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Collaboration

In my last blog, I asked the question “Is Collaboration Worth It? Every day, customers tell us collaboration is critical to their ability to compete—something top of mind right now. Why does collaboration matter? From our research and interviews with business leaders, we attribute the growing importance of collaboration to three fundamental trends:

  1. Competition comes from anywhere and everywhere. The barriers to entry are lower than ever, and you cannot predict who will enter your market next. It might be a startup in India, China, Africa or Eastern Europe—or competition from another industry. How do you stay ahead when you don’t know which organizations you’ll compete with next month or next year?
  2. Companies have to focus on core competencies and partner to do everything else. Companies once could gain an advantage by owning every aspect of a value chain with the goal of vertically integrating an industry. Today, it makes more sense to focus on the aspect of the value chain that is most critical to your success and partner for the rest.
  3. Open systems change the game. The Internet and networking technologies have connected us in ways once thought impossible, opening the door for innovative business models. Now, businesses must adapt to another wave of networked technology that is shaping the modern working experience into one that is mobile, social, visual and virtual.

Together, these trends are shaping a new business landscape, making speed and flexibility the most important competitive differentiators in just about every industry across the globe. We believe collaboration is the best way to build the real-time enterprise that can adapt to fast-changing market pressures. It helps you achieve operational excellence today and deliver innovation tomorrow.

For example, we’ve seen a Paris suburb credit its economic turnaround to a new collaboration infrastructure and a global nutritional products company increase sales through a social media-based data mining program. We’ve seen engineering companies accelerate their product-design processes by collaborating with video conferencing, while energy companies identify untapped field capacity through a tighter link between global experts and local resources. The list is long and growing all the time.

Have you seen other far-reaching collaboration examples? Share your experiences here.

You can read about these examples and others in The Collaboration Imperative, a new book that dives into the culture, process and technology dimensions of successful collaboration.

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