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Tech roundup: StaffDNA announces VMS/MSP, chatbot usage, Cabify raises $160 million, Nomad Health expands and more

January 31, 2018

StaffDNA announced a cloud-based VMS and MSP solution; Shabbir Albhai, director of intelligent process automation at IT staffing provider DISYS, says use of chatbots is continuing to grow; and human cloud firm Cabify raised $160 million in funding round after switching CEOs. These are some of the technology news stories in the contingent workforce ecosystem.

Here’s more on the developments:

StaffDNA

Online healthcare jobs portal StaffDNA announced this month the launch of a cloud-based VMS and MSP solution.

Stephen Gillem, VP at StaffDNA said the company plans for its VMS/MSP solution to be different in the way it treats providers (hospitals), staffing firms and the contingent workers themselves. “Vendor neutrality is going to be, for us, kind of at a different level,” Gillem said. “We’re not a staffing firm and we’re not a software company.”

For hospitals, StaffDNA plans flexible contract agreements, not three- or five-year agreements and there will not be penalties for hospitals should their census go down and they have to cancel temporary staff, Gillem said. In addition, it will offer a compliance service, and it will focus on staffing supplier quality by providing suppliers that are certified by The Joint Commission and up to the standards of the National Association of Travel Healthcare Organizations.

For staffing firms, it plans to no fines or penalty fees and plans a flat 4% fee rather than a 5% or 6% fee.

Gillem said lower costs for staffing suppliers will also translate to more money for workers. In addition, the StaffDNA portal will allow for ease of applying to multiple jobs, and the company is setting up a portion of its website to supply news for workers.

It will also, for separate fees, allow use of its job portal that includes a job board and a data base of 1 million profiles of workers for fees.

The CEO of StaffDNA is Sheldon Arora, who is also CEO of healthcare staffing firm LiquidAgents. However, Gillem said the two companies are separate and while LiquidAgents is a customer of StaffDNA, it does not get preferential treatment or a change to work solely on orders.

StaffDNA’s VMS/MSP solution will also be a combined offering with both VMS and MSP with VMS technology being supplied by a partner.

Chatbots

Interest appears to be growing in Chatbots. Adecco announced in the last earnings season that it was continuing partnership with chatbot developer Mya Systems and rolled out that company’s system to 11 customers at US locations. And last year, Gartner predicted that half of companies will spend more on bots and chatbot creation than on traditional mobile app development by 2021.

Shabbir Albhai director of intelligent process automation at global staffing provider Digital Intelligence Systems, or DISYS, also sees use of chatbots continuing to grow. Already, Albhai said he has found a predominant number of clients investing internally in artificial intelligence as it pertains to chat.

What is a chatbot? “A chatbot is an automated way of conversing with a customer to pinpoint their service concerns,” Albhai said, adding it aims to answer a customer’s question as quickly as possible. Some chatbots may be simpler than others, with some using AI to navigate large amounts of data and complex customer issues.

DISYS has already deployed chatbots, including one aimed at assisting its IT consultants. They can simply ask a question such as “how many sick days do I have left?” rather than slog through an enterprise portal to find an answer.

“We’re trying to ease and minimize and simplify the communication channels,” he said. “We want them servicing our clients, we don’t want them bogged down in paperwork and administrative stuff.”

The company began using chatbots in November 2016.

Albhai also discussed the trajectory of chatbot development in a DISYS blog post, saying chatbots reach will continue as technology grows and consumer needs expand.

Cabify

Cabify, which competes with Uber in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula raised $160 million in a funding round, TechCrunch reported. However, the company is also restructuring and named co-founder and COO Vicente Pascual as CEO; the former top exec Ricardo Weder left after six months.

Nomad Health

Nomad Health, an online platform that connects doctors and nurses to healthcare jobs, announced it’s expanding to New York. Bloomberg Technology reported the company was founded by former DoubleClick CEO Kevin Ryan. The company entered New York State through a partnership with the HANYS Solutions, the for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Association of New York.

Weploy

Australia-based online staffing provider Weploy announced it hired Ben Eatwell as its first chief marketing officer. Eatwell formerly served as head of marketing, LinkedIn Sales & Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn in Australia. Business Insider reported Weploy launched last April with $1 million in funding.

Persona Service

Persona Group, a Germany-based company that ranks No. 49 on the list of largest staffing firm in the world, announced it acquired Thesius, a German-language academic web portal that provides research assistance and career information. The site is currently used by approximately 40,000 students, and the deal was effective Jan. 23. Thesius was founded in 2013 by Michael Grupp, Jennifer Antomo and Dennis Albert. Persona plans to expand the web platform as a nonprofit organization.

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