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Want to Turn Your Workforce into a Real Community? EnterpriseJungle Can Help

Written By: Predrag Jakovljevic
Published On: November 5 2013

How often do we feel that we hardly know the person sitting in the cubicle next to ours, let alone someone sitting in our company’s Hong Kong or Sydney office? Yet, unbeknownst to us that colleague could have expertise and connections that would be of great importance for our next project. Workforce access to information, knowledge, and opportunity has direct correlation to productivity, retention, and employees’ passion for the enterprise they work for. Enterprises recognize the value of a communicating and collaborating workforce, and of a community that can understand the importance of the information available in the human capital, product, and sales areas, and other pillars of the company. Despite a $1.7-billion annual investment in enterprise social network (ESN) platforms as predicted by Gartner, companies are taking a top-down approach to mandating usage among employees. But this approach equates to exceedingly low adoption by the workforce.

EnterpriseJungle is a new service that lets people explore and connect with professionals they are closely connected to both inside and outside their organization. It is a clever service, rather than a software offering per se, that finds the "missing" people in one’s network and “introduces” them to these people. The idea is to increase ESN adoption, engagement, and analytics in the large enterprise environment. EnterpriseJungle was self-funded and formed in June 2013, and currently has a team of 10 employees located around the globe, which allows 24x7 development, support, and opportunity. The Los Angeles-based company was accepted into the SAP Start-Up Focus program a few weeks after inception.

EnterpriseJungle Value Prop
Organizations today face many challenges, not the least of which is how to enable and empower their employees to work together in a more productive and goal oriented manner. While some Fortune 500 companies have implemented ESNs, most have yet to begin utilizing these tools within their workforce to make faster/better decisions. In fact, EnterpriseJungle says that most people in a large enterprise still only speak to about 12 other people in their company and are spending up to 30 percent of their day looking for the data they need to do their jobs. Unlike other technology deployments that mainly use a top-down approach, internal social initiatives require a “pull” approach to engage employees and offer them a significantly better way to work. They can't be forced to use social apps, instead they must opt-in (if they want success).

A workforce is a community and needs to be built from the bottom up with tools and functions that support and encourage communication. Communities function best when user-driven rather than imposed or forced via corporate mandates, and require equilibrium between assets. It is critical to show a value and purpose to ensure consistent engagement. EnterpriseJungle believes that it has the technology to provide immediate creation and retention of internal communities. Proving the system in the workforce as a live proof-of-concept allows quicker sales cycles and adds value to the enterprise.

EnterpriseJungle models analytics and explores business visibility components to identify evangelists and core groups, discover trending data, and gain an overall visualization of network activity. The real value is in predictive analytics and the ability to use the platform to identify areas the enterprise should focus efforts or time based on the expectancy of strong results or to offset a problem area. Being able to pinpoint human challenges in real time is a critical component of enterprise visibility.

Consumer and Enterprise Offerings
The Consumer Edition of EnterpriseJungle is a free social service application that intuitively and proactively brings people together whose current projects, industries, location, influence, and aspirations align. Users sign up via a LinkedIn apps access authorization. This edition exists to show what EnterpriseJungle can accomplish in the enterprise environment as well as to attract professionals in the human capital pool (see Figure 1).

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Figure 1 – Consumer Edition

The Consumer4Enterprise Edition is a platform that allows companies to pay a $99 monthly fee to gain insight, analytics, and understanding of how their enterprise is networking and communicating. The Consumer4Enterprise basic $99/mo. offering provides the enterprise (say, the IT manager/CIO) with analytics giving insight into how their employees are already engaging with each other (through LinkedIn, as the LinkedIn data of those who have signed up with EnterpriseJungle on their own is pulled in to EnterpriseJungle). This can be purchased without the company actually having to deploy EnterpriseJungle on top of its ESN. It is essentially a way for a company to get a small sample of insight/analytics from its employees who have opted into EnterpriseJungle on their own (via the aforementioned free consumer app) without actually doing a full enterprise deployment.

If companies trialing EnterpriseJungle with the $99 per month option like what they see in terms of the analytics they are gaining, then they can decide to do the full Enterprise Edition deployment. That's where the $2–$3 per head pricing structure comes in. In that case, EnterpriseJungle can tightly integrate with an existing social platform to augment user profiles with social data, provide recommendations for knowledge searching, provide content within the ESN to drive curiosity, and provide analytics tools to better understand a collaborative workforce. Comments to feeds (often asinine and focus draining—think of the useless Facebook comments we all post every day) are not available in EnterpriseJungle.

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Figure 2 – Enterprise Edition

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Figure 3 – Enterprise OnBoard

Co-founder Sinclair Leads Us Through the EnterpriseJungle
To further discuss this novel company and concept we recently talked to James Sinclair, a co-founder of EnterpriseJungle. Sinclair has been in the technology industry for 14 years in various forms, from working with major corporations, including IBM, Xerox, and EDS, to being at the “coalface” of the entrepreneurial community. He started quite young and went through some early moderate exits, which led to a number of advisory roles with emerging companies seeking to accelerate growth. With an understanding of multiple technology platforms as well as business growth, his breadth of experience covers all facets of complex engineering and technology; he has most recently focused on bringing companies to market and business development.

enterprisejungle-jds_head.png Notably, Sinclair has been the technologist or entrepreneur in residence (EIR) with a number of high net-worth executives, accelerating their introduction to and understanding of emerging technology markets, the sector’s application to business, deal flow analysis, and consulting to their portfolios of startup companies. In addition, he applies his business consulting methodologies to sectors outside of technology such as hospitality, implementing and deploying the knowledge and research into best processes in outside organizations.

