The most not-talked-about dynamic in Work Tech today is widespread customer dissatisfaction. Our friend Sarah White at Aspect 43 tapped into this in her research last year that shows 64% of companies would change Work Tech vendors if they could. Now research from consulting giant WTW indicates that 9 in 10 employers plan to change health and well-being vendors in the next two years.
What’s going on? Some of it is certainly driven by the changing needs of employers as more employees (willingly or not) head back to the office. Some of it is CFOs/CIOs pushing to reduce their number of vendors and control costs in an uncertain economy. However, it’s clear that many Work Tech customers are just having a terrible experience.
Our hot take: In a down market, it’s easy for Work Tech vendors to push Customer Experience improvements to the back burner. That’s shortsighted. The smarter, longer view starts with creating a compelling vision for customers and executing it across all dimensions of CX – brand, marketing, sales, product, and customer success. What does good look like? Look at Workday. Its vision is to put people at the center of enterprise software. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’ve delivered on that.
Don’t let the urgent distract you from the important. CX matters more than ever in Work Tech today when we are about to enter the greatest period of solution switching in more than a decade. What are you going to do about it?
What else is going on this week?
Reward Gateway acquires Fond
The employee engagement vendor, with a strong presence in Europe and Australia, adds to its U.S. footprint and bolsters its recognition, rewards, and perks offerings. Terms were not disclosed. Congratulations to Fond founders Taro Fukuyama and Sunny Tsang and their team! (Reward Gateway/Fond)
“People spend their best hours and years at work, though many are not finding fulfillment.” Srikant Chellappa, the President and Co-Founder of Engagedly, aspires to change that. Learn more about Sri by reading the latest in our Founder15 series.
Funding and acquisitions
- Mercer acquires HR consulting firm Leapgen. Congratulations to Jason Averbook! (HR Executive)
- Tome raises $43 million Series B. The pre-revenue SF startup uses an AI-powered storytelling format to turn ideas into visually compelling narratives and says it’s the fastest productivity tool to reach 1 million users. (Forbes)
- Finch raises $40 million Series B. The San Francisco universal API startup aims to democratize access to the infrastructure that underpins the employment sector. (TechCrunch)
- Buk raises $35 million. The Chilean startup is building a cloud-based platform that allows companies to manage their human resources, from payroll to professional development. (FinSMEs)
- Bonusly raises $18.9 million Series B. The Boulder, Colo., recognition and rewards platform gets valuable growth capital. (FinSMEs)
- Zerocater raises $15 million Series C. The San Francisco startup offers corporate catering and cafeteria solutions for employees. (FinSMEs)
- Scoot lands $12 million Series A. The Dallas startup wants to bring more customization to videoconferencing. (TechCrunch)
- Chronicle raises $7.5 million seed round. The San Francisco startup’s interactive presentation software is taking aim at PowerPoint. (Startup Daily)
- Plum raises $6 million in growth funding. The Waterloo, Canada-based company is a talent assessment platform that uses objective data to measure and match human potential to job needs. (FinSMEs)
- HireLogic raises $6 million Series A. The Dallas startup is an AI-powered conversational analytics platform that aims to improve interview productivity and intelligence to better enable data-driven hiring decisions. (FinSMEs)
- LaborWorx raises $4.2 million. The Atlanta startup provides a platform for companies to find, hire, and pay on-demand workers. (FinSMEs)
- System-3 raises CAD $3.6 million ($2.65 U.S.) in seed funding. The Toronto startup’s predictive leadership simulation solution uses algorithms and models to reduce bias and support objective decision-making. (FinSMEs)
- The IPO market remains dry; a comeback relies on a confluence of factors. (Pitchbook)
AI, What's With All The Hype?
- Analyst David Wentworth leaves Brandon Hall to join Schoox as VP/Platform Evangelist. (Press Release)
- JPMorgan Chase bans employees from using ChatGPT. Generative AI is a long way from primetime in regulated industries. (MSN)
- Meta and Mark Zuckerberg are on the Generative AI bandwagon now. Nothing can possibly go wrong with that, right? (Business Insider)
- Workday beats on earnings, offers conservative guidance and makes new top-level appointments.
- SAP proposes former Deloitte Global CEO Renjen to succeed chairman Plattner. (Reuters)
- SAP proposes a €2.05/share ($2.17 U.S.) annual dividend for FY2022. (Seeking Alpha)
- Salesforce stock jumps after strong earnings report. (CNBC)
- Cigna rebrands as The Cigna Group, with three distinct sub-brands. (Benefits Pro)
- Layoffs last week: Payfit (200 employees/20% of workforce), SAP Labs (300/ND), and Medallia (59/ND).
- Marsh McLennan breaks $20 billion revenue mark. (Consulting Report)
- Humana exits group health market. (Benefits Pro)
- CoachHub launches executive coaching. (Training Industry)
- WELCOA’s Well-being Trailblazer Award is open for entries. (WELCOA)
Around the shop
Things we’re talking about or find interesting right now.
- How hybrid work is changing offices of the future. (Wall Street Journal)
- Tech layoffs are feeding a new startup surge. (Wired)
- The Ghost of Clippy haunts Microsoft’s AI efforts. (Fast Company)
- Kurt Vonnegut diagrams the shape of all stories. (OpenCulture)
That’s it for this week!
Everybody love everybody,