Customize SnapComms for YOUR organization

Posted 27 April, 2016 in Customer Webinars


Optimizing the SnapComms Administrator portal is a great way to ensure the right messages go out at the right time, with the least amount of work! Please join us to look at ways you can make life better for your Administrators, by customizing Folders, Permissions, Moderation, and Publishing Rights. We'll look at several organizational scenarios and go through best practices and real life examples. An image post uses a visual element as the centerpiece of your post, such as a SlideShare presentation, infographic, comic, or high-resolution images.





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Paula: Hi, and welcome to our webinar today. This is Paula Cassin from SnapComms, and today our goal is to spend about half an hour talking about optimizing SnapComms for your organization, so how to make life better for your administrators. I want to introduce you to who's here today running the show. So there's myself, I'm Paula Cassin, and I work in the customer success area at SnapComms. With me is Kim Cooper. Kim, do you want to say "hi"?

Kim: Good morning, everybody and welcome.

Paula: Kim heads up our entire customer support arm. Also, Phil. Phil is here, the Head of Operations and Channel Development.

Phil: Hi, everyone.

Paula: Great, and they're onboard. I'm going to be sort of running the deck and the information, and Kim and Phil are here to correct me and to contribute, and to look after chat. All of us are here to answer your questions and make sure that this is a useful session for you. We all work for SnapComms and you may not be aware, but here's a little bit of background. We're up to over a million users now around the world. We're very much focused on an enterprise solution. If you can believe it, companies are using our software for their employees in more than 45 countries.

This is just a little bit about our company, and now I want to ask you a question as the audience. So I'm just going to put up a simple poll question to find out how familiar you are with SnapComms. You should see that coming up on your screen. Let's see. Is everybody seeing that? Let me just check the audience view. [I'll] give you all a minute to respond to that question.


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Kim:  All good here, Paula. I see it.

Paula: Great. Okay. I'll give another couple of seconds for that. It looks like we've got answers coming in. All right. I'm going to close that now. Ooh, interesting. It keeps changing. As people answer, my little things keep changing. Okay. I'm going to close that, just because it's really to get a sense and I'll share out the answers here.

I'm seeing that there's 19% who don't use SnapComms, so that's great to know. I want to be giving you some information that is understandable if you're not familiar with us. Then, we have about two-thirds of the audience that does use SnapComms, so I'm going to assume you're a bit familiar with it. Thirty-eight percent are administrators sending messages off, and that's great. That's what we wanted to find out today before we get too far into it. All right. Now, let's get back to our slides over here.

Now, our goals for this session, well we just threw a question at you and we do want this to be a working session. So there's going to be a few more questions throughout this. We're going to ask you to put into the question area some answers too. A lot of people, especially those of you who are using SnapComms, probably know as much or more as we do. So really, we want to help you get some takeaways on what's possible with SnapComms, and really give you something that you can use immediately after this session.

So this is what we're aiming for with this half-hour, and here's what we're going to get into today. Today, how do you optimize the SnapComms Content Manager Portal for your organization for whatever your goals are? Here are the six areas we're going to talk about. First off, folders. How do you organize and structure the information in there? That leads into the next two points on administrator access, administrator publishing rights.

After that, we'll talk a bit about default settings. How do you prepopulate a certain message type with your preferred display settings? We'll end this off with talking about how do you set up some decent guidelines for your administrators to steer them in the right direction, and how do you handle training and handovers? That's our intent today. Oops, I went too fast.

First one, folders. Let's look at folders. In SnapComms, you can organize all your messages into folders, and you can name them anything you want. What you want to look at here, you're going to want to look at what are the use cases for SnapComms. "What am I using it for?" Maybe corporate messaging, maybe outage notifications, or emergency messaging, that's going to be important.

A big one is how many administrators do you have in your organization? Do you have one team working closely together, everybody can have access to everything? Or do you really need to separate out what people are doing in SnapComms? The last two things you want to think about when you set up your folders is volumes. How many messages are going out through SnapComms? Then, confidentiality. Do you have something there, a draft, that really should not be accessed by everyone? It needs to be confidential before it gets published. Things like that.

