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Enterprise Engagement Tech Market Remains Blue Ocean

ISO10018Large companies have the resources to create highly integrated employee and other stakeholder engagement platforms through their internal portals. For SMEs (small- to- medium-size) enterprises without such resources, Enterprise Engagement technologies can make it easy to engage all key stakeholders on a single, configurable platform. While there may be 100 or more employee recognition and gifting platforms, the Enterprise Engagement Alliance could identify only eight Enterprise Engagement technology platforms in an extensive Internet search, six of which responded to our request for additional information on their technologies.
By Bruce Bolger

The Ultimate Goal—Seamlessly Foster Alignment Across the Enterprise
A Stakeholder Approach to Engagement Technology
The Focus is on Performance, Not Just Recognition or Incentives
The need for a more strategic, systematic, and measurable approach to engaging all stakeholders is driving the growth of an emerging category of Enterprise Engagement technology that makes it possible for even small organizations to align and integrate all their key engagement tactics on a single platform in conformance with the principles of ISO 10018 People Engagement standards.

These technologies can help organizations comply with the upcoming the European Union Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, which will set a new standard in stakeholder management reporting by requiring at least 60,000 companies, and about 3,000 in the US and many of their customers, to disclose in a standardized database available to all the purpose, goals, objectives and related metrics of the organization with respect to customers, employees, distribution and supply chain partners, and communities. 
Large companies have the luxury of connecting multiple technologies with a single sign-on for Teams, Slack, Workday, or others; smaller companies don’t have the tech resources or time to create a seamless engagement experience through such methods. Even large companies often need highly nimble ways for business groups to launch micro-engagement efforts that integrate all the key levers, from communications and assessment, to suggestions, learning, and more, with analytics that can be compared across the organization.

The Ultimate Goal—Seamlessly Foster Alignment Across the Enterprise

Enterprise Engagement technologies differ from employee recognition platforms in that they are strategically designed to be configurable to support multiple stakeholder engagement efforts across multiple platforms and to integrate assessment and feedback, communications, learning and gamification, referrals and suggestions, rewards and recognition, analytics and more on a single platform.
Based on a review of the features published on their web sites, and an ISO 10018-based audit of the features of one of the company’s technologies, the following companies offer technologies that would meet 80% of the qualifications necessary for an ISO 10018 People Engagement technology certification: Augeo, CarltonOne, Hinda Incentives, Incentco, Motisha, Paramax, Partners for Incentives, and Xoxoday.
While only one technology, the Encore platform of Augeo Marketing, has received an ISO 10018 People Engagement certification for technology, the others were sent questionnaires to verify claims made on their web sites. Questionnaires were returned by all except Illinois-based Hinda Incentives, which did not respond to multiple requests, and Belgium-based Motisha, whose representative said the company did not have time to respond, despite four weeks of notice, so neither is included in this report.
Note that while EEA management has personally viewed demonstrations of the technologies of its preferred solution providers as well as the audit results for the Augeo Encore platform, this report does not attempt to rate the quality of the user and administrator interface. Links are provided below to the web sites of the companies featured for those seeking to conduct their own evaluation.

A Stakeholder Approach to Engagement Technology

As outlined in the checklist at the bottom of this article, Enterprise Engagement technology differs from employee recognition software in that it is designed to engage both sales and non-sales employees or any other type of stakeholder with whom an organization wishes to establish a one-on-one relationship. In addition, rather than putting the focus on recognition, rewards, or incentives, the focus of Enterprise Engagement Alliance is on a holistic approach to promoting organizational purpose, goals, objectives, outcomes, and continuous improvement through the alignment of all engagement tactics.
Here is an overview of the Enterprise Engagement technologies of the companies that responded in the order of when their technologies were first created. All operate using either a SaaS model based on a per-seat charge or other formula, plus fees for rewards, which, depending on the company, can consist of electronic or physical gift cards, merchandise, travel experiences, and point-based travel booking engines.  
Partners for Incentives PFI
The Ohio-based company's AwardLink first entered the market with an online platform in 2000 and has evolved to support engagement programs across the enterprise and related communications, learning, safety, and more. The privately owned company sells exclusively through third-party solution providers. It provides both in-house and third-party fulfillment of merchandise awards and offers a points-based travel booking platform. (An EEA preferred solution provider.)
Paramax Paramax
The New Jersey-based company’s AchievaSuite platform was launched in 2004 and includes more than 80% of the core features of an Enterprise Engagement portal, based on the checklist returned by the company. Its catalog offers all types of rewards from third-party fulfillment companies and sells predominantly through third-party solution providers.
CarltonOne Power2Motivate CarltonOne
Probably the world’s largest provider of Enterprise Engagement technology and rewards, private-equity financed CarltonOne was founded in Toronto in 2007. Its technologies are primarily sold on a private-label basis through third-party incentive, recognition, loyalty, and other agencies. Rewards are provided in 185 countries through its Global Rewards Solution AI-powered catalog and worldwide fulfillment capabilities. (An EEA preferred solution provider.)
HMI Performance Incentives HMI Performance Incentives
HMI’s OnDemand engagement platform, first developed in 2007, was originally designed for channel programs but is now used for internal employees, salespeople, and can be configured for any audience, according to the company. It has features to address well over 80% of the requirements in the checklist below. It is sold directly to enterprises as part of the company’s suite of engagement services and manages a full suite of reward solutions in the US and in many countries around the world for enterprise clients. (An EEA preferred solution provider.)
Augeo Marketing Encore Augeo
Created in 2014, Encore is the only platform that has earned an ISO 10018 People Engagement certification for technology, meaning that all its features were independently verified in a live demonstration. Encore is an enterprise solution sold to large companies by its parent company, privately owned Augeo Marketing, a multi-faceted loyalty and engagement company. It uses third parties for a full suite of reward fulfillment options.
Incentco Incentco
This 11-year technology platform includes a quick-start Fasteezy platform for referrals, suggestions, and reviews. Points can be redeemed for gift cards or from a growing number of brand and wholesalers serving the incentive, rewards, and recognition market based on a reward model open to any catalog solution a client wishes to use. Its enterprise platform supports more than 80% of the required engagement tactics to qualify for inclusion in this report. Clients include both specialized incentive, recognition and other third parties and other companies. (An EEA preferred solution provider.)
Xoxoday Xoxoday
Founded in India in 2013, the subsidiary of private-equity financed Giift formally entered the US market in 2021 with a range of technology options include quick-start gifting and reportedly robust API capabilities and rewards fulfillment in about 100 countries. Its web site claims and the questionnaire responses indicate that it more than meets the requirements for an Enterprise Engagement technology designation. 

