Appirio takes human resources social with new intranet offering

New solution seeks to transform employee intranets from 'file cabinets' into valuable employee engagement resources.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Cloud services and integration company Appirio is introducing a new solution focused on designing and delivering social intranets that help businesses overhaul traditional employee portals.

The new solution combines Appirio's existing expertise in human capital management with its EdgeForce Social Intranet Framework. Notably, Appirio is a strategic partner of Workday, the cloud services platform for managing human resources and payroll processes, as well as other processes related to a company's human capital. There are several other partnerships that will also be strategic for the new solution. More on that later. 

Appirio's idea is to help companies -- especially those with largely distributed workforces -- become better engaged with each other. While 85 percent of companies already have some sort of intranet for sharing information, only 39 percent of them are actually driving employee engagement and collaboration through those frameworks, according to research Appirio commissioned from the International Association for Human Resource Information Management.

Most portals are seen as administrative tools; the idea is to make them more social, building on the social networks that people are using outside the office. Today, fewer than 25 percent of employee intranets are integrated with social tools, such as Salesforce Chatter, according to the Appirio-commissioned research.

"Business pays a high price for employees that are just going through the motions, yet it's a common occurrence in today's workplace," said Jason Averbook, chief business innovation officer at Appirio. "According to Gallup, more 70 percent of international workers consider themselves either not engaged or actively disengaged, costing businesses more than $370 billion annually. This needs to be addressed as we move towards Workplace 2020, where a majority of the workforce are digital natives, multigenerational, highly collaborative and more globally dispersed than ever."

Appirio already applied some of the techniques it will use in its new social solution for Virgin America, when it overhauled the company's employee intranet. The company's workforce is highly distributed, which can make for a sense of disconnection. Within a month of the redesign, 80 percent of the users began sharing content via the Chatter social collaboration tool, and site visits increased from 45 seconds in duration to more than six minutes, said Frances Fiorillo, senior vice president, People and In-flight Services, at Virgin America.

The solution deployment begins with a two-day workshop focused on defining the processes that should inform the social intranet.

The EdgeForce framework can be integrated with one or more cloud services from Appirio's partners, including Salesforce, Workday, Cornerstone OnDemand (a talent management platform) and Jobvite (a social recruiting and applicant tracking service).

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