Q+A With Empyrean’s Sr Director of Product Strategy, Jen Peery

Q+A With Empyrean’s Sr Director of Product Strategy, Jen Peery

Jen Peery is Empyrean’s Sr Director of Product Strategy. With over 16 years in benefits administration, she has extensive experience planning and executing ben admin product strategies. She is focused on innovation and elevating the end user experience for Empyrean products. We got to ask Jen her insights into product strategy and what is important for the future of benefits administration.

Innovation in Benefits Administration: Given the rapid pace of technological advancements, how is Empyrean planning to innovate its benefits administration products to meet the evolving needs of employers and employees?

Jen: One of the biggest problems employers continue to face is employee engagement with their benefits. Without this engagement, the most well-defined benefits strategy won’t yield the anticipated results for the employer. Our products are the opportunity to bridge that gap, so employees have what they need at the right time. The way information is delivered and consumed by an end user is at the forefront of how we continuously innovate the Empyrean experience for both employees and the employer. 

User Experience Focus: User experience is crucial in benefits administration platforms. Can you share how Empyrean prioritizes and incorporates user feedback into the development and enhancement of its products?

Jen: Our User Experience team focuses on research and aggregate behaviors of end users to help drive our roadmap. We also utilize surveys, market data, our Client Counsel, feedback from internal teams and old-fashioned conversations with clients, brokers/consultants, and market experts – all of which weigh heavily on how we shape our product roadmap.  

Compliance and Regulatory Challenges: Benefits administration is heavily influenced by regulatory requirements. How does Empyrean ensure its products remain compliant with changing laws and regulations, and what challenges does this pose for product management?

Jen: Empyrean closely monitors regulatory requirements and the downstream impacts to employees, employers and the benefits ecosystem. Our clients and stakeholders rely on us to provide technology that helps manage and communicate these needs. We always reserve time each year on our Product Roadmap to support Compliance related development efforts. These are the things you must do as a benefits administration provider. 

Integration with Other HR Systems: Interoperability is key in HR technology. How do Empyrean’s benefits administration products integrate with other HR systems and platforms, and what benefits does this integration offer to organizations?

Jen: Again, thinking about the user – the employee – we are uniquely positioned to unify an employer’s HR systems and platforms in one location, driving access and engagement in the said systems, programs, and information an employer has curated. Ultimately solving barriers to access drives the trust and engagement paramount to the employee/employer relationship. I believe that’s foundational to talent retention. 

Future Trends and Predictions: Looking ahead, what major trends do you predict will shape the future of benefits administration, and how is Empyrean preparing to address these trends in its product roadmap?

Jen: I think there are 2 major buckets that will continue to influence benefits administration. One being needs in the market we could help solve for – like employee engagement, price transparency, long term care tax, controlling the healthcare spend – just to name a few. The other bucket to consider is how we solve these trends. We look at all angles when it comes to the how: does it make sense to partner, does AI play a role, what’s the support and service experience like? The “what” and “how” are equally important to consider when shaping the product roadmap. 

Leveraging Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly pivotal in various technology sectors. How is Empyrean integrating AI into its benefits administration products, and what advantages do you see this bringing to your clients in terms of efficiency, personalization, and decision-making support? 

Jen: When my team thinks about a new feature or functionality, the first thing we ask is: SHOULD AI solve it? If our research indicates yes, then we move to COULD AI solve it? There are many use cases in benefits administration and our daily lives where AI is extremely helpful gathering and sorting information – if the end user is comfortable engaging that way. Ultimately, I see AI being one of the available tools to enhance the employee experience when it comes to choosing and using their benefits. 

Empyrean’s focus on enhancing user engagement, ensuring regulatory compliance, and integrating technology such as AI, showcases a proactive approach to meeting the complex needs of this industry. These efforts are crucial for improving the efficiency and responsiveness of benefits systems, benefiting both employers and employees. As the field of benefits administration continues to evolve, these strategic innovations suggest a future where these systems are more accessible and effective, reflecting a broader industry trend towards greater user-centricity.