencing a fair amount of friction in anything that they do, and you provide a solution that will make their life easier, it will be adopted.
Tony: How much do you get involved in that process, in terms of your clients and training?
Tavio: We do multiple training sessions throughout the course of the year. But more importantly, we do a fair amount of training at the inception. Because that is the time when the users can resonate with what they have been working on for the last six months during the deployment, to try and understand exactly which features will make their lives easier.
Tony: And you yourself, do you learn from those interactions?
Tavio: I am learning every day. Even speaking with you earlier, I learned a few things. And it makes me very excited around tech because there is no way you can know everything about everything at any point in time.
Tony: Are you excited about the developments in insurance technology and the speed with which companies are changing and adopting?
Tavio: At a macro level, there is a willingness to want to upgrade, change and evolve. When it comes down to the actual implementation of that, where the rubber hits the road, that is where things become a bit murkier, because it is right there that the frustrations are found by the users. It is right there that you must train and educate the users as to how the system can help them.
But I have seen it repeatedly, that ‘aha’ moment that makes my life really enjoyable, when you are sitting across from a user, and they click, they understand and they see how this technology is going to take a work packet, which took them three hours to do previously, to a three-minute item.
The eyes go big, and it makes them smile. And it makes me smile because that is exactly why you are using tech. It must help you it has to make your life easier.