Guru Wave

Zoom has become a verb; the Slack “knock” notification noise sings out all day in your home office, and you use Okta to log in to all of your work applications. The “WFH stack” is a rare, true changing of the game, and it’s going to have a lasting impact on how and where we work.

Behind the scenes here at Guru, we’ve been privileged to work closely with all of these companies and have seen first hand how these world-class organizations like Zoom, Slack, Okta, and monday.com have prepared for, adapted to, and empowered distributed work. We’re proud to be part of the tech engine that has helped them reach the top of the market, and we’re honored to be the highest rated knowledge management software on G2 and the winners of this year’s KMWorld Readers’ Choice Award for Best Collaboration.

But we’re always looking to improve our product, so in talking to these customers, we’ve noticed that not only do their teams rely heavily on knowledge management to collaborate, but they do so in three specific ways:

  • Onboarding new employees
  • Delivering new and updated product information
  • Improving company-wide communication 

As we continue to hear and learn from our customers, we’ve focused our product efforts not on simply managing knowledge but also on accomplishing all three of these workflows with Guru. Today, we’re excited to share a bit about how we’ve worked to make this possible.

New features to support remote workforces

Onboarding

Onboarding has always been a complex problem to solve, and one that can have a significant impact on an employee’s overall experience and likelihood to stay or leave. But with a fully remote workforce, it’s more important than ever to get right.

In a remote environment, a new hire’s first day of work no longer involves a new and exciting office, but rather sitting in the same old spot on her same old couch. That means a bespoke digital onboarding experience is one of the only ways an organization can welcome those new hires to the team with style. Plus, a great onboarding experience can improve employee retention by 82% and increase productivity by over 70%.

Guru customer Zoom knows all about remote onboarding, having experienced exponential growth during the pandemic, prompting them to open up at least 500 new software engineer jobs and many more across other departments. To ensure that every employee has the knowledge they need to do their jobs, Zoom has integrated Guru heavily into the entire employee experience, beginning with onboarding.


"One of the resources that we actually provide all of our reps when they first get hired here at Zoom is we give them what's called a sales tools starter kit [which lives on Guru]. We've created this really handy matrix, where there's a little table that lists the primary tools and then what are the primary use cases for them." Richard Adams, Zoom

Search improvements

To make the onboarding workflow in Guru more effective, we’ve released updates to key areas of our product. The first major update is an enhancement to our search algorithm, which is a core function of Guru and one we’re continually improving. This algorithm update takes a Card’s usage and related activity in Guru (views, copies, favorites, etc.) as well as how recently those activities occurred into account when providing search results. By enhancing the way we take Card usage and activity into account when determining which results are relevant for a given search, Guru helps users find more useful Cards faster.

This search improvement is especially beneficial to new hires. Now, suppose a new employee searches for “yearly goals” but doesn’t include the year. In that case, Guru will automatically infer that the more recently and frequently viewed “Yearly Goals 2020" Card is likely to be of greater interest than the “Yearly Goals 2017” Card. Better search functionality saves new hires (and everyone else!) time searching, making them less likely to have to interrupt a colleague for clarification—something that takes extra time in a distributed environment. 

And while a great search experience is key to a great onboarding experience, its importance never goes away. We will forget an average of 90% of what we learn within the first month. So while a comprehensive new hire training program is important, employees will need to be able to consistently revisit that information after onboarding, making great search a lifetime need.

Learn more about recent search enhancements at Guru by catching up with our search pod.

Guru search enhancements

An enhanced mobile app experience

Mobile accessibility is increasingly important as we get used to working in non-traditional ways. As many companies opt for remote-first workforces, employees will continue to expand across time zones and working hours. Having the flexibility to share verified knowledge via mobile makes it easier for managers to support new hires no matter when or where they are working.

That’s why another major way Guru is improving onboarding is by updating our mobile app experience. The Guru mobile app is available on iOS and Android and ensures that the knowledge you need to do your job is always with you, even on the go.

Updates to our mobile experience are focused on increasing information-sharing capabilities. You can now use the Guru app to copy a Card link or content, as well as to share a Card via your device’s sharing options, like text, email, Slack, and more.

