Xpath Nexus: As the Global Mobility departments cope with a new set of demands in order to keep their organizations competitive, businesses are increasingly turning to technology to grow or improve their mobility programs.
What role does technology play in the delivery of global mobility services, and how do companies and GM/HR teams leverage the technology available?
On the other hand, creating a start-up in the fast-paced world of high-tech requires a particular level of resilience and flexibility. Growing a business from the ground up may be thrilling and exciting, but it can also be challenging and tough.
This episode focuses on the pains and gains of implementing, using, and developing technology within the global mobility sector.
The specialists who tackled the subject:
Bianka Budai, Global Mobility Program Manager NOKIA
Laura Michaud, Chief Technology Officer xpath.global
What mobility-related technology do you use internally to compliment whatever other systems you will have in place?
Bianka Budai: We introduced the assignment management system, immediately connected it with the HRIS system, which is a great thing to do. It helps you save a lot of headaches, and also a lot of additional work that you would require from the user, a lot of time saved for managers, assignees. Everyone. So we did that. With those HRIS systems, I know they have mobility modules, but they are not that evolved, because those are of course not built for that. So all those also use multiple systems mobility features, but it’s not something you would compare to a specific assignment management system is there you can use it for the basic thing. But having this umbrella for the functionalities, I would say, it was not ready for that. But we connected them. So the data flows.
What are the main points in translating an idea into a specific product?
Laura Michaud: Obviously, if you come across an idea for a product that you might want to use personally, it’s usually already a good sign. But the first step is to do your market research. When working on the xpath.global marketplace, it was generally difficult to find similar models because there was definitely nothing remotely similar to this kind of marketplace out there. The next step is just looking at other similar solutions out there, not from the same industry, but you know, everyone has used a marketplace to buy things online. People have certain expectations when they buy things online. So we looked at these big competitors from other industries. And we tried to figure out how their platforms and their business models would apply to the Global Mobility industry.
What tech functionality for global mobility do you see in the near future?
Bianka Budai: When I see like future of GM technology, I always think about AI-based solutions, but actually, it’s not the near future. It’s already here. Personally, I’m not using them. But I know that there exist and are quite future futuristic to me. But I was thinking about the assignee experience. But still, we are at the stage, we are using many, many systems, a lot of automation goes across the systems. But from the employee perspective, what I see is that today, they have a lot of resources that they need to find, for example, on company websites, or internal websites of the company, we have our own Global Mobility sites for them Global Mobility Systems, then we have our service providers who we reach out to them asking for a lot of different stuff, from filling in documents to reading and checking, approving, acknowledging terms and conditions and all that.
It feels a lot for them to handle in the middle of one of the biggest stresses of life from moving one country to another and changing positions moving with family itself as well. So I still see that the administration part, or the million different sources of information for employees, their day, my dream is that I imagine somehow coming, bringing all these different resources to one single platform where they can handle everything with really pushing a button or auto-populating things for them. So they don’t need to fill their passport number five times during the relocation process. I don’t see this realized yet.
Laura Michaud: You brought up some really good points. And they’re things that we’re looking either actively developing or looking into developing in the near future as well. One thing that we’re trying to achieve on our site is to make sure that we facilitate as much as possible, the whole communication process between the three parties involved in GM, which is, you know, the HR departments, the employees, and the service providers. Because right now, that happens all over the place. And it’s really hard for all the people involved to keep up with the transfer of information, the transfer of documents, and so on.
The other thing is AI. I think the trick with AI is that you need to have enough useful data in order to make use of it to its full potential. In the shorter term, what we’re looking at is actually RPA. It helps with automating tasks that are either repetitive or very data critical. So we’re talking about repetitive processes that happen the same every time. And that you can easily take off the hands of a human employee and put in a process that handles them. But at the same time, we can look at maybe some compliance processes, that where you have to be very accurate and very specific. So even though those happen, maybe not as often or not as frequently as some of the other smaller tasks, there is a good advantage of using RPA in that area, because, you know, you eliminate a lot of the risks of human error when it comes to that.
Thank you Laura and Bianka for your valuable contributions as speakers. We hope you enjoyed sharing your insights on our platform.