Technology for global mobility – What’s new?

We look at some of the new technology developments that can help make life easier for global mobility, HR and relocation professionals and their relocating employees.

technology for global mobility

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See our special Awards supplement in the Summer 2016 issue of Relocate magazine on our Digital Issues page.


In the global mobility sphere, a wide range of cutting-edge new technology products have recently been released, as the entries for this year’s Re:locate Technological Innovation award showed. They covered everything from healthcare, removals and serviced apartments to business travel, home search, and assistance with the wider relocation cycle.The judging team was led by Hannah Stewart, who manages global policies, processes and relocation at multinational mining company Anglo American, and Ezeibe Agomo, senior manager in the mobility business partner team at Sapient Corporation, a previous winner of the Inspirational HR Team of the Year award for its innovative work with management and communications systems.Hannah Stewart said, “Through the submissions for this year’s technology award, it is clear that the global relocation industry is continuing to become more focused on using technology for progressive business transformation, increased efficiencies, improved customer service, and value add for clients.”All the entrants, she added, had demonstrated significant benefits brought by their technology.The shortlist included what the judges described as “diverse and pioneering solutions to current relocation industry challenges” that demonstrated efficiency gains, improved customer experience, modernisation, and added value that went beyond cost savings.

Going-there Global Destination Services

The Winner

The judges were quick to understand the value of the GT Global Tracker from Going-there Global Destination Services, a simple, user-friendly, standalone smartphone app that collates travellers’ data and flags risks across the areas of immigration, permanent establishment, tax and security.Describing the tracker as “a great tool that can be used for companies of all sizes without adding complication to an already complex issue”, the panel said that the app provided an efficient, effective solution to the high-profile issues facing companies needing to track their employees globally.The tracker provides automated alerts where a compliance issue arises for either the company or the employee, with the ability for HR to locate and contact employees in the case of a security threat. Detailed feedback via an HR portal allows detailed reporting to authorities where needed. For more information read the full winner's article.

MOVE Guides

Highly Commended

Move Guides’ Talent Mobility Cloud helps companies to manage and deliver their mobility programmes. It interacts with different providers to serve as a portal to manage a range of services, from shipping and flight costings to immigration.Benefits include streamlined administration, easy stakeholder collaboration, and a single mobility view for employees, HR and finance (including tax and payroll).Fully configurable to clients’ programmes, the system supports all mobility policies. HR and mobility users can authorise an employee move, track its progress, access a wide variety of instant reporting, and manage any exceptions or escalations.Employees are given an interactive hub to manage their move, access a task list, learn about their new city and office, and manage expenses. From this, they can access 24-hour customer service from Move Guides’ consultants, wherever they are in the world.Praising the Talent Mobility Cloud’s “slick and professional look”, the judges added that the product was user friendly, with plenty of background information for users. They liked the website’s links to other web-based resources.

UrbanBound

Highly Commended

Chicago-based company UrbanBound’s relocation management software for companies using lump-sum relocation serves as a single portal through which to manage relocation benefits and coordinate relocation-related services, enabling them to create the best relocation package for each employee.For the relocatee, UrbanBound acts as a control centre through which all aspects of their relocation can be managed, creating a tailored experience to help them to plan and execute their move by providing guidance on their relocation policy, help with understanding their benefit, and tech-driven support.It also gives them advice and support, hyperlocal content, and data sourced from their co-workers to help them get acclimatised to their new area and new workplace.Describing it as “an excellent, beneficial, smooth and professional tool”, the judges said, “We really like the look and feel of the site; it’s very intuitive and user-friendly, with questions to unlock the right content, information about co-workers, customised FAQs, and payroll feeds.“The site is customisable and policy driven, with an initiation from HR and then employee driven.”

Allianz Worldwide Care

Shortlisted

The Allianz MyHealth App, from Dublin-based Allianz Worldwide Care, enables international health insurance claims to be submitted quickly and easily, and gives those on the move access to their policy documents.Compatible with iPhone and Android smartphones and tablets and available in multiple languages, the app allows users to: submit claims with a photograph of their medical invoices and a few key details; track the status of previously submitted claims and recent settlements; access policy documents even when not connected to the internet; obtain advice on a range of topics; use the Find a Hospital tool and the Pharmacy Aid tool, which provides internationally recognised names for a wide range of branded drugs so that a pharmacist can source a local equivalent; access emergency numbers fast; and have common medical terms translated into any of 17 different languages.The judges described the app as “a great example of process improvement and time saving for both company and employee – multifunctional, with a wealth of information, convenient and beneficial to users. Very user friendly and intuitive.”

