Like several other things, the 21st century is redefining the notion of competitive advantage. In a knowledge economy, new products and services must be launched more accurately, much faster and with noticeably higher returns.
Today’s customers command the conversation and demand real time responses. To build connect, long-term engagement, and loyalty, businesses must collaborate with customers, suppliers, resellers, partners, within the organization itself and with machines. Connecting enterprise data with man-machine conversations offers fresh ways to solve problems, develop intuitive solutions and faster ways to prototype ideas.
There is a gap between collaboration and innovation, and the strategies that enable organizations to maximize results and generate value from these concepts. How do they stimulate collaboration? What are the tools that are required? How can complex business challenges be addressed by bringing together proven knowledge from diverse disciplines? How can we co-create fresh and powerful customer-centric solutions ahead of the competition?
Collaboration should be made simple, like sending an email, a ping on WhatsApp or posting on Facebook. These solutions should be easily extendible so that they reach right within complex ERP systems for real-time distribution of data. When conversations are quickly enabled across organizational siloes and value networks, everyone has a chance to help improve the outcomes. The gaps between these functions -- sales, operations, finance, production, R&D, etc.–can be bound by a unique glue called ‘ideas’.
Collaboration drives innovation. And rapid-fire, continuous innovation has become essential to the success of every business. The era of projects that extend over months with annual reviews and assessments are over. Today, applications must become “living” entities, constantly evolving, growing, strengthening -- nourished by the energizing tonic of seamless innovation across the organization.
For example, Gamification is now being used for medical treatments. Specially designed games for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) patients improve their focus, thus reducing the intensity of their medication, eliminating the need for regular visits to specialists and reducing the burden on caregivers. The apps record activity, analyze it and alert medical teams remotely when intervention is required. They maintain a record of treatment, provide reminders, and ensure that patients can directly speak to experts from within the app. The success of this innovation depends on continuous collaboration between doctors, gamers, mobile networks, care givers and the patient.
It is necessary for businesses to create, sustain and maximize value for their customers. There is a growing pool of evidence to suggest that businesses that bring together diverse skills, knowledge, ideas and capabilities are the ones that drive collaboration and innovation to achieve this. They understand that collaboration and continuous innovation open the doors to maximizing customer value.
Collaboration between men and machines, innovation at home and the workplace, cloud and mobile communication are all building blocks at our disposal, and their effective customer-focused leverage is key to answer the question: Would the customer like keeping our company in the future?