Social Engagement
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cloudThing's 101Thing - MSE

Julie WhitingJuly 20th 2018

Microsoft's Social Engagement (MSE) - what is it, how is cloudThing involved, and how can it positively contribute to emergency services? MSE is at the centre of cloudThing's 101Thing and is one of the ways that we can help blue light services get more from Dynamics 365 (which includes development, integration and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions).

Microsoft's Social Engagement (MSE) - what is it, how is cloudThing involved, and how can it positively contribute to emergency services? MSE is at the centre of cloudThing's 101Thing and is one of the ways that we can help blue light services get more from Dynamics 365 (which includes development, integration and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions). This can ultimately then provide them with more business value from being active on Social Media and connecting better with their audiences. 

Is 101Thing generic or is it tailored to emergency services and customers? cloudThing's agile approach has been demonstrated in projects which range from tactical, scalable solutions, to multi-year transformation programs where cloudThing have deployed Dynamics 365 to solve many different challenges. Our UX design team can also customise/personalise MSE so that it will integrate fully with current systems. By turning social media into a 'digital 101' service, people can interact with commercial and emergency services in a scalable, manageable and cost-effective way. Could you be the next blue light service to be satisfied with cloudThing's 101Thing?  

With any Dynamics 365 solution, we must define and decide what is possible against what is a priority and it's these conversations that cloudThing have with you to determine what you need and want from the application. Once we understand this, it will help us to deliver what you are looking for as well as the many benefits that come with MSE.  

Some statistics...

As you will see on any website, they will have their social media branded somewhere and in 2017, a report stated that out of those surveyed, 89% used Facebook, 83% used LinkedIn, and 80% used Twitter. These statistics just help to emphasise how much social media is used today in both commercial and emergency services, and how cloudThing's 101Thing could really help your organisation to turn social media into intelligence.  

So, we've got some statistics, we understand that cloudThing's 101Thing is a platform where social media is turned into intelligence and provides people with the ability to interact with services in a scalable and cost-effective way, but what other benefits are there? Read on... 

Accelerated Response Times

Message prioritisation and automated first responses

Initial responses to messages can be automated, to ensure customers/citizens quickly receive the information they are looking for and the peace of mind that their message has been seen. The system uses Machine Learning to continuously improve and it does this by monitoring how your staff deals with specific tweets and messages. Ultimately this will lead to improved real-time message prioritisation and related recommended actions and this means the system is constantly improving how it categorises messages based on the seriousness of its topic. Quite clever really! This also ensures vital messages are flagged and simple responses are automated, while complex and sensitive cases are passed to a member of staff to handle.So,no matter what severity the message, it will get answered one way or another.

Integrated Case Management

Ensures nothing slips through the cracks

Once a message is flagged as a priority to follow up, it is raised as a case that needs attention thanks to the built-in functionality of Dynamics 365. This means that the system can integrate into your existing case management contact centre solutions or alternatively run as a stand-alone solution. The case can then be assigned to other agents or escalated, with built in business processes ensuring that cases can be held to an internal response time SLA. Simple!

Trend Reporting

Analytics at a glance

Real-time, rich dashboards are available in the tool, to see what topics and keywords are being discussed on social media. This can be segmented by region, demographic, social media channel and more. This is cool but how does this help? Well, this reporting can be automated to alert users when high-priority key words are being discussed more frequently, therefore creating awareness for the related services. This enables emergency services in particular, to react quickly to growing concerns and gives more time to prepare a plan of action which in critical moments, means that plans can get made quicker and actions can be executed promptly. These reporting tools can be customised, to ensure intelligence can be gathered whenever new topics or keywords become a priority.

Co-ordinated Responses

Scalable services in an emergency

Should a major event occur involving the public, social media can be an invaluable tool to aid in communicating with the public, capturing vital intelligence quickly, and coordinating a response. 101Thing has helped in major public incidents by responding to all messages within a specific location with safety advice, updates and reassurance. The tool can get information from the public into the hands of first line responders to help make an informed decision on the next course of action. The cloud technology which supports this tool demonstrates that it can scale to spikes in demand and monitoring, meaning it can be relied upon when it matters most. Particularly in emergency services, this is extremely important, and this is an area cloudThing have already worked with, as demonstrated in some quotes below:

 “We worked with a large UK Police Force in partnership with Microsoft as the customer had identified their social media platforms were being used as an outbound messaging system to share information with the public. This police force was receiving over 20,000 inbound messages every month from the public. As with any new service or technology, there was no formal methodology in place to guide how to deal with such a volume of incoming tweets.” – Nick Churchill-Evans – Sales Director at cloudThing. 

 But don't just take our word for it, here's Parm Singh from Microsoft who gave his views of our work: 

 “The Police Force had a working partnership with Microsoft and asked us to recommend a partner that could design, deliver and support a solution which could cut through the noise of the huge amount of messages and help them find the undoubtedly useful intelligence, reports of crime and citizens asking for help and advice. We knew cloudThing had the technical and business skills to understand the customer’s requirements and implement a solution that would make the most of Azure, Dynamics 365 and Social Engagement. We had to build something which would make sure social media messages were seen, prioritised and actioned without the need for huge amounts of staff monitoring the feeds in real time.” – Parm Singh - Microsoft. 


Following on from these, there are also other advantages of using 101Thing and these include... 

A Centralised Platform

As a result of consolidating data into a single platform, the appropriate personnel can now better deal with the related tweets and public concerns that get flagged. With regards to emergency services,it is now possible to proactively allocate the most appropriate resources by using the intelligence provided by the public and cloudThing's 101Thing solution.

Improved Efficiency Thanks to Machine Learning

By performing triage, Microsoft Social Engagement uses machine learning (an application of AI) to collate user-submitted information more accurately by better understanding the context of the messages as they feed in to MSE. If we consider the fact that more than 20,000 messages are received each month by police forces in particular,with 101Thing they can now enjoy the support of this digital triage to help avoid missing the most important messages, whilst having simple information requests dealt with automatically. This ultimately translates to quicker response times when minutes count.

Increased Reliability 

The use of an automated workflow within the Dynamics 365 framework greatly aids organisations to respond to tweets and similar public enquiries with a consistent, approved and personalised message.

What we've delivered so far...

 “The most profound benefit was much more proactive public engagement. Which means a better utilisation of police time and resources. They could now quickly triage, respond and action social media message streams. The public has also been more empowered to share tweets with each other; helping to spread important Police information when required. It’s a great example of technology making a positive impact in society” – Nick Churchill-Evans – Sales Director, cloudThing. 


 “The automation and AI available in the solution delivered by cloudThing meant that staff were not ‘fighting the tide’ trying to respond to every message, but could rely on machine learning to triage, prioritise and filter the messages by importance. This meant that Microsoft technology was absolutely assisting their social media team to function much more as a ‘digital 101’ service and an extension of the police’s wider practises, rather than a siloed, resource hungry function.” Parm Singh – Microsoft. 


cloudThing’s team are agile and technically awesome and we create elegant applications that people love to use. The knowledge to mix Microsoft Dynamics capabilities and the ability to create great UX on the web and mobile plus enterprise cloud capability, means that we can help to solve unsolvable problems. If you are interested in finding out more on how cloudThing can tailor 101Thing to your business, give us a call or check out our website! We look forward to hopefully having a chat with you! 

© Julie WhitingJuly 20th 2018



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