Many industries are navigating a new way to work in a distributed workforce. And Andy Gladstone, the COO of Fidelity Payment Services, can attest that the digital payments industry is one of them. Like many business leaders, he realized that an enterprise collaboration system could be transformative for his globally distributed team.

We sat down with Gladstone for an interview, who also guest-stars in our video below, to explore the value of Confluence – an accessible content collaboration hub built for trading silos for syncing. Keep reading for a deeper look into how Fidelity uses Confluence and how your teams can benefit from using it, too.

How do your teams use Confluence, and what are the benefits?

Across our company, every single team is using Confluence – whether it’s marketing, operations, customer service, or development. So, we no longer have these silos of information and instead have teams with specific operating procedures that everybody understands. And our executive suite uses it as well. We’ve been using Confluence to publish our executive scorecards for the last three years from a custom template we made, so we can keep our finger on the pulse of the company.

One benefit of having our whole company on Confluence is showing our employees that we care about them and that we’re not trying to hide knowledge from them. Oftentimes at companies, people are kept in the dark about information that may help them be successful in their roles. We’ve allowed everyone to be a contributor, consumer, and editor in Confluence. This has unleashed the potential of many employees that they didn’t even know they had, whether that be skills in writing, documentation, presentation, and more.

Which Confluence features do your teams love?

Templates! They’re a great way to take a blank space and create a canvas that’s really easy and “paint by number.” In general, some users fear that white sheet of paper. By having 127+ templates available in Confluence, each user can start with a framework to fill in, without having to overthink it.

I also like the ability to edit inline and create macros that put information in the pages and have it update dynamically. We also love the different modes of presentation, so people’s personalities can really shine through on their Confluence pages, whether it’s through information panels or expanding macros or data-driven tables.

Does Confluence help with onboarding new employees?

Definitely. To help us onboard faster, we created our own knowledge space within Confluence for new employee onboarding, offering industry-specific knowledge that people need to know coming into our niche payments market. Having a dedicated space with all the materials we have collated and curated helps give everyone the same baseline and helps them understand the market better. That, with other areas in Confluence, has accelerated our speed to market of new employees becoming active contributors in their teams.

Has Confluence affected collaboration as a whole?

Confluence has been a game-changer in the way Fidelity’s teams work together. In the past, we were working on multiple drives and folders, and users were constantly accessing an outdated version of a document. They couldn’t update it because they didn’t have ownership of it. We brought all of that into Confluence and can easily update documents in real-time on pages owned by different users. Everyone is a contributor or editor and has access to those spaces. The whole team gets automatically notified when changes to a page occur. Our Confluence is integrated with Slack, so any time changes occur, the channel gets notified. And people can easily click in to see and train themselves on the new knowledge. 

What about moving projects forward?

Many of our teams use Confluence not only as a knowledge base but also for project management. Each team has disparate requirements they have to fulfill on a regular basis, but some projects fluctuate with the season or company needs. Team leaders have created project spaces or pages to bring all team members together. This helps a lot these days, since not everyone’s in the same office at the same time, and we’re spread out across multiple geographies and time zones. We can now kick off projects by putting the initial information in the space or page, then follow up through the project pages themselves.

What’s the one thing you want people to know about Confluence?

You don’t have to be a writer or have a creative mind to contribute to Confluence. Basically, it’s “type text in and save.” But understand that the power of Confluence is the collaboration and communication aspect. Once you get that text on the page, another person can come in to help edit it or make it more presentable. Take that first step and just contribute.

5 steps to launch Confluence as an enterprise collaboration system

 Want to be efficient like Gladstone and his team? Get your team going in just five easy steps:

  1. Identify a team, initiative, or project in need of streamlining and better coordination.
  2. Choose a Confluence template (like this project plan template), then follow the steps to get teammates on board.
  3. Update the page as important tasks proceed, using @ mentions to get approvals and reach a consensus.
  4. Once a week, take turns learning an additional Confluence feature from our guide or video tutorials, then share it with your teammates.  
  5. Rinse and repeat until your next well-deserved holiday!

For more on using Confluence as an effective enterprise collaboration system, read our project collaboration guide.

Digital payments leader Fidelity boosts productivity with Confluence