How to Bridge the Gap with Microapps
Today’s leading talent management systems, such as Saba and Cornerstone OnDemand, are powerful applications that offer a wide range of features right out of the box. However, it is often the case that an organization’s business landscape calls for something special to meet specific company goals. The gaps can take many forms:
- An opportunity for automation
- A complex business process unique to your space
- A manual workaround that opens the door to errors and inconsistent outcomes
- A shelved requirement that existing software does not support
Custom is not a dirty word.
A custom microapp solution could be the missing puzzle piece that brings your talent management solution together and magnifies its business impact. A microapp is a modern approach for tailoring a software solution. Rather than tinkering under the hood of your talent management system – generally taboo these days with cloud-based SaaS (software-as-a-service) applications – the microapp stands on its own outside your system. The microapp leverages libraries of APIs or Web services provided by the talent management system to access and modify data. Below are just some examples of ways you can leverage microapps. Check out our Educe Software Microapps Look Book for more examples.
- A portal that customizes the messaging and overall user experience for your audience
- A compliance engine that interacts with your Learning Management System (LMS) to calculate and award credits
- An integration with a QR code scanning device to improve efficiency of attendance tracking
Small, Medium, or Large?
The term microapp applies to solutions that are very small, very large or anywhere in between. In some cases, you may need to start from scratch to define and create your microapp. However, you may find that a similar solution already exists and can be adapted to meet your needs, greatly reducing the time and cost to implement. Here are some key questions that will shed light on scope:
- Is the business need characterized by a single missing function, or is it a range of functions for multiple categories of users?
- Will the microapp need to persistently store data?
- Will the microapp need to interface with multiple applications including your talent management suite?
Ready, Set, Go…
Finding a microapp development vendor can be an anxious activity. It is vital to look for a vendor who understands the talent management problem space, has deep knowledge of the talent management software, and has a good relationship with your talent management system vendor. Additionally, the vendor needs a proven track record of microapp development and a willingness to collaborate with your team throughout the development and operational support phases.
Once you have identified your microapp development partner, you need to build a solid and committed team to own the solution. Your business team should include:
- Representation from a full range of business perspectives
- A strong and involved sponsor with authority to make decisions
- Commitment from the team (time and effort) to ensure success
A Microapp for a Major Impact
The microapp approach allows you the freedom to dream the solution that will address your organization’s specific needs. A well-designed microapp solution can amplify the benefit of your talent management investment.