Creating Personal Digital Experiences and Strengthening Culture at MUFG 

In this webinar we explore
  • How MUFG EMEA consolidated multiple applications, including two SharePoint sites
  • Ways the new intranet created a shift in culture
  • What day-to-day success looks like with their new intranet, KIZUNA
  • The future plans for MUFG EMEA’s digital workplace

In 2021, MUFG (EMEA) decided to streamline its digital internal communications platforms. How did they do it?

Watch this exclusive interview with Oonagh Shiel, Head of Digital at MUFG EMEA, to discover how they consolidated digital applications to create personalized employee experiences, drive positive change, and deliver an award-winning approach to strengthening culture.

Oonagh’s expertise is in digital transformation within regulated industries such as finance, energy, and transport. In this session, she will offer unique insights into how her team implemented a modern intranet that became the central point for thousands of employees and a single source of truth within a highly fragmented geographic and user experience environment.

Hosted by Interact’s Director of Engagement, Greg Stortz, we dive into the details of this digital transformation project.




Webinar Transcript



Greg Stortz  0:43

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, depending on where you’re joining us today in the world. Super, super excited today to be bringing this webinar ‘Creating personal digital experiences and strengthening culture at MUFG’. We’re going to bring to the virtual stage very soon Oonagh Shiel, we’re very excited to meet and get some great information around how they transformed the digital experience for all employees at MUFG EMEA.


Greg Stortz  1:12

Before we dive in a little bit about me, my name is Greg Stortz, I’m the Director of Engagement here at Interact. And I’ve been working with intranets for longer than I should be admitting. So, it’s one of our passions here at Interact, we’ve helped many, many customers take on some of the hardest and most complex digital workplace creations and we really help people just make it a simple experience and take a lot of that guesswork out of what it takes to make a digital experience for your employees that they’ll love.


Greg Stortz  1:44

So, with that, you’re using this wonderful tool called Big Marker. And we’ve been using it for some time. And we absolutely love it, I just want to run through some housekeeping because we would like this webinar to remain as interactive as possible. So, on your right-hand side, you should have a chat panel and a q&a panel. And that’s there for you to say a few words, you can comment throughout this entire process. And you can ask your questions in the q&a panel. Now, if you have questions, ask them away throughout this entire thing. And we will get to them in a priority manner. Now if you don’t have any questions still go over and look at that q&a panel, because you’ll have this opportunity to upvote the questions that have been already asked, and we’ll be answering them together in a priority sequence. So, do you want to give the chat a good old test? You can let us know where you’re dialing in from today and say hello to your fellow peers. And with that, oh, and I should also say, because this is the number one question we do get, yes, this whole session is recorded. And yes, we will be providing you a copy of that recording once it completes. So no worries on that front.


Greg Stortz  2:55

But with that, I do want to introduce Oonagh Shield Head of Digital at MUFG. Let’s bring her to the virtual stage. And let I’m gonna let you introduce yourself Oonagh if you can. And tell us a little bit about you and what you do for MUFG. And maybe what is MUFG? And what are you doing for the global workforce?


Oonagh Shiel  3:18

Thanks, Greg. Hi, everyone. So, I’m gonna shell I’m head of digital on the comms side at MUFG EMEA. MUFG EMEA or MUFG is a Japanese bank, whose roots date back more than 350 years. And they’ve had an overseas presence since 1880. So, a long and storied past. I’ve been there for about four years, I come from a project management and product ownership background. And I run with my team, the digital channels at MUFG EMEA.


Greg Stortz  3:51

That’s amazing. Thank you, like this is so quite the challenge, right? So, you’re a Japanese bank working in EMEA, and I know you’re across North America as well. What’s that like culturally to you know, I know we’re hanging out in the Western culture as you would mixing that in with some Japanese culture, what’s the dynamic like?


Oonagh Shiel  4:14

Well, it’s fascinating, dynamic, to be honest, Greg. It’s got the best of both cultures, I would say. There’s a wonderful, you know, strong tradition of compromise-seeking and good teamwork at MUFG. And also, then in EMEA, then you have perhaps a slightly more driven way of doing things. So, it’s, you know, the magic is in that compromise between the two cultures, I think.


Greg Stortz  4:44

Absolutely. I’m sure we’re learning from both all the time, right from both threads. That’s amazing. And workforce-wise. So, what’s it like there? Are you hybrid? Are you all desk based? What’s it like to work at MUFG?