The Focus is on Performance, Not Just Recognition or Incentives

Enterprise Engagement technology supports an integrated approach to engagement across the enterprise by supporting the audiences and engagement tactics used to focus people on key values, goals, and objectives. The result is an incomparable ability to rapidly launch holistic engagement campaigns;  produce extensive reporting for management and disclosure purposes and gain access to incomparable cross-stakeholder data which can be correlated with organizational goals and objectives.
Below are the key features of an Enterprise Engagement Portal.
If you know of a technology that could have been included in this evaluation, please contact Bruce Bolger at; 914-591-7600, ext. 230.
Audience Description  
Customers The ability to manage customer loyalty and communication programs to build meaningful relationships.  
Employees A platform that addresses all the engagement levers below so that employees have the tools and inspiration they need to succeed.  
Distribution Partners A means of building better relationships with distribution partners by addressing all the key levers of engagement required to gain their trust and commitment.  
Vendors The ability for suppliers to quickly gain access to information that better helps them understand your organization’s needs and recognizes those who consistently perform.  
Communities A portal for any community involved with your organization to gain the latest information, tools, and inspiration to engage.   
Engagement Lever Description  
Enterprise Branding A centralized, 360-degree brand proposition that aligns the interests of your entire organization. An engagement portal makes it easier to convey a common message across an organization’s constituency.  
Assessment and Feedback A means of conducting surveys and promoting feedback to maintain an ongoing ‘pulse’ of the organization, its business units, managers, employees, customers, distribution partners, etc.  
Leadership Coaching A system to make sure that the information coming from the assessment process is fed back to the entire organization, starting with managers.  
Communications A full suite of methods for uniting an organization in the way of a hometown newspaper to regularly inform everyone inside and outside of the organization about the latest news, how-to, or other helpful information.   
Referral Programs The ability to easily promote referrals of customers, employees or other stakeholders.  
Learning  How-to, useful information, quizzes and tests.  
Social Media/Collaboration An ongoing means for communities to share information, make suggestions and suggest solutions, in a format from which the entire community can benefit.  
Innovation A means for generating suggestions for performance improvement, safety, new products, wellness, etc., and to manage the selection and implementation process.  
Incentive Programs Campaigns designed to focus specific or multiple audiences on attaining specific goals during defined periods in a sustainable manner. Goals can include almost anything: sales, quality, productivity, wellness, safety, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), etc.  
Recognition Easy ways for managers to recognize employees, distribution partners, or vendors, and for peers to recognize peers for performance and actions that support the brand proposition or other business goals, i.e., safety, wellness, innovation, etc.  
Rewards Concrete, meaningful and memorable ways of rewarding people for accomplishments that are clearly distinguishable from compensation.   
Analytics and ROI  A method for collecting and aggregating as much data as possible from interaction with the portal to correlate engagement and performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, refine strategies and measure the financial ROI of engagement expenditures.  
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1. Professional Education on Stakeholder Management and Total Rewards
2. Media 3. Fully Integrated Business Development for Engagement and Total Rewards
Business Development for Stakeholder Management and Total Rewards solution providers, including Integrated blog, social media, and e-newsletter campaigns managed by content marketing experts.
4. Advisory Services for Organizations

Stakeholder Management Business Plans Human Capital Management, Metrics, and Reporting for organizations, including ISO human capital certifications, and services for solution providers.
5. Outreach in the US and Around the World on Stakeholder Management and Total Rewards
The EEA promotes a strategic approach to people management and total rewards through its e-newsletters, web sites, and social media reaching 20,000 professionals a month and through other activities, such as:
Earn Big $ In EEA Referral Program
Enterprise Engagement Resources
Committed to Stakeholder Capitalism   Refer, Rate, Suggest & Earn
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