Riding the Cusp of the Mobile Disruption Wave

PRO UnlimitedBy PRO Unlimited 5 years ago
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Mobile Disruption

We have come a long way with the Wand® VMS (vendor management system) platform over the past four years. When I was hired, my charter was to build a best-in-class VMS solution that would deliver an unrivaled user experience to our customers. Having been recently named a “Cool Vendor” in Gartner’s recent “Cool Vendors in Procurement and Sourcing Technology, 2015” report, I wanted to take a brief moment to discuss how we were able to achieve this very notable accomplishment by “riding the cusp of the wave of mobile—and soon-to-be wearable—disruption.”

Building the foundation

Several years ago when PRO Unlimited’s executive management team and board of directors evaluated different technological options and directions for Wand VMS, we made a strategic decision to invest in and build the industry’s first omnichannel VMS platform. We had three goals in mind in the development of the solution:

  1. Meet the needs of the ever-increasing mobile workforce (driven by demographic changes in engagement preferences, including rapid adoption of mobile and tablet devices)
  2. Give managers competitive tools that would enable them to compete and win in the “war for talent”
  3. Improve the productivity of managers and workers by simplifying and optimizing routine tasks

Mobile was the most obvious place to begin. All of the industry data supports our decision: mobile disruption is here to stay—both in terms of user adoption and enterprise adoption. In 2015, 13 percent of people—equating to over 1 billion—will access the Internet with only their mobile device.[1] Enterprises understand the trend: 35 percent plan to develop mobile apps this year.[2]

Part of our evaluation process included talking to other vendors, end users, and industry experts on the best approach to build mobile apps. The overwhelming response warned us not to built HTML5-based or hybrid apps, but rather to develop apps based on native platforms that would take full advantage of the capabilities of the device.

As a result, we embarked on a development effort focused on delivering 100 percent native apps across multiple platforms and devices. A little more than a year ago, we launched Wand Mobile for iPhone, followed by Wand Tablet for iPad last October. We then released Wand Mobile for Android this past April. With the release of the Apple Watch, we became one of the first business-to-business (B2B) providers with the launch of Wand Wearable for the Apple Watch.

Robust omnichannel platform

Wand Mobile enables on-the-go managers to manage their contingent workforce, all without ever touching their desktops or laptops. They can quickly review and approve timecards, expenses, statement-of-work (SOW) billing, among various other notifications and requests. Workers have the ability to easily enter new timecards, submit expenses, and review their histories.

Wand Tablet delivers a comprehensive VMS experience to the iPad, giving them lifecycle contingent workforce capabilities when they are on the go or not in front of their laptop or desktop. Managers approve timecards, expenses, SOW billing, and new requests. They can even review and give feedback on new resumes or quotes for projects. They can also track KPIs, receive notifications, review quotes, provide feedback, negotiate, accept/reject suppliers, manage spend, and more.

Managers using Wand Wearable, a companion app to Wand Mobile, can receive notifications, approve timecards and billing, and more—all directly from their wrists.

Accelerated benefits

Using our mobile apps, our customers see three primary benefits: faster execution, faster decision-making, and faster adoption. I’ll provide use case examples for each one.

The days when the “power” resided with the buyers of talent are in the past. We have seen a shift in the past five years to the worker. These are high-end professionals with specific skillsets who are difficult to find in the marketplace. The result is a “War on Talent.” Faster execution can mean the difference between identifying, interviewing, and securing a highly sought-after candidate or losing her or him to the competition.

Consider a vice president of IT who needs a hard-to-find Hadoop architect. She is in an important meeting when a notification for an interview with a candidate pops up on her Wand Mobile iPhone or Android app—or even Wand Wearable app. Rather than waiting until she gets back in front of her desk to review the candidate’s resume on her laptop, she can schedule the interview with merely a swipe, tap, and click, all in a matter of seconds.

Faster decision-making is also important for many managers. Consider this scenario. A vice president of marketing is at the airport preparing to board an international flight. He receives a billing notification on his iPhone or Android app for an important, time-sensitive Statement-of-Work (SOW) project that requires additional funds. Rather than wait until he is able to log into Wand on his laptop when he arrives at his next destination that might be 14 or 16 hours away, he is able to approve the project extension and additional funds in virtual real time.

In terms of faster adoption, managers are increasingly on the go; traveling to meet clients and prospects and walking between meetings. Tethering management of contingent workers to one channel—namely, their desktop or laptop—is inhibiting. Workers are also increasingly mobile. With Wand Mobile, they can submit their timecards and expenses without logging in on their desktops and laptops. They can even take a picture of their expenses using their built-in camera on their iPhone or Android device.

The transformation continues

Four years ago, PRO elected to invest in and ride the cusp of the mobile disruption wave, delivering the industry’s first and currently only omnichannel VMS solution. This is transforming how our customers manage their contingent workforces.

And we have no plans to let up in our efforts to evolve the contingent workforce management space further. The Product Development team continues to focus on new and emerging technological innovations and to align those to our customers’ business requirements.

PRO welcomes the opportunity to show a demo of Wand to both prospects and clients. Contact us today to schedule a demo with our team.

For more thoughts on technology innovation in the contingent management space, check out the Webinar, “5 Contingent Labor Tech Trends: Harvesting Innovation from Outside the Enterprise.”

Tricia Morris, “5 Reasons Mobile Customer Service Must be a 2015 Priority,” CustomerThink, January 25, 2015.
Stacy Collett, “Forecast 2015: IT Spending on an Upswing,” Forbes, November 3, 2014.

Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. The blog post reflects the opinion of PRO Unlimited and are to to be construed as legal solutions and positions. Contact an attorney for specific advice and guidance for specific issues or questions.

  Vendor Management Systems
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