Welcomer is the business name for White Label Personal Clouds products. Welcomer gives individuals access to their personal data no matter where it is held. This idea has been implemented in the open source Welcomer Framework code.
The business reason for giving people access to their personal information is to reduce costs and for organisations to comply with their statutory privacy obligations. Applications that use the Welcomer Framework can easily share personal data with other applications and across organisations. The shared data is protected, private, reliable and secure. The more applications an individual uses the greater the level of trust and the greater the protection for other applications. Because it is easy to share data the less data has to be collected by each individual application using the Framework. Data from any existing application outside the Framework can be included by the application providing an API connection.
Using the Framework for a single application is cost effective. The more applications use the approach the greater the benefit. Accordingly Welcomer has made the core Framework open source and will integrate with other frameworks and systems that give individuals access to their personal data.
Welcomer earns income from its own applications, from hosting other organisations applications, and from sharing in the income when hosted applications transfer data across the Framework. The potential market for these services is very large because it is a global market and there are a many applications that involve personal information. Giving individuals access to their personal data reduces costs and means there is sound business reason for introducing the Welcomer Framework.
Of great importance to the introduction of the Welcomer Framework is that access can be given to existing applications by providing an API to personal data. This enables incremental integration of new lower cost systems without other significant changes to existing applications.
WelcomeAboard - a standalone Welcomer application
WelcomeAboard provides a way for employees to share personal information with employers. WelcomeAboard requires API access to any employers system so that personal information of employees can be shared reliably with the employer. Xero has an open API that is available to developers and so WelcomeAboard has been first implemented to integrate into Xero.
Australian Employers are required by the Federal Fair Work Act 2009 to keep and maintain employment records and to make the information available to the employee. WelcomeAboard provides a way for employers to fulfil these obligations and to provide employees with a permanent copy of the information collected and generated.
WelcomerAboard also provides a way for employers to meet their obligations under the Australian Privacy Principles. If an employer collects information from an employee or generates private information for an employee then if they use WelcomeAboard they will automatically comply with the Privacy Principles.
WelcomeAboard reduces costs by saving many hours of filling out and filing forms for both employers and employees. WelcomeAboard service is being sold directly to employers. To make a sale an employer only has to login to their Xero application from the WelcomeAboard website.
WelcomeAboard can be adapted to Welcome Aboard any person who needs to fill out a form to interact with an organisation. This includes customers, clients, members, affiliates, or associates. The approach can be applied globally but tailored to the individual no matter what their demographic or physical characteristics.
Verifier Proof of Income - a hosted application
Verifier Proof of Income is an application operated by InFact Decisions. Welcomer has an arrangement to develop and host the Application. Welcomer will share in the income generated with hosting charges, and data transfer charges. Proof of Income is a legislated requirement for lenders to check on the ability of borrowers to repay before granting loans.
Verifier has global application with a focus on countries with high levels of manual processing of loan application and/or strong privacy regimes. Verifier includes a document upload/OCR capability but as more employers join WelcomeAboard it will no longer be necessary for the individual to upload payslips as the data can come directly from the employees personal cloud that contains both the payslip and the data in a machine readable form.
Sales and Marketing
Sales of WelcomeAboard for employees of small organisations is all Internet based and is self service and standardised. Sales to larger organisations can be tailored to the organisation.
Other applications, such as Verifier, that use Welcomer services will perform their own Sales and Marketing activities.
All Welcomer, and other application providers products will require funds for further development and sales and marketing. Development funds for each special requirements will be obtained through pre-sales of the product to customers who require extra functionality.
Once an individual has their own personal cloud their cloud becomes a convenient and controlled way for organisations to contact them. For example, WelcomeAboard has a SuperChoice form and Super Funds can put in their Super Fund offerings if the person wants to see them.
The Welcomer Framework implements the idea of giving individuals access to and control over their own data. Giving individuals access to their own information has benefits for organisations and individuals in the following ways.
- Existing applications can be made lower cost, more private and more secure than traditional systems where organisations control the access of data and the movement of data between themselves and other organisations.
- Existing applications can be retrofitted to use the Welcomer Framework by giving individuals API access to their personal information.
- Existing legal and legislative systems support the use of the Welcomer Framework as applications that use the system are private by design. Privacy, or the lack of it, has been and will continue to be a barrier to adoption of many applications using traditional approaches. Those applications become legally compliant if they use the Welcomer Framework.
- New applications as evidenced by the operation of WelcomeAboard are easy to purchase and are self service. To make a sales the buyer logs in to an existing Xero system and clicks their assent to be invoiced. There is no explicit registration of the people being Welcomed. This increases take-up.
- With Verifier Proof of Income a similar process is followed with individuals performing the task without any explicit registration.
- Applications that use the Welcomer Framework have built in privacy and security of identity, or Privacy by Design.
- The open source foundation of WelcomeAboard means many applications can start to use the Framework. Welcomer benefits the more it is used both through consultations, hosting and sharing in income generated when data is transferred.
- Welcomer has the potential to have sales in the hundreds of millions of dollars within a relatively short period of time.