Have you ever had one of those conversations where the person you’re chatting with is talking about something you’ve never heard of, but you don’t want to admit you have no idea what’s going on, so you just smile and nod, and wait for an appropriate time to change the subject? No? Yeah…me neither. Ahem.
Anyway, sometimes that happens when I explain to people who we are at Akumina, and what we actually build. So I decided it was time to dive in and ask, “Hey, guys? What’s an employee experience platform, anyway?”
Because I’m a bit of a word nerd, my gut instinct was to pull apart the phrase and define it in chunks. After reading Annette Franz’s article in Forbes, which defines employee experience, and Adrian Bridgwater’s article (also in Forbes), which explains what a platform is, I came up with this definition.
Customizable software that an employee uses to do her job, and that contributes to her overall feeling toward her company.
Armed with that fundamental, bare-bones definition, I decided to talk to some colleagues to get their take.
The first person I went to was Troy Trudel, who’s been with Akumina for years. Troy is our vice president of alliances. He knows the product and the business, and he understands how our customers use our software. Honest to goodness, my question didn’t even phase him. He immediately defined employee experience platform as:
Software that provides the ability to be able to create experiences that are tailored to specific employee needs.
So now we’ve added another layer. The employee experience platform is not one-size-fits-all; it’s also personalized to deliver the right experience to every employee. The definition has evolved to:
Customizable software that an employee uses to do her job, that is personalized for her, and that contributes to her overall feeling toward her company.
At this point, I’m pretty confident in my definition. But I needed more. How is it personalized, really? I turned to Udaiappa Ramachandran, our chief technology officer, to get down to the nitty gritty tech specs. As expected, Udai didn’t disappoint. Here’s how he defined an employee experience platform:
Software that connects multiple data points in a single pane of glass, using artificial intelligence to help you manage everything from your daily chores to project plans. It combines all your tools in one place.
After speaking with Udai, I had a bit of an awakening. I realized that, until that point, I had been speaking in generalizations. I was still wearing my marketing hat, rather than my end user hat. And from an end user’s standpoint, Akumina is:
Software that connects the applications that you use to do your job, presents them in the most easy-to-use, efficient way possible, and helps you to love the way you work, and by extension, love the company you work for.
In the end, I kind of feel like all of these definitions are valid. Feel free to reach out if you’ve developed a better one. That would be totally sweet.
Also, if you’re looking for more details, depending on who you are and what you’re into, our Platform page provides some useful resources about each piece of the employee experience platform puzzle: the modern intranet, the collaboration engine, the communications platform, the digital workplace, the content management system, enterprise native mobility, and integrations.
It’s hard to explain what you do when you’re one of very few companies who do it. Such is the burden of the technological pioneer. If you think I did a great job and you want to check out the software, request a demo. Alternately, if you think I did a terrible job, and want to speak to someone more qualified, request a demo. So, I guess what I’m suggesting is that you request a demo.