When it comes to data protection and the fear potential customers might have about their data, Julien Lesaicherre, director – global head of sales at Workplace by Facebook ensures that this platform and Facebook are separate companies.
He said the business isn’t a social media platform per se and has had to embrace the rules of the enterprise software industry.
Workplace by Facebook is an enterprise connectivity platform for businesses where employees can connect with their employers and colleagues.
Introduced in October 2016, it is a subscription-based platform with more than 3 million paid users globally. Some of its customers include Walmart, Chevron, Hoyts, Taronga Zoo and Ambulance Victoria.
There are three things the company does data-wise to separate itself from Facebook.
Firstly, the platform makes itself clear that users on Workplace own their data.
Lesaicherre said the company had to get on top of it. “What that means is, we first make it clear that in Workplace you, the organisation control the access.”
He said they have built a strong partnership with Microsoft, Google and other players in the industry to make sure users can manage their access in the best way.
Secondly, is letting the administrators have complete control of the content and the moderator roles. He said depending on a company’s guidelines users can decide what gets posted.
Lastly, he said administrators own their data. “That’s why we have a different pricing model to Facebook. Facebook is an ad business model on Workplace, it’s a monthly fee per user,” Lesaicherre explained.
Workplace allows their customers to integrate with other enterprise tools like G-Suite, Office 365, Dropbox, Jira, Netskope, ADP and more.
Lesaicherre said, “We want Workplace to be a central app where you can get work done.
“In terms of our own industry, we believe we’re the only company looking to connect everyone in an organisation. This includes frontline workers, many of whom have never had a PC, desk or email. Workplace allows them to be connected to their organisation, or CEO, or colleagues, for the very first time.”
Australia is one of the fastest-growing markets for Workplace and one of the largest globally.
He said, “Over the last 18 months, we noticed a significant growth of the Workplace business in Australia. This is across companies from very different sizes, very different industries. I choose to come here just to better understand like why actually Workplace was taking off here more than in another region.”
Lesaicherre said they know today’s customers value mutual respect and a deep understanding of their needs. Managing this relationship can be a deciding factor for customers – and ultimately – a competitive advantage within a business.
“At Workplace we believe unlocking this potential requires a connected company, one where employees are able to communicate and collaborate freely. By connecting everyone on one platform, companies are able to harness ideas from frontline workers, like baristas, hotel managers and nurses, who engage and interact with customers on a daily basis.
“We regularly see business-altering ideas that bubble up from employees on the frontline, and it’s the forward-thinking companies that harness these ideas and implement them in real-time.”
He used the example of Starbucks, “Several store managers shared on Workplace that they were being asked by customers to make a specific drink they had seen on Instagram.”
Using the platform, Lesaicherre said their customers find once they deploy Workplace they learn more about how their company works in just a few months than they did over the course of years.
He said “They see benefits like better culture, increased collaboration, and more streamlined communication, which leads to higher employee engagement and retention. Ineffective meetings, long conference calls and unnecessary emails also go out the door.”