Oonagh Shiel 2  5:01

So, we’re we have a hybrid structure now since the pandemic, and that’s working really well for us. And our intranet has been a key part of helping employees deal with that. So, it’s accessible wherever they are, you know, it’s design-responsive design means that whatever device people are joining from, then it gives a good user experience. So yeah, we’re very happy with the hybrid culture.


Greg Stortz  5:29

No, I love that. I love that. No, I want to talk about let’s dive in and start at least with the journey, so you haven’t always been with interact, so it wasn’t your original software choice. But in fact, I believe you shared with me earlier that you were on an instance of SharePoint? Can you take us through maybe the history of an intranet for MUFG, and up until today?


Oonagh Shiel  5:52

Okay, so we did have, we did have some non-sharing across our entire estate. So, we had one intranet for one side of the company, another intranet for the other side of the company, nobody saw across into each other’s intranets. We had two very old SharePoint intranets where the content ownership perhaps and the governance wasn’t maintained as clearly as it could have been. So, when we picked up this project in 2019/ 2020, we really had to do quite a bit of clearing up to make sure that what we carried across to our new Interact intranet was really the useful and usable content that employees needed to do their jobs effectively.


Greg Stortz  6:43

And I think you’ve shared two screenshots. Let me just jump to the next slide here. So, I’m looking at am I looking at both of these intranets that you guys were running simultaneously?


Oonagh Shiel  6:53

Yes, you are. And they had very hierarchical structure. So, you know, there were many nestles, departments. Each department effectively had their own intranet, mini-intranet site. Very hierarchical, as I said, very kind of sequential. So, user experience, the user was expected to navigate, go from here, to here, to here, to here. So, we turned that on its head with our intranet, with our new intranet.


Greg Stortz  7:21

So, what were the major reasons for leaving SharePoint to jump over to the side of interact?


Oonagh Shiel  7:30

So, we felt like the pandemic, of course, forced us to really try to create a virtual office, because we didn’t know when we’d be back in the physical office again, or what that might be like, we felt that the Interact intranet offered the best of this. So, it was the social aspects were there, that, you know, responsive design was there, and the overall user experience was one that lended itself to this new hybrid, work from home, work from the office kind of future that we were envisaging back in 2019/ 2020.


Greg Stortz  8:10

Right. Now, you are working for a heavily regulated industry, right? So, there’s, there’s a lot of hoops you’re jumping through to get change to happen. And so, what kind of complexities were there for you in this project to go from, you know, SharePoint to an out-of-the-box solution, like Interact?


Oonagh Shiel 8:35

Well, certainly, as you can imagine, the data privacy aspects were huge. So, you know, in the UK, we have two regulators, of course, across EMEA, we’re operating in, you know, very heavily regulated markets. So, we had quite a bit to do on the employee privacy side. We also had quite a lot to do on the technical side, everything had to be shut off, completely secure. Really just, you know, it has to be fortress-like, I would say,


Greg Stortz  9:11

And I’m assuming, because you’ve got to today, you were successful, it was we were able to shine light on all those areas for you to make sure it was possible, which is great.


Oonagh Shiel  9:21

Absolutely. And we did have a drive towards a one MUFG culture as well. So, two old SharePoint intranets, so not going to help you drive one culture. So, our intranet is now available across the region, across EMEA, and international security. So, that’s the US and APAC as well. And that, you know, so we can permission content, we can lock it down where it’s necessary. But really our driver has been to have everything available to everyone everywhere.


Greg Stortz  9:51

Absolutely. That’s amazing. And we all know that even managing one intranet is, is a, it’s a task, I could only imagine. And what it would have been like to be managing two. So that’s good for you. Good for you. So, fast forward to today, you’re now on an Interact platform. And I think we have a screenshot with some edits to it to make sure we’re keeping things private and secure. But this is your new intranet. What did you name it?


Oonagh Shiel  10:24

Well, we call it our intranet Kizuna, which is a Japanese word that means the ties or connections between people.


Greg Stortz  10:31

I love that. I love that. And you brought the culture from Japanese into your intranet, which is amazing to keep that alive. So, you’ve consolidated two intranets into one. What is this new intranet to your employees?


Oonagh Shiel  10:49

So, it’s a one-stop shop. It’s the single source of truth. It is the place where people check out who’s doing what, what the latest news is, how to access their policies and procedures, how to find people in the people directory. It really is. It’s our virtual office.


Greg Stortz  11:10

Love that. Your you mentioned earlier that you stood up this new intranet throughout a pandemic. What was that like? How did you? How did you get stuff done while trying to keep safe and away from each other?


Oonagh Shiel  11:27

Yeah, so we were always away from each other. So, there was never that, you know, that big workshop in a meeting room with lots of post-it notes. That never happened.


