Having the right employees in the right places around the world is crucial for the success of any company. For companies with global ambition, this means that global mobility is not just a niche HR function that executes relocations, but a core part of a comprehensive talent strategy. I founded MOVE Guides on this belief, and today we are announcing a strategic alliance between MOVE Guides and Team Relocations Group to accelerate this vision further.
Five years ago, I saw companies increasingly operating across many locations and employees increasingly spending time working across different office locations. My belief was that, as this mobile workforce grew, global mobility would evolve from a transactional department coordinating logistics for the 5-10% of employees who traditionally relocate, to a strategic function managing the 50-70% of employees who are ‘mobile’ for relocations and assignments, short term work and extended travel, and as foreign nationals on visas.
No one was thinking about the future of work this way. Traditional relocation BPOs were mired in legacy business models; HCM vendors were powering core HR activities for employees working in one office; and gig economy platforms were facilitating work outside of traditional employment and offices. We needed to build an HR system to rethink workforce planning, benefits administration, people analytics, compliance and employee experience for this growing mobile workforce. And if we did this right, we could create a world where location is not a barrier to macro, company or individual growth.
We have raised $90 million and tackled this bold vision in stages. We first built a product to replace traditional relocation BPOs; then we would expand this to manage all type of mobile employees and leverage our unique data to deliver further value to customers. Over the last five years, we built the leading relocation software product and developed in-house operational infrastructure to complement it. We grew 200% annually, retained 98% of our customers and replaced traditional relocation BPOs at companies worldwide. It’s been an incredible five years.
As we’ve grown, we’ve thought deeply about how to accelerate both our software and operational infrastructure. We asked customers what opportunities they saw for us and where they’d like to see us invest. In one of these conversations, a customer asked me if I had thought about partnering with a traditional relocation BPO to leapfrog our infrastructure and focus on accelerating our strategy. I loved the idea, and we started looking at it.
Today, we’ve combined the staff, processes and infrastructure from MOVE Guides with the Team Relocations Group to accelerate value to our customers today and our strategy for the future of work. Our customers continue to get the unique MOVE Guides experience, now combined with the offline infrastructure and global scale of the Team Group. And we’ll be accelerating releases of new products in coming months – so stay tuned!
Thank you to our customers for your radical collaboration; to our company for your unending efforts to make this a reality; and to the Team Relocations Group for your deep partnership to accelerate the future of work.
I could not be more excited about the future for our customers and our company – a future where companies and employees can work everywhere.
Brynne Kennedy is Founder and Board Member at Topia, which she launched in 2011 while earning her MBA at London Business School. A frequent speaker and author on topics of technology, HR and global mobility, she previously worked at Lehman Brothers and Standard Chartered.