Publicis Groupe Unveils Marcel

ArabNet Team, May 24 2018

Today at Viva Technology in Paris, Publicis Groupe unveiled Marcel, AI-powered innovation that will accelerate transforming the organization from a holding company to a platform, creating the first truly borderless, frictionless enterprise workforce, comprised of 80,000 employees worldwide, and usher in a new era of creativity and innovation.

Named after Publicis Groupe founder, Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, Marcel is founded in a belief that an augmented workforce leads to higher engagement which in turn leads to better work and results for clients. Marcel is built on the foundation of four pillars:  

  • The Power of Knowledge – educates and inspires our people through creative work and illuminating business, industry, account and cultural intelligence.
  • The Power of Connectivity – finds, matches, casts and suggests the appropriate people within the Groupe to connect, depending on people’s needs, interests, behavioral patterns and desires.
  • The Power of Opportunity – provides a multitude of ways that each person can contribute, participate and flex their skills and passions on other projects beyond their day-to-day accounts.
  • The Power of Productivity – turns the often tedious and highly-manual processes like timesheets and expenses into seamless and incredibly easy tasks.

In a world where people no longer want to work for companies and instead expect companies to work for them, Marcel is the first enterprise platform designed with people-first benefits and experiences in mind. The bold ambition to transform Publicis Groupe into a platform required that the Groupe take on very significant enterprise business challenges.

Enterprise-level Innovation: Introducing the Marcel AI Platform

One important challenge is around data. With more than 80,000 people and over 1,200 entities, spanning 200 specialties and thousands of clients, the Groupe has vast amounts of data. Publicis Groupe estimates well more than five billion data files. In order to unlock the value of this data, the Groupe created the Marcel AI Platform built on Microsoft AI and Knowledge Graph technologies.

The Knowledge Graph connects both structured and unstructured data that exist across the organization and then maps relationships within it. The centralized and integrated source of data will power Marcel as well as other enterprise initiatives.

The Groupe will also use Microsoft’s sophisticated AI tools to process, filter, connect and organize the data to make it useful for its people. Improving the Marcel AI Platform will be an ongoing effort, foundational to transforming the Groupe in to a platform.

Publicis Groupe Agencies Lead User Experience Design & Brand Identity

The creation of Marcel has been a truly transformative initiative in support of Power of One, with technology and consulting arm Publicis Sapient developing the Marcel user design and experience to build the Marcel platform and Publicis Communications’ BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty) creating Marcel’s brand identity.

This undertaking brings together the expertise and inputs from a diverse team of more than 100 people across the company including Publicis Sapient, Publicis Communications, Publicis Media, IT, legal, data privacy, procurement, and human resources.

Microsoft: Our Technology/AI Partner

Publicis Groupe found in Microsoft a partner with a shared vision to empower every employee with knowledge and the innovation to make the Marcel experience best in class. Microsoft AI is being used to power the knowledge graph behind Marcel, and the conversational AI experience that is bringing this knowledge to every employee. Microsoft’s deep technical knowledge and industry leading cloud capabilities including Azure and Office 365 made them the ideal partner.

Cannes Lions: Our Learning and Inspiration Partner

As part of Marcel’s power of knowledge proposition, Publicis Groupe has entered into partnership with the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to access The Work, a unique digital platform that showcases over 200,000 pieces of award-winning creative work from 2001-2018.

Employee & Client Data Security & Privacy Measures Built In

Data security and privacy were of the utmost importance in creating Marcel. The data privacy and security offices were involved in the process from the beginning, thereby ensuring protocols including GDPR. Publicis Groupe is committed to its people and clients that their data is confidential and secure. Employees are not required to use Marcel and all of the interaction and data employees provide is fully opt-in.

Using Marcel: Mobile, Rapid-Response, Customized Experience Prompts

Built for today’s technology-savvy work force, Marcel is launching as a mobile application for both Android and iOS. Future versions will include a desktop version or other interfaces as the need arises. Designed to be as user friendly as any consumer app, employees can use Marcel through voice or text input. The AI engine will suggest refinements to queries that provide large returns to help users rapidly make connections and complete goals.

Marcel will do more than respond to requests. It will also proactively present relevant knowledge, connections and opportunities. Each workday, Marcel will serve six prompts tailored to the person’s role and interests in the form of a daily digest. Marcel will refine what it presents each day based on an employee’s interaction and feedback.

Rollout Plan:

Today, Marcel is tested by a team of 100 alpha users. In June the Groupe will release a beta version to 1,000 people selected as an exact Publicis Groupe representation, by agency, role and geography.  This group will provide feedback that will help refine the app. As it has been said during the Investor Day, Publicis have a goal to reach 90% of their people by 2020.

The beta phase will include:

- a precise onboarding process defined to ensure beta user profiles are complete

- a training module available to get the individual familiar with the Marcel platform

- a feedback function included for employees to provide real-time feedback

The aim of this real-time exercise will allow Publicis Groupe to:

- refine the app constantly

- course correct as needed

- improve the user’s experience

- add functionality along the way

There will be multiple, updated versions until the optimal state-of-the-art product developed for rollout to the entire Publicis Groupe. Publicis Groupe will begin Marcel rollout to its 80,000-person workforce in January 2019.


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