“I was interested that M2 research were estimating 25% of the gamification market to be around enterprise. We’ve not seen that yet, but we would expect it to get there within 12-18 months. ” starts Kris Duggan, the CEO of the well tuned Badgeville, a bright spark of the nascent gamification platform space. “We’re certainly gearing up for enterprise but we see organisations piloting programs with marketing first before taking a dive into the enterprise itself.” he continues.
I caught up with Kris at the Gamification summit where gamification of work or “enterprise gamification” was certainly on the agenda.
“Take Jive as an example,” he says of the social community platform company, “they started with the 80% of their business in customer communities – it’s now the other way round and mostly about employee communities. We would expect the same trend to occur in gamification.”
So what can we expect?
Enterprise gamification for Kris is firstly about performance management. A particularly hot space is sales performance management: “We can surface meaningful metrics through feedback loops, that can really improve employees ability to track and optimise their own performance. Why shouldn’t we show people in real time their current performance? Legacy systems don’t give us this, but gamified ones can.”.
Within Badgeville itself, Kris has gamified his own sales team, with widgets such as a “web-ex” (a web conferencing tool) leaderboard, so sales people can see at a glance who has arranged the most webex meetings. “We know its working because if a score does not refresh for any reason, the guys quickly start asking what’s going on!”
In any gamification program, it is always tricky knowing what to measure. Is it phone time? The number of webexs, number of deals over $50k, only deals with the Fortune 500? It is up to individual organisations to decide what to measure and what’s important to them.
Helpdesks are ripe for gamification – Kris hopes: “it’s a difficult job dealing with customer issues so if we can make this more fun that would be great.”
We discussed how game design can have both positive and negative consequences. The skill of gamification is to maximize the positive and minimize the negative. Badgeville has its own services team with game designers who hail from the likes of Zynga and EA to help clients with the balance.
Finally reputation across the enterprise. “If we can track every action and activity and give them points for, whichever part of the business they earn them in then, then we can provide a travelling reputation”.
Leaders in companies are the ones who should be most excited by this. Anyone who sees employees spending more time on an interesting and engaging site like Facebook instead of their corporate IT systems has already had the wake up call.
Design or iterate, win or lose?
In a panel session the day before, two statements stood out that Kris didn’t agree with. Firstly the idea that enterprise gives you less opportunities to iterate (one of the necessary requirements of good game design) and secondly that make sure people lose first so they are encouraged to win next time.
Kris hits both on the head:
“I don’t think its true that you can’t optimize within enterprise programs – you just have to start simple and add layers. An engagement might only be several weeks but that still gives you time to optimize within that time.”
“Also, making people lose doesn’t seem right, surely it should be that you make everyone feel that they are almost winning!”
Well, meeting Kris with his infectious confidence, I certainly came away feeling like I was almost winning. Lets hope Badgeville and their new Social Fabric product (for rewarding community members who comment on your blog) turns out a few #winners.