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Airline hopes gamification can make its Oracle ERP users soar

10/04/2014 by


Canadian airline WestJet believes gamification, the notion of applying elements of game design to a workplace setting, can help its employees use more effectively its Oracle J.D. Edwards ERP (enterprise resource planning) system.

Gamification is being used increasingly in conjunction with sales, support and employee performance management software, but isn’t often associated with core ERP.

WestJet worked with Oracle and enterprise gamification vendor Badgeville on its pilot project, which focuses on expense reporting, said Mike Mihaichuk, manager of ERP and finance applications at the roughly 10,000 employee company.

Expense reporting was chosen because it provides the biggest possible pool of users to test the gamification concept, Mihaichuk said during a presentation Wednesday at the Collaborate conference in Las Vegas.

Gamification is “a look at human behavior and what motivates people,” he said. “Different people are motivated by different things in different situations.”

The concept addresses both the logical thinking associated with the left side of the brain, as well as the emotion and creativity generated by the right side. Badgeville and other vendors provide tools for both scenarios, from small “quests” and hidden Easter eggs to personal avatars, “friending,” “touting,” leaderboards and of course badges that denote a particular accomplishment.

Gamification “has been around for a long time,” Mihaichuk said, using the example of a poster upon which parents place a series of stickers as their child becomes potty-trained. “The underlying question is why did it feel so good to get that sticker?”

WestJet’s project, which is about to be rolled out, targeted four specific behaviors: timely submission of expense reports; timely approval or rejection of reports; the attachment of receipts to expense reports; and the use of a corporate credit card if one is available, versus a personal credit card.

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