So these are the top four high-level things you should be looking at. I would like to know, I'm going to ask a second question here, do you know, if you know please tell us, about how many administrators do you have using SnapComms? I do have an option in here, "not applicable". If you're not using it now, just click on that. But I'm interested to know. We have some companies that use SnapComms globally and there's 100 administrators around the country. But a lot of others might have a smaller number, so I want to see who's here today in terms of what we focus on.

I'll give a few more seconds for that. Well, this is really interesting for me. Okay, I'm going to close this now. Here we go. We'll share this out for you as well, so you can see the results. The vast majority of administrators here have a small number of admins. I was thinking we might have more with lots of teams doing different stuff. That's really interesting. One to five admins, people who are using SnapComms on this call, you're in that category. That's good to know. I'll focus on that a little bit more. Some of this stuff may not apply to you yet.

Okay, so let's scoot along. This is the first scenario. For people that had one to five people and if you're in there mostly in a team, you don't need too many levels of folders in SnapComms. The top level, the really most important thing is you make that something that people are going to understand, especially if you have message senders who aren't in there every day. If you're in there every day, you know where to go. The big one, though, is people who get in there occasionally to send messages, can they remember where to go?

Make sure your names make sense for them, and here's an example. This screenshot may look a little funny for you. This is our new interface. We're just rolling out a new user interface, which has the same kind of structure but it's much cleaner. So this probably isn't familiar. But here's an example, a folder structure where we have two levels. You'll see there's Customer Success or Customer Support. There's two managers in there.

They use SnapComms for sending messages to their teams, so having a sub-folder by name makes a lot of sense. That's easy, very simple. You'll see IT Messaging, Executive Messages. You can clearly see from this folder structure, we pretty much know, or at least can take a really educated guess, on what they're using it for. I don't think there's going to be too much confusion about which folder you should use for your messages. So you can find it again later, and keep things organized.

Now, Scenario 2 is where we need to fine tune things a bit more. We need more structure. We want maybe top level by division, and then we have projects underneath that. Maybe we get a chronological folder underneath if we're sending out lots of messages, so we don't get buried in all the history of the messages that we have. You know what? I'm just going to pop over to show you this really quick, 30-second demo here.

You can see on my screen this is the new administrator interface. This is the landing page when I log in, and down here I'm going to go into Folders. Let me just click into my top level folder so we can see that. If you want to set up a new folder, I just wanted to show you how. If you get into your folder view, you want to click on... Oh, I went one level too far, didn't I? I am so unfamiliar with the new interface, but let me just backup one step.

Here it is. Manage Folders, if I click this button, this is going to let me create new folders or delete folders. Let's say I want a new folder under Crisis Comms, so Crisis Training. Let's just set up a new folder. That's what we're talking about. It's pretty simple here. I've just added a folder, Crisis Training, and there it is. That's the little 30-second demo, in terms of how to come in here and set up your folders.

While we're here, this is an example of a little bit more complex, bigger teams using SnapComms for multiple purposes. Here you can see we have our top levels. As I had just said on that slide, we're going to divide it up by major use case or division, and then we have some more division, a second level here. Just breaking it down logically into the CEO's weekly message which goes out, corporate-wide messages, and here perhaps we have quarterly folders just so we don't get too crowded in these folders. Here's another way to set them up too, if you are sending out messages, or a specific geography, then that's really easy to do too. Set it up here by geography.

I'm going to pop back over here, and this is where I [want]. Right. So I'll just get through these slides. You can set up as many folder levels as you want. I'd say, for those of you on the call that have one to five people, you sort of want to find that balance between getting enough information but not dividing it out so far that you get lost in some of those sub-folders figuring out where you are. But the reason we're talking about folders and why it's so important is because...

You know what? I'm going to skip that. The reason we're talking about it is once you get that set up, then you can fine tune what people have access to, what they're allowed to do. So you get your folders set up right, then you can make things simple for those administrators that are using that, save them some time. So let's talk about that. Now that we have those set up, let's talk about setting up access for our administrators.

So things are simple, they don't have to see all the detail. On the far right side too, unauthorized use, doing things you're not supposed to with SnapComms, we can help with that too. It's rarely an issue, but it's something to think about. So what folders do people need? What kind of messages are they sending? Is there are a specific kind of visual message? Who are they targeting, and then do you want someone to review what they're doing, approve it before it's sent? That's the kind of thing you want to think about when you look at the access for your administrators.

