How Glean Creates a Google Search Engine for Work

Between countless applications and communication channels, the digital workplace is not always easy to navigate and it can cost businesses millions.

According to software company Salesforce, 86% of executives and employees cite ineffective collaboration and communication as the top causes of workplace failures. In fact, miscommunication costs big employers with 100,000 employees. $62.4 million a year of professional errors and lost productivity.

But in an age of remote working, where communication is often limited to Slack channels and email, how can employees stay connected to people and information? Arvind Jain, CEO of Glean, has his answer: a unique search engine for every workplace.

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“Glean is connected to all the knowledge in your business,” says Jain. “You can ask Glean a question, and it will give you answers, without you having to search through all the apps in your organization.”

Glean connects to apps like Google Drive, Gmail, and Slack, creating a company-specific knowledge database. Glean also tracks who works in the company, their role, and their current project, helping workers find the right collaborators or experts. A user can then type a name or keyword into a search bar, and Glean will pull relevant information from different platforms. Jain describes it as “Google for the workplace”.

Notably, Jain worked building Google’s search engine, as well as other Google platforms eight years ago, but that wasn’t the only work experience that drew him to Glean. As co-founder of data security company Rubrik, Jain noticed that connection and communication proved to be big barriers to growth. Within four years, Rubrik had more than 1,000 workers, but people struggled to keep up with the rapid increase in staff and knowledge.

“[At Rubrik]people struggled to find answers to their questions, and they didn’t always know who to contact or where to go for help,” says Jain. “There is so much information that knowledge workers need to tap into to do their job. effectively.”

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And with the rise of remote work, connection and engagement have become even more difficult. Even Glean, which has just 200 employees, has talent in no less than 15 locations, spread across different time zones. Employees can’t always have their eyes on Slack.

“No one is sitting next to you to help you, and you can’t just go to the water cooler or have a coffee and ask someone what’s working on,” he says. “You need to post a question in Slack and wait for someone to take a look. You’re stuck.”

Jain thinks technology like Glean can enable workers to be truly remote. If Glean knows the answer, employees can work on their own schedule rather than waiting for a notification. More importantly, Glean’s knowledge grows with his business, Jain points out.

Hussein Fazal, co-founder and CEO of mobile commerce platform Snapcommerce, bought Glean for its workforce, which has nearly doubled in size over the past six years. Snapcommerce has been a remote organization since its inception in 2016.

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“One of the most critical jobs as CEO is ensuring that information flows effectively and aligns with our culture of openness and transparency,” Fazal says. “But what works for a 20-person team doesn’t scale for 200 or 2,000 people. We had to reconsider how we were going to maximize efficiency as we scale.”

For Fazal, information must be written down and shared consistently for a digital workplace to succeed — and Glean is making that rule even easier to follow. Glean even offers a “work center,” where company announcements and news are posted along with a company directory, so everyone can keep up to date outside of meetings and emails. -mails.

“Direct one-to-one communication doesn’t lead to the most optimal outcome as the business scales exponentially,” says Fazal. “We’ve had to work hard internally to implement a written culture to optimize how we collaborate, communicate, and make the most of each employee’s time. Glean makes it all searchable and integrates with the majority of our current tech stack.”

Jain cautions employees against underestimating the importance of communication and technology in the workplace, which he says will only evolve in the future. Jain predicts that artificial intelligence will be the next big thing, with workers in all industries having AI “assistants” to answer their questions. But for now, employers may want to consider how they can hire employees from home without limiting their flexibility or abilities at work.

“You can’t rely on things of the past in your remote work strategy,” says Jain. “Companies need to invest more in improving the employee experience.”

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