SOURCE: Sonar6

October 15, 2008 09:24 ET

Sonar6 Employee Performance Management System Version 3 Enhances User Experience and Engagement; Enables Organizations to Rapidly Implement Great Performance Reviews

Quick Start Component Jump Starts Process and New Transparent Pricing Model Guarantees "No Surprises"

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND and SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire - October 15, 2008) - Sonar6, the only graphics-based employee performance management system (EPM), today announced details of the next version of its flagship performance management product, Sonar6 Version 3, which will be generally available this month. The newest version delivers an unparalleled user experience that is intuitive and engaging and enables organizations of any size to rapidly implement the performance management process and start making more informed decisions regarding their people. Enhancements also include the solution's Quick Start component that empowers organizations with the ability to self-tailor the application and start doing great staff performance reviews without requiring additional expertise or resources. Through Sonar6's predictable, straight-forward published pricing model, organizations can predictably forecast budgets and have the flexibility to select a solution that best fits their needs.

Enhanced Usability

Recognizing that the performance management system is accessed intermittently by managers and employees, and user engagement is a key to success, Sonar6 Version 3 includes usability enhancements that not only make the solution more intuitive, but fun to use. Starting with an interactive design perspective combined with the culmination of two years of research and development and observation and feedback from the company's more than 20,000 users, the most usable employee performance management system in the world is now even more useable.

Touted as a "cool vendor" by industry researchers at Gartner, the revamped solution is a far-cry from tired "online" HR forms resulting in more engaged users. Through its flexible and intuitive interface, employees can easily input to their reviews, see the goals that have been set for them and contribute to their own development plans. Managers can review individuals or make comparisons across teams. To help guide the process, progress bars indicate percentage of completion and next steps, further reducing user frustration and increasing productivity by enabling users to complete reviews faster.

Quick Start

Understanding that speed to implementation -- not lack of desire for a performance management solution -- is what holds smaller organizations (less than 1,000 employees) back from incorporating a performance management tool into their talent strategy, Sonar6 Version 3 includes Quick Start, which enables organizations to self-tailor the application through wizards and drop-down menus.

Quick Start provides packaged profiles to meet the needs of small to mid-size companies and speeds roll out. Sonar6 Web-based Quick Start features the most common roles, measurements and competencies to jump start implementation while enabling organizations to reap the rewards of industry best practices.

"Typically, what has prevented small and mid-size organizations from implementing a performance management solution has been the project length and requirement of internal resources," said Michael Carden, co-founder of Sonar6. "Talent management shouldn't be just the domain of large companies with large HR departments. In this economy with a looming shortage of talent, organizations -- regardless of size -- need tools to manage performance and make more-informed people decisions. Sonar6 Version 3 Quick Start was designed to help organizations rapidly implement a performance management process and be able to do a good job of measuring and managing employee performance."

Straight-forward, Predictable Pricing

To democratize talent management, Sonar6 has implemented a published pricing model that helps organizations predictably analyze costs and choose a solution that best fits their needs.

The first level includes $99 per person per year and includes the first 30 days free. This option offers performance reviews (including self-rating, development plans and 360s) and enables organizations to self-tailor the solution, choose performance measures and competencies from the Sonar6 library, which covers most roles in organizations, and can be tailored to the organization's culture and values.

The second model is USD 2,999.00 per year for up to 75 employees, and includes complimentary service for the first 30 days. It features all the components of the first level along with a helicopter view of the organization. Sonar6 takes the information captured in individual reviews then combines it onto a map of performance versus potential covering the entire organization, enabling managers to review the whole business at a glance or drill down for details on divisions, teams or individuals. For smaller organizations in a fast-growth business, predictable pricing offers room to expand up to 75 employees without additional investment.

A fully configured solution with access to all the above and succession planning modules and optional integration with HRIS and payroll commences at $250 per person per year (volume discounts are available).

Sonar6 will be featured in the HR Technology Conference's "Cool New Technologies Session." More information can also be accessed at www.sonar6.com.

About Sonar6

Sonar6 is the only graphics-based performance management system that is easy to learn, easy to use and simplifies staff performance management, enabling organizations to enhance employee development, make better people decisions and drive organizational improvement. Through its graphics-based interface, users can create great staff performance reviews online, gain access to helicopter views of the organization and make more-informed staff decisions. Awarded product-of-the-year 2007 from Human Resource Executive Magazine, Sonar6 is offered as a Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) delivery model and is used by small and large companies throughout Australasia, Asia, Europe and the United States. For more information, visit www.sonar6.com.