Greg Stortz  11:38

I love post-it notes. No post-it notes?


Oonagh Shiel  11:42

No post-it notes were involved in the making of this intranet. But we, we took along five key launch partners, because we knew that those five key launch partners were the biggest contributors of content, we knew that. So, we brought them with us, we had a steering committee, we met regularly, we really focused on those getting the content for those key launch partners correct. The rest, we knew we would have to kind of work a bit harder to bring along in a remote way. And at a time, when really everybody’s workloads were heavy. And, you know, a new intranet, faced with, you know, such strong headwinds, at the time, having a new intranet possibly wasn’t top of everybody’s list. So, we knew that to get these five key launch partners happy. That was the main business. And then we knew that afterwards, we would bring people along with us. So, we were never going to kind of stop the momentum either.


Greg Stortz  12:39

Absolutely. To go back to the beginning of this. I know, I know, we moved into the today but to go back into the past. How did the decision come to be to migrate? Was there a person in the organization that was like enough’s enough? Or was it a collective group? Was it data? Who hit the go button on the decision to change an intranet?


Oonagh Shiel  13:06

I think the driver, the key driver was our then Head of Communications. Really, what we had wasn’t able, you know, it just wasn’t delivering from a communications perspective, there was no way that two aging SharePoint intranets could have provided the kind of the firepower for an effective communication strategy. We had excellent support from communications on that.


Greg Stortz  13:35

I love that. And I mean, that really resonates with me as an internal communicator, because I know as the business changes your intranet needs to and of course there are, there are a lot of tools out there that I mean, their roadmaps are on their roadmaps and they change. But sometimes they’re not meant to, you know, work the way the business needs to work. So, I completely understand the need to leap out and look at other opportunities. So that’s fantastic.


Oonagh Shiel  14:01

Yeah, and also, Greg, there was a drive from within the business to, you know, move from a hierarchical structure to more functional structure. So that’s why we came up with these five buckets of content. And they were very much based on what the user needs to do. So, we really tried to kind of match the push of an intranet with the pull of the user. So, we were trying to get that dynamic working effectively.


Greg Stortz  14:27

And in today’s world, what, what does it look like from my managing of Kizuna, you know, like, how many authors do you have, and how many people are tackling this on a day-to-day basis?


Oonagh Shiel  14:40

So, um, well, we have many thousands of users. We have put a self-service model in place. So, our team is quite small. But we have tried to empower the users to you know, own manage and really take accountability for their own content. And this is where the Interact intranet really helps us with the content, authorship, the lifecycle of content, and just how, you know, you really need to get a name at the top of the of the webpage, right? You’ve got a chance then of keeping the content alive, and your intranet thriving.


Greg Stortz  15:24

Amazing. So Kizuna goes live, new intranet, everyone’s doing great, so great that it starts to shift culture within the organisation a little bit, so much so that I believe you were nominated for two, was it two awards in your organization, one of them for strengthening culture, and the other one was streamlining efficiency? But you actually took home an award for strengthening culture, which is a huge, huge undertaking, because we I mean, if we look at culture, this is tough, like, culture is hard to change. It’s hard to create. I mean, it’s, it’s grown from the people upwards. So, quite the ripple Kizuna made inside of MUFG winning these awards. Tell me a little bit of both your words, I think we have some screenshots of the the celebration that was made on your intranet here.


Oonagh Shiel  16:20

That’s right. So that was 2021. Yeah. So, we were delighted, the team was delighted to be nominated in two categories. And then we were like, beyond happy to have one in the strength and culture category. So, this was really about opening up the culture to the employees, having the employees be able to pull from that a little bit more effectively than they had been. It was about transparency. You know, just like stepping up and growing, being able to be more accountable and working better as part of a team, I would say. So, we were able to break down some silos. And we’re seeing, you know, some really wonderful open conversations on content, more collaboration between users, and just a more kind of open flow of information throughout the organisation, I would say,


Greg Stortz  17:17

That’s incredible. So, MUFG, for the first time is now able to use an intranet to to see each other pretty much, they break down these barriers of not being able to communicate or see each other for that matter.


Oonagh Shiel  17:33

Certainly, Kizuna has been, you know, like a glass door we’ve been able to step through, for sure. And in our region, yes, the drive has very much been on everything is open to everybody everywhere. Unless there is a specific business reason why I shouldn’t see something that somebody else has produced. But that’s been the driver openness and transparency.


