PARIS: It is almost a year since Publicis Groupe announced that it was working to create an AI-powered network to improve how its 80,000 employees operate, and now the world’s third-largest advertising company has provided more detail.

The Paris-based firm said in a statement that Marcel would transform the organisation from a holding company to a platform by “creating the first truly borderless, frictionless enterprise workforce”.

Some 80,000 of its employees worldwide, spread across myriad agencies, will be able to tap into the new platform, which will formally launch in January 2019, with the aim of improving productivity, collaboration, creativity and innovation.

Marcel, which is named after Publicis Groupe founder Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet and that Microsoft helped to develop, is said to be built around four key pillars – knowledge, connectivity, opportunity and productivity.

The connectivity function, for example, will help employees to locate the most appropriate experts across the organisation, while the opportunity pillar “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”.

Commenting on what is expected of the new platform, Publicis Groupe chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun said: “Marcel is a journey to shift Publicis Groupe from a holding company to a platform and give creative minds the freedom to progress and thrive in this ever-changing industry.

“Marcel is the proof of our commitment to our people. At Publicis, we will put them first in our transformation, and give them the opportunity to learn, share and create more than anywhere else.

“Marcel is the proof of our commitment to our clients. They will be able to leverage our incredible diversity of talent to bring to life the ideas they need to grow their business.”

According to TechCrunch, which attended a launch event in Paris, Marcel is comprised of multiple apps that uses AI, predictive analytics, voice recognition and other technical capabilities aimed at making the company’s employees work better together.

More apps will be developed over the course of this year, but the first three are called Daily Six, which could include key updates from a current account; Expert Match, which provides timely advice and answers to specific questions; and Open Brief, which enables clients to put out requests for input or work to the wider group.

Sourced from Publicis Groupe, TechCrunch; additional content by WARC staff