13 takeaways from the Happeo Summit 2019

13 takeaways from the Happeo Summit 2019

Jonathan Davies


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Wed, Sep 25, '19  

That’s a wrap! For the first time ever, Happeo expanded its annual Summit with an extra day.

This new day focused exclusively on partners, maximizing their success and empowering them to help organizations through digital change. The second day took place in the heart of Amsterdam at beautiful Strandzuid, where we were joined by a mix of new and longtime customers. Both days were packed with Internal Comms developments, product news and releases and platform showcases. Want a recap of the Summit? Look no further! 

  • Click here for Perttu Ojansuu’s, the Internal Comms and Google’s presentations

  • Click here to jump to the partner day wrap-up, including Ullensvang's platform showcases

  • Click here to jump to the customer day wrap-up, including eServGlobal and Randstad Sourceright’s platform showcases

  • Click here to jump to the picture gallery

Happeo's CEO, Internal Comms trends and Google's future developments


Word from the CEO

Both summit days were opened by CEO Perttu Ojansuu. Ojansuu talked about Happeo’s refreshed vision and mission, aligning all areas of (business) development and future vision in one direction. The crux of it? Happeo is the community-powered employee communications platform that Internal Communications, HR and leaders use to align and engage talent. It is the tool they need to create a high-performing digital culture – fueled by a strong employee community. Ojansuu also reflected on this year’s accomplishments, chief among which are continued year-on-year growth of 280% and receiving the ISO 27001 certificate. 

Key takeaway: Happy people make happy business. This is why Happeo continually dedicates itself to a happier workplace. Not just for the fluff of it, but because good workplaces outperform bad workplaces.


Both days saw presentations from Google, emphasizing Happeo’s strong link to the internet giant’s Google Workspace ecosystem. Dick Dijkstra, Technology Partner Growth Lead showed partners Google’s vision for continued cooperation with resellers. On the customer summit, Jasper Maters - Google’s Workspace Northern Europe Lead - took the stage. He showed how Google is reimagining the way Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite) works with businesses through its recent Artificial Intelligence developments.

Key takeaways: On the business side, Google is trying to expand it’s partner-driven sales network and wants to empower Google Workspace resellers more. On the product side, Google is further expanding its Artificial Intelligence layers, specifically on voice commands.

Internal Communications trends

Yours truly, Jonathan Davies, spoke about developments in the field of Internal Communications at the partner summit, whilst Mike Klein, principal at Changing the Terms, talked about the same, with a specific focus on the results from his research series on “The Past and Present of Internal Communications”. Davies highlighted Happeo’s in-house research on quantifying employee engagement. 

Click here to see all the pictures

Key takeway: Indirect returns caused by employee engagement can be quantified. Davies’ presentation focused largely around the research presented in this blog post on quantifying the ROI on employee engagement. Klein’s presentation gave a run through of the most important conclusions from the entire research series – which will be released as a free downloadable PDF early next week!

Challenging customers 

Meredith Silver, Enterprise Sales executive, went a little deeper into the numbers that Jonathan presented, creating specific cases where Partners could use this research to challenge their prospects, and at the same time help them make the case for their own value stronger. 

Key takeaway: Challenging your customer is vital to ensuring joint success. Help them to think of the bigger picture – transitioning from a “what’s the impact on my job” to a “what’s the impact on my organization” mindset.

The new homepage

To end the in-house line up for the day, Happeo’s User Experience (UX) design team - represented by Dylan Arendse and Sami Vuori - showed a working prototype of the new homepage, and reflected on Happeo’s user-first design approach throughout the latest product updates. 

Key takeaway: Happeo’s high emphasis on user-friendliness means that the product-development cycle is highly iterative, in which the feedback stage is maybe the most important of all. Taking a concept back to the drawing board after customer-feedback resulted in a more innovative, bigger feature – one that we can’t wait to roll out to all of you!

Case study on Ullensvang municipality

On behalf of Ullensvang, Avalon's (by Devoteam) Shirin Dalin gave an excellent, detailed overview of what it’s like to deploy a community-driven employee communications platform at a municipality. Especially when that municipality needs to focus on efficiency driven through digital change. Ullensvang themselves also presented their case the next day, but from the organization’s perspective. 

