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3 Major Takeaways From Last Week’s O.C. Tanner and Virgin Pulse Partnership


There was a glut of announcements during InfluenceHR and the HR Technology® Conference & Exposition, but the one that probably turned the most heads was the partnership announcement between O.C. Tanner and Virgin Pulse.

It was just a year and some change ago that we were blogging about Virgin Pulse’s ShapeUp and Global Corporate Challenge acquisition, and now two market leaders in their respective categories are teaming up to help define the employee experience. If that doesn’t excite you, you’re in the wrong line of business.

Another big announcement was the partnership between Inspirus and LifeDojo. Again, two significant market players in their respective categories teaming up. Recognition and well-being coming together — who knew? (Hint: We did.) (For the sake of clarity in this blog post, we’re not going to touch Saba and Halogen, but that acquisition did happen in May, if you’re still an HCM 2.0 holdout.)

These two moves are huge for HCM 2.0 this year. Here are three key takeaways companies looking to make similar moves need to take note of:

  1. It’s about partnership — not just API integration. Companies looking to move to the next level of HCM 2.0 have to go in with the mindset of creating a partnership. A partnership means a deeper connection than just single sign-on integration and exchanging data. HCM 1.0 partnerships focused on just making sure technologies could “talk” to each other. HCM 2.0 requires creating a seamless employee experience.
  2. It’s about employee experience — not point solutions. This may seem a bit esoteric, but to fully grasp where these moves are going to continue to go, companies and analysts are going to need to change their viewpoint from market-focused to employee-experience-focused. Some of the moves that are going to happen in the future will probably make traditional analysts and business owners scratch their heads. But the key to understanding those future moves is that they will most likely be made through a lens focused on creating a great employee experience, meaning if a partnership makes the employee’s experience at work better, there’s a high likelihood it will happen.
  3. It’s only going to ramp up from here. With the previous two points in mind, HCM 2.0 is only going to see more partnerships and consolidation. You can read our Employee Engagement Brandscape Report™ from last year to find out which categories will most likely be next. If you want to know which companies to watch, you might take a look at the ones that placed highly on the brandscapes in that report.

So, what do you think? Do you have different thoughts on these two partnerships? Did we miss something? Did we hit the nail on the head? Let us know in the comments section below.

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