Starmind NOW: Integration to the Max

Miriam Reichmuth

Starmind needs to be where the user is.

The new Starmind NOW is an amazing innovation that turns any complex employee environment into a source of expertise and knowledge.

Collaboration runs through Starmind’s DNA, so there was no other way to create this innovation than by getting all the Starmind teams working together to achieve one goal: bring the knowledge to the employees -- easier than ever.

We interviewed the three experts on the Starmind NOW:


Marc Vontobel, CTO and Co-founder, sponsored the project.


Nicolas Witt, Business Development, ensured together with the Rollout team that the customer’s needs were at the center of the development.

Iwan Gloor. Starmind International.

Iwan Gloor, Solution Architect, coordinated the development and usability teams to make the new Starmind integration option work flawlessly.

First of all, what is the Starmind NOW, technologically speaking?


Marc Vontobel: It is actually quite simple. Starmind NOW is a screen overlay that provides the right answer to any question. It allows access to Starmind’s Brain Technology without navigating away from the employee’s current web application environment. It works on any environment, and it only takes a few minutes to integrate. So any organization can implement it, no matter how complex their employee's workplace set-up is.

And how does it work?

Iwan Gloor: As an employee, I work with different applications every day. On my desktop, I may have my salesforce account open and then navigate the company intranet. At the same time I may review my holidays on my employee self management solution. If I have a question that needs solving, I don’t want to open yet another tool (email or messaging). Trying to find the right person to ask, send an email and wait patiently for the response is not going to help me concentrate on the task at hand.

With Starmind NOW, however, I simply click on the overlay and enter my question. In a few moments, I will get a notification on the overlay that my answer is ready to be retrieved and rated. No fuss, no hassle.

In the background, however, Starmind’s Brain Technology has been busy locating the right experts for my questions and revising the corporate memory for already existing answers. All along, I have been able to continue with my tasks with minimal disruption. Efficiency through simplicity...


What was the trigger for the development of Starmind NOW?


Nicolas Witt: Our customers are usually challenged by extremely complex IT environments. Different departments work with diverse applications and in many cases have heterogeneous collaboration solutions. For them, each new application needs a new integration effort, and that means investing valuable time and resources. It was critical to provide a very easy and seamless integration into the Starmind Brain Technology for any application.

Iwan Gloor: We needed to ensure that Starmind could be accessed anywhere. Avoiding lengthy integration projects was a key driver. We designed a plugin that would work with everything: employee platforms, collaboration solutions, ERP and CRM systems, etc. And it should be valid, not just today, but also for any future applications.

This is how the Starmind NOW came to exist. It is a non disruptive overlay that can be presented on any web application. And, most importantly, it only takes about 5 minutes to integrate. In addition, the white labelling feature allows for full visual alignment to the corporate branding. It simply becomes the trusted advisor for every employee.

Every project has its hiccups. Did you encounter any difficulties?

Marc Vontobel: We faced some obstacles with the authentication process. Nevertheless, we quickly overcame this through cross domain authentication. But, to be honest, the project was so innovative and fun to work on, that none of us considered this to be a difficulty.


And when will it be ready?


Nicolas Witt: The feature is ready. We are now in the process of rolling it out amongst selected customers and will continue to do so during the second quarter of 2016. It is important to ensure that every single customer and user is getting the best Starmind NOW experience. On the second half of the year, we will make it available to everyone


How would you describe working on the development of Starmind NOW?


Iwan Gloor: Starmind NOW is the result of full collaboration efforts at Starmind. From the customer through our sales and marketing team to the usability designer, everybody worked together to develop this great solution. And all this happened through our own internal Brain Technology network. In a way, you can say that Starmind innovated itself. Starmind at it’s best.


Now that Starmind NOW is available, what do you plan to do next?


Marc Vontobel: We have even greater ideas! We continue working on innovating and adding new features every day. For example, we want Starmind NOW to be context aware. This means that it will suggest questions and answers based on the screen the employee is looking at that precise moment. Just as a trusted advisor would do. This can result in Starmind proposing a solution before the employee realized that he has a question on that topic!

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