Succeeding together - these are the first two words on the website of our partner Fellow Digitals. They want to ensure that their clients manage to include and engage every employee in their business by providing best-of-class workplace technology solutions.
In their view, new ways of communication, collaboration, meetings, and remote working or learning are all about the employee experience. Digital is no longer an option or alternative, it is the leading way of engaging your employees, and conversely, for your employees to do their work. This underpins the importance of #dex, which stands for Digital Employee eXperience. If nothing else, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us all how important #dex is, and that working remotely is here to stay.
Nothing is done in isolation and 'succeeding together' is part of a broader mindset about collaboration and building success for Fellow Digitals. No wonder they excel at building partnerships, their focus on succeeding together with their customers, suppliers and partners and moreover, their employees, is at the heart of everything they do. Or, at least, that is how we experience it - since we teamed up with them in 2021.
We share this mindset and ‘DNA’, as we call it. We wrote about it in our ‘Letter to prospective partners’ blog a while ago - and we are happy to have found soulmates at Fellow Digitals.
What does Fellow Digitals do?
In the past decades, the average employee has had to deal with a staggering increase in emails and applications, whilst still needing to do their day-job. Solving this problem requires new thinking and commensurate solutions to the #dex.
Fellow Digitals wants to give their customers' employees time back in their day, whilst facilitating collaboration and a great experience engaging with their favourite tools and applications. An organisation's digital workplace needs to focus on people first. This means the success of a digital workplace is much more defined by the effectiveness of its digital strategy and how well the various tool gel, rather than tools as a means to an end in isolation.
Fellow Digitals offers three main products:
- A collaborative, social intranet platform, “everything you need during a workday in one place”, Viadesk
- A learning management system that allows an organisation to create courses easily and quickly onboard new employees, Coursepath
- A professional service for offshore software development, Metatude
In short, and as they explain it:
“Fellow Digitals accompanies organisations on their way to a digital workplace that brings all employees and processes together.”
In our experience in working alongside Fellow Digitals, they have a really good understanding of who they are and what they can deliver. They are proud of their strengths and amplify them by credible story telling. And it does not stop at the stories they tell, they put their money where their mouth is.
What do we achieve together?
Nowadays, the average staff member (in a medium to large business) interacts with 22 different applications. This is a lot. Ongoing digital transformation projects see these numbers increase further. Integrations are badly needed to enhance #dex for staff members, to prevent manual data (re)entry and promote more digital cohesion in their workday. Logging on once to a central application, means less time is lost in switching between applications, which is both physically and mentally draining. This frees up time and brainpower for the employee, whilst simultaneously enhancing their experience.
Fellow Digitals offers excellent SaaS solutions for collaboration, however as part of their strategy they don’t want to focus on integrating these SaaS solutions with other products. Where some other SaaS vendors choose to offer certain (types of) integrations themselves, it is an explicit choice for Fellow Digitals to have a relentless focus on nothing but their core products.
Therefore, partnering with Harmonizer makes sense. For their SaaS products to be useful, integrations are important - so as to minimise manual data input or clunky functioning data exchange with other platforms. As you can imagine, if the right data isn't in the right place on social collaboration platforms, it is hard to ensure it is the place to go for everything you need during your work day.
Upon getting to know the Fellow Digitals crew and their clients, we at Harmonizer jumped for joy in terms of the opportunities. Since every Fellow Digitals client has a slightly different use case for onboarding their products, the integration use cases varied substantially as well. This is where we excel - complicated and bespoke integration challenges, that we apply our craftsmanship to.
These are some examples of our clients’ challenges that we solved successfully:
- provisioning happens across systems, including large players with associated volumes, such as Youforce and Salesforce
- linking up HR systems, training request forms from other web-applications and Coursepath, the learning management system - so that no training compliance question remains unanswered and at the same time all manual effort in this process is eliminated, including auto-certification and enrolment
- conversely linking up the learning management system with client facing endeavours, such as the CRM system or with the webinar environment
In addition to the variability in client use cases, there is also a great variety of client industries where we both play. From solar power/renewables, to sports facilities, to churches!
What is the secret sauce?
This is all well and good, you might say, however there are many integration technology providers out there, and why couldn't it be another one?
This is a great question, and there are three parts to the correct answer.
- First of all, Fellow Digitals can have confidence in client conversations that integration requirements are no issue. Harmonizer is a very versatile and modular integration tool. Rather than being built on specific data schemas, the large part of Harmonizer operates on a generic and flexible schema. This allows for maximum flexibility in terms of connecting with APIs of every system, as long as they are publicly available, and maximum flexibility in data transformations before delivering the data to any downstream system with an API.
- Secondly, Harmonizer is a fully managed service, which includes all monitoring of functionality and also information security compliance of the integration. This means that Fellow Digitals never has to worry about recommending Harmonizer to clients nor using any of their own capacity in terms of integrations. The client and Fellow Digitals are both unburdened completely. If Fellow Digitals completes their implementation project before Harmonizer is done, they can just move on to their next project. The managed service extends to an alignment in pricing model, where a monthly subscription fee provides clients with a 'no surprises' re-assurance in terms of cost.
- And last but not least, as a result of the ongoing and longstanding relationship between Fellow Digitals and Harmonizer, we understand the various Fellow Digitals toolboxes a lot better than any online web-integrator could. There are always multiple ways to resolve integration challenges, and by understanding our partner’s technology stack, we ensure that the challenge is resolved in the best possible way. Fellow Digitals in turn understands that we are much more than a straight-through data integrator. We understand and have lived experience in client service, project management, platforms, applications and developing software as well as how companies run, project leaders and employee experience. Resulting in many mutual client benefits such as simpler, faster, flexible, pragmatic and efficient planning, deployment and service.
Fellow Digitals and Harmonizer are passionate about making our collective craftsmanship shine for our clients and to assist them in putting their people first.
To provide further details around how our collaboration works, a client case may assist. For a pharmaceutical company in Germany, Fellow Digitals teamed up with Harmonizer to automate, optimise and simplify data management and governance of customer training programs. The main objective was to reduce manual touch points. A well-received side effect was a significant reduction in associated email volume.
A three-way integration achieved this objective. The client's user database, GoTo Webinar and Coursepath applications were synced in a multidirectional flow, including data transformations for process optimisation. If registered users complete more than 75% of a webinar, their status in the various systems is updated to 'passed' and they receive a certificate. The result is that users only register once, and of course they have to follow their reminders to attend the training! But that is about it. Everything else is taken care of behind the scenes, by Harmonizer.
Achieving this fantastic result was no easy feat. There were many hurdles that needed to be overcome. Since all parties involved were open, flexible and professional, the end-result was better than originally anticipated, as well as innovative. It is a new use case for Fellow Digitals and Harmonizer, which we are now ready to exploit further and conquer the market with!
Together, Fellow Digitals and Harmonizer assist clients resolving challenges that, by our clients’ own accounts, far outstrip what they would have been able to do internally. Including negotiating API changes with other vendors successfully, so that integration requirements can be met. Or providing training to the business development team at Fellow Digitals in terms of Harmonizer functionality and associated processes, with an unlimited amount of enthusiasm. We really do go the extra mile.
We see our past joint endeavours as the beginning of a bright future together, and are learning every day on how to better support each other. Due to the flexibility of both of our products, there is a near endless list of opportunities to explore together!
We can’t wait.