Connected Employee Experience: making sure work actually works for everyone

By Guillaume Runser, WW Business Strategist, HPE-Capgemini Alliance

An interview with Maciej Kafel, Senior Architect at Capgemini.

The entire reality behind the word “workplace” is changing dramatically. Recently, I interviewed Capgemini’s Maciej Kafel about these changes and how the Capgemini Connected Employee Experience, powered by Hewlett Packard Enterprise is an ideal response to them,. 

Runser:  Maciej, what is the basic workplace change we are dealing with? 

Kafel: Until fairly recently, the word conjured up images of a single location with a consistent workforce, all working structured hours and using a limited set of approved tools. Today, “workplace” includes a variety of worker types - such as (permanent, contingent, contract, etc. - working from just about anywhere at any time, using the tools they feel most comfortable with. 

Runser: And what changes has this meant for workers or users?  

Kafel: Users in the new “workplace” have very different expectations. For example, they are typically looking for the ability to use any app on any device, as well as constant and predictable access to data wherever it resides – cloud, on-prem, or both. They expect “intelligent” office features like improved, simplified A/V conferencing and printing, plus personalized service – available when and where they need it - that recognizes their uniqueness, Of course, they want security, but they do not want it to intrude or complicate access. Most of all, they want easy access to everything.   

Runser:  How are enterprises responding to the changes? 

Kafel: More slowly than one would think. While this shift to this new vision of the “workplace” has not been sudden, it has caught many enterprises by surprise. For many, the emphasis has been on implementing and refining the Connected  Customer Experience. As a result, current platforms within the workplace are not delivering the functionality required to support a true Connected Employee Experience. 

Runser:  Is there really a driving need to implement a Connected Employee Experience … and soon? 

Kafel: I would say “yes,” especially if you consider that 77% of Millennials believe a flexible schedule would increase their productivity … and that 75% of workforce will be Millennials by 2025. It is also a fact that increased employee engagement through a Connected Employee Experience results in a corresponding increase in employee retention of up to 87%, and that enterprises can see a 26% increase in profitability by embracing the Connected Workplace. At a time when agility is essential, 64% of executives think that flexible workspace solutions and collaborative tools help organization to achieve that agility. 

Runser: What happens if enterprises don’t adapt and become more agile? 

Kafel: As the past two decades have shown, agility is essential to success and even survival. 52% of the Fortune 500 companies have gone extinct since the turn of the century. And for many, like the retailers who could not adapt to the changes brought about by Amazon, lack of agility has been a major factor in their disappearance. 

Runser: So how does the Capgemini  Connected Employee Experience, powered by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, address the challenge and drive agility? 

Kafel: In general, our Connected Employee Experience solution helps enterprises envision how their employees need to work today to drive engagement, productivity, and business value. This offering helps create the right digital adoption strategy, deploy personalized productivity and communication tools, and configure these tools to support the daily work of employees. Specifically, the solution includes two components - Connetced Workspace and Connected Office solutions. 

Runser: Tell us more about them, starting with Connected Workplace. 

Kafel:  Certainly. Connected Workspace provides a single portal through which employees can access all their applications and data, using virtually any device, at any time, and from anywhere. This solution makes it easier and more convenient for employees to work the way they want, but within the framework of corporate policies and compliance requirements, including robust security that does not inconvenience them. 

Runser: Seems it delivers exactly what today’s workers are looking for.  And Connected Office? 

Kafel:  Connected Office enables employees to interact seamlessly with their physical surroundings within the workplace through the integration and automation of common repeatable workflows. Specific capabilities include smart conference rooms with VC integration across infrastructure, devices, and networks; and devices that can recognize attendees, start Skype conference calls based on people presence, adjust lighting, report room utilization, facilitate easy access to multimedia equipment, share meeting recordings, and allow easy booking and cancellation of meeting rooms. 

Runser: You mentioned earlier that these solutions are powered by HPE.  How and where does that happen? 

Kafel:  Both solutions are supported by HPE’s industry-leading servers, storage, and network for VDI and SBC. For the Connected Office solution, key technology components also include the Aruba portfolio for beacons and tags, the Aruba ClearPass security solution, and the Meridian platform. Both are also personalized, user-centric solutions that integrate with an enterprise’s foundational technologies. This lowers the TCO of the existing infrastructure, while also supporting, complementing and adding value to existing IT transformation strategies. 

Runser: So what type of results can an enterprise expect from a Connected Employee Experience implementation? 

Kafel:  This type of implementation can drive significant benefits for the enterprise and its workers, including a better user experience, higher productivity, more flexibility and agility, and added reliability. A Connected Employee Exepreince can also result in enhanced time to value, greater ability to attract and retain top talent, and reduced costs by optimizing office space. And from a “green” perspective, the solution can reduce environmental impact through lower energy consumption and emissions. 

Runser:  I have heard that enterprises can see the Connected Employee Experience solution in action and experience the real-world results it delivers? Is that true? 

Kafel: It is. Capgemini has two Connected Employee Experience Showcases – one in Krakow, Poland and another that just opened in Toronto, Canada. Both are open to enterprises by appointment and serve as both a proving ground and a demonstration lab for the HPE – Capgemini solution. They can basically let you experience exactly what you can expect from a Connected Employee Experience solution before you buy. This is critical because this solution is an “experiential” approach that deeply touches the lives of enterprise employees. It can also require significant changes in the way the enterprise works.  Connexted Employee Experience Showcase.jpg

 Runser:  What can an enterprise expect to see when visiting these Showcases? 

Kefel:  Both showcases feature a collection of multimedia equipment designed to present the Connected Employee Experience in action. That includes both components – Connected Workspace, and Connected Office – plus support services. In addition to showing general capabilities, they accommodate real-life demo scenarios that can present use cases tailored to a wide range of industries and business needs. Specific equipment includes mobile devices, smart phones, and tablets. Traditional devices such as desktops, notebooks, thin clients and Chromebooks are also present. This technology is enhanced with Meridian platforms and Aruba beacons.  

Runser:  Would you encourage enterprises considering a Connetced Employee Experience solution to visit one of the Showcases? 

Kafel:  Definitely, since it can be a definite time and money saver. Most important, it can help make sure the enterprise selects and implements the Connected Employee Experience solution that’s right for them.  

Runser: Where can readers find more information on the Coonected Employee Experience?

Kafel: You can get more information about the HPE – Capgemini  Connected Employee Experience and the two showcase facilities by using the following resources: 


DirectoryWorks photoID3.pngGuillaume Runser is a Senior Business Development Executive in the Capgemini Strategic Alliance team at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. With more than 16 years of experience in the IT industry, working with customers from Europe, the United States and Asia Pacific, Runser has been focusing on launching joint solutions with Global Strategic Alliances in the areas of Hybrid Cloud, Mobility, IoT, and Big Data. Passionate about technology and its impact on people' lives, he hold a MsC in computer science from UTBM, Belfort, France and a MBA in Marketing from the Rotterdam School of Management, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

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