Here I'm going to go through a few screenshots and this is a management function. If you look on the left here, Administrators. Under Management, there is a section called "Administrators", where you see the names. If you're a master administrator, this will be on for you and you'll see the names of all the authorized admins, and I have four in this example. If I click into one of these people, I get to their administrator settings and you'll see this little screenshot on the right is the Folder Permissions.

So that's the first one we'll talk about, folders. For this admin, I think this is Andrew Tosh's permissions that I'm screenshotting here. He's in here to create messages, but he's not really setting anything up, so we've turned off the ability to create new folders. He's not going to be able to get to that Managed Folders area that I showed you earlier. Then, when he logs in he's not going to see all the folders.

You can see down here, we've unticked IT, so he's not involved with IT. Outage Notices, let's just turn that off so it's less noisy. It's just going to be faster to get to where you need to go. Here's what that sort of can look like. You'll see on the left, this is my admin login that shows all my folders, all the bits and pieces.

But if you have an administrator with a particular role, let's just narrow that down. There's just less for them to work through. Even you'll see on the far right this Employee Communications section, we've only left Major Announcements in there. The other stuff he's not creating or dealing with, so these are the areas he needs to access. There we go. We've just pulled out a lot of the stuff that he doesn't need to see.

So you can turn off folders to make it easier to know where to go. You can also turn off messaging types. What we're looking at here is, we call them "assets", all the different kinds of messaging that you can do in SnapComms. Most of our companies using SnapComms will be using more than one message type. You might have pop-up alerts and the ticker newsfeed, maybe screensavers.

So again, instead of prompting them for the entire list of all the visual options that you have, in this case, Andrew, he can put up screensaver visuals and he can do a headline. But we're not letting him near the alerts. We save alerts for something else. That's not part of his role. So when he creates a new message, the only options he gets are the ones that are related to the functions, what he's doing.

Once you turn this on too, it's worth noting, if you look at my little bullet point on the left, that the messages are there, but they're invisible to this administrator. I can see them if I have full access rights, but they won't be able to see published messages either. They can't see drafts or published messages. That just disappears entirely.

Lastly, target audience. You probably know that with all of our visual messaging, you can send to a particular distribution list. We sync with your distribution lists. You can create manual ones. Perhaps you don't want somebody to have access to the All Employee distribution list. Perhaps they really should be limited to their site, the Dallas headquarters or the United States. Whatever it might be, well you can control that as well. You can turn off distribution lists. It's great if you have someone running a particular project or very focused campaign across a specific audience.

Just turn on those target audiences and you're just reducing the risk of possible targeting errors. We've seen it happen where, I won't name names, but a particular hospital years ago sent out an outage notification about a software that was down. They sent it to a distribution list that included a lot of people who didn't even know what that software was. You can imagine, you don't want to create noise for people, so this is a great way to ensure that there's no way to create noise for people who aren't affected by your message, that don't need to see it.

All right. So please put questions into the question area as we go, and I'm just going to keep going here. Phil, let me know if anybody has a question. The next thing to talk about is publishing rights. So we talked a little bit about what you turn on and off for your administrators. But did you realize that you can actually separate out your message authors and your message senders, if you will?

So on that same Administrator tab, you'll see a lot of options under the General tab for each of your administrators. These publishing rights, you can see. I've got another example, Jane. So when Jane comes in she can create content, but she has to send it for approval. We have this set up where she needs to send a message to someone else for approval. I wanted to just come out of full screen mode here and pull over another screen so you can see this.

This is a second browser. I've logged in as Jane, and if you look at the bottom here, I'm on the Publish tab of an alert message. Right? So let's imagine Jane has gone through and created this alert message. We've got it targeted to the whole organization, but she can't actually publish it out. She has to submit it for moderation and that's going to go to someone else who will review it, and then publish it.

So the Publish button disappears for Jane. She's an author. It has to go to someone else for approval. I'll just show you too, we can go and look, this one has already been submitted I think. You'll see on the left-hand side, we've got a moderation entry here and I'm going to pull that up, so you can see what it looks like when a message goes into moderation. Jane can see these messages. She can't approve them.

It's just coming up here. Maybe we'll get this up in just a second. It came up really fast earlier, but right now it's [having a think.] It could be because I'm logged in as two people in two different browsers. Okay, listen. I'm going to wait. I'm going to come back over here. I'll show you that in just a second.

