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When Liberty Mutual, the diversified global insurer, intended to transform their employees’ digital experience, they planned and decided on leveraging the latest technologies and best practices to provide their employees with the contextual and personalized experiences that they had come to expect as consumers. In this pursuit, their efforts took shape in the form of an intelligent workplace platform that delivers digital assistant capabilities, which supported the needs of 50,000 employees. This resulted in significant improvement in communication and productivity in terms of employees managing their work, finding information, and taking action on tasks, all aggregated into a unified and simple employee experience. Realizing that other enterprises could also benefit from the value this solution provides, Liberty Mutual launched the digital assistant product for other companies to leverage under the banner of Workgrid Software, Liberty Mutual’s newly formed and wholly owned subsidiary. Workgrid’s premiere product, Workgrid Assistant, is an effective tool to build the next-gen intelligent digital workplace. The Workgrid Assistant is a cloud-based solution that connects systems across the enterprise and enables seamless and intelligent employee experiences across the web, desktop, and mobile. Brett Caldon, co-founder, and head of business operations speaks about Workgrid’s evolution in the digital assistant arena.
Could you share the challenges existing within enterprises that you are helping overcome, with your intelligent workplace platform?
As large enterprises continue to evolve their digital workplace, it typically involves a focus on digitizing processes and workflows and the implementation of new cloud-based applications. However, the large number of individual systems put in place to effectively run the multitude of pointed business needs are ultimately disparate and fragmented in how the end user, the employee, interacts across all of them.
This impacts employees since they’re often overloaded with information in the workplace and they need to have deep institutional knowledge and go through multiple complex steps just to find information or perform a simple task. Employees are losing valuable time and energy navigating across too many systems that are mostly designed for backend office functions, just to get nominal, but necessary task done.
Workgrid focuses on delivering technology that simplifies the workday for employees and improves the employee experience. With Workgrid Assistant, our aim was to create an experience that’s totally personalized to each employee and acts as an aggregation point to bring together each employee’s to-do list, notifications, approvals, workflows, messages, and need-to-know information all into a single easy-to-use experience. As a result, the Workgrid Assistant removes unnecessary complexity on tasks so employees can be more productive and focus more on higher value work.
Tell us how you leverage advanced technologies in the solutions that you offer to your clients.
The Workgrid platform combines artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, and natural language processing to deliver seamless and intelligent experiences that employees are in need of.
For a long time, enterprises haven’t leveraged their employee data to engage employees with a more personalized and contextual experience, although they’ve had access to all the data to do so. Our platform is unique in the way that we enable organizations to leverage that employee data to deliver information and actions when they are most relevant.
With a consistent user experience, the software modernizes their experiences giving the employees a mobile capability across the integrated legacy systems
Walk us through your product and its functionalities.
The Workgrid Assistant is a digital experience layer that integrates with all the common systems and tools found in the workplace from HR, expense management, business applications, office productivity, benefit applications, calendars, and even custom applications to aggregate employee tasks, approvals, and need-to-know information.
The Workgrid Chatbot is intelligently built and contextually-aware, providing personalized information and suggestions to employees based on their role, location, user preferences, and conversational history. The Workgrid Assistant lives as a non-intrusive layer (think toolbar), on top of any web application such as an intranet or employee portal and is also available as a mobile and web application, making it available to employees, wherever they work. This allows enterprises to immediately modernize their employee facing user experiences without having to re-design their intranet or web portals to realize the value of digital assistant capabilities.
Could you elaborate on the overall benefits a client can reap from your solution?
The first and foremost benefit is the massive productivity gains—we are able to help employees save three to five hours a month on average, which, when taken from an enterprise level with thousands of employees, leads to a drastic improvement in the overall productivity per year.
It also allows enterprises to be much more strategic in the investments they make with modernizing legacy monolithic architecture. As more enterprises are moving to cloud-based applications and decomposing larger ERP systems, the Workgrid platform allows them to plug and play applications while abstracting the back-end system changes away from the larger employee population. This results in far more flexibility with strategic system enhancements that won’t require a substantial change management impact across the organization.
In addition, it is an open platform that allows enterprises to build and deploy what we call micro-applications to the digital assistant. These are small, pointed applications that can be built to support workflows across multiple systems or even simple informational apps like the ability to view pay slip or 401K information. This provides much flexibility and extensibility to how companies can leverage the platform to meet their own specific needs.
We have also seen immense value from the platform’s ability to deliver mobile capabilities to legacy applications that do not natively have that ability. By integrating approvals, information, tasks, etc. from those into the Workgrid platform, they inherently become mobile enabled.
What do you believe are the key differentiators for Workgrid?
Our platform allows organizations to create an abstraction layer that orchestrates across all the existing systems in the enterprise to deliver the consumer-like experiences employees want and expect without having to replace or rebuild those existing systems. Since the digital assistant can integrate with any web application, we are not limiting the ability to consume any capabilities or boxing companies into a specific UI or portal.
Building the solution first as an internal enabler for 50,000 users at a Fortune 100 company showcases our ability to detect and solve real problems at scale within an enterprise. The experience we have gained over the last four years is a real differentiator for us. We have built and supported applications that serve millions of customers, we know how to do this at scale. Our product is truly an enterprise solution that was built by an enterprise.
A Sneak Peek into Workgrid’s Future.
We intend to grow internationally by soon expanding our footprints in the United Kingdom. From our product point of view, we will implement more of machine learning and AI in our Workgrid software. We anticipate the progression of technologies to support the employee experience beyond the office infrastructure and timings, where we can help employees even outside of the workplace. The 9-5 work lifestyle is changing and in many ways, is not relevant. Our personal lives and work lives are becoming more intertwined.
An example is the use of technologies like Amazon Alexa, or Google Home, or Google Assistant integrated into our digital assistant so employees can leverage voice queries to access information and even complete task from the convenience of their home using the same device they leverage in their personal lives.