Recap: Symplectic’s First Virtual User Meeting

Recap: Symplectic's First Virtual User Meeting

In these unprecedented times, organisations are being asked to make significant changes to the way they typically do business. Symplectic is not exempt from this, as our team have been working remotely during the lockdown. Every year we host user meetings in three regions around the world. In January, before the pandemic hit, we hosted an in person user meeting in Australia, however as the news began to unfold around the COVID-19 pandemic our team quickly realised that may be our final in person event for 2020.

On 16 June 2020 the Symplectic team hosted our first ever virtual user meeting. This meeting was to support our clients in the EMEA region (although we did have a few clients join from the APAC region as well!). The event was held over the course of two weeks, in two hour sessions held every other day.


Recap: Symplectic's First Virtual User Meeting 1

During the first day, we kicked off the event with a welcome talk from our CEO, Jonathan Breeze. Jonathan discussed the latest updates that are happening within Symplectic and highlighted some of the exciting changes and expansions coming to our product Elements. After Jonathan spoke, our VP of Product Development Kate Byrne gave an update on our next major release Version 6 which is set to come out later this year. We finished up the first day with a talk from Liam Cleere of University College Dublin talking about the positive impact Elements has had at his institution.

“The user meeting provides an excellent opportunity to hear feedback on recently released and upcoming functionality. The questions, ideas and discussions that come about help us build better software!”
Sam Gibbons Frendo, Product Manager 

Recap: Symplectic's First Virtual User Meeting 3

On the second and third day of the conference we drilled down to more detailed sessions and gave highlights on some of our more recent product updates. For example, Sam Gibbons Frendo, Product Manager, walked clients through the latest ORCID write integration and Nick Anderson, Senior Client Success Manager, gave a brief demo of the exciting changes we have made to Discovery Module over the last year. Finally, John Fearns, Chief Technical Officer and Co-founder, ran a workshop on building dashboards (if you are an existing client you can access this tutorial on the support site here). Our client speakers, Catherine Sharp and Melissa Thorneycroft, further highlighted the impact Elements has had on their institutions. At University College London, Catherine Sharp shared their impressive adoption of the ORCID write integration – two weeks post launch 515 researchers were already using the tool!


“It’s always super valuable to connect directly with clients – and doing so remotely proved no different.  Hearing their questions and comments, and from those that presented on their experiences, helps to keep our focus on useful functionality prioritised by our clients.  And post-conference drinks was great – even virtually!”
Manya Buchan, Product Manager

Recap: Symplectic's First Virtual User Meeting 4

On the final day, we focused on the REF. Manya Buchan, Product Manager, ran an interactive session on REF. The achieved intent of the session was to gather useful insights and recommendations from a group of peers. After the final session we hosted a virtual drinks reception to thank our clients for attending. Overall, our first virtual meeting went well and we are very much looking forward to our next virtual user meeting in North America.

With this partnership, we have the opportunity to position ourselves as
a world leader in the development of the scholarly ecosystem.

Keith Webster, Dean of University Libraries, Carnegie Mellon

I cannot overstate how pleased we have been.
We have to have confidence to work with a partner
for at least 5 years on a project of this size.

Caleb Smith, Senior Strategy Manager for Research Intelligence & Analytics, University of Michigan

“Faculty need only spend perhaps less than an hour a year to prepare and submit their annual reports.”

Associate Dean, Carnegie Mellon University at Qatar

"Leveraging the interoperability between Symplectic Elements and DSpace has increased policy-driven institutional repository deposits by over 350%."

Ellen Phillips, Open Access Specialist, Boston University

Elements elegantly connected our multi-university system providing a
single source of truth throughout OIEx.

Tim Cain, The Ohio Innovation Exchange (OIEx)

The University measures the individual research activity of academic staff. This Measure of Research Activity (MoRA) requires the collection of publication data from faculty. Symplectic Elements supports this beautifully.

Floris van der Leest, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

[Elements] will help to bring transparency to the richness of thought showcased within non-traditional publications, providing a more holistic representation of faculties’ scholarly work.

Caleb Smith, University of Michigan

Feedback to date has been extremely positive from all levels across the University, with individual academics and colleagues actively promoting the ease of use of the system.

Rachel Baird, Research Policy Analyst, University of Liverpool