Today’s Featured BizSpark Startup is GamEffective from Israel and the United States
How can a game platform turn the corporate strategic business planning process into something that’s fun, rewarding and compelling? Gal Rimon, CEO and Founder of GamEffective, can tell you.
The idea for GamEffective all started when I was planning to reduce weight and work out more. It became obvious to me that I needed some external motivation. At the same time, everyone was talking about the Y Generation and the challenge of managing it. Suddenly it struck me that gamification – the use of game mechanics to modify behavior – could work well with Gen Y employees.
As I began to explore existing gamification solutions in the market, however, I realized that their focus on leaderboards, points and badges wasn’t enough. They were not well integrated into enterprise applications. But I had an idea.
My thought was to build a next-generation gamification platform with rich, graphical narratives that drive skillful change in organizations. For example, why not use sports, virtual city-building or song contests to engage employees more effectively in achieving corporate goals? If an employee has the satisfaction of doing something well (what games give us) alongside the performance of their daily tasks, they are more likely to make choices that will benefit the company.
It has to be measurable, of course, and fact-based. Our platform is that and more. It accompanies employees throughout the day to align them with corporate goals using clear calls to action in an entertaining way. It also provides a pretty engaging feedback mechanism.
From my perspective, gamification is the new universal platform (UX). The next generation of employees is used to achieving goals through gaming. A new UX needs to support that – and GamEffective has it.
When launching the company we wanted to first launch into the market and get customer feedback before we begin scaling the company. That ensures we have the right product. After deployment with these first customers, we collected their feedback and re-did the products version. Only then do we work on scalability and resume the process once more. Today, we are past this stage and into the growth stage.
As we were examining the technologies that would be the right fit for us, Microsoft Azure seemed to be a good choice. It has been! It was easy to start working with and is scalable. We use open source software like jQuery and Angular.js with it, too, which lets us pull things together in a unique way.
Additionally, our customers are enterprises. It was very important to us to share with them that we are using the Microsoft platform as part of our service – after all, Microsoft helped put a computer on every desk and is used around the world. We develop in .NET and use SQL Server along with SharePoint, too.
Our most important challenge these days is how to perform quick integrations with new and existing – but sometimes changing – enterprise applications. Working well with these platforms has an immediate business result in providing value to our customers. Microsoft helped us in defining the product architecture and the BizSpark program gave us terrific access to resources that would otherwise be cost or time prohibitive. BizSpark is a really valuable experience that any startup should be happy to tap into.