Some call it The Golden City. San Francisco, the city where a new gold rush is taking place. Driven by technology, VC capital, and where “dreams are made”. For people and companies breaking into the entrepreneurial world of the next huge wave of tech, this is the centre of the new world.

It was then, a natural decision for Europe’s HRN to launch their first ever HR Tech World show on US soil here. The “Greatest HR Show on Earth” attracted vendors and HR leaders from all over the world, to hear from the leading thinkers and doers. Needless to say it didn’t disappoint.

Vendors showcased everything from recruitment, e-signing, vacation management, engagement, feedback, onboarding, expense management, org charts, right through to an on-demand (“never running out”) bespoke office drinks solution.

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Aotal joined in the fun, with space in the exhibition hall to share our story, and in particular a  solution to a problem created by the reason everyone was there. The explosion in HR tech solutions. Wait. What? The solution to the problem caused by solutions? Let me explain.

Josh Bersin, arguably the leader of the thought leaders described it best when he talked about the impact of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” on the world of work. He referenced Klaus Schwab’s article from the world economic forum, where it was stated:

“The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”

The problem, as Bersin pointed out though, was that the first three industrial revolutions delivered massive improvements in worker productivity. This time, there has been little or no improvement at all. Technology is actually getting in the way. The focus has been on getting our hands on new technology tools, but not on how these tools can make us more productive. Companies are spending Billions of dollars on ‘solutions’ that aren’t actually delivering what we need.

Part of the problem is in fact diluted value that results from having many moving parts, and nothing to effectively tie them together.

The technology that powers Talent App Store sets out to solve these problems, by allowing organisations to easily, securely, and quickly integrate HR technology solutions together into a tailored solution ecosystem.  Organisations can more easily “try before they buy”, and get the value that is inherent in integrating, comprehending and analysing people data. The explosion in HR technology microservices (solutions that are small, and focus only a small part of the employee lifecycle) is directly competitive to vendors that try to own the entire lifecycle and everything that lives within it.

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Whilst Aotal has used the technology to start building out an open integration marketplace at talentappstore.com, many others that we connected with in San Francisco are interested in how it could be used to deliver a more localised enterprise organisation marketplace, or their own product marketplace (similar to what Talent App Store provides for SnapHire customers), or even a vendor marketplace for consulting organisations that represent a closed network of vendors.

We are entering a new world of choice, with a fast growing number of technology solutions. Will the wave overwhelm us? Or empower us to be more productive? Time will tell, but at Aotal we believe we are at the forefront of enabling productivity, with the delivery of the world’s first truly open HR technology integration marketplace, delivering click-to-install integrations that are faster, more secure and more effective.