Deploying An Alumni Platform For Global Organizations

by Community Admin in Corporate Alumni, Featured   |    Last Edited: 22nd March 2019

Not every Alumni Platform is created equal and when deploying a Corporate Alumni Solution to a global company, it needs to be as simple as possible for everybody: The company and the Alumni. And it needs to deliver a customized, contextual and relevant experience based on the Alumni’s prior position and role within the company.

An Alumni Platform Must Be Contextual

For a company with 100,000 employees, an Alumni Platform delivering a Facebook-style feed experience, with 1 to everyone messages don’t work and don’t provide value. That approach is too generic and too noisy to generate value.

Each segment of your Alumni population that engages on the platform has a different expectation and purpose for being on the site, and a “one size fits all” Alumni Platform in an attempt to serve everyone, actually serves no one.

Instead, with our Alumni Management Solution, companies are able to harness information about Alumni and the business unit or industry they worked within to provide a personal, micro experience that is both highly relevant whilst still providing them with access to all global functions.

Accelerating Alumni Engagement

Generating early success and prompt adoption of the Alumni Platform means providing an experience not only rich in value with deals, opportunities and other in-demand features but also a forum with other Alumni they recognize, respect and are glad to be sharing a network with.

One of the mechanisms we have deployed to address this challenge is the ‘Multiple Restaurants, One Kitchen’ (MR1K) concept. It ensures we deliver a truly global and future proofed Alumni Platform that companies can roll out in a phased and managed approach.

Importantly, the ‘one kitchen, multiple restaurants’ analogy offers options for handling large organizations with multiple:

  • Regional but independent units;
  • Brands or Subsidiaries with their own identity’
  • Recent Mergers or Acquisitions; and
  • Large and different organizational units.

Our solution means that you can have multiple ‘restaurants’ each with their own theme, name, dress code, cuisine, ordering system and management structure which as a customer, looks and feels totally unique. Or for some organizations, you may not want unique branding and functionality but you do need localized management and content, much like a restaurant ‘franchise’ model. Whatever model you need, however, your company needs to present its alumni network, both scenarios enable a large organization to deliver a valuable experience to the Alumni.

The Alumni Platform Must Still Be Global

In the Multiple Restaurants, One Kitchen model, all the restaurants are being run out of the same kitchen following global business rules; centralizing all technologies, mitigating cross over and allowing for a single investment to run the best in class “back of house.”

In the context of an Alumni Platform, this translates as unified data security, data hygiene, business process and a single system of record and workflows.

We have seen this model working very successfully in a number of scenarios:

  1. A global consulting company with regional offices around the world, each running and acting independently, making their own purchasing decisions and responsible for their own staff recruitment, sales, and processes through their single business unit. However, the branch office is part of a global organization and operates under their guidelines and best practices. The Alumni solution maintains the same central branding and experience but allows regional offices to be on-boarded at their own pace and the solution expanded as part of a phased rollout. Each regional office sets their own micro-level policies – and Alumni join via the sub-site – but together they are part of a global platform and have visibility into the rest of the organization.
  2.  A leading software company has multiple business units or lines of business including some recent acquisitions that operate in an independent, subsidiary-like fashion despite being part of the overall group. Whilst the global business may have been the name on the alumni’s pay slip, the employment relationship and affinity is with that sub-brand. The Alumni solution delivers custom and themed entrance page for each business unit for employees to join, during off boarding or via the Alumni signup pages. Employees have a themed experience of the brand whilst still part of the global company and access to all of the tools, directories, and functionality. Alumni can be automatically joined to a specific group based on their cost center or other defined taxonomy.

Alumni Platforms Evolve With The User

A key function of this model of allowing chapters, subsidiaries or even countries with their own regional Alumni site, yet still part of the global organization is the ability for each site to cater to their Alumni based on what is important for the organization and the Alumni. Whether it be cultural requirements or specific staffing or practice areas, enabling micro-communities as part of a larger ecosystem makes it easier for your Alumni to find their tribe and leads to greater engagement.

Alumni - One Kitchen, Multiple Restaurants