Key takeway: For municipalities, processes are one of the most important things. When your product is easy to adopt, it becomes adaptable to different environments. This allowed Avalon and Ullensvang to help the organization save time, becoming more efficient and effective in their work through an integrated toolset.


Customer day wrap-up, eServGlobal and Randstad Sourceright 


Happeo product updated

Perttu Ristemella (we know, it’s confusing but there are two Perttus!) hosted an overview of recent product updates, as well as the roadmap for the coming six to twelve months – ending with an outlook on the future. The goal for Happeo is to become a co-created product. Features will be developed through the involvement of the customer community. To power this, Ristemella announced the launch of ProductBoard, through which customers get to vote and give input on new features. 

Key takeaway: Happeo continues its dedication towards transparency and co-creation. The renewed mission and vision has pointed the entire company in the same direction – including product development. Great talent drives great business, and Happeo aims to amplify this by fostering the power of digital communities across organizations large and small.

Hashtag #deepdive

After Ristemella’s presentation, Roxana Roman elaborated on the new hashtag feature – now available to all beta users. She explained that this paves the way for Artificial Intelligence to really start measuring and evaluating the way language is used within Happeo. As Mike Klein’s research showed, “Numbers are important, but words are where the story lives” and this aims to make that come to life. 

Key takeaway: The way Happeo is implementing hashtags opens the platform up to deeper analytics and Artificial Intelligence capabilities. It’s now been released to organizations who have beta features enabled, so enjoy!


New this year were customer platform showcases – and we had four of them! Kicking it off was eServGlobal’s HR & Communication Officer, Ainsleigh Walker. She showcased eServGlobal’s Happeo platform, showcasing its structure, bottom-up approach and their wellness program. 

Key takeaway: eServGlobal pushed two initiatives through Happeo. Both were highly successful – one was the launch of their wellness program, for which communications took place exclusively on Happeo. The second showed that increasing engagement doesn’t have to be expensive. Walker made smart use of the World Cup in 2018, setting up a guessing competition with its own page on their Happeo platform. The campaign was highly successful and increased engagement across borders, making it easier for employees to form a working relationship as they had something fun to talk about. 


After that, Givaudan’s Eric Madec and Luca Russo performed an in-depth showcase of their soon-to-be-launched platform, affectionately titled “Ollie”. Givaudan is one of Happeo’s largest customers, so it was fantastic to see how an Enterprise-level organization approached the concept, mechanics and the launch of their own community-driven employee communications platform. 

Key takeaway: Much like Randstad Sourceright, Givaudan showed that branding your platform helps to make it your own. They’re customizing the look and feel of Happeo to match that of their vision, bringing Ollie to life across their +10.000 people worldwide. 

Randstad Sourceright

One of Happeo’s most well-known champion organizations, Randstad Sourceright, was up next. Sunny Martinez, RSR’s Marketing and Communications Director, walked us through the first year of their platform and how it has developed since its launch. RSR is highly progressive in its Internal Comms analytics, being able to showcase the difference of use across their global regions and layers of the organization. They even have a leaderboard to facilitate leadership visibility!

Key takeaway: Defining success is easier when you invest the time to measure the fruits of your labor. Randstad Sourceright compliments Happeo’s analytics dashboard with personalized surveys across all of their locations, allowing them to see both the numbers and the story behind them, not just globally but also regionally. This way they can tailor their content better to their audiences, because Martinez and co. understand that “employees” is too broad to be a target group. 

Post-presentation shenanigans


How epic were the post-presentation drinks?! We were lucky to have beach-weather to compliment the beach-bar, but add classic arcade-hall games to the mix and you truly have a recipe for a great time. We really enjoyed hanging out with both customers and partners in this low-key, friendly setting, and we’re thankful to all of you attending. Thank you and see you next year!

Key takeaway: Happeo is lucky to have such a great network of partners and customers. We would especially like to express our gratitude to all those who travelled to reach the Summit, and give another shout-out to our customers who took the time to walk the crowd through their Happeo platform and specific use cases.