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Imagine a company whose managers aren’t at all sorry when their best employees leave to seek greener pastures. Or a company that makes it a practice to keep in touch with every “alumni” who moves on – for another job, to launch a startup, retire, run for office, whatever. Or a company that doesn’t “recruit” but “presents opportunities” to whomever can best do the job, as an employee, a contractor, a part-timer – or choose your own interpretation.

If you can picture that, you are seeing the company of the future, as I learned from James Sinclair, Principal at EnterpriseAlumni, Inc. when we talked about the new app called EnterpriseAlumni, now available on SAP App Center. “Think about it: companies make a huge investment recruiting and training employees, who develop a deep understanding of the business during their tenure,” said James. “Not only its products, but its culture, its strengths and weaknesses, who does what and who knows what. So why let them drop off the map after the exit interview? These people represent an amazing talent pool.”

Mutual opportunities through community engagement

The perception is changing, James remarked. “When someone leaves, that’s no longer considered a betrayal. As one client told me, ‘We think of it as off-site training. They are more than welcome to come back – with more experience.’”

That was the original concept, as “alumni” suggests. But EnterpriseAlumni has evolved into much more, as customers collaborate with James and his team to meet their own objectives. He describes it as a community-engagement platform that integrates with applications like SAP SuccessFactors and SAP S/4HANA, is deployable on SAP Cloud Platform, but also incorporates social media and analytics tools. Social integration keeps contact info up-to-date, supports referrals, and promotes opportunities for all concerned, while built-in sentiment analysis tracks perception of the brand and helps create evangelists.

Flexibility and individual control

“If you’re a highly skilled professional, you’re probably not looking for a job or even a gig,” James explained. “But if a project manager in your network presents you with an interesting opportunity, that might get your attention. Or say you’ve left an executive job for a C-level role elsewhere. You might not be interested in returning, but you’d jump at an invitation from a former boss to attend an industry symposium with your peers. Right? Or maybe you’re a subject-matter expert who ignores all job offers. But would you accept the perfect speaking engagement from a colleague? It’s all about building relationships and doing each other favors. And you are the one in control.”

I’d say that EnterpriseAlumni is taking shape as an industry disruptor – with the potential to reshape the traditional relationship between companies and the people who work for them, in whatever capacity. Read on for a different twist on this theme.

James told me that he refers not to customers but to partners, because of their highly collaborative rapport. One partner, a global airline, took the initiative to set up an internal workshop with the EnterpriseAlumni team and other customers to discuss ideas for further building out the app. “Our partners are driving the direction,” James noted, adding that the reputation of large enterprises as slow and full of red tape is misplaced. “Every big company has to have processes, of course. But in fact, they are unbelievably agile. They have the resources to be able to work with innovators, to take risks. And if they make a mistake, it’s a rounding error.” And with the cloud, “Everything is a beta test; there doesn’t have to be a final decision. You always have the flexibility to change your mind.”

Innovation out-of-the-box on SAP App Center

Even the largest companies have confidence in the EnterpriseAlumni app, thanks to its provisioning on the SAP App Center, SAP’s digital marketplace. “We deliver the innovation out of the box. For functionality like integrations, security, encryption, disaster recovery and uptime – they can rely on SAP for that.” James also added: “SAP App Center enables companies to find a single source for enterprise-grade applications that integrate seamlessly into their existing technology landscape, with the backing of SAP.” Organizations of all sizes can try out niche applications like EnterpriseAlumni that are making a significant impact on workforce transformation.

One final note that also speaks to James’s intrinsic philosophy of building relationships. With GDPR all over the news, I was curious about compliance, only to learn that data privacy has always been an integral element of EnterpriseAlumni. “Everyone knows what we’re doing with their data, and they have complete control over it,” he replied. So much for that!

Let me invite you to discover opportunities on EnterpriseAlumni. Try the demo – and please let me know what you think in the comments below.

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