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Are collaboration centres valuable in digital transformation projects?

Are collaboration centres valuable in digital transformation projects?

"Collaboration centres are essential to the success of clients’ transformation initiatives"

The use of collaboration centres and the practice of co-innovation are playing an increasingly important role in successful digital transformation projects, according to new analysis by Technology Business Research (TBR).

A special report penned by TBR senior analyst, Jennifer Hamel, and analyst, Stephanie Artigliere, said that the “right” collaboration centre infrastructure can help services-led tech vendors and providers become clients’ partners for “envisioning and executing digital transformation pilot projects”.

The analysts suggested that co-innovation with end clients is emerging as a kind of “middle ground” for services-led vendors that lack deep product development or sales capabilities and compete with peers to sell solutions from big vendor partners.

However, this so-called “middle ground” does require some substantial investment in business consulting, design and data science skills, preferably along with a network of physical collaboration centres to execute well, the analysts advised.

“As engagements move to scale, collaboration centres can double as showcases for vendors’ IP [intellectual property], such as automation-enabled service delivery platforms, which will be key to sustaining and expanding relationships as the nature of IT professional services continues to evolve over the next decade,” the analysts said in their report.

“Our initial analysis of digital transformation buying behaviour indicates that collaboration centres are essential to the success of clients’ transformation initiatives,” they said.

By way of highlighting precisely where collaboration centres tend to provide the greatest value to both vendors and integrators, the analysts provided an overview of a TBR survey revealing the activities engaged most frequently in vendors’ collaboration centres.

Among the top five activities undertaken in collaboration centres, according to TBR, was talking about business problems, evaluating the vendor’s solution capabilities and design thinking workshops to solve business problems.

Drawing upon the specific example of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Hallandale Experience Centre in Florida, the United States, the analysts go on to examine the gradual evolution of such collaboration centres, and what those ongoing changes mean for clients and vendors and providers alike.

“We have observed how these centres still include elements of their original purpose but continue to evolve and have yielded some unintended positive benefits, such as acting as change catalysts and talent magnets within vendors’ businesses,” the report stated.

“For example, multiple visits to PwC’s Hallandale Experience Center have provided TBR a view of the changes in PwC’s approach to not only Experience Centers but also to how the firm delivers ‘digital transformation,’ and the firm’s emphasis on collaboration and cohabitation.

According to the analysts, the evolution of such centres is partially driven by the understanding, gained through through lessons learned, that there is no “one size fits all” use case for bringing clients to centres. Moreover, not all clients are ready and willing to be involved in sessions at such centres.

Ultimately, the analysts claimed that, as the shift of pilot projects to scale has increased, the need for vendors and integrators to collaborate and co-innovate with clients on digital transformation strategies has led to the creation of “capability-specific” centres.

“Boasting various centres leads to ongoing client engagement, which enables vendors to keep a pulse on client relationships and naturally become an extension of clients’ teams,” they said.


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