But while we're waiting for that I wanted to ask, is anybody using Moderation? How are you using it? Now that I've given you a little bit of a description, what do you think? I'm going to launch another poll question here and find out. So if you use SnapComms now, let me know if you think this would be useful or not for your organization.

Oh, great. Answers are coming in there. Let me close this off. Interesting. Great. Okay. I'm going to share the results, because most people are not using it, you'll see. Some think it would be useful and some think it wouldn't. Some think they don't need it. Some I can see don't need it, and some think perhaps it could be good for them. So, ooh, that's great. That's the kind of thing we love to find out. Fantastic.

Now, I'm going to hide that poll. Here, it came up. This is the screen. Here's what moderation looks like. Right now, we can see that there's a message from Jane awaiting moderation. What you need is someone with moderation rights. If I log in as myself, I can come in here, review that message, tweak it if I need to, and approve it. That's how moderation works. Let's get rid of that now.

I'll come back to my full screen mode. Okay. I have one little quick slide here too. If you're looking at your administrators and how to make things easy for them, how to really focus them in, we do have a feature called "Quick Publish", and that is also on that Administrator Permissions tab. You'll see the entry circled down here. This is something that lets you turn a message into a template, and really fine tune exactly what your administrator edits and what they don't.

It really helps you get messages out fast. If you have outage notifications is the classic one, or emergency notifications, if you want to preplan some scenarios, you can set all those up as templates and get those messages out really fast. Also great, we've had, for example, some companies with IT Help Desk teams, and they're doing lots of things. They're doing hundreds of things. SnapComms is just a tiny, little piece of what they do.

So when they log in, they go to Quick Publish, they choose that template, they just get walked through two or three things to change, and then they're away. There's a User Guide link here. I'm not going to go into it any more than that, because we did talk about it last month quite a lot. It's really powerful, but another great way to help your administrators really leverage things in SnapComms.

Okay. So now, we've talked about admin rights. We've talked about folders. Let's get into message defaults. Now, this is sort of a little, well-kept secret. We tell everyone about this, but my theory is that not too many people are using it. I'll ask you that question in about 30 seconds. Did you know that you can decide what gets prepopulated in a ticker message or an alert message, in terms of visual display settings?

Down here in the Management section under Defaults, this is an area where you can preset, essentially, what you want the pop-up alert settings to be. This means that when someone creates a new alert, for example, that's what I've got in this little call out window on the right, you can prepopulate that new message with your preferred settings. So as an administrator, you can go in here and tweak it and change it. You may need to.

But if you find yourself... Like this used to happen to me. I would set up alerts, and every time I'd go in and I'd change the 15 seconds onscreen display time, because that's way too short. I want it to be 40 seconds, give people enough time to just get their attention on this pop-up alert. So every time, I would change that setting. So instead, you just come into Defaults, you update the setting, you save it, and any new message you create the default is now your preferred setting.

So this is a great way to make sure people stay pretty consistent in what they're sending, you don't get a new admin who misses one of these fields and you get different stuff out. The other thing to mention too, again we're back to folders, if you look up here at the top, "Select Folder", did you know you can set different defaults for different folders? Isn't that great? So if you're using it for outage notifications over here and you really want to make sure everybody knows in the next 20 minutes not to log into email.

You can preset the right display settings for that, but if you're over here with a corporate message that you want to go out over the next two days to really get everybody's attention, prepopulate different settings. So definitely, I would encourage you to come in here and have a play around with that. A great way to guide people towards the settings that you already know are best for your organization.

You know what? Can you just put in the question area, I think it's called the "question area" but have you looked at defaults before? I don't have a poll question for this, but I'm interested to know if you've played around with this or if you've used it. Have you used this default section very much? If you just want to put in a "yes" or "no," or a little bit of information, that would be great.

Phil, I'll just let you keep an eye on that and call out if there's anything that you'd like to share on responses you get there.

Phil: Sure. Will do. Just so you know, there's been two or three questions, which I've answered as we've gone through the call.

Paula: Okay.

Phil: I'm just seeing responses come in now with regard to, I guess, the last thing that you asked...

Phil: relation to the default settings. I'll keep you posted.

