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WorkJam Tackles Frontline Worker Productivity, Slack and Salesforce's Vision of Work and More HR Tech News

December 09, 2020 Digital Workplace
Mark Feffer
By Mark Feffer

Slack, perhaps the most visible enterprise communications platform, will be acquired by Salesforce for approximately $27.7 billion. The two San Francisco companies positioned the merger as creating an “operating system for the new way to work.”

The news is sure to heat up discussions about how work technology and HR solutions intersect, interact and overlap. Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began early this year, providers of everything from scheduling apps to time clocks have highlighted their impact on the employee experience.

At the same time, the importance of communication and collaboration to the dispersed workplace, where team members make their contributions from a variety of locations, has become increasingly evident as the number of employees working remotely grows. That’s a long-term consideration: According to PwC, U.S. executives believe 55% of their workers will work from home at least once a week after the pandemic has passed.

Because it does a neat job of enabling both internal and external communications, Slack is often described as an important contributor to culture and experience. That’s especially notable at a time when many employees work across town from one another, instead of across the room.

Slack has several integrations with HR technology systems such as UKG and Workday. They allow users to access HR capabilities through the same conversational interface they turn to routinely in the course of work. The company has also worked with Amazon’s AWS to strengthen its videoconferencing capabilities. Indeed, Slack gets high marks for its ability to integrate with other enterprise applications.

That propensity to integrate lines up with Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield’s comment about the merger. In a statement, he said Slack and Salesforce “share a vision of reduced complexity, increased power and flexibility, and ultimately a greater degree of alignment and organizational agility.” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said the combined companies “will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, the acquisition reflects a belief that many of the pandemic-sparked changes to work will continue even after COVID-19 is brought under control. “We really see the world as fundamentally having shifted,” it quoted Salesforce COO Bret Taylor as saying. “Slack is really the system of engagement for every employee, every partner and for every customer interaction.”

When the transaction closes, Slack will become an operating unit of Salesforce, led by Butterfield. The company said the combination will form the world’s largest open ecosystem for business apps. Benioff has made no secret of his goal of extending Salesforce’s reach into almost every area of business operations. He calls Slack “the interface to everything.”

WorkJam Adds Features to Aggregate, Analyze Frontline Workforce Data

WorkJam released a new module that aggregates data from its platform and combines it with a customer’s internal and external data. Called WorkJam Studio, the module provides increased visibility into the productivity of front-line workforces at a granular level.

Businesses are challenged to combine, correlate and use the flood of data generated by different sources that are part and parcel of their operations, Montreal-based WorkJam said. The company believes that, after years of building tools and technologies around infrastructure, supply chains and desk workers, it’s time to implement end-to-end solutions that include front-line workers.

“A major step toward reaching a state of frontline workforce orchestration will be having total visibility to the data produced by task, audit, onboarding and shift management, as well as visibility to employee skill sets and certifications,” said WorkJam President and CEO Steven Kramer. “WorkJam Studio broadens the lens of what our customers see as possible in their organization.”

WorkJam Studio is the fourth product launched by WorkJam during 2020. The new modules, which include ExpressPay and Optimized Task Management, illustrate the company’s commitment “to ongoing investments into evolving digital workplace technologies,” the company said. In November, it introduced WorkJam Operations Planner to create task management templates to aid enterprise-wide deployment of project plans, workflows and tasks.

WorkJam focuses on creating tools to manage and engage front-line employees in areas such as healthcare, retail, hospitality, food service, and distribution and fulfillment.

News Briefs

Recruitment process outsourcing company Cielo acquired consulting firm Talent Function with an eye toward expanding its service offerings. Talent Function helps organizations develop talent strategies and technology solutions aimed at improving business performance. This acquisition formalizes the strategic partnership between Cielo and Talent Function, which was announced in October.

TCP, the re-branded TimeClock Plus, acquired Humanity, an employee scheduling platform. Humanity’s solution will be integrated into TCP’s workforce management software suite. Humanity is used at more than 175,000 business locations to manage schedules, employee availability, shift trades and day-off requests. The global workload scheduling and automation market will be worth an estimated $3.65 billion by 2027, according to a study by Grand View Research. That’s a CAGR of 6.5%. Continued digital transformation, the penetration of cloud computing and growing demand for scalability are expected to drive the market growth.

TalentQuest added TQ Connect, a feedback and recognition tool, to its platform. The feature facilitates scheduling of one-on-one meetings, offers an interactive agenda feature and provides guidance on conducting conversations.

Dublin-based Immedis, a provider of global payroll solutions, secured a $50 million investment from Lead Edge Capital. The investment puts the company’s valuation at more than $575 million. The company said the investment will support expansion, including new offices on the U.S. West Coast and Singapore.

Technology firm Nakisa launched new D&I features for its Nakisa Hanelly product. Hanelly integrates recommendations from the French Gender Equality Index to help global organizations benchmark themselves and look for ways to address issues.

Engagement and experience platform People Element released a new version of its product, People Element 4.0, that includes an enhanced user interface and simpler gathering and analysis of employee feedback.

Fountain, a high-volume recruiting platform for enterprise firms, released a mobile app that allows recruiters and hiring managers to source, screen and hire while away from their office. Versions are available for iOS and Android.

D2L’s Brightspace learning management system can now be integrated with Microsoft Teams. The company said the integration allows educators to set up private Teams spaces for courses on the Brightspace platform, without requiring additional logins. Instructors and learners can then open the Teams space from within the Brightspace course.

Talent management software platform ClearCompany and LinkedIn said they’ll implement an integration of ClearCompany’s applicant tracking system and LinkedIn Recruiter. Through the integration, ClearCompany users can view candidate records and other data directly in LinkedIn’s environment, and also see when candidates have already applied for a particular position before sending them LinkedIn InMail.

Equifax unveiled Talent Report Select All, a tool that delivers contextual data to help provide a more comprehensive view of candidates in a single report. It provides verification of employment for all candidate history by social security number through the company’s Work Number database.

People on the Move

Russell Reynolds Associates hired Alex Lonergan as a consultant in its business and professional services practice. Based in Atlanta, Lonergan advises senior leadership teams on technology and business services. She joins the company from World 50 Inc. (Russell Reynolds)

Globalization Partners promoted Melissa Cooper to chief customer officer. She’ll oversee the company’s global customer service team, and be involved with the finance, legal and product divisions. Previously, she oversaw the company’s operations team. (Globalization Partners)

Trox, which provides education technology and collaboration solutions, hired Sean Minner to be CHRO. He most recently served as CHRO at BASIS.ed and BASIS Education Ventures, which manages open-enrollment public charter schools. (Trox)

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