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Korn Ferry has partnered with a Seattle startup called Yoodli to provide clients with AI-powered communications training.
Korn Ferry is one of the world’s largest management consultancies. Unlike most of its major rivals, which are active in a variety of markets, the firm focuses on one specific segment: the workforce services space. Korn Ferry can work with companies to optimize their hiring efforts, decide how tasks should be distributed among employees and make salespeople more effective.
Yoodli is a Seattle-based startup with an an AI-powered communications coaching platform. The platform observes how a user explains a topic and then generates improvement suggestions. It provides pointers to help professionals can speak more concisely, make their arguments more compelling and optimize the pace of their monologues.
Through the new partnership, Korn Ferry will offer Yoodli’s technology via its Korn Ferry Advance offering. This is a subscription service that gives customers access to specialized software they can use to improve their communications skills as well as access to coaches.
According to Korn Ferry, professionals who sign up for the offering will receive access to a customized version of Yoodli’s platform. The platform will enable them to practice common business discussions and receive feedback from the AI on how to improve.
Yoodli can also analyze recordings of live business conversations and highlight areas for improvement. This may prove particularly useful for professionals who work in customer-facing roles that require regularly interacting with buyers. Many big companies already use AI software to make their customer-facing staff more productive.
The deal is a major business milestone for Yoodli, which raised less than $8 million in venture funding prior to the deal with Korn Ferry. It’s not every day that a small startup lands a broad software distribution contract with one of the world’s largest management consultancies.
The deal is also a win for Korn Ferry. AI is at top of large enterprises’ agenda, which means it’s important for the consultancies that support them to demonstrate their machine learning expertise. Teaming up with innovative AI startups is one way for Korn Ferry to check that box.