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    Entries in HR Tech (228)

    Monday
    Jun122017

    Notes from the road #22 - A long, strange trip it's been edition

    Writing this (brief) dispatch from the Delta Sky Club (again), as I wait for the final leg on the trip back from what has been a long, interesting, challenging, and incredibly rewarding two-week trip Phoenix - Shanghai - Tokyo - (back to) Phoenix - and then finally home.

    In Phoenix, I attended the Virgin Pulse Thrive Summit, which was a really fantastic event. In case you have missed them, you can listen to two HR Happy Hour Shows that Trish McFarlane and I recorded from the event here and here. Virgin Pulse is the leader in employee wellbeing, and unlike some other solution providers in the space, Virgin Pulse is making real strides on showing (with data), the connection between wellbeing and improved business results. Thanks as always to them for having myself and Trish out at the event, and for supporting the HR Happy Hour Show.

     

    Looking forward to a great #thrivesummit with my friends from Virgin Pulse #HRHappyHour

    A post shared by Steve Boese (@steveboese) on May 30, 2017 at 3:09pm PDT

     

    From there, we headed to Shanghai for the 2nd Annual HR Tech China Conference. The 2nd event was even bigger and better than the first. And I am convinced Shanghai is my new favorite city. You can read some of my thoughts about the event here, and later this week Trish and I will share even more from and about the event on an HR Happy Hour Show we will record later this week. All I can say to my Chinese friends, old and new, is "xiexie" - Thank You!

     

    @trish_mcfarlane and I Heading in to present at #HRTechChina

    A post shared by Steve Boese (@steveboese) on Jun 5, 2017 at 5:42pm PDT

     

    From there, I headed to Tokyo for some business as well as some time to do some touring and sightseeing. Another amazingly interesting and fun place, great and welcoming people, and lots of opportunity to do more in the future. I liked it so much I may have to go back again soon!

     

    #tokyo

    A post shared by Steve Boese (@steveboese) on Jun 9, 2017 at 8:06pm PDT

     

    It has been the longest business trip I have been on in ages, and while I sit here in the MSP Sky Club anxious to get home, I also anticipate the next trip back to Asia - it truly has been, professionally and personally, the most incredibly rewarding trip I have taken in years.

    And to everyone who is waiting to hear back from me about something or other - I promise to dig in to the backlog of emails and texts and get back to you soon.

    That is if I actually get home tonight. If I get stuck here in MSP, then all bets are off.

    NOTE: In the time it has taken me to post this, I am delayed another hour...

    Tuesday
    Jun062017

    UPDATE: HR Tech China Day 1 - #HRTechChina

    Quick dispatch from Shanghai, China the site of the 2nd Annual HR Tech China Conference and Exposition which just completed a fun and successful first day. This is my third time in China and with each trip I come to love this place more and more. And Shanghai, so far, has been my absolute favorite place to visit in China. It is a combination of ultra-modern and high-tech, along with very traditional and historical. Kind of like the country overall.

    As for the event, it got off to a great start yesterday with a series of keynote speeches on a wide range of important topics for the HR and business leader in China - and for HR and business leaders anywhere I would suggest. We covered Artificial Intelligence, Data and Analytics for HR, Modern HR Technology in the Cloud, the Consumerization of HR and Enterprise Technology and more. It was a set of talks that would have fit in any HR Tech Conference in the world, and I was really honored to be a part. 

    China is the world's second largest economy, has over 700 million workers, and over 25 million enterprises. The numbers are staggering. And so is the opportunity for HR and for HR Technology, to make a significant impact on the wellbeing of those 700 million workers and the success of those 25 million enterprises.

    In our welcome dinner on Monday night, one of the local Shanghai officials said that by choosing Shanghai as the site of HR Tech China that the Conference organizers were "choosing the future" - for China, and I would argue the world as well. In my opening remarks on Tuesday, I shared that line with the attendees, and added that by choosing to attend HR Tech China, that they were also choosing the future - for their organization and for themselves as HR professionals.

    Ok, need to get ready for Day 2 in Shanghai - since Twitter/Instagram service has been a little spotty here, wanted to share a few pics from the trip and event so far. More to come....

    SMB opening the ConferenceTrish McFarlane from Infor speaking at HR Tech China

    Officials from LRP, China Star, Shanghai Foreign Service Center, and GuestsPanda makes an appearance in the HR Tech China ExpoSlightly foggy view from Shaghai Tower - 2nd tallest building in the worldThis has been an incredibly interesting, rewarding, and fun event. Look for more as the Conference wraps later today.

    Thanks to all my friends, old and new, (especially all the new followers on WeChat) in China for making this event so fantastic.

    Thursday
    May252017

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 285 - Discovering the Next Great HR Technology Company

    HR Happy Hour 285 - Discovering the Next Great HR Technology Company

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest Co-host: George LaRocque

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve Boese is joined by George LaRocque to talk about the process for Discovering the Next Great HR Technology Company at the HR Technology Conference in October. Steve and George talk about the process for companies to submit,and how George and the other expert coaches will work with the selected contenders. Plus, we talk about how HR leaders and the HR community can get involved in the process. 

    Also, we discuss some tips and ideas for HR leaders when working with startups, where innovation is happening in HR Tech, and what are some of the exciting new technology innovations we see coming in the future.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    This was a fun show, thanks George for sitting in. 