Paula: Okay. Good. We'll look at that in just a second. The last two sections here are related, Guidelines and Handovers. So guidelines, now you must have some guidelines for SnapComms. You probably couldn't have bought it if you hadn't worked out what problem it was going to solve and what you wanted to do with it. But I wonder, do you have that documented? Do you have a document, and are all of the administrators that you have on the same page?

My other question is, do you talk about the why? Do your administrators know why they're using SnapComms? What problem does it solve? Because I've seen a lot of administrator "How To" manuals, guidelines that talk about how to send a message. But they may not cover, "Why do we use SnapComms? What does it do?"

What I want to do, I'm just going to pull up this document here, this is a sanitized little governance document. This is from an organization, sort of a few years old, but it's still quite useful. It was a contact center, customer service center use case, and they put together a governance document for their administrators for the use of SnapComms. I love this one because it does include at the very beginning, "What are the goals? Why are we using SnapComms?"

Now, we want to make sure that our communication is accurate, timely, relevant, and leadership and employees, we're helping bridge that gap. If we look down a little bit here to "Desired State", this one is good too. Of course, we've sanitized this from the company that shared it with us, and this will be their language. I'm sure whatever guidelines you have needs to be in your internal language.

But here, "Desired State", they talk about it a little bit. It's not exactly casual language, but we still have the why in here. We want to measure, provide behavior-based reporting. We want to, if you look at the bottom bullet point here, "limit the total number of emails." "We want to reduce email, and we want to expedite the flow of internal communication during times of crisis." There's a bit in here about the why, so that's one point that I would make here.

Especially, we've seen it so many times, where someone who's been using SnapComms as an administrator for a long time, they know it inside and out, we work closely with them, well they leave. They move on, they go somewhere else, and somebody new comes in and they get handed SnapComms. I can't tell you, I'm sure you agree Phil and Kim, just over the years we've had people struggling with SnapComms. The reason is they don't really understand why they're doing it.

They know how to send a message, but they really didn't wrap their heads around what the whole point of it is. So that's why I stress that point. Phil, did you get any feedback it might be a good time to share now?

Phil: There's been various questions as you've gone through. Well, the first question was, "When do we get the new interface? Because it looks pretty good."

Phil: I've included the reply to all, so anyone can take a look at the original question and then the answer as well. But the bottom line is that we're in the process of finalizing the interface and rolling that out through cloud first, local afterwards. I'm on the question around, "If you limit their administrative access, does it impair their ability to receive that type of alert..."

Paula: Good question.

Phil: "...of being a recipient to that alert?" The answer is no. They're separate from each other.

Paula: Absolutely.

Phil: A couple questions around how moderators are notified. I mean, at the moment that's through the Content Manager. But that is something we've been working on, in terms of how to make that a logical, proactive push, shall we say, to the appropriate approver.

Paula: That's a great point for moderation. Do the moderators get a ping right away so they can get in there really quickly? That's a great question.

Phil: Exactly. I think we do need to take full advantage of that moderation. I think we do need to be able to get that pushed when an approver is in the Content Manager. So that's kind of on our development anyway. The last question, which I was just in the process of answering, was around having to save as you go with regard to the work creation.

So the answer, which I've just [posted] shortly is that we are looking at the whole user experience in general. Believe me, that's one of those things that we will look to address as we go forward, once we've got the new interface in place, and we'll start to look at how an admin is creating messages. Some of those things around having to save as you go and stuff, we'll try and address those... Well, we will address those as we move forward.

Paula: Yeah. I know that's one of the reasons we've moved to a new interface, to make that kind of thing possible, where...

Phil: Exactly.

Paula: ...we sort of limit it with the technology enabled, being able to do that. But now we actually can get that in there. Very good. Thank you for that. What about defaults before that?

Phil: Yeah. So we had a couple of responses. But no, it seems that most people are not using the defaults at this point in time.

Paula: Okay. All right. So I think in that case, I know we said most people are teams of maybe one to five admins, just notice the next time you go in to create messages, on that Advanced tab all of the visual display fields, are there fields that you're always tweaking? If there are, then maybe get in here to Defaults and set those up. Save yourself a little bit of time next time. That would be my point.

