In this Digital CxO Leadership Insights video, Amanda Razani speaks with Ken Babcock, CEO and co-founder of Tango, about the importance of documentation for digital transformation initiatives.
Amanda Razani: Hello, I’m Amanda Razani, with Digital CxO, and I’m excited today to speak with Ken Babcock. He is the CEO and one of the co-founders of Tango. How are you doing today?
Ken Babcock: I’m doing great. Thanks for having me on. Amanda.
Amanda Razani: Happy to have you here. So can you share a little bit about Tango? And what you do?
Ken Babcock: Yeah, absolutely. So Tango is the easiest way to create, call it standard operating procedures, best practices, how to guides. What we realized, when we started the company was that within a lot of organizations, there’s a really high barrier to creating documentation. You know, there’s, there’s actual upkeep of it, the maintenance of it. And so, you know, a lot of what happens within organizations is that knowledge doesn’t get documented. And so what we’ve done with Tango is we’ve actually lowered that barrier quite a bit, by creating documentation in the flow of work. So all you have to do is go through your process, use the tools you would normally use. And we capture every action that you take, complement that with a screenshot of that action, descriptions, URLs. And the output is a beautiful step-by-step guide, that anyone in your team can go ahead and follow along. So a lot of what we’re hearing from customers is, “Oh, man, you’ve saved me, you know, hours weekly, in creating documentation, and now my team has, you know, all of this knowledge at their disposal.” So our company is only two years old, but we’ve already gotten a ton of traction; over 125,000 users. So it’s been pretty exciting.
Amanda Razani: Wonderful. Well, okay, so a lot of companies are focused on digital transformation initiatives currently. So how does change management and proper documentation aid in those efforts?
Ken Babcock: Yeah, absolutely. We’ve seen a lot of our customers utilizing Tango as they’re going through that digital transformation. And not just companies that are going through it, but consultancies that are actually helping those companies go through digital transformation. And so a lot of what’s required, at least upfront, is how can we document everything that we do every single process, no matter how manual or how transformed it may be, and just get that all down in some way. And a lot of people are using Tango for that. And then, you know, as as we’re picking sort of the new tech stack, new tools that we want to use, sort of mapping those tools to what processes they’ll be able to either automate or just do more efficiently. And so that’s sort of the pre component to digital transformation. The post is, then, hey, you’ve got all these new tools that you have to figure out how to use. And these tools are probably interacting with each other; they’re probably a lot more efficient than your previous processes. That being said, you need to be able to take advantage of that efficiency. And so a lot of the consultancies that are using Tango are actually saying, “Okay, hey, we’ve implemented this tool. Here’s a bunch of how to guides for how to actually take action on it and reap the efficiency gains that you’re hoping for.” And so, you know, for us, I think, the way we talk to customers about it is if you want to ensure that your change management, or digital transformation is successful, and you’re seeing those efficiency gains, you want to use a tool like Tango to make sure that you know, everyone’s on the same page, and everyone’s ramping up at the same rate. So that’s, that’s been pretty powerful for us. And, you know, so many companies are going through this right now. In fact, one stat that we reference a lot is actually a study from a company called Okta. And what Okta came to understand is that the average large enterprise today is using over 200 different tools internally just to operate. And this isn’t even, you know, external facing. And so, when you think about a new hire joining a company, yes, there’s everything that they have to get up to up to speed on in terms of, you know, what’s our mission? What are our goals? How do we communicate, but there’s also this slew of tools that they need to figure out to in order to be successful in their job, too. So this digital transformation theme and the adoption of new technologies touches a lot of what we’re trying to solve for, which is making sure that everyone has knowledge at their fingertips.
Amanda Razani: Oh, and that’s a key point that you just said adoption, because that’s a big issue. I feel a lot of companies face is user adoption when they’re when they’re starting to implement all these new programs and platforms. And so obviously, documentation is going to help with that. And also, I think, aside from efficiency, and you know, easier transition? I think it helps when they’re staffing to when they’re bringing on new employees, proper documentation that’s going to help with that.
Ken Babcock: Absolutely.
Amanda Razani: Yeah. So you were also talking, we talked earlier, and you brought up user activation. And speaking of new employees, and staffing. So, tell me a little bit more about new user activation and optimizing that.
