Business-to-business apps tend not to get the plaudits that consumer products and services do, which is a shame. There is innovation happening in the B2B space that can have far-reaching implications.
Take MyiTalent, which launches today from iTalent Corporation — a digital transformation services company founded in 2005 that provides tools, resources, and consultants.
MyiTalent is an iOS app that takes all of the predominantly manual processes and procedures associated with acquiring project and business consultants and puts them in an app that is as easy to use as Uber. I use Uber as the parallel here because calling this the “Tinder of consultant matching apps” doesn’t sit right. There’s no “swipe right,” for starters.
While the app is designed to provide iTalent’s enterprise customers access to its array of consultants — note that this is not a “sharing economy” solution that allows for any consultant to sign up for placement — it has broader implications. Why? Because consultant placement is still stuck in the past, and in a world where the smartphone is never more than three feet away from the average person, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it is time for that to change.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re a corporate human resource manager, project manager, or hiring manager. You need a business consultant on your project by tomorrow, and they have to possess certain skills. You open MyiTalent and enter some basic details — job title, description, location, budget, and estimated duration.
The app isolates the top two to three consultants from iTalent’s network of experts. To help you select one, it allows you to view and manage a full list of consulting projects, past and present. A few finger presses, and your consultant is on the way.
MyiTalent also allows managers to conveniently renew projects based on past transactions. Previously, managers would have to recreate a brand-new statement of work and provide the exact same or similar information. Now managers don’t need to log or recreate transactions, which saves time.
Of course, what MyiTalent is right now is a relatively simple matching service, but it is where iTalent is taking the iOS app next that opens up interesting possibilities, not just for the company itself, but for others that want to follow its lead.
In the near future, MyiTalent will not only match consultants using skillsets, it will fully understand the personality and profile of every consultant through deep learning. It will be digging through over ten years of data, including communications, former projects, order history, and more to match the right consultants to the project.
So maybe this is the eHarmony of consulting apps.
It is this machine learning addition that will dramatically streamline a project or client manager’s task.
“This is huge because it frees up the account managers to focus on strategic direction, rather than getting into the weeds with tactics and wrangling consultant profiles,” Renee La Londe, CEO and founder at iTalent Corporation, told me. “And while we haven’t quantified the cost-benefit of this yet, we’re targeting a 30 percent increase in productivity.”
In other words, you’ll be able to ask MyiTalent for another “Cindy,” because it will understand that existing consultant’s skills, personality, work culture, and traits, and can bring in another just like her.
It also protects against “leavers.”
“When an account manager spends years with a client and the available consultants, they get to know their personalities and build a level of understanding that, largely, is in their heads,” La Londe said. “By automating personality matching, not only do we reduce the ramp-up time for new accounts managers, but we protect the knowledge built up by prior employees.”
While specifically useful to project and client managers right now, iTalent’s plans for its new app reach beyond its own business needs and show that machine learning has interesting implications for all types of business, not just those that pander to mainstream consumer markets.
MyiTalent is available for iOS from today via the company’s website.