Cornerstone Relocation Group

Shortlisted

New-Jersey-based Cornerstone Relocation Group’s relocation management platform TrackStar automates many of the tasks associated with managing the move cycle.The platform provides clients with easily accessible customised dashboards containing dynamic data-analytics graphics, enabling them to monitor the success of their programmes at a glance. It allows Cornerstone’s relocation consultants to operate in a centralised database with functionality that includes workflow, checklists, automated alerts, and notifications supporting the relocation process, from pre-authorisation to post-relocation.Access via mobile devices gives relocating employees the ability to view their relocation and assignment data, view, enter and submit expenses reports, and send messages to their relocation coordinator while they are on the move.The judges, who called TrackStar “a user-friendly app with wider use in the relocation process”, added, “It appears very multifunctional, and the Total Communication Centre, which date and time stamps every communication, enabling Cornerstone to provide clients with a touchpoint report, so they can measure responsiveness against agreed metrics, is a useful addition.”

ICUnet.AG

Shortlisted

ICUnet.AG, based in Passau, Germany, provides intercultural consulting and skills development as well as global mobility services.Its multilingual ICU Relocation App is designed to accompany assignees and consultants on their property tour and make it more interactive and structured. A personalised welcome and a video introducing the target culture are part of the package.As an iOS application pre-installed on an iPad, the app gives tailored information on properties, districts and infrastructure in the form of descriptions, codes or pictures. Information on properties in Germany comes mainly from interfaces with estate agents’ websites. A similar arrangement is planned for the UK.Assignees can track their current location via GPS through an interactive online map, which shows nearby facilities, such as schools, hospitals and shops. The map also helps users to judge distances – for example, between an apartment and their workplace.Describing the app as “an innovative and interesting concept”, the judges said that it had “benefits to improve the relocation experience for an employee” and looked “very clear, user-friendly and professional”.

MoveAssist International

Shortlisted

MoveAssist International’s cloud-based assignment management app Mai-assignment allows global mobility specialists, assignees, dependants, HR, line managers, finance, management, and vendors to share data from a single source. By providing a collaborative workspace where documents, scans, images, notes and conversations can be held and shared securely, it reduces the need for multiple emails, thereby improving security.Mai-assignment gives in-house mobility teams a real-time view of all aspects of their assignments, including the ability to run and produce detailed cost estimates and balance sheets. Ongoing assignment cost tracking can be performed via the management of expenses, to produce up-to-date estimated-versus-actual costs. The workflow engine can be customised to suit the internal processes of any global mobility team, and users can create approval groups, through which the cost of an assignment or cost exception can be easily transferred for validation.The judges described Mai-assignment as “very clean and modern, with workflow management which can be set via policy/case type, and all date driven. A versatile tool, with useful dashboards and a library of information.”

Plus Relocation

Shortlisted

Plus Relocation, headquartered in Minneapolis, delivers mobility services in more than 176 countries. Its EloSM for Employees, built on the Salesforce.com platform, is a cloud-based solution that gives relocatees and their partners a single, secure point from which to access information about their move. Through it, they can manage events and tasks, and connect via an online social community with others who are relocating.A version for mobility teams allows clients to: view dashboards of key metrics and access real-time programme reporting; track tasks, message service providers, monitor coming events, or look up information on individual employee moves; authorise new moves, calculate the cost of prospective moves, or review employee survey results and comments; learn about relocation and industry trends; and connect with a community of their peers.The judges praised the “good references and detailed back-up information” supplied with Plus’s entry statement, which, they said, was “very clear and well structured, with issue, action and solution explained and a friendly approach”. They described the website as “a really good community”.

Following record attendance at this year's gala dinner, the Relocate team is already hard at work to ensure we build on the success of the Relocate Awards 2015/16 and make next year’s even bigger and better.

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For more news and features about technology for relocation and global mobilty, visit our Technology section.

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