2021 highlights and what's up next for Unily in 2022
2022 is here, and so is a new year of employee experience innovation. Before leaping into another exciting 12 months, we're taking a look back at 2021: a record-breaking year of milestones and moments to remember. See what our clients achieved, how our product and business evolved, and get a first look at what's to come in 2022.
Wrapping up 2021
As one year begins, another closes. For Unily, this means turning our eyes to bold new horizons and opportunities to take employee experience technology to new heights, but it also draws a close to a year in which we grew, challenged, and celebrated.
So, before we take on the exciting road ahead, we're taking a moment to reflect on a year of unparalleled success and give a proper send-off to the announcements and achievements that made 2021 so special.
The Unily team grows
We’ve been lucky enough to celebrate some significant highs over the last two years in spite of tough circumstances that saw many enterprises move to hybrid work. As the way we all experienced work was turned on its head, the importance of delivering meaningful employee experiences was made clear.
This clarity only strengthened our resolve and offered us momentum to achieve our vision of a better world of work. We’ve been able to hire ahead of the curve, doubling our employee base since 2019 with some amazing people to better support our customers and help us develop the Unily platform even further.
Notably, Jo Skilton, formerly Chief Commercial Officer, took on the newly created role of Chief Customer Officer with responsibility for our growing customer base, and Russell Webb, formerly of Adobe and Sitecore, joined as CRO with responsibility for driving new business.
Unite 21: Unily's employee experience conference back with a bang
September 2021 brought the long-awaited return of the #1 employee experience conference, Unite 21. After a year away, Unite went fully digital, live streaming 27 speakers, 16 sessions, 2 fitness classes, and multiple roundtables to 3k+ attendees over 3 action-packed days, including 75% of the Fortune 100.
The event saw Louis Theroux, Fearne Cotton, Tan France, and a host of speakers and keynotes from some of the world’s leading enterprises, research advisories, and employee experience experts discuss how to take EX to the next level in the 2020s. Watch our Unite sessions on-demand.
Unite 21 is the only employee experience conference you need to attend in 2021. Get ready for 3 half-days that push virtual event delivery to the MAX with interactive keynotes, breakouts, and roundtables streaming live online from London and New York. No pre-recorded sessions. Ever. Get inspired with keynotes from Louis Theroux, Tan France, Fearne Cotton, Johnson & Johnson, Crayola, and more.
Unite 21 also marked the return of our very own Unite awards. The awards were a chance to celebrate the successes and innovations from Unily clients around the world and shine a spotlight on the platforms they use to connect, engage, and empower global workforces.
Unily’s masterclasses tour worldwide
Much like the Unite conference, our year-round masterclass workshops went virtual in 2021, too.
We continued to tour the globe hosting 37 regional events where we served up the latest knowledge and insight to the world’s leading enterprise executives. The virtual take on our masterclass attracted almost 2k registered attendees and with 96% of attendees reporting positive feedback and 94% of attendees responding that they would attend another Unily event, it's safe to say the program was a resounding success.
"Great flow. Useful and clear structure and content. You all seem like a very nice bunch. I’d like to use this field to thank you – it was useful, timely, and thought-provoking."
The good news is that our masterclasses will return in 2022 to a region near you. To sign up visit our events page for further details.
Engagement automation brings a comms revolution
Unite 21 also saw the announcement of a ground-breaking new Unily feature. In a session hosted by Unily founder and CEO Will Saville, our game-changing engagement automation feature was unveiled for the first time. A live demo and breakdown of the new feature revealed the power this new campaign technology to unlock new horizons for internal communicators. The feature is set to deliver on demands for increased personalization and multi-channel communications, and the session is available to view on-demand along with the rest of Unite 21’s sessions.
Automating employee engagement
In this episode of the Unily podcast, our Unite 21 superstars wrap up this year's #1 employee experience conference and discuss the future of internal comms and employee engagement with Unily's new engagement automation feature.
The Unily platform evolves
As well as the addition of engagement automation, our employee experience platform has seen some other key additions in the past year that have helped elevate the employee experience for our enterprise clients around the world.
Mobile app overhaul
In 2021, Unily led the mobile charge with a host of improvements to bring consumer-grade experiences to every employee, no matter where they work. This included an all-new engaging UX, a toolbar redesign to streamline access to what you need, a new mobile search center, front-end content publishing tools, and performance improvements.
Discover the power of a mobile intranet
2.7 billion people work away from a desk. That’s 80% of the global working population. These employees need more from their organizations, from their technology, and from the employee experience. This in-depth guide details everything your enterprise needs to deliver a consumer-grade mobile experience that connects and engages everyone from head office to frontline.