Updates to sharing in Guru's mobile apps

Look for mobile app updates in the Apple App Store and Google Play store in the coming weeks.

Product enablement

Ensuring a smooth product delivery process has always been a significant area of focus for us at Guru. We’ve spent a lot of time using our own product to streamline our product enablement efforts, and we’ve worked closely with customers like Slack to make Guru integral to their product processes as well.

Slack’s technical operations team uses Guru to capture all of the key information about a feature release in one spot. Using a template in Guru helps the teams at Slack standardize the way they communicate about feature releases to ensure a consistent experience for their customer-facing teams. Slack shared their Guru Card template so you can add to your own Guru knowledge base to help document an upcoming feature and any support information additional teams will need.


Learn more about how Slack uses Guru, particularly for onboarding!

Integrated Card creation

We know that product enablement happens in real time within Slack and Microsoft Teams when customer-facing teams or customers have questions about the product. We’re making it easier than ever to capture product (or any!) knowledge in these systems by introducing the ability to save Cards created in either platform as drafts in Guru to come back to later.

Updates to Guru Card creation workflows in Slack and Teams

This new Card creation flow is currently available in Slack and will be live in Microsoft Teams very soon.

Internal communications

If the move to remote work has taught us anything, it’s that efficient communication matters—and it’s hard to get right. Our inboxes are overflowing; we can’t be on every Zoom call; there are more Slack channels than hours in the day. How can we make sure we’re staying informed about everything we need to be? Companies that find the right balance in internal comms see a major benefit to productivity, and those with effective change management and communication programs are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers.


Workflow software monday.com uses Guru to structure and streamline their internal communications.

"These days, we can’t turn around in the office and ask colleagues questions like we used to—and asking the same questions in Slack is challenging. With Guru, no matter where or when we're working, our whole company can easily access the trusted information they need to do their job. We would be lost without Guru." Cynthia Gordon, monday.com

Better task management

Our recent revamp of the My Tasks pages in Guru makes managing knowledge simple. By combining all action tabs into one side navigation, experts can efficiently act on their verification queues, drafts, Knowledge Alerts, and mentions. This way, dependent teams always know that the information they need is current.

Updates include: 

  • A streamlined verification experience, combining all Cards in need of verification into one sortable table complete with callouts for the Cards most in need of updating
  • An intuitive inbox/outbox setup for Knowledge Alerts that shows Alerts that you need to act on vs. Alerts you have requested others to act on
  • The ability to clear Mentions after reading them (a frequently requested feature!)

Updates to My Tasks interface in Guru

Finally, in addition to getting a refresh in the My Tasks tab, drafts are now also reflected in the Card Manager tab so that authors can delete their drafts in bulk.

Refining our focus moving forward

As we work to support the primary ways we see Guru being used by customers across their entire organizations, we also need to make decisions on features and functionality that were not adopted as expected. We know that CRMs are integral to the workflows of many customer-facing teams; however, as we invest in meaningful new knowledge collaboration features, we will be reducing our focus on CRM-centric features, specifically our Salesforce opportunity component.

Guru’s Salesforce opportunity component (released in 2019) was meant to make it easier for sales reps to consume information from Guru directly in Salesforce. Over the past year, we’ve found that Salesforce users are far more likely to interact with our Chrome extension on top of Salesforce rather than the embedded Guru component. Because this widget requires active upkeep from our engineering team while not being as widely adopted as we had expected, we have decided to discontinue support of the Salesforce opportunity component.

If you use Guru over Salesforce, you may continue to do so with our Chrome extension, and you might also want to explore broader use of Knowledge Triggers! We regret that the Salesforce Opportunity Component itself will no longer be functional or actively supported going forward.

Looking ahead

While we continue to hope for the arrival of an effective COVID-19 vaccine to allow us to resume normal lives, we know that the way we work has changed forever. While these updates represent another step forward in supporting our customers through the transition, we remain committed to building a product that isn’t just about managing knowledge. As always, our focus is a product that helps you improve your work wherever it happens. Whatever your “jobs to be done” are, we’re here to make it faster and easier to do them.

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