BTR Attends bswift Idea Exchange
As part of our strategic efforts to stay out in front of new developments in HR and benefit administration systems, three of our BTR team members recently attended bswift’s 2018 Idea Exchange. Our goal was to focus on what’s happening in the industry. We also wanted to know more about product updates on bswift’s platform. BTR offers bswift as one of four pre-vetted recommended solutions for the larger mid-market sector (300+ employees). Additionally, we currently sit on their channel partner advisory board. Because of this, we attend this event annually. This year we are pleased to share that Kate Taylor, BTR VP, participated on a conference panel.
Our team returned with lots of information useful to users of bswift’s platform. We also gained valuable insights into the larger HR technology market. A major topic of interest was the “war for talent” and associated employer challenges. Now that the conference is over, we’re excited to share our insights with you. We believe this information can be useful in your role as benefit adviser to your employer clients.
Think Beyond Questions: Really Understand Your Client and Their Concerns
Speaker Brian Caffarelli, a partner at Strategic Talent Solutions, says an experienced buyer can “tease out” the expertise of the seller and the complexities of the system. We agree, although the reality is most of your clients are not experienced buyers. They may have never purchased a benefits administration platform, or they may be unhappy with their last purchase decision. That’s where skilled benefit advisers (YOU) can deliver real value (and where BTR can support you).
Helping your clients make informed decisions will minimize issues down the road and provide the best scenario for a successful system implementation. Mr. Caffarelli advises that key players (CEO, Payroll, IT, HR) have unique concerns and priorities which need to be acknowledged. Listen carefully to identify the issue behind the question. For example, if a client asks about customer service training, they may really want to know how quickly their call will elicit a response, whether the vendor understands their unique needs, or how the support team can help (or hurt) them in the eyes of their leaders. We advise brokers to help technology vendors go beyond simply answering the question.
Instead, tell a compelling story to drive home key messages, use data as proof points and deliver information in a way that inspires confidence in the product.
The Future of HR Technology According to bswift
bswift’s chief technology officer, Ed Rumzis, offered a glimpse into the future of HR technology through three innovations. Some version of these technologies is currently in play (or in development) in the HRIS sector. However, you can expect further innovation in the future.
- Bidirectional conversation interfaces can enable true conversations with decision support tools, such as bswift’s “Ask Emma” (versus one-way responses to provided data or questions).
- Augmented reality (AR) presents limitless workplace applications (think enhanced employee training, worker productivity, etc.) by superimposing point-of-need solutions on to something being viewed through a device.bswift is looking at AR as an overlay for benefits administration.
- Bio-digital integration uses multiple sensors to gather data. Aetna is looking to use this technology for security in the biometrics arena, e.g., voice or facial recognition.
Each of these technologies represents a wider (and more complex) array of opportunities than suggested here. As such, BTR encourages brokers to maintain rudimentary familiarity with technology innovations that help engage and retain employees. These innovations can also streamline processes and increase productivity —all which positively impact clients’ bottom line.
On the Topic of Technology Innovations
The threat of a data breach is high on any CEO’s worry list (or it should be). James Routh, Aetna’s chief security officer, shared his views on the safety of employee data and Aetna’s strategy to protect it. Phishing (spoofed emails, look-alike domains, display name deception) is the #1 cyber threat. Employee education is an employer’s best current response. Moreover, new technologies are being developed to help combat phishing through mapping and blocking.
According to Mr. Routh, artificial intelligence (AI) is the future. New data security technologies will be more user-friendly and smarter than current technologies. Passwords and multi-factored authentication will be a thing of the past, with voice or facial recognition and behavioral-based biometrics replacing them.
Aetna seeks to be a leader in AI applications for cybersecurity for employee protected health information (PHI) and other data. Aetna has an $800 million security budget, from which bswift will benefit tremendously. In total, we left this session with a deeper understanding of bswift’s unfaltering commitment to security and the resources they are putting behind it.
Workplace Culture is a Three-Legged Stool
In today’s competitive market for both talent and customers, workplace culture is the root of a company’s brand promise. Paraphrasing Maya Angelou, people will forget what you said or did, but not how you made them feel. According to research by RightNow Technologies (acquired by Oracle in 2011), 86% of consumers would pay more to be guaranteed a superior customer experience and 89% began doing business with a competitor following one poor customer service experience. Moreover, Neilson research found that 92% of consumers worldwide trust word of mouth recommendations more than any other form of advertising.
So, what’s all this have to do with HR technology? Workplace culture directly impacts a company’s brand promise and customer service experience. Susan Salgado, founder of Hospitality Quotient, suggests thinking about workplace culture as a three-legged stool of which all three “legs” must be strong to support corporate culture:
- People (team members)
- Systems and structure that support team success
- A workplace environment where the leaders create an atmosphere in which the team will thrive
There are a growing number of HR technologies available to strengthen each leg of the stool. In doing so they provide a firm platform to support a positive corporate culture. This positive culture helps attract and retain talent who will deliver on the brand promise.
Your #1 Source for HR Technology Consulting
Employers today look to their benefit adviser for help in making sense of the myriad of available technology solutions. Many struggle to respond to the challenges associated with hiring, retaining and managing talent. Talent management is driving sales of HRIS solution’s as companies compete for the best and brightest. As independent HR technology consultants, the BTR team can work with you and your clients to help determine the best system for their specific needs. Our team members regularly attend industry conferences. For our most timely insights and information sharing, follow us on twitter: @bentechre. To learn more, contact us at 1-877-299-8155 or visit bentechre.com.