Greg Stortz  17:57

That’s incredible. Now, I know, when we spoke, you spoke before this webinar, you shared us stories around it starting to change how DE&I was handled, and some even proper use cases of a profile were changing the way employees were seeing each other? Can you elaborate a little bit on that just for anybody who’s interested in improving their employee voice.


Oonagh Shiel  18:21

We have a, you know, hugely diverse DEI cohort in the in the organization. Lots of lots of content, lots of events. Lots of, you know, really fantastic role models as well. And, you know, a lot of people are using their own people directory profiles to highlight their own DEI credentials. So, I think there’s a slide later on about people using it for highlighting their membership of a particular, you know, campaign, people are using it to indicate, you know, their passions, how they volunteered, who they worked with, where they’ve gone. And we have been able to use the kind of flexible, open platform to be able to create some bespoke content pages as well, to really, you know, really, like, just paint the whole DEI in a fresher, more open way.


Greg Stortz  19:22

Of course, I love that. So, let’s dive a little bit deeper into the life in Kizuna world. One of the things I am interested in knowing is what does it take to I mean, actually, I do have a slide here just to remind us of what the word Kizuna means from the Japanese description. What does it take to keep this intranet up and running? How many is on your team? You know, first and foremost, to keep the digital workplace up and alive.


Oonagh Shiel  19:54

So, there’s two of us and we don’t just work on Kizuna we handle all of the digital channels. And so, we have enabled quite a large number of admins, we’ve really, you know, we’re not able to resource all requests ourselves, we don’t have any one central intranet manager/ team. So, we have enabled people with admin permissions. And we’ve trained up, and we’ve asked them to train. So, we’ve used to the trainer model as well. So, this has really been about, you know, having a very diffuse kind of ownership and pushing back as much as possible to the owners as well.


Greg Stortz  20:41

Right, which can be very difficult sometimes I know, because it’s usually the owners of content, or this is not their full-time job, right?


Oonagh Shiel  20:50

It’s not their full-time job. But luckily, it’s such an intuitive platform that people don’t need much in the way of training. I mean, a lot of them have had nothing in the way of training and have done just fine. It’s amazing.


Greg Stortz  21:04

That’s good to hear. That’s great. So, on the side of Kizuna, again, you know, it’s living up to its name, it sounds like it’s living up to its name, you’re having more connection, people are finding themselves closer. And you did share some screenshots with us. And let’s, let’s take a look at those screenshots. I think one of them was your culture space. Go ahead, I’ll let you take the floor here to describe these images. What are we looking at?


Oonagh Shiel  21:36

Sure. So, culture on the left, it was some bespoke content. And you can see that probably doesn’t look like a typical intranet page, but we were able to create some new imagery, use the kind of open and flexible platform to have this like big, impactful image on the page. So, that’s culture. And then one of my favorite features on the intranet is the user forum. And on the right, this was a great example of how users have kind of taken it upon themselves to jump in and answer other users’ questions. So, this kind of diffuse model is really working very well for us. So, we can use this user forum to get information out there, as a point of contact with users. And, then the users are empowered to answer each other’s questions. It takes it away from the Kizuna team altogether.


Greg Stortz  22:35

Incredible. So, this forum, I believe, was your launch of Microsoft Teams within your organization, which we all know comes with minimal, if anything training, right? So, a lot of organizations just go here. Good luck. Here’s some Teams. So, what I loved about this is that you actually stood up a forum for some community abilities for them to help each other in that in that implementation to get best practices, but also ask their questions, hopefully reducing some tech support tickets as well.


Oonagh Shiel  23:03

Absolutely, yes. That’s just one of the user forums we have. We’ve got another one called Ask me anything about Kizuna, we seeded that with a lot of kind of questions that we were trying to get ahead of the users. And the beauty of this is that, you know, the language is normal, people can just type it into the search engine. And these answers will be returned. So, it’s not like a user is not going to be able to find the information they’re looking for. They don’t have to wade through a lot of stuff. If they want to know ‘can I screen share in Teams’ they will type that into the search and then get this answer, which is hopefully shorter, more concise, and friendlier than reading through a policy.


Greg Stortz  23:50

So, community source content. I love this.


Oonagh Shiel  23:55

Absolutely. Absolutely. From the ground Up. Love it.


Greg Stortz  24:00

On the other side, so we have two other screenshots. So, I think you already alluded to the one that left with sharing a little bit more about you and your profile. That’s what we’re looking at.


Oonagh Shiel  24:12

Right? Yes, that’s right. So, that was me at a volunteering day as part of our CSR last Christmastime. And that’s just, I mean, that’s I use myself, because I didn’t want to use anybody else. But that’s just an example of how users are just taking that space that’s devoted to them and their people directory and using it to say, this is what I’m interested in. This is what I’m doing. It’s a really fantastic way of rounding out an employee.


