by Leo Jakobson | July 15, 2014
New York-based incentive house Madison Performance Group will release a new cloud-based incentive and recognition solution this fall. Maestro 4.0 will dramatically reduce the time and cost to clients needed to deploy a truly customized enterprise reward and recognition program.

The new solution is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application that is highly configurable and flexible, says Alex Alaminos, Madison's COO. "What we learned over the past two decades is that all organizations have different ways they want to handle governance and approvals," he says. "We are not fitting customers into a mold. Maestro is the closest thing in the market to custom, but with proven, innovative technology," and an out-of-the-box software price and set-up time, he adds.

"Madison has pioneered web-technology in the sector and a cloud-based incentive and recognition solution is just building on our tradition of innovation," says Werner Haase, Madison's President and CEO. "With our new solution, we are not only ahead of the curve but are creating the curve".

A comprehensive program, incorporating everything from peer recognition and safety programs to sales incentives on a global level, can be set up in three to four weeks — a quarter of the time needed to build a custom solution, Alaminos adds.

"You could have five programs or 500, you could have five users or a half a million users in a program," says Mike Ryan, Madison's senior vice president of client strategy. "You're going to pay a one-time licensing fee and you can run as many programs as you want, whether they're monetary, whether they're pat-on-the-back recognition, or whether they are point-based with [merchandise], gift cards, or group travel."

Jason McElroy, Madison's director of product management, adds, "There can be multi-level approval [of awards]; we can add that quickly." Beyond that, he notes, users "can try new things at little to no cost. You can experiment with pilot programs and see how it goes."

Proving that an incentive program is really affecting the bottom line is another key function of Maestro. "That's where the C-suite is now," Ryan says. "They know they need recognition and that it will improve the bottom line, but how do they show the outcome?"

It's easy to collect an incentive or recognition program's data, according to Ryan. "Executives need more than that to prove their ongoing business case," he says. "Is it really having an impact on some of the things that we're measuring elsewhere — the engagement levels of our organization, is it increasing productivity, is it helping us with better customer satisfaction rates across the enterprise? Is it allowing us to adapt to change faster?"

The reality, Alaminos says, is that this client data is never provided to companies in the incentive business. "Information like the financials or how the engagement levels are increasing are maintained on the client side," he says. "Maestro, however, allows clients to take the platform-related data and tie it in by matching information like financials and engagement and attrition, to see that information on their side as well."