Improving onboarding via a digital adoption platform

Image courtesy of Christin Hume

Onboarding employees can be quite a daunting task, and if you’re a large enterprise like OMRON, the challenges are even greater, especially with the limitations brought about by the pandemic.

For the electronics firm, operational agility was always top of mind. Working on the launch and roll-out of a new human resource management (HRM) system, they had the task of learning the ins and outs of such a system, as well as training their more than 3,000 employees across the Asia-Pacific region how to use it.

In search of solutions to make their onboarding process easier, OMRON in late 2021 reached out to Whatfix, a software-as-a-service provider focused on in-app guidance and performance support for web apps and software products. Additionally, OMRON expanded their use of Whatfix with SAP Concur as it enables them to simplify user onboarding while minimising training time/effort across their expense management platform.

Frontier Enterprise spoke with Newton Giraud, Head of Learning & Organisation Development, APAC at OMRON, and Khadim Batti, Co-Founder & CEO of Whatfix, about their software partnership.

According to Giraud, overcoming the challenges inherent with their new HRM system seemed impossible at first.

“Our team was very much stretched, and very limited in headcount. We soon realised that we had to find a better and more tech-driven solution to bring everyone on board, other than PowerPoint-based, PDF, or other traditional, time-consuming approaches to onboarding training,” he said.

OMRON then looked at third-party service providers, eventually narrowing down their choices to four candidates. In the end, it was a matter of customer confidence.

“During our internal due diligence process in partnering with an external organisation, we looked at all aspects we considered important before making our final decision. (It was then that) we realised that the Whatfix representative was playing the role of a consultant rather than a salesperson. He addressed all our concerns, brought specialists from his team to meet with our IT colleagues, (and) sorted all our legal concerns. We felt he was knowledgeable and reliable in his approach to interacting with us,” shared Giraud.

Digital adoption

The pandemic has undoubtedly shifted enterprises’ mindset when it comes to business solutions, given that the work-from-anywhere paradigm has now become the norm.

Newton Giraud, Head of Learning & Organisation Development, APAC at OMRON. Image courtesy of OMRON.

With this, Whatfix aimed to ease enterprises’ woes in terms of digital adoption.

“Software users, including employees and customers, are now also expecting the learning and support to be available to them on-demand. Whatfix solves exactly this, by removing the barriers between the users and true productivity across all software. Our digital adoption platform analyses and automates processes, providing step-by-step guidance within each application across businesses and on-demand (guidance) to the user in real time,” said Batti.

“Whatfix aims to deliver higher software engagement through customised nudges, and helps companies achieve better and faster results across most of their digital initiatives. The modules are customised as per user needs; contextual guidance and step-by-step instructions help users understand solution functionalities and accelerate their onboarding process,” he added.

Batti also said that the platform helps boost employee productivity by 125% through in-app guidance and automation, and a 45% reduction in support tickets through prompted user self-service solutions.

“Whatfix also supports software users with traditional training programs, in order to help them learn about each unique application. We help ensure our customers’ applications are getting used in the absolute best way,” he remarked.

Software deployment

So how did Whatfix’s integration with OMRON’s HRM system actually go about?

According to Batti, there was a lot of planning involved, to ensure that Whatfix’s platform would be able to drive value for OMRON.

“Since the initial stages of our engagement with OMRON, we encouraged them to invest in a ‘proof-of-value’ exercise to build a mini working prototype of Whatfix on their application. By jointly working together on a proof of value, the OMRON team was able to envisage the end product, and how it could help their users, and also get hands-on experience using Whatfix,” he said.

“Our value engineering team worked to arrive at conservative estimates of the impact of Whatfix in improving HR Service Delivery and Employee Experience by reducing the cost of end-user enablement, training, and support. Most importantly, we were able to jointly compute and agree upon a ‘cost of inaction’ which helped the stakeholders at OMRON decide on the collaboration,” he added.

For OMRON, the impact of Whatfix’s solutions was instantly felt.

Khadim Batti, Co-Founder & CEO of Whatfix. Image courtesy of Whatfix.

“Whatfix was able to integrate its multiple features seamlessly with our system. It provides personalised and engaging employee onboarding programs by welcoming new users to discover the application with a guided tour. These guided tours were interactive and done in the app, which helped users to become proficient with the system quickly,” Giraud explained.

“Whatfix also helped to provide step-by-step flows in real time for users to navigate through the system. Then, it has a task list feature available, which helps to nudge users to complete tasks before getting started with the system, and also creates a sense of achievement when tasks are completed,” he added.

Moreover, a built-in evaluation tool helped OMRON measure the effectiveness of their onboarding initiatives.

“With Whatfix Analytics, we were able to measure our success easily. We found that 86% of our employees engaged with the step-by-step guide in the system. We also gathered end user feedback on the step-by-step guide, and we found that 2067 out of 2494 respondents found the training guide useful.  In total, 1113 support queries were served by the Whatfix step-by-step guide,” said Giraud.

The road ahead

As businesses are now increasingly becoming digital-first, what ‘s next for enterprises in terms of digital adoption?

“In the wake of the pandemic, technology disruptions are expected to become more rapid as today’s technologies combine with tomorrow’s innovative ways. The goal of keeping up with digital transformation trends is not just to stay competitive but to empower our business to evolve, innovate, and grow. In 2022, 5G has finally become mainstream. Although the deployment of 5G in the sub-6GHz band has remained on track globally, the rollout of more complex 5G millimetre wave deployments has significant growth potential. 5G is expected to dramatically improve how services are delivered to users, transforming business models and operations, and companies will need to invest more in network infrastructure, especially cloud service providers,” Batti predicted.

Likewise, the CEO acknowledged the huge role artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) played in improving business intelligence.

“By using AI and ML, Whatfix is automating cybersecurity and reducing risks. With spending expected to increase in 2022, Whatfix is focusing on IoT as it creates a global network of billions of people around the world, and India – being at the cusp of a digital revolution – will be able to harness the power of IoT,” he concluded.