Greg Stortz  24:46

Amazing. Out of all of this, so a lot of incredible things have kind of taken on their own kind of characters and, you know, personality, but what’s your proudest moment inside this implementation of your Kizuna intranet?


Oonagh Shiel  25:04

I guess it was one day I was on the trading floor. And not long after we launched, and I saw a user on the trading floor just typing in the policy he needed, getting it instantly, and then just carrying on.


Greg Stortz  25:20

Right, so just seeing it in action.


Oonagh Shiel  25:23

That’s a very small example. But it meant a lot to me because then I knew it was working. Because it took us quite a while to land on a central area for policies and procedures. It took us quite a while to get to, to get to that place where that was acceptable and users were able to, you know, select exactly what they wanted. So, that was a big piece of work for us.


Greg Stortz  25:52

Amazing. So, let’s talk about the future. So, obviously, we never want the intranet to stay as it is. So, you know, that Interact has we have a roadmap, of course, we’re constantly making changes and improvements to the platform, both on the desktop and in the mobile world. But what does your roadmap look like? How do you decide what to implement and what happens next for Kizuna?


Oonagh Shiel  26:23

So, we’re very, we’re very keen on following the Interact roadmap for sure. So, we’ve been delighted to roll out the block editor recently, that’s been a game changer for us, we’ve been really happy with that. I guess for us, we have to evaluate any new feature to make sure that it’s fit for our purposes, as well. And, we have to make sure that the business is ready for it. You know, the employee base might be mature enough for that as well. We need to make sure that we’re really getting the most out of our investment as well. So, it is really about, you know, implementing what’s going to kind of move the needle for us from an employee experience perspective. And yeah, we’re looking at the app now that’s we’ve been looking at that for a while. The block editor is hugely exciting. And I know that there’s something coming in the AI space that we’re really excited about learning more about.


Greg Stortz  27:25

Of course, and for everyone on this call wondering ‘block editor’, what does this mean? So, Interact has been working on this world-class, content creation platform. So, our old way of creating content was in a WYSIWYG kind of editor where you could inject HTML, and it worked, and it was great. But the world has changed. And we’ve created from the ground up this amazing block editor experience, where dragging pieces onto a page now makes it easy for all authors from all walks of life, from all skill sets, to create amazing-looking pages, but also give administrators the power to include templates and even control who can have what blocks and who can see what templates and, and so on so forth. So, there’s incredible things that the block editor has given all authors the capability of doing.


Greg Stortz  28:21

And on the AI side of things, actually, I’m very curious, playing in this world, because I’m sure everyone on this on this call is hearing about AI and wondering how this fits into the workplace. And will we lose our jobs when day-to-machine authoring? And so on, so forth? So, the answer on the block editor side is yes, we have created an AI block, which will allow you to write a few things and tell us a little bit about what you’re trying to create and let the block editor kind of design a page for you. What are your thoughts on that Oonagh? You know, where do you stand? Maybe not speaking on behalf of MUFG, but where do you stand when it comes to AI?


Oonagh Shiel  29:04

I think it’s hugely exciting, especially in terms of content generation, being able to validate your content before you go live with it. I just think it’s hugely exciting. It’s all about asking the right questions of it I think and how we decide we use it.


Greg Stortz  29:20

Absolutely. I think my favorite thing about AI is sometimes when we write something and you just kind of peek into chatGPT and go like, can you give me more and it always does. And sometimes you’re like, ah, how did I not think of this? So, I use it as a tip finder, which is great. But yeah, there’s so many use cases for it out there in the world. That’s great. Thank you for sharing a little bit about the future. Now. I want to know two years from now, what is Kizuna for your organization? If you could just take a guess and look into the crystal ball. Where do you think Kizuna is going?


Oonagh Shiel  29:57

So, I’d like to see more usage, I would be very excited to see a higher use on the search engine, which we know. It’s now at about 60%. So I’m really curious to see what happens to users and how they access content because it seems that, you know, the Google model is the way people like to access content now. So, I’m really interested in that. You know, I hope the app will be on everybody’s phones. And I hope we’ll be using that. But we’re also looking at integrations where possible. And, you know, I’d like to see it as a partner with Teams. So yeah, of course, we want more content, more users, more happier users as well. That’s what I’d like to see in two years.


Greg Stortz  30:57

Fantastic. So, I’m going to dive into some questions here. So, let me just switch over. I skipped too far. I’m so sorry. Let’s jump over into our q&a, and again, if you haven’t asked your questions, get them in. And then if you don’t have questions, dive in there and start voting. I can already see many questions in here with some upvotes. So, I’m going to do this in an order here.


