Chapter 5. Recognition@work: Launching a New Internet Business

By the late 1990s, every company of significant size in the United States was considering how the Internet would affect their business. So many wondered how to partake of the online gravy train or worried that the gravy train would roll over them and leave them in the virtual dust.

O.C. Tanner was a little different. A get-rich IPO and dotcom exit strategy was not an option. Rather, utilizing this emerging technology to better serve our clients was essential. Beginning in late 1999 and all through the following year, we studied our business seeking to leverage the potential presented by the Internet. In January 2001, while still in the midst of changing our IT infrastructure (as discussed in the next chapter), we launched a dot-com only business. Initially called Entrada, it is today known as recognition@work. It is a performance recognition business which has expanded steadily and revenues grew more than 30 percent in 2008.


Briefly, here's how the business works. People at a participating company can, using the Web, nominate a colleague to be recognized for notable performance. An online wizard helps the nominator determine the level of award that is appropriate for the performance being recognized. A manager at the company, who is authorized to do so, approves the award. Once approved, the nominator learns of the approval via the Internet. The nominator then, via the Internet, prints out ...

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