I loved this session. Nice, straightforward advice from someone who is setting up his own analyst business and wants to disrupt that sector too. He wants to be answerable only to practitioners, not to take payments from – and be beholden to – vendors. Here is William’s summary of some big trends in HR: 10 messages for Vendors
1. Innovation is everywhere: even in the big companies: ADP is an old payroll company, right? But it is innovating. It’s now offering interaction on any platform, with what they claim is the best UI, with an open API, and with an App store to let any vendor address ADP’s customers.
2. UI and UX drive engagement: if you have to interact with 3-4 rubbish systems every day, you will switch off. I don’t have the data – yet – but that’s the feeling I get
3. Insights: everyone’s talking about insights. But too often, this is ‘within the 4 walls of the particular application’. You need to help your clients make sense of the data. They need translation from dashboards to actions. You have to deliver ‘insights as a service.’ That’s your retention value.
4. Data has to be portable: How easy have you made it for your clients to take their data and connect it to other places? Where else will the data need to go? No vendor has figured this one out.
5. Certify your users: When someone uses your software, find a way to test them so that they become competent and confident in your software. Make it fun, but make sure they know how to use your software. The more they use your software, the easier it is to renew. The reason software gets ripped out is because no-one’s using it. We need usage. And we train people, certify them and get them using the software.
6. Go-To-Market strategy: always co-market. It’s just beautiful. It solves something for customers because you’re already together. Integrate. Go really deep.
7. Marketing, there is no silver bullet: The best marketing ever is customers. A sustainable business is: recurring revenues, repeatable process, referenceable clients. You have to work incredibly hard to get them out on the road, get them speaking engagements, help them write the book. Get your customers on the booth with you, let them talk to prospects. Pay their way. Let them come.
8. Form a strong and active advisory board: You don’t know what you don’t know. You are blind-sided every day. Not the Board of Directors. You have to be a little bit canny with them – ‘kind of honest’. But on the advisory board you need people who have your back, and with whom you can be completely honest.
9. Find your niche: Get great at one particular thing. Don’t try to be the billion dollar business. Be really great at one thing, and know your industry. Find a way to get small. Very difficult, especially when talking to investors.
10. Build on speed: From first conversation to go-live. How do you make that number smaller? If you have a 21 day go-live, how do you get it down to 20 days? Then 19? Because other vendors can’t get faster.
Great content, loved it. Plenty of lessons for us all in there. See blogs one and two from our HR tech Europe series; HR data is beautiful & The HR tech revolution and 4 myths to be overthrown