Greg Stortz  31:25

Allegra asks, oh, see, this is a little big on my screen. But ‘how do you think about the shift from we will eventually go back to normal to a true digital-first workplace experience that equally delivers on experience for employees who are more virtual?’


Oonagh Shiel  31:44

Hmm, that’s a great question. Good question. Good question. I think possibly when we’re talking about digital first, we also need to think about analog as well. So, I see that being I see that as I see true digital first as being in partnership with the analog experiences that create a truly good employee experience.


Greg Stortz  32:14

Sure. Yeah. And I think I think the shift is a complete culture overhaul, isn’t it? So, I think, yeah, we’re hearing more and more from customers that, we all know, there’s no more normal, where we’re actually more into the solution for the next what is it? You know, and I think we’re seeing a lot of even changes in our roadmap that are changing our own software, to, you know, to enable employees to work however they need to. You spoke about the mobile app, improvements to that to allow employees to just exist, how they need to exist to be successful. You know, and I think, on the side of tools and changes to our digital workplace, we’re only going to see more improvements, to allow our employees to be more flexible, right, I think, organization to organization, industry to industry. It’s different. And, yeah, I do. I like what you’re saying the analog first. I mean, let’s take care of those who are, you know, customer facing and their, you know, their technology may not be the first thing they’re jumping towards. But as we, you know, look through the entire workforce, we know that digital, it’s here to stay, I think, I think it’s proven itself way more than it needs to throughout this whole pandemic, and now into the shift of how we are working. That it’s, it’s actually the way we will continue to work right. So, yeah, lots, I think there’s a lot to come in this space, and I think a lot to change. So love this question. Thanks for asking.


Greg Stortz  33:51

Let me throw this from Susie, ‘Could you please talk a little more about your governance and management model? How do you make sure the intranet remains suitable for employees? Who is accountable and responsible for keeping it updated? And how is it enforced?’


Oonagh Shiel  34:06

So, Susie, that’s a great question. And honestly, who’s accountable, that’s the person whose picture is on the piece of content that they uploaded. Really ownership, 100% ownership of the content is the only way to do this. Luckily, Interact intranets enforce the lifecycle. So, we have, for example, we’ve enabled the system that content lives for like three years. And there’s a firm review date. And if the content owner doesn’t review the content, then all users get a message at the top of that piece of content saying this content should have been reviewed two days ago. So, there’s a you know, there’s a little bit of, it’s not naming and shaming, but it’s very clearly signaled that this content is the owner’s responsibility. And that, you know, there is a lifecycle to that, because it’s very difficult in intranet to keep them up to date. We found Intranet is just very, very good at helping us with this.


Greg Stortz  35:21

Yeah. And that’s, that’s great. I mean, there are a bunch of capabilities inside the platform for administrators to constantly do health checks. There’s a bunch of reports, there’s a bunch of analytics, that can help you make sure that this content remains up and running.


Oonagh Shiel  35:43

I would also say the things like the comments, and how users can suggest keywords to the content owners, you know. It really is a conversation, it’s not like a static thing of I’ve published that it’s going to be there forever, I don’t care what happens to it. To you know, I’m accountable as an owner to all of my employees and all of my colleagues as well.


Greg Stortz  36:06

No, absolutely. And do you find is it difficult for… So, let’s say you have someone in marketing who’s owning a few pieces of content? Do you work with the managers of those people to make sure that they’re given the time and space? Or have you not needed to – the ownership is just kind of there?


Oonagh Shiel  36:22

We haven’t needed to it’s something we always stress anytime we get in front of users. But we also, you know, we publish monthly dashboards on Kizuna And then we do highlight some departments that perhaps they have a lot of x bar content, you know, to surface to surfaces, because an overgrown intranet serves nobody, you know, like, nobody benefits from this.


Greg Stortz  36:51

It’s true, like spring cleaning on your intranet is it’s a thing. It is a thing. Absolutely. Great question. Susie. Thank you very much for asking.


Greg Stortz  36:58

Matilda also has a question here. So ‘Any advice on how you can engage a workforce and invoke excitement about an intranet launch that they’ve never used? If they’ve never used one before?’


Oonagh Shiel  37:12

I love this question. So, if we hadn’t been running this project, in the middle of a global pandemic, we would have done much, much, much more, we would have been standing in front of users much more than we did. We what we did, we went out with communications regularly talking about how the intranet is coming. This is what it’s going to look like, this is what you’re going to be able to do. We got the name Kizuna because we ran an employee-wide competition. So, that’s where we got the name, it was sourced, it was a crowd-sourced name. And we also leaned on the senior leadership to drive some appetite for this as well within their divisions.