Okay, great. Thank you. Now, over to my last poll question. I know we're getting close to the end of the half-hour. We may go a couple minutes over. But I wanted to ask you about your own guidelines. What do you have? How do you do your guideline? This is sort of a complicated question. You may not like the choices I've given you, and if so just throw something into the chat if you'd like to share on what you have for guidelines. Thanks.

Oh, interesting. Interesting. Ooh, fabulous. Okay. Now, I'm going to close this and share the results with you so you can see them. People that have the formal guidelines, they do, they use it and share it. Great. Nobody went for, "Hey, we have a document, but it's sort of dead. We don't use it." That's great. I was thinking that that would be a possibility.

If you've got a really tight admin team, you know what you're doing. You don't need it. That makes sense. Then, a lot of others are thinking, "Yep, let's do that." Okay, good. Thank you guys. Now, let me hide that and get on the homestretch here. So handovers and training, you know how I mentioned a minute ago that we see new administrators coming on board who really, "Why am I doing this? What am I doing?"

That's why I put this point in as well, handovers and training. I think you'd want to plan for that. It's going to happen that somebody is going to move on, whether voluntarily or not. They're going to move on, and somebody new is going to come on board and take on SnapComms down the road. So it might be nice to think ahead of time about what are you going to do, and it can be as simple as shadowing.

Have them sit down with an existing administrator. Just walk through sending a message. Verbally explain it, the who, what, when, where, and how, etc. I like the idea of showing them good messages and bad messages, if anyone has had an example of a bad message, as I'm sure none of you have. But you know what a good message is, so you might talk a little bit about that with them.

Then training, I say give them a test to pass. Give them some criteria for a message once they've shadowed and had a look at the guidelines, maybe gone on to look at some of our training resources. You know we have a lot of videos. The videos are going to be updated pretty soon. But we also have our knowledge base with just fantastic content that's up-to-date. So once you've sent them through, you could set up a little program for that.

But give them a test. Give them some criteria and have them send a message just to you, a small team, and make sure they're ready before you let them loose out there on SnapComms. Kim, Phil, do you have anything to add on this point? Let me know. But just think planning ahead of time and just setting up a little structure around it for that new person. We make our interface as easy as possible. But give them that little bit of guidance, so that they're doing what you need them to do.

So that is the six points. There's the summary. I hope you found something useful in here, something you might set up, do differently, something you didn't know about that you could use. I think if you get a little bit of this optimized in the Content Manager for your administrators you can save time, you can focus people in, and make sure that you get the outcomes you want with your messaging.

To wrap that up, anymore questions? Or Kim, Phil, would you like to add anything that I haven't covered that you think we should mention? Let me know.

Phil: Sorry, Paula. I was just going through and answering some other questions...

Paula: Great.

Phil: ...that came through in the questions section here. So I'm just working through those. There's a couple of questions around, I've said this... Well, I guess more of a comment that they're saying that they have guidelines and about 20 actual admins. But really only a couple of those actually are actively sending messages. I guess [the comment I'd make about it that] that's probably pretty reflective of the SnapComms installations, where I guess you've got a reasonably large group of admins but perhaps a core team of those that are just sending their messages on a regular basis.

Paula: Yeah. I think the other 18, that's where if you optimize some of this stuff, you see that. People who, they got the training, and then it's been two months since they've been in there and they log in, and it takes them a while. Because even though we make it as intuitive as we can, they've got to figure things out. So that's where some of this can help. Great. Kim, how about you? Any other questions there that are worth mentioning before we wrap it up? Well, I think we're good and we are pretty accurate with our 30-minute mark.

Paula: Fantastic. Good point. Yes, it definitely depends on if you're on the hosted version or internal version. But it can certainly be accomplished in both scenarios. Well, listen. Thank you so much. Thank you, everyone. We all appreciate you being here. We're going to have another session in two weeks, where we're going to look at alerts specifically in more detail, some of the best practices around what you can do with alerts.

The session after that is going to be tickers, and you can find information on our website on those. I'll point you to that page in the "Thank You" email that you're going to get in a few hours. Best of luck with SnapComms. We're here for any questions, and hope you have a great rest of your day. Thanks for attending. I'll close it off now.

Phil: Thank you, Paula. Thank you, everyone.

Paula: Okay. Take care.

Phil: Bye-bye.

Paula: Bye-bye.


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