Innovative Software and Information Technology Businesses

By Sullivan Alexander, Contributor, the Price of Business Show. * Sponsored

Sullivan Alexander, Contributor for the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Randy Emelo, CEO of Triple Creek.

  • 1. About the interviewee.

Randy Emelo is president and CEO of Triple Creek, a social learning software company based in Denver. He has devoted much of his life to helping others learn and develop, and has more than 25 years of experience in management, training and leadership development. Randy has worked with hundreds of clients as they build knowledge sharing cultures and make learning more personal through Triple Creek’s River social learning software. Randy is a prolific author, speaker and thought leader on topics related to collaboration, modern mentoring, social learning and talent development. His most recent articles can be found in Chief Learning Officer, Talent Management, T+D, Diversity Executive, and Industrial & Commercial Training. Randy holds a master’s degree in organizational design and effectiveness from Fielding Graduate University (formerly The Fielding Institute) in Santa Barbara, CA.

  • 2. Describethe business model including (products or services offered, number of employees, location, type of customers you work with, etc.).

Based in Denver, Colorado, Triple Creek is an innovative small business that employs 20 people. Our River social learning software is a SaaS (software as a service) solution used by many Fortune 500 companies, such as AT&T, McDonald’s, URS, and Humana. Large, dispersed companies gain the most value from River because it helps employees connect and collaborate regardless of where they may be located, what job function they may belong to, what their title might be, and so on.We offer usage-based pricing, as well as enterprise pricing to accommodate unique organizational needs. As is typical with SaaS solutions, comprehensive support and regular software updates are included.

  • 3. Tell us about one of the innovative solutions or services your company designed for a customer.


River is an award-winning social learning platform that helps companies create and manage dynamic learning networks. Companies use it to enable enterprise social learning, knowledge sharing, peer collaboration, and modern mentoring. They often implement it as a way to solve a critical business issue, such as onboarding, succession planning, retention, productivity challenges, diversity and inclusion, training support, and so on. River is different from social networking because it pulls people together for the purpose of learning and frames up their interactions within a goal-centered learning engagement. Our patent-pending matching algorithm helps participants find others who can help them learn and expert content that can supplement their activities. It is a social system that helps employees collaborate with a structured learning purpose and work objectives in mind, rather than a social networking tool that just lets people chat about non-work related issues.

  • 4. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome the challenges?


One of the biggest challenges we faced in recent years is helping companies understand the difference between social learning through River and social networking through other tools. Our focus on learning and providing a learning structure to activities in River is a unique aspect of our tool, but for people outside of HR or learning functions, they may just see the word “social” and think one thing is the same as the other. Our team worked diligently to educate the market on what social learning is, and I have written about this topic extensively for publications such as Chief Learning Officer. We also work with our clients and prospects to help them spread the word about social learning and its unique factors, and support them as they bring on stakeholders within their companies.

  • 5. What do you see as “hot button” issues in your industry, and what are the implications?

One of the biggest hot button issues in the HR and learning arenas right now is finding ways to make use of big data. Tied to this is finding ways to measure informal learning and showing the tangible value and results for companies. Social learning is definitely the latest trend, much as e-learning was 15 years ago, but the nature of social learning and more informal learning techniques means that companies and solution providers must now also show the results that clients can get from their programs. Getting more measureable results and tying those back to broader organizational goals and challenges will be a turning point for social learning. Once this becomes the norm, I think other functions like IT will start to see the distinct value social learning has over social networking—and will stop confusing the two.

  • 6. What makes your business different from the competition?

River stands out from the competition for several reasons. First, it provides a learning structure with goals that keeps the focus on learning within the social collaboration that takes place. Second, River pulls people together in part based on competencies that the organization wants employees to improve or teach others on. This means that people are connecting with others who can have a real impact on their work, rather than just a random social networking connection that likely has nothing to do with what skills an employee needs to improve for their job. Third, our matching algorithm also helps people find expert content to support their learning efforts, which in turn will help companies get more from their content purchases and aging LMS. Fourth, learning engagements in River can be started by anyone; learners, advisors, supervisors or even administrators can set up engagements and pull people together for a specific learning purpose. Lastly, administrative features in River allow administrators to have as much or as little control as they want.


Sullivan Alexander is a contributor on the Price of Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston), whom you can learn more about at

Sponsored by the Price of Business, on Bloomberg’s home in Houston, TX

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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