Collaboration Driving Value for Customers and Communities

July 4, 2016

2 minute read

Many of the greatest customer success stories we've witnessed have been the result of collaboration.
Not just within a department but leveraging the requirements - rather motivations - of all key stakeholders. I say motivations instead of 'requirements' because often if you ask for requirements you don't really get to the core of what is driving the need.

What is the real driver or motivation? You need to involve the right people and ask the right questions. In our business that often involves a combination of business and technology stakeholders. The business owners need to be clear on their goals and not just things like 'automate this manual process'. The end goal or benefit needs to be revealed, such as 'we need to improve our customers’ experience and this manual process is causing delays and frustration'. With the right information the business analysts, project managers and technology teams can design an effective solution.

A great example of collaboration can be seen in the information governance challenge of properly classifying vast volumes and varieties of unstructured content. Being able to find, clean, understand and ultimately classify enterprise content so that risks can be managed (e.g. PII exposure) and benefits can be realized (e.g. extract valuable IP) takes a collaborative effort between the technology teams and the Subject Matter Experts within the lines of business. Allowing the business to define and refine the rules that are then followed by powerful technology that can not only automate but adapt over time creates incredible opportunities.

I was invited to speak at a few events recently and both exhibited similar needs for collaboration. First, I did the keynote at the PDF Association’s annual PDF Days event, this year held in beautiful Berlin. Often very technical I tried to introduce the 'so what' aspects of why people leverage the technologies offered by those in the PDF Association community. Beyond the keynote I had the privilege of being elected as Vice-Chair of the PDF Association (side note: thanks to the community and congrats to Matthew Kuznicki on being elected PDF Association Chairman!) and one of the Association’s goals is to deliver maximum value to both the technology vendor members and the enterprise end users trying to solve business issues. Continued efforts towards collaborating as a community will be essential to driving maximum benefit for everyone. I'm looking forward to working with Matt, the other Board members and the broader PDF community.

Collaboration between local, provincial and federal governments and the companies that employ highly skilled local teams is a hot topic and was the subject of conversation at a number of recent events I’ve participated in, including most recently a panel which was exploring how to attract and retain local entrepreneurs and growth-oriented companies to the region. Companies and governments alike realize that working together to identify the key challenges and opportunities is essential. Trying to sort out the best way forward independently is never going to work regardless of whether you're trying to solve a business problem, add value for community members or ensure you attract and retain the best employers for your region.

Collaboration is key…and I know the perfect format for exchanging content and the perfect forum for revealing the best practices that bring business and IT together :)

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