TEC: What are the main product capabilities, and has there been a door-opening “ah-ha” feature/value prop?
JS: Yes, when we started using the product in a few Fortune 500 companies to test the hypotheses, in small sets of the organization we started seeing genuine connections being made, people that wanted/needed to communicate with each other based on a specific problem or opportunity or in some cases just general new co-worker introduction with similar interests/job role excitement. This quality of life component, for example our test cases being happier with their work and their outlook based on a new connection who could answer a question or provide research or experience, was not as qualitative immediately but it let us know we had a product of value. Knowing it would ultimately lead to acceleration in product development or innovation became secondary to realizing a freshly motivated employee.

Utilizing predictive analytics, data accessible via social platforms, and integrating with internal enterprise communications or HR platforms such as SuccessFactors, SharePoint, Jive, or Salesforce Chatter, EnterpriseJungle increases ESN engagement and provides enterprise customers with the following:

  • augmented user profiles with social data;

  • a recommendation engine to identify and introduce employees to others they should know, custom weighted towards locale, skills, specific knowledge, project, opportunity or peer value;

  • generated content of user business graph for activity streams, user profiles, or general display of workforce collaboration efforts; and

  • analytics and visibility into how the workforce is seeking and finding information both inside and outside the organization.


TEC: Please describe your install base and whether there is a generic profile for your customers.
JS: EnterpriseJungle is currently being tested by a few Fortune 500 environments. It is also available via a free consumer application, which intuitively and proactively brings people together whose current projects, industries, location, influence, and aspirations align. Users can sign-up via LinkedIn at www.enterprisejungle.com. The focus is deploying these engagement technologies atop enterprise social network platforms for large distributed workforces. The enterprise deployment atop the ESN is being deployed both as a SaaS and on-premises offering with little disruption.

TEC: What is your geographic coverage (offices, resellers, etc.), and in how many languages is the product available?
JS: EnterpriseJungle has offices in Los Angeles and London. The back-end service that sits atop the ESN in the enterprise is language/data agnostic. If we are providing the application layer then translation of the front-end is of no impediment to the global deployment of our solution. Multiple technology companies are able to globally sell and deploy our solution in territories where we do not have a physical presence, for example, being part of the SAP StartUp Focus Program also expands our reach.

The integration into the SAP platform and partner program is extensive for our solution, which currently takes advantage of the SAP HANA platform. We are exploring various original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and other deployment models, but will not engage until the completion of our three Fortune 500 trials.

TEC: Who are your major competitors and companies with similar offerings?
JS: While many ESN technologies exist and offer some of the capabilities available in EnterpriseJungle, we are the only service that utilizes predictive analytics, data augmentation, and integrates with a company’s internal communications platform. EnterpriseJungle is the only current vendor to provide global recommendations both in and outside of the enterprise and to use this ecosystem data to generate content and back-end analytics. While many other solutions exist for internal knowledge queries, email digging, and so forth, none maintains an active free consumer model for the SMB and independent professional to take advantage of.

TEC: Why did you pick SAP HANA as the platform—and for what particular capabilities?
JS: SAP HANA is the ideal development platform to enable businesses to make smarter, faster decisions through real-time analysis and reporting combined with dramatically accelerated business processes. And unlike any other start-up accelerator, the SAP Start-up Focus program works at the rapid pace of a start-up while providing a robust and proven support system through its development platform, mentorship, advocacy, and training. SAP has demonstrated its commitment to investing in the future by working with start-ups like EnterpriseJungle that are applying predictive analytics to solve real-world problems.

Real time is about speed. Our ability to build on the HANA platform to deliver data as it happens allows us to functionally distribute custom content to hundreds of thousands of users on any medium (desktop/mobile). Tied in with the predictive analytics engine and spatial technologies, HANA is a natural solution.

TEC: What were the major highlights in 2013 and what do you expect in 2014 and after, regarding demand for your solutions? Is there anything you are at liberty to volunteer on the company's future moves?
JS: Unlike most start-ups, EnterpriseJungle went from inception to launch in less than 120 days. Our technology is already being tested in Fortune 500 environments and we see these opportunities quickly turning into strong revenue streams heading into 2014. Our consumer application launched in early October 2013, and we were featured at SAP TechEd 2013. Our Consumer4Enterprise offering to show predictive analytics will be live by November 2013.

Enterprise deployments, commitments to the consumer4Enterprise product, and a strong presence on our free consumer platform have confirmed many of the hypotheses we have about this industry, regarding not only where the demand exists but also the most viable route to market and revenue. While we may be considered a start-up by the age of our business, the combined skill set and experience of our team and the breadth of prior experience are to us the biggest highlights of our company—we have assembled such incredible people in the world of big data, computational linguistics, and application development, and expect to be able to maintain velocity regarding sales and market development opportunities.
 
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