Collaboration tools for the workplace has been a consistent theme in Australia’s startup sector over the last 12 months. Whether they are making it easier to systemise project management, measure employee engagement or enhance communication capabilities across larger organisations – these types of applications are making it easier for companies to focus on doing what they do best.
Hunchbuzz is an idea management platform for the enterprise space. The startup was founded by Tom Mitchell and Steve Graham and is based out of Wellington, New Zealand.
“With the speed that organisations are changing and evolving, they really have to start tapping into their employees, partners and customers,” says Mitchell. “This is what we refer to as collective intelligence organisation or distributed intelligence, you want to tap into that and in this era with the collaboration tools that exist, there’s no excuse for you as an organisation not to leverage the voice of your customer, the voice of your internal stakeholders or front line staff.”
To summarise, Hunchbuzz helps to track all the insights that a HR, Change and Transformation or Innovation department within a company should be. Their software taps into the great ideas and high intellectual capabilities of staff and customers through a virtual community. The tool means that organisations can capture those insights in an easier manner encouraging open and transparent conversations across the organisation without hierarchy getting in the way.
As a customer, signing an organisation on the platform takes about 15 minutes as well as some consultation time with the Hunchbuzz team to take you through how to really engage your internal stakeholders. The application has a very straight-forward UX and UI which means that it is very intuitive to navigate and understand. The biggest challenge that companies will face rolling it out will be more around the cultural shift, particularly if no such activity currently takes place in that company.
“It’s an organisational change” says Mitchell. “The biggest challenge is saying ‘we’re going to have to do something now’. That’s the problem, following through on that. A lot of organisations make a lot of noise about change and innovation and how important it is but do nothing. This is an easy tool that really enables that, but you gotta do something differently.”
Although based out of Wellington, Hunchbuzz is very much a global platform having attracted many large companies like Yamaha, Pepsi, PwC and Mastercard, which has been great for the startups positioning in the market.
To date the startup has been bootstrapped and the platform operates via a SaaS model that charges customers about $2,000 per month. Many of these customers are using the platform to focus on different things with their organisations. Some clients are using the platform to generate around 500 – 600 new innovation ideas for their company a month, where others are using the platform as a compliance tool for occupational health and safety improvement ideas – there is actually quite a large degree of flexibility on what the features of the platform can be used to have a focus on.
For now, the focus at Hunchbuzz is to increase engagement on the platform and help companies shift into a state of using the platform to gain a continual stream of feedback from stakeholders. The possibility of having more of a physical presence in either the United Kingdom or the United States is also a likely area of exploration for the company as well as mapping out its most lucrative growth markets.
Image: Tom Mitchell and Steve Graham. Source: Supplied