Ken Babcock: Yeah, I think, you know, the modern SaaS tool really needs to be thinking about this. You know, we define activation within Tango, and this is people using Tango, the Tango product, as either creating a workflow; that’s what we call, sort of the how-to guides that are created within Tango, creating a workflow, or viewing a workflow. So maybe something that your teammate created or colleague, and doing that, you know, is kind of a sign that you have activated, you know, you’re utilizing the product, you’re either consuming content from someone, or you’re creating it yourself. And so, you know, for us, we are pretty ruthless about focusing on this new user activation. And so one of the key metrics that we call out every single week, is how long it took someone from account sign up, to be activated. So from the moment they submitted their email to Tango to that first workflow, viewer creation, how long is that? And right now that, for us, is about five and a half minutes. And so that’s pretty compelling. But, you know, I think so many products out there lose sight of that, you know; how do you get a user to a point where they feel like they’ve been successful on your platform? Obviously, Tango can help people with that, just to your point earlier. Internally, as we’re sort of building this product, we’re thinking about that constantly. How do we reduce friction? How do we get people to see the value sooner? And so that five minutes is still something that we’re like, “Okay, can we get it down to four, can we get down to three?” And that, and that’s a pretty powerful motivator for the team. The reason we’re so focused on that is that we are seeing this kind of fundamental shift in B2B technology, where tools are starting to feel more like consumer applications. They’re starting to look and feel more like consumer applications. And then also, the adoption of those tools, is more like a consumer application. I’m sure everyone listening to this call has productivity tools that they use that they went and downloaded that their company didn’t necessarily sanctioned, but it helps them, you know, be better at their job. And so that’s been our go-to market model as well is end users typically adopt Tango; they share it with their team, all of a sudden, we’ve got, you know, 30 to 50 people on a given team within an organization using Tango, all bottoms up adopted. And then that facilitates, you know, a really healthy conversation with the organization saying that you’ve got 50 people using Tango, when you want to bring that in house, and maybe even expand it to more members of your team. And so, because that’s our emotion, because that end user really needs to see value to keep using it. We are extremely focused on on activation, and what we call sort of the aha moment, the aha moment of Tango is when you see like, holy cow, somebody did this, or I did this, and this amount of time, and now I have something that I can share with the rest of my organization. So that’s how we think about activation. And, you know, obviously, with with other tools, Tango is actually sort of an enabler of faster adoption as well, and activation. Because, you know, we’re able to help navigate people to those aha moments, obviously, different products are gonna have different aha moments and might take longer to get there, especially with more complex products. But that’s where Tango can really thrive.
Amanda Razani: So when a company makes these decisions to improve their documentation, improve their new user activation, what’s kind of a timetable that they can expect from beginning to end to implement all these changes?
Ken Babcock: Yeah, it’s a really good question. It depends on a lot of things, which I know isn’t the most satisfying answer. But it depends on the size and scope of obviously the company, the team, the tool set, the complexity of the business. But I think what, you know what we’ve seen with with Tango, and because I don’t wanna speak for other tools, specifically, but you know, that going from kind of one user at a company, someone who finds Tango downloads, it starts to get going, create some workflows, share it with their team, to say, let’s get to 10 users, that’s typically a matter of time, you know, weeks, so that virality that we’re seeing in that spread within organizations is happening pretty quickly. And, you know, I would also say to in like a remote, distributed work environment, which a lot of companies are still going to embrace, I’m going to continue to embrace that type of virality is really encouraging, you know, because it means that people are using it in ways that helps them work remotely or helps them be more effective distributed teams to, because that sharing nature of Tango is pretty powerful.
Amanda Razani: Absolutely. And that’s another key point is the hybrid situation of the workforce. Now, it’s not going to go back. I mean, I’m pretty fairly certain we’re going to see a hybrid remote workforce from here on out. And so how to get everyone on board, how to communicate efficiently across the people that are in office, the people that are working from home and the ones that are hybrid working? This certainly helps in all those areas. So I want to thank you, Ken, for coming on and sharing with us today about Tango and the importance of change management for digital transformation. And I look forward to speaking with you in the future.
Ken Babcock: Thanks so much. It was fun chatting with you. Thank you.