Oonagh Shiel  37:59

So, I think there’s really there’s no substitute for getting in front of people and talking about it and having drop-in sessions and having a stand in the canteen during the busiest hours, that kind of thing to really try to build up a sense of excitement about an intranet. But I think it’s also a good point because, you know, in some generations, the idea of an intranet is, you know, in this app world, it’s not like a lot of people are used to this kind of central repository. So, I think we’re helped by Interact because the social aspect is there and you know, there’s lots of capabilities that I think, are useful and used by people in the outside before they get into a workplace setting. So, certainly, some generations of workers are happy with the idea of an intranet. This is your company, website, it’s all here. And then others just want to like pick the little bits of they that they need to use every day and happily, or Interact intranet serves all generations of workers, I would say,


Greg Stortz  39:12

No, that’s fantastic. And I think you nailed that. I mean, creating a comms plan around an intranet launch is, is beyond anything, it’s not even just about, you know, reaching the audience, you know, wherever they may be working, but it’s also creating this virtual culture, isn’t it? So, you can’t just launch it, there’s got to be a what’s in it for me. And that’s, that’s sometimes very difficult, but doing it right could take a lot of time, you know, gaining that information from the employees and understanding how this is going to improve their work-life before going live and use that information to be part of that campaign to make sure that you know, that they know what’s in it for them and they will want to come to see it. And then, also in the first couple of weeks, changing that intranet rapidly so that they continue to come back. And there’s something different, you know, is always a great way to do that. It’s fantastic.


Oonagh Shiel  40:14

And I think I think personalized homepages help here as well. So for new users, this is what you need to know, for your first 100 days on the job. You know, serving users where they are is really key, I think.


Greg Stortz  40:28

Yeah, this is a great point. Absolutely. Yeah. If you can design a homepage that is catered to that audience, they’ll fall in love faster than you’d imagine. Absolutely. Thanks, Matilda, for this question.


Greg Stortz  40:44

Katrina has a question here. ‘Who did you have to get buy-in from before launching this new intranet? Did you come up with the key points of impact and ROI to advocate for this change?’ I know you’ve covered maybe a few things here. So, let’s just remind us.


Oonagh Shiel  41:02

Yeah, certainly. We had great support from our head of comms, she was really, really passionate about this. We had great buy-in as well from our leaders because they saw the benefits of driving a one MUFG, a stronger culture by having one central intranet for everybody. Certainly, we did, you know, we certainly wrote the business case, we proved whatever ROI we could. We ran a very robust procurement exercise as well. So, you know, it was a very, very robust process, I would say.


Greg Stortz  41:43

All right. Katrina, thank you for that question.


Greg Stortz  41:47

Stephen has a question here as well ‘Love the design of Kizuna. Are there any design or content differences for different user groups or based on security or permissions in your intranet?’


Oonagh Shiel 42:00

So, this is a great question. There aren’t because we wanted everybody everywhere to see the same thing. Because of where we had come from with two separate intranets. Our homepage is the same for all regions but we’ve kind of sliced it so that somebody in Paris, for example, sees Paris news, they don’t see my news in London. So, we’ve used some light customizations. And we’ve used there’s a ton of cool widgets for homepages. We’ve also got kind of a poll widget, which means that I select the topics that I’m interested in. So, that surfaces on my intranet as well, on my homepage, so we were really keen that it was a mixture of push and pull. So, that, you know, we know there are messages that have to be pushed to users. But we also want users to pull the information that they’re most interested in. It’s something that we’re looking at, you know, the idea of different homepages for different users. You know, so now that we started, we’re a couple of years into this, we’re really just going to kind of have bespoke content, while still under the umbrella of one MUFG.


Greg Stortz  43:23

Right. And in Interact, there’s many, many ways you can achieve this right? So, I think the one you’ve chosen was – I’m assuming you’ve used permissions – so, you can put something in a category that’s just for Paris. But that widget won’t show you any information that you don’t have access to. Right. So, I understand that. But we have permissions on zones with homepages that can hide and show depending on personas, or you know, whether you were in a community or not, there’s so many options that can make your homepage adjust and change based on who you are, where you are, and what communities you belong to. So, there’s so many, so many great options there. I love that. Good. Thank you, Stephen, for your question.


Greg Stortz  44:05

Jessica has a question here. ‘When you say you are locking things down from a security perspective, how are you doing that? Is it IP restrictions, user roles, group access to pages’.