Unily’s overhaul of the mobile user experience allows enterprises to deliver deskless employees the mobile solution they deserve. Unlocking frontline engagement, driving productivity with full access to the digital workplace, and connecting your entire enterprise; the next generation of mobile intranets has arrived, just in time for a digitally-enabled future of work.
A much-requested feature from our customers, Unily quizzes allow you to reinforce online learning, validate that employees have understood training, and add an element of gamification to the intranet that engages users in friendly competition.
Creating an interactive environment is hugely effective in driving engagement. Unily quizzes are quick and simple to set up and very adaptable. As such, they can be used for a variety of purposes, from lighthearted games intended to drive ‘footfall’ to your platform to reinforcing eLearning materials – there are endless possibilities.
Content review lifecycles
Content review lifecycles arm administrators and communicators with tools to better manage content over time, as it transitions from brand new and relevant to old, obsolete, and potentially inaccurate. You can watch a demo and find out more about the feature here:
Maintaining a single-source-of-truth intranet with content review lifecycles
Diamonds may last forever, but content won't. An intranet full of outdated and irrelevant content is no use to anyone, so Unily has made maintaining accurate content easier than ever with the release of our new content review lifecycles feature.
Hours once wasted toiling away in the back end can now be put back to better use. Streamlined processes, shared accountability, and content review scores make it quicker and simpler than ever to maintain the accuracy and relevancy of content so that your platform remains a trusted single source of truth.
Redefining DEX with Unily’s maturity model
Early on in 2021, Unily unveiled a new way of thinking about digital employee experience. The digital employee experience maturity model splits out DEX into four levels: Reach, Engage, Amplify, and Extend.
This new model is valuable in addressing is a lot of the confusion currently in the EX tech market. There’s a lot of point solutions that offer different features, so it can be difficult for enterprises to decide which technology they should use to meet the different use cases they have in their organizations.
Every enterprise has to start somewhere on their EX journey, so our maturity model is a way of outlining how your EX solutions and enterprise technology should all fit together. At the bottom of the model, you have your classic intranet, but moving up the model you're looking at a true employee experience platform.
"We collect a huge amount of data about the way our organizations use Unily. We’re trying to align that to this maturity model to help us establish trends in terms of how people want to use this technology. It will shape our long-term technology roadmap going forward."
The key to the maturity model is that it’s not just about the technology. When you look at this type of framework, it offers guidance in a lot of areas. We plan to leverage the model to help onboard customers and understand where their business is in their own maturity journey, and how we can get them where they want to be in 2-3 years' time.
Unily breaks records in a year of award wins
Unily broke new ground in 2021, achieving honors at several industry awards and breaking records in the progress.
Nielsen Norman Group released their Intranet Design Annual in April celebrating the ten best intranets of the year. Unily clients Johnson & Johnson, Baker Hughes, Cathay Pacific, and Commonwealth Care Alliance all featured in the prestigious showcase.
Unily first to win four Nielsen Norman Group best intranet awards
Four intranet solutions built on Unily's employee experience platform have been selected by the NN/g as the world's best intranets of 2021, all recognized by the global UX institute for delivering world-class digital employee experiences.
This saw the Unily platform break records by taking four of the top ten spots recognized for best-in-class employee experience solutions. This is the seventh year that Unily’s intranet designs were highlighted and bring Unily’s total of NN/g award wins up to ten in as many years.
"To see four more clients recognized for delivering exceptional employee experiences with Unily confirms that our commitment to designing a platform with UX at the core has been worthwhile. The digital experiences we give our employees have never been more important, and to see our product helping enterprises to keep employees engaged and connected in challenging times is a proud moment. "
Beyond Nielsen Norman Group’s Intranet Design Annual, Unily also helped several clients to achieve awards in the fields of employee experience, internal communications, digital innovation, and employee communications.
Unily clients achieved 15 award wins and 10 more finalist nominations in 2021 at the Gartner Communications Awards, the Digital Impact Awards, Inspiring Workplace Awards (formerly the Employee Engagement Awards), the IOIC Awards, Digital Workplace Group Awards, and the Ragan Communications Awards.
- Best Intranet, IOIC Awards – National Grid
- Modern Intranet of the Year, DWG Awards – Foundation Medicine
- Best Intranet Resources, Ragan CSR & Diversity Awards – VCU Health
Universe customer community portal gets top recognition
It wasn't just our customers that enjoyed award success; Unily’s own Universe team earned a well-deserved award win for Best Digital Innovation at the Digital Impact Awards in November 2021, beating out the likes of Just Eat and Tencent.
It’s been a year of growth for Universe, with over 400k views, 45k sessions, and the highest attendance of product release webinars to date. Community engagement on the platform is thriving with a cross-company team of Unily’s internal product experts answering any and all technical questions on the dedicated Q&A social channel for all to benefit from.
