Getting Work Done with Work.com?

Salesforce.com will be unveiling its HCM platform, Work.com, at Dreamforce in San Francisco later this month. What can we expect?

  • Work.com is a rebranding and redevelopment of Rypple. This comes directly from CEO Marc Benioff, who adds that the new version and future directions will be demonstrated at Dreamforce.
     
  • Rewards and recognition feature prominently in next-gen workforce applications. Following its December 2011 acquisition of Rypple, Salesforce acquired corporate perks management platform ChoicePass in June 2012. With messaging that Work.com will “let managers set organizational goals and recognize employees,” we can expect a broader approach to rewards and recognition in this next iteration. In fact, the new Work.com platform will highlight a trend that we at Constellation Research have been seeing in our research: the convergence of goal/task management, rewards and recognition, performance support and analytics. Combining these elements delivers contextual social engagement in the context of Getting Work Done  – the next evolution of talent management through systems of engagement
     
  • Work.com is a platform play – at least for now. Benioff recently had this to say with regard to the human resources space: “We’re working hard to integrate with [Workday] to deliver a full HR suite to our customers between Salesforce.com’s Work.com, and Workday….And you’ll also see Workday’s integration with Chatter as well. We’re very excited about our initial focus here into HR.”

    Delivering a comprehensive HCM suite is time consuming, to say the least. The delivery of a social framework in support of  goals, feedback, recognition, collaboration and other core networking concepts is one thing; support of complex regulations that vary by locality/state/province/country, core employee recordkeeping, payroll, benefits and time keeping processes…these are something else entirely.  So it is no surprise to learn that Salesforce will focus on “rewards and recognition” in this first iteration and partner with Workday to bring its Work.com platform to market.

    Whether this will be a long term play or an interim step along each vendors’ development path (Salesforce’s development of the broader suite; Workday’s social enablement) has yet to be revealed. In the meantime, the combined offering will deliver end-to-end cloud based HCM with social enablement, and another blow to rivals Oracle and SAP.

With its years of experience in customer relationship management (CRM), coupled with its recent acquisitions of Buddy Media and Radian6 (forming the Salesforce Marketing Cloud),  I wonder if Salesforce will take the bold step and apply its expertise and lessons learned in CRM to future directions in “ERM” (employee relationship management).   The current positioning of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud is to be the “platform of choice for brands to listen, engage, gain insight, publish, advertise and measure” social marketing programs.  Imagine the possibilities if Salesforce applied these concepts to their talent technologies.

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