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Collaboration between start-ups and integrators could boost enterprise innovation

Collaboration between start-ups and integrators could boost enterprise innovation

Digital era has put innovation at the top of the enterprise agenda

Collaboration between start-ups and system integrators or consulting firms stands to boost innovation across enterprise organisations, according to IDC research.

As an organisation grows in size, usually the agility of the company slows down, and it is less able to adapt to a fast-changing market, and in the end, innovation suffers.

Many large organisations try to grow a start-up culture within their organisation, but usually with limited success.

With the digital era putting innovation at the top of the enterprise agenda, new ways to innovate and grow need to be found.

Because start-ups are small and new, finding common ground and an effective collaborative relationship with the bigger players in the market can be a difficult task.

While start-ups have the innovative technology, larger, more experienced, management consultant or system integrators have the enterprise expertise.

Furthermore, such players understand the industry, business processes, and procurement, while also leveraging the global resources and presence to deploy and support an installation internationally, alongside the ability to integrate the new solution with the existing estate.

“The process of establishing collaboration is far from easy, but it must be fast and efficient, or it will waste valuable time for start-ups, services companies, and their clients," IDC research director, Mette Ahorlu, said.

"It is easy to get carried away by the enthusiasm, but nobody can afford that. Matchmaking is essentially about finding the needle in the haystack, building mutual trust and a shared value proposition — and then succeeding with clients."

According to Ahorlu, a systematic approach may work best for consultants and system integrators, through selecting start-ups of interest from the enormous number available.

Furthermore, vetting through the technology and business models of the start-ups, as well as the credibility of its founders and building joint value propositions.

And finally, Ahorlu advised to pick a few clients to test with, before finally taking them into the ecosystem and going to market.

Each step has its own challenges associated with it however, added Ahorlu.

One such challenge is how to balance the interest from the services companies' own client-facing organisation in the start-ups. In the early phase, employing a contact person, who is also a gatekeeper, could prove critically important.

From a business standpoint, It is important to sell new products or solutions, but for an early stage start-up, the focus should be on innovating and not on pre-sales activities. As such, employing a contact person, who is also a gatekeeper, could alleviate this problem.

However, it is also important to keep the client-facing organisation engaged and do systematic internal marketing when the solution is ready — sales people are busy, so the innovation can easily be overlooked.


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