Oonagh Shiel  44:17

So, we have encouraged all content owners to have everything open to everybody everywhere. But we know that in some parts of the business, this is not possible. So, for example, some HR information, I shouldn’t see what another territory can see. So, we have used the permissions that are available on Interact to be able to just specify the audience for particular pieces of content. So that’s how we’ve done that. And some parts of the business have kind of secret areas that I can’t see. I mean, I’ve set them up for these users, but I can’t see them going forward. And they might be, you know, particular group’s own reports or their own dashboard, that they, you know, they know it’s not a huge, open interest to everybody. So, they’ve chosen to kind of restrict their content as well. But we have definitely used what is on the Interact platform to be able to restrict content to specific audiences. So, we’ve done that by entity or by location.


Greg Stortz  45:35

Good. And they know, I hope the product team is not going to get angry for me saying that’s right now, and hopefully, I don’t know if it’s public knowledge yet. But we do have a new permission model coming out as well, where you’ll actually be able to geofence content. So, what this means is that anybody who’s within a range of a location, you can hide and show content as well. So, imagine this for I mean, retail industry would probably make the best use out of this being able to say, if you’re outside of this store radius, or shop radius, we don’t want to show anything that’s recipe related, or, you know, something that’s our bread and butter to the organization keeping some content safe, but allowing the employee to access certain things from home, in a safe manner. So more to come on that. So that’s fantastic. Great question, Jessica. Thanks for asking.


Greg Stortz  46:26

I’ll go with one more here. Just before we close off, I have a question from Zoe. ‘I love that your forum brings users together, especially encouraging self-service and answering each other’s questions. Do you also have Yammer, Viva Engage in your org? Or is it your intranet? The only comms channel available for this?’ Love this question.


Oonagh Shiel  46:48

Yeah. So great question Zoe. Right now, it is the only comms channel available for this. So, I mean, I know Yammer I’ve used it in, in other organizations, and it’s a great tool. Currently, it’s only Kizuna, Kizuna is the only show in town for this. But we are looking at integrating Kizuna in an intelligent way with Teams. So, we would want Kizuna to be a partner with Teams. And we are actively looking at where we can integrate it in an intelligent way that doesn’t duplicate functionality but makes sure that the users, you know, can have a really delightful user experience, wherever they are, whether they’re on teams or whether they’re on Kizuna. So, that’s something we’re actively looking at right now.


Greg Stortz  47:42

Yeah, I think one of the greatest things we saw come out for Teams from us, was the ability to create apps in Teams so that you can actually have your intranet just live inside of Teams, if that’s where your end users are. To go back to that block editor, one of the major things that changes is the ability to promote content as well. So, one of the things that we’ve spent much time trying to reinvent is how we get to the employees where they’re working, right? So, whether that is Slack, Yammer, Viva Engage, whether you’re on Teams, or you’re even WhatsApp, if you have your employees working in these spaces, through Interact, be able to promote. You create in Interact, but we can push the digital signage, we can push it to your WhatsApp groups, we can push it to your Teams groups, wherever your employees are working, allowing you to have a full-on multi-channel experience without having to duplicate everything. This includes email and, and such.


Greg Stortz  48:42

So, so many capabilities to at least remove a lot of that extra work that it takes to be an internal communicator is so many channels available to you not having to replicate everything everywhere. That’s fantastic. So, thank you Zoe for that question. And with that, I do want to thank you so much Oonagh for joining us today. I think we’ve learned so much from your journey and including all of the information you just shared about the future plans for Kizuna. I have to say MUFG is a super blessed organization to have somebody like you run in the digital workplace for employees. So, I want to thank you for all the work that you do and the love that you pour into the digital experience for employees. Thanks for being here with us today.


Oonagh Shiel  49:28

Oh, my pleasure. Thank you very much. And thanks to everybody who joined us today.


Greg Stortz  49:34

Yes, thank you to everyone who joined us. Absolutely. If you want to learn more about Interact and how we can enhance and help you with your digital workplace projects, a survey is going to jump up on the screen. Happy to dive more into the MUFG story but also talk about some of our other customers with you. And if you’re interested in seeing more content like this, you can always visit us at and join our free resources area where there’s lots of blogs, there’s lots of E-guides and also more webinar content like this. So, bookmark that and visit it often we’re always changing things up. So, again, thank you, Oonagh for joining us. Thank you MUFG for lending Oonagh to us and I hope everyone has an incredible rest of your day from wherever you are. And we’ll see you again soon. Thank you very much.

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