How Whatfix is helping companies elevate user experience in a digital-first world


The COVID-19 pandemic spawned new challenges for businesses across the world, leading them to strategize in order to stay agile while optimising costs. For many businesses that meant jumping on the digital transformation bandwagon and verticals like human resources helping companies recruit and train the right talent to tide over the crisis.

At the same time, digital adoption platforms like Whatfix rose to the occasion and helped organisations deploy advanced software tools rapidly and securely. All this, while our clients and their teams worked remotely.

At Whatfix, we provide product adoption, user onboarding, employee training and, self-service and performance support for companies using enterprise web applications. We help SaaS application users create interactive walkthroughs or in-app guidance flows to help others navigate through tasks easily.

For departments like HR, customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning and accounting, Whatfix offers training instructions via interactive guides for a seamless onboarding process for all enterprise applications.

When my co-founder Vara Kumar Namburu and I founded Whatfix in 2014, we aimed to create a SaaS platform that offers a complete suite of tools. We went from being colleagues at Huawei to build a startup with a vision to create intelligence tools that could power business growth.

As we grew, so did our ambitions. Before long, our platform was making migration to apps like Salesforce, MS Dynamics, MS Meeting, Oracle CRM, Service Now, SuccessFactors, SharePoint, Office 365, Workday and G-Suite seamless. Companies can integrate Whatfix with their learning management system to create interactive and self-serving training programmes.

Today, our solutions deliver learning content in various formats including real-time guidance and enabling clients across the globe to do more with less, all thanks to the power of digital adoption.

Empowering future-ready workforces

Over the years, Whatfix has made strides by assisting organisations in managing diverse, remote and virtual workforces with digital-first tools that promised a seamless user experience. Our SaaS solutions were able to fix several woes that riddle tasks like talent acquisition and management, onboarding new hires, performance management and support, and learning and employee engagement.

With six offices spread across the globe, our clientele features several Fortune 100 companies. Currently, our offices employ more than 500 employees in India, Germany, Australia, the US and the UK.

Since we started operations, Whatfix has raised nearly $140 million in funding and our investors include marquee names like Softbank, Dragoneer, Sequoia Capital, Helios Ventures, Cisco and Eight Road Ventures.

But, the journey to the top had its fair share of challenges. For starters, digital adoption solutions (DAS) is a very niche category. While many understood the problems we solved, they didn’t necessarily realise that there is a solution available. Our main challenge was to solve this lack of awareness.

Lessons from the evolution of digital adoption solutions market

I might be an entrepreneur, but I am an engineer at heart which is why I believe in building solutions that empower our future. In my 20 years of experience, I have worked in various capacities to drive business growth through product development and innovation. This also means that I had a front-row seat to how the DAS space has evolved.

The earliest DAS tools focused mainly on digital guidance and product navigation and were quick solutions to solve user challenges at an interface-level and attracted only small and medium-sized businesses. These solutions often fell short of addressing the need for niche tools.

The story took a turn around 2010 as companies started ramping up their IT budgets and the usage of enterprise applications across sectors went up. Over time, digital adoption solutions landed on the radar of larger enterprises, and the market narrative shifted from navigation and task completion to online employee experience.

The pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the pace of digital transformation. It led more enterprises to realise the importance of leveraging digital initiatives, thereby proving to be a boon for the digital adoption platform (DAP) market. Before the COVID-19 crisis, digital transformation was usually seen as a part of an expansion strategy rather than being a mainstay.

The pandemic changed that and soon enough, businesses started seeing DAS as necessary to improve their odds of survival. There are numbers to prove that too! As per a 2020 McKinsey survey, consulted executives claimed that their companies have accelerated the digitisation of operations like customer and supply chain interactions by three to four years. Also, the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has advanced by seven years.

With DAP’s help, enterprises can successfully drive up adoption and provide a superior user experience. This becomes increasingly relevant amid the current pandemic when there is a ubiquitous need to provide remote training and support experiences.

Take the case of one of our esteemed clients — Comviva, a subsidiary of the $21 billion Mahindra Group. The company caters to over 130 mobile service providers and financial institutions in more than 95 countries.

During the pandemic, the global service provider found itself struggling with delays in onboarding and training clients. As the crisis deepened, it became clear that Comviva needed a more effective mechanism to train its new and existing customers, while reducing its dependence on support teams as most of them were working remotely.

Eager to see things change, Comviva roped in Whatfix Digital Adoption Platform for in-app training. It wasn't long before Comviva was able to substantially reduce the burden on its support staff and make it easier for customers to complete training and onboarding.

The team was now taking roughly eight hours to create and publish training videos, instead of the usual 30-40 hours. A support article which would have been ready in 24 hours earlier, was now ready for publishing in just three hours with Whatfix.

Scaling with an enviable list of USPs

Whatfix's strengths lie in the way it empowers companies to boost business outcomes by eliminating complexities in the adoption of technology. Most popular CRM and ERP tools need extensive training before a company can realise their benefits. The requirement can be a tough ask at a time when a large part of the global workforce is working remotely. Whatfix steps in to speed up this process with more efficient onboarding and customer experience.

It's hard to miss the ease of usage as Whatfix's solutions are as simple to install as a browser extension. Plus, companies can leverage automation to create walk-through processes as our solutions automatically generate the information in multiple formats like slideshows and videos.

While we can blame many of our troubles on the pandemic, I believe it has also put the spotlight on the need for upskilling and reskilling for employees as they take on new roles to help companies power through an unprecedented challenge.

Whatfix provides packages compliant with Shareable Object Content Reference Model guidelines so that the walk-throughs can be integrated with learning management systems for creating interactive courses. In case users are stuck, we offer detailed guides and self-help articles to help them fix the problem. What's more is that the content is customised for employees depending on their role and location.

How Whatfix is preparing for the future

While a constantly evolving business landscape might have reshaped the DAS space, its future is swarming with new opportunities. I believe that digital adoption solutions can make businesses more resilient to meet the next big challenge. It’s evident that digital transformations are enabling businesses with configuration, testing, to go live, and provide both the foundational knowledge and the instructional help that comes into play later.

As uncertain as the future is, it is bound to usher in change. When that change comes, there will be new technologies that will be powering digital adoption platforms. As everything becomes accessible remotely, the future digital adoption platforms will also focus on self-guided training and on-demand guidance as technologies like robotic process automation and artificial intelligence catalyse employee engagement and training protocols.

(The author is Co-founder and CEO of Whatfix)


Updates from around the world