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In very large U.S. urban areas, the average commuter spends $16 and 52 minutes traveling 32 miles round trip to work each day. For many organizations – and employees that endure long, solo commutes – it all adds up to lost productivity, wasted resources and additional expenses. A new mobile and cloud-based application for the enterprise called TwoGo by SAP wants to change this behavior by allowing companies to engage their employees in ride-sharing to work.

TwoGo sounds pretty easy to use. It connects to a company’s calendar system (as long as it is compliant with the iCalendar standard) and helps employees manage their commutes along with other work duties. TwoGo can also be accessed through standard web browsers and mobile apps for iOS or Android.

There are obvious financial and environmental benefits to gain from TwoGo, like reduced travel expenses and emissions, but that’s not what TwoGo is ultimately driving at, according to Peter Graf, chief sustainability officer at SAP.

“It’s designed to start a conversation around all of the different aspects of carpooling from a financial, social and environmental perspective,” said Graf. It’s a physical engagement model. Employees see the direct impact they make instead of just thinking and talking about becoming more environmentally friendly.”

                                         

By carpooling, Graf believes employees may recoup lost time and money through networking and brainstorming on the road.

“Employees might start to think, ‘if we can accomplish this with carpooling software, imagine what we can do by adjusting supply chain software, logistics and finance to help people better track their impact,’” said Graf.

Are businesses on board? If we’re to go on the word of NOKIA and global travel agency Thomas Cook, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

To help locate desirable matches in an easy and clear way, TwoGo is powered by HERE, Nokia’s location cloud, which delivers one of the leading map and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems. Christof Hellmis, vice president of Map Platform, Nokia, is convinced that many trend-setting developments for industries will result around the topic of location. “TwoGo is a particularly interesting service as it combines location, mobility, and sustainability in an innovative way,” he said at a recent press conference.

Dr. Julian Clemenz, head of sustainability management for Thomas Cook Central Europe, echoed similar sentiments in a recent press announcement:

“At Thomas Cook, we see sustainability holistically, which means getting employees involved to help improve operational efficiency, save energy and cut waste. TwoGo by SAP encourages employees to participate in reaching our goal to create a more sustainable future. As a member of the beta program and long-time SAP customer, we are happy to work with SAP to develop an application that helps us meet our sustainability targets, reduce costs for our company and employees and build a more social, connected company.”

Sure, everyone wants to build a more social, connected company these days but can a simple, ride-sharing app like TwoGo really make this happen? The devil is in the details and in the case of TwoGo, these critical details appear in the form of special capabilities, specific to the use case of commuting to work and back home.

“We’re giving people the confidence and security of an enterprise application combined with the fun and ease of use of a consumer app.,” said Graf.  “While the key driver for people to use TwoGo is to meet great people while commuting to work, we’ve added special capabilities like round trips, viral algorithms to keep adoption high and features that ensure identities can’t be faked. In essence, TwoGo leverages the human network that’s present in a company and enhances it to drive innovation and employee engagement.”

What do you think? Will TwoGo help businesses get on the right path to a more environmentally friendly and productive future?

Take a ride with me on Twitter @TClark01

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4 Comments

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  1. Stefan Funk

    Very nice put together, Tim. Loved to read this article. TwoGo will definitely support companies to get more environmentally friendly and productively. However, I do think it is not about companies running sustainability initiatives, which is important indeed. It is about all of us, living the idea every day, contributing individually, also in their personal lives. With regards to TwoGo, at the end, the right employee incentives need to be in place to encourage participation.

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    1. Tim Clark Post author

      Thanks Stefan, I agree. This is as much about sustainability as it is engagement and bringing employees together.

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  2. Ryan Somers

    Hi Tim, long time no see… nice post!

    Very innovative idea on such a simplistic concept, here are a few questions:

    1. Can this be utilized by multiple companies (i.e. I live near these 3 workers but they each work for companies A, B and C while I work for D – but the companies are near each other). 

    2. Is there a personality field to create, ensuring you carpool with someone you’d likely have common interests with?

    3. And last, while it’s meant to connect great people, I wonder what kind of liability risks there are if an incident were to occur.

    Personally, I need my decompressing time in the car for good ole sports radio but I suppose if someone else had the same intent – it could be a match made in heaven!

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    1. Jens Lehmann

      Hi Ryan,

      thanks for your comments.

      1. Yes, today a company can decide whether their employees can be matched with employees of other companies.

      2. Having “social matching” based on shared interests is not there yet.

      3. The same things apply as if you would drive together with a friend. (I am not a specialist though).

      Jens from TwoGo

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