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TribeHR has brought to market an HR application suite that uses social collaboration to empower workers and managers to perform tasks that might once have been done mostly by HR professionals, or not done at all. The software-as-a-service-based TribeHR application helps businesses with fewer than 500 employees with recruiting, applicant tracking, onboarding, performance and goal setting, and time and vacation management – but with a twist. By using social collaboration as a foundation for its functionality, TribeHR takes advantage of knowledge sharing, the most valuable approach our human capital management benchmark research found for engaging the workforce.

Recently the company announced a new release of its software that provides further social media integration to more easily get candidate information from LinkedIn and Facebook, lets users post feedback and kudos on Facebook, and captures feedback from that channel. It’s easy to register for a trial of the product, so I did. I found the product easy to engage with, and thanks to its collaborative approach, it’s easy for employees to share information and converse with each other. The application lets you easily see staff profiles across the team, which helps drive better understanding of team members.

The latest release introduces a simple approach to performance management that is part of the new approach to engaging workers. Managers can assign individual and team goals, track progress and post recognition when goals are reached either in a peer or public manner, and even publish recognition to Facebook. I also like the ease of having actions and goals defined in the system. Companies can share their list of corporate values, and review how employees support the values through their actions. This approach helps engage teams of people as human capital.

For recruiting, TribeHR can automate job postings to external websites, job boards and Facebook, and post applications back into TribeHR. It can use a LinkedIn profile for a job application. The software makes it simple for applicants to be reviewed and prioritized for interview and potential future hiring which save valuable business time of hiring managers. This level of integration with social media addresses factors our benchmark research found improve the quality of hire (79%) and address metrics like cultural fit (64%). Other key features include:

  • A corporate calendar that can be integrated with existing Outlook, Google or iCal calendars
  • The ability to track time off
  • Storage of corporate documents for easy access
  • Simple ways to develop and maintain personnel profile and support time tracking.

Many of these capabilities can replace personal productivity tools, such as Microsoft Office, that do not foster collaboration or common goals among a workforce.

TribeHR can also integrate easily with Salesforce.com for sales force automation and FreshBooks for accounting. I hope to see it further integrate with Intuit QuickBooks, both of which are often used by small businesses. The company recently announced a reseller program to further extend access to its offering through a range of consulting firms.

TribeHR keeps it simple when it comes to pricing, with a low per-user per-month charge starting at $2 and going higher based on a company’s needs to engage across groups and teams. With its foundation of customers, the company can provide aggregated information in the form of metrics to give guidance on best practices; for instance, its recently announced pay raise index provides a benchmark to compare a company’s business practices to those of others of similar size. While I usually can find places for improvement in vendor offering, TribeHR provides a very robust offering for the price it charges. I expect we will see more of its offerings available on smartphones and tablets to further extend into the new reality of business computing.

Small businesses may lack an HR department, but they must have human capital management applications and processes that can operate with no or little administrative support. When it comes to helping organizations recruit, engage and retain talent, TribeHR provides a robust offering for an affordable price to help small businesses act smarter than the majority of big businesses. If your small business has not taken a look at TribeHR, don’t miss it.

Regards,

Mark Smith

CEO & Chief Research Officer

When it comes to the task of managing performance, many organizations still find themselves fixated on the past rather than planning for improvement in the future. When performance management processes operate efficiently, technology to support activities such as modeling and analytics can optimize outcomes and help align them to targeted goals and objectives. This might seem trivial or easily done, but the reality is that most organizations lack a unified platform that anyone in the enterprise can easily engage and leverage.

This is where a company called Anaplan comes in, with an integrated platform that provides tools to help everyone participate in a common planning and analytics environment to foster well-managing performance. The company provides an easy-to-use software-as-a-service environment. Since my last analysis the company has brought in some heavy-hitting management to help it foster growth, including CEO Frederic Laluyaux, who comes from SAP and Business Objects, and Vice President of Products and Marketing Matt Howard. Most significantly, in the last year its software has evolved to meet the needs of executives, directors and managers across operational areas such as sales, operations and finance. It also has had many new releases of its software that operates in a cloud computing and Internet based access approach. It lets any type of business analyst develop models and apply analytics as tools for understanding past and future performance and be directly involved with scenario planning and performance management tasks to optimize and align activities and resources to target goals and objectives.

Our benchmark research into business analytics found that analysts are not able to spend enough time in scenario planning and what-if analysis because they are weighed down with the task of getting the data together to do the modeling and analytics. Also, our sales forecasting benchmark found that many tasks that businesses rate as most important are not easily achieved today, such as unit forecasting over time (47%) and what-if scenario planning (43%). Our benchmark into sales earlier this year found that forecasting and pipeline (65%) and analytics (47%) were the highest application priorities in sales. There is still a lot of room for improvement in the areas of sales operations and interface to operations and finance to help provide more direct interaction across departments that should integrate business planning to not just manage but improve performance.

Anaplan can help in the task of maximizing resources and revenue from sales territories. It can allocate accounts based on quantitative sales team and customer metrics. It supports a range of spreading options to identify areas for improvement, or individually hold certain targets by territory while planning for improvement in others. It also can start business initiatives for seasonal or new product introductions that need to have specific, integrated plans for assigning targets across sales and marketing, while planning for operations, manufacturing and distribution. All of Anaplan’s functionality is designed for businesses to use without IT involvement and without having to increase the load on the analysis team. These are just two examples of what you can do with Anaplan.

Anaplan brings together the disparate tasks of sales forecasting, demand planning, sales and operations planning, financial planning and range of analytics into one environment in a way that I refer to as integrated business planning that we routinely educate organizations how to improve. The twist is that Anaplan has designed a tool to achieve this planning through direct engagement by those in business and not just analysts. Anaplan want to excel at integrated business planning to support performance management across marketing, sales, operations, finance and other areas that usually do not work well together because they have incompatible tools or methods to analyze and plan their own results. This antiquated approach leads to wasted time and resources, and is not smart business. Even so, Anaplan has room to improve, not so much in the area of products and technology but in its communication of the value it provides in bringing a unified approach to planning and performance management. If you are looking for a business and planning driven approach to performance management, you should look at Anaplan.

Regards,

Mark Smith

CEO & Chief Research Officer

Mark Smith – Twitter

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