    Thanks as always to show sponsor Virgin Pulse - learn more about them at www.virginpulse.com.

    Be sure to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

    Thursday
    May182017

    Google and the interface of everywhere

    Google's big I/O event happened this week, and in customary fashion the search and technology giant made a bunch of interesting product announcements and made public for the first time some brand new solutions and innovations. Folks in the HR/Recruiting space will largely be most interested in and perhaps concerned by Google's announcement that it intends to launch 'Google for Jobs', a consolidated job search tool (powered by Google's search technology at the core), for job seekers that will surface job listing from a number of sources like LinkedIn, Facebook, and CareerBuilder. And while that announcement certainly was interesting, and needs to be top of mind for folks who run or heavily promote their jobs on job boards like Indeed, to me, it was not the most interesting thing to come out of I/O.

    First, Google announced the forthcoming Lens app, a tool that essentially makes a smart phone camera more intelligent by allowing you to learn about a product by taking a picture of it, find out information about a performance by taking a photo of the name of the band, or connect to a wifi network by snapping a photo of the login and password information. This app is a nod to the increasing use of the camera/photo as not just a means of recording an image, but as a method for navigating the world and its objects and experiences around us.

    Second, Google announced additional places (beyond its Home device and its Pixel phone) and tools where its 'Assitant' app will be available - on iPhones for the first time, on more Android devices, and soon, in cars, refrigerators, and more. Google's near-term vision is to make Assistant available essentially everywhere, and to (ultimately), disconnect or break the bond between the smart phone, (and Android for that matter), and the Assistant capabilities.

    These two announcements combine to form the basis and the beginnings of a powerful service (Assistant), that eventually will seem "interface-less", or said differently, will be accessed via a variety of devices and methods - voice, images, touch screens, and sure, if you must, by typing commands into a keyboard. Who knows, maybe the next iteration of Google Glass, (remember that?), will be to largely function as a lens and continuous input stream to the Assistant. As you stroll around with Glass you can ask it for advice and information about where you are, the restaurant you are walking by, and who knows - maybe see a list of open jobs at the Cafe you are sitting in having a coffee.

    What is interesting about all this, to me, is the longer term implications it has for the tools and technologies that we use at the workplace. Consumer-driven technology innovation has been driving enterprise tech for a while now. You were using a smart phone or a tablet at home, before you ever did so for work. And I think the same thing will become true for this future world of the 'everywhere' interface to smart tools and services designed to help us navigate the world, and get things done.

    Smart phones exploded for work applications because (in part), we didn't want or need to be trapped to a desk and a computer in an office in order to get things done. Now, we are beginning to see what is coming 'next' - after the smart phone, when the technologies are all around us, in our ears, in the devices we interact with, and never more than a spoken 'Ok Google' away. What will be the first HR system to be fully integrated and accessible via voice, image, and even wearable tech? 

    I think it is tremendously exciting and fun. And way more interesting and powerful than a new website that aggregates online job listings. But if you have to talk about that, it is ok. I get it.

    Have a great day!

    Tuesday
    May162017

    The half-life of technology-based advantage

    ... keeps getting shorter and shorter.

    Take a look at the chart below which tracks the daily active users of the most recent 'next big thing', Snapchat, against the DAUs for a slightly older 'next big thing', Instagram - specifically Instagram's "Stories" feature, one designed as a pretty blatant copy of Snapchat's core use case.

    Here's the data then three quick points about what it reminds us about technology-driven competitive advantage.

    The chart is a couple of months old, especially for the Snapchat data, but the trends are holding up. Instagram essentially was able to surpass the DAUs of Snapchat's primary feature in less than one year. It is kind of hard to say what this means for Snapchat in the longer term, I imagine they will try and continue to innovate, (and I confess to not being a user of Snapchat, I tried two or three times and could never understand it), and perhaps reverse or at least slow these trends.

    But bigger picture, what does this 'story' (pun intended), remind us of?

    1. Almost every technological advantage can be copied by competitors, and sometimes copied very quickly. Snapchat had a 5-year or so head start and within months that advantage or distinction has disappeared. Technology, consumer or enterprise, is moving, adapting, innovating faster than ever.

    2. When considering/selecting/implementing enterprise tech, (like a new HR Tech solution), "features" or capability probably should not be the most important differentiating criteria. The HR solution providers across a wide range of domains are developing similar capabilities and features and even user experiences. I probably saw demos of four or five new enterprise learning management solutions in the last 18 months and they all look, feel, and act really similarly. In fact, if I had to do a 'blind' test, like the old Pepsi Challenge, I am not sure I would be able to tell them apart. 

    3. So if technological advantage, i.e. features should not be the most important criteria when evaluating technology then what should it be? Well, I know I have opined on this before, but I still submit HR leaders should be carefully evaluating the things that can't be as easily copied across providers. Elements like the implementation experience, customer service and support, the provider's vision of the future, and the extent to which the solution provider sees you as a true partner - in innovation and in business success. These are all critical elements, hard for competitors to copy, and admittedly, harder to assess on an RFP than a list of feature/functions.

    Ok, that's it - I'm out. Going to fire up Instagram. I heard today they copied the 'koala ears' filter from Snapchat. 

    That's what my selfies have been needing.

    Have a great day!