Customers are at the forefront of the Unily platform’s evolution, too, as the team delivered on 63 community roadmap suggestions from the customer ideation portal. An update to the product roadmap brought clients an enhanced view of the status of new developments, allowing them to better plan ahead for new features.
Unily and leading research firms push EX forward
Through our commitment to pushing the field of employee experience forward to create a better world of work for everyone, 2021 provided the opportunity for Unily to continue partnerships with leading EX research firms to produce a host of free content, including whitepapers, podcasts, and webinars.
Creating world-class enterprise employee experience
Discover what it takes to deliver world-class enterprise employee experience with real-life examples from the largest and most diverse global workforces with Forrester Principal Analyst Cheryl McKinnon.
Gartner, Forrester Research, Gagen MacDonald, the Institute of Internal Communications (IOIC), Ragan, Sage, Comms Rebel, and Digital Workplace Group (DWG) all joined us throughout 2021 to breakdown the keys to employee experience, communication, and engagement.
All of this content can be watched back on-demand, so you never miss out on key insights and the latest innovations.
Unily platform features in independent reports
Another great success for our product team, the Unily platform was named the Global Intranet of Choice in 2021 in Clearbox Consulting’s independent report on the digital workplace sector. This further solidified our position as the employee experience solution of choice for the world’s leading enterprises.
Unily named ClearBox global intranet of choice 2021
Unily has been selected as ClearBox Consulting’s 2021 Intranet Choice - Global following an in-depth review of more than 200 vendors. The Independent Intranets Report serves as a comprehensive guide to off-the-shelf intranet software, with badges awarded to the vendors that ClearBox recognizes as the most compelling options on the market for prospective buyers.
The vendor-agnostic report details the various considerations, features, costs, capabilities, and experiences global enterprises should prioritize and how the market’s available solutions stack up against these needs, with Unily emerging as the leading solution for global organizations.
Unily secures significant growth investment to cap 2021
In a fitting end to a year of innovation and achievement, Unily announced in December the exciting news of a significant growth investment from CVC Growth Funds, the high-growth, technology-focused strategy of one of the leading global private equity firms, CVC Capital Partners, with significant participation from management and existing investors Silversmith Capital Partners and Farview Equity Partners.
"Engaging employees in their increasingly hybrid and digital workplaces has never been more important than it is today. We see this as a trend that is only going in one direction, with more and more businesses and leaders looking to improve employee communication, collaboration, and productivity in a rapidly changing digital world. We have followed Unily for several years as part of our long-standing efforts in human capital management software and look forward to working closely with Will and his team, as well as Silversmith and Farview, to unlock the business’s full potential."
The partnership with CVC Growth comes two years after the initial investment from Silversmith and Farview. You can read more about the investment and what it means for the future of Unily and our platform in the announcement here:
Unily to supercharge digital employee experience with significant growth investment from CVC Growth Funds
Unily, a world-leading EXP provider, announces significant investment from CVC Growth Funds and CVC Capital Partners, with participation from management and existing investors Silversmith Capital Partners and Farview Equity Partners.
Unily continues to experience rapid growth across our global customer base driven by enterprises seeking out best-in-class software to replace old legacy custom-built platforms.
Today, more than 300 enterprises and roughly 3.5 million of their employees rely on Unily’s employee experience platform. Our portfolio of Fortune 500 clients spans a large range of industries and includes high-profile brands.
The investment will further strengthen Unily’s position as a world-leading employee experience platform, accelerate product development, expand our footprint with existing customers, and scale our go-to-market organization to continue acquiring new customers.
A look into Unily’s future
It’s impossible to know what 2022 will hold, but with so much success in 2021 and this new investment to drive us forward, Unily aims to continue this pace of growth and innovation to maintain our position as the leading employee experience platform.
Our guiding principles will push the Unily platform to new heights, with our roadmap focusing on hyper-intelligent content delivery, the essential component of inclusivity and accessibility, and a more seamless single pane of glass experience of enterprise technology.
As our founder and CEO, Will Saville, noted in his keynote session at Unite 21, we will also look to double down on Unily’s AI and automation capabilities to bring the smart workplace into fruition. This will open up a host of new possibilities for workplace technology and has us excited to see what the future of work will look like when it’s powered by AI.
Bring on 2022!
2021 was an incredible year for Unily. Our customers achieved unparalleled success, our platform evolved further, and our company grew from strength to strength. We're carrying this momentum forward into 2022 to bring you the insights, tech innovations, and support that keeps you at the cutting-edge of employee experience - keep your eyes on this space!
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