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Collaborate ReportExploring the Impact of Business Collaboration on Innovation and Performance


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Sourcing Innovation
Expert insights for best practices, education and innovation in sourcing, procurement and supply chain management.
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"The biggest winners in the 21st century business will be those that assemble a global ecosystem of partners, emphasizing flexible access to materials, products, talents, and expertise, not ownership."

- The New Age of Innovation, C.K. Prahalad and M.S. Krishnan

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In today’s fast-moving and highly interdependent global marketplace, companies increasingly rely on complex networks of trading partners, resellers and outsource service providers to innovate, build, transact and deliver on the customer experience. How effectively these partners work together as a seamless and high-performing value chain – and how integrated these Business Collaboration Networks are with the end-customer – ultimately determines customer satisfaction, productivity and business performance.

Collaborate to Innovate will drive advocacy and insight around the need for companies to embrace internet-enabled, collaborative, multi-enterprise innovation, information exchange, decision-making and business processes – with increasing connectivity to the customer – as the new way of doing businesses in the 21st Century.

Getting the right product or service to the right customer at the right time -- and with the right support infrastructure in place -- requires coordination across a highly distributed worldwide value chain of partners. Innovation, design, quality, process performance and financial results are increasingly outside the purview of any one organization. A company’s capacity to harness the power of these Business Collaboration Networks, in order to optimize business performance and customer value -- is today’s real source of competitive advantage.

Traditional, internally focused management practices, systems and processes do not meet the needs of these complex multi-enterprise business and customer networks. Instead, organizations must develop more adaptive and robust systems and infrastructures capable of addressing global business collaboration dynamics. Collaboration has evolved from simple information exchange to shared business processes that improve visibility, decision-making, innovation and efficiency across extended supply and demand chains while optimizing customer experiences.

The program will leverage the aggregate insights of key business and IT executives to explore the critical need for advanced business collaboration. Because tighter alignment, information flow and collaboration across traditional business boundaries should be a top priority for all stakeholders in the value chain, the initiative will investigate the level of sensitivity, priority, and concern placed by executives on improving the performance of their business networks, as well as the degree to which companies are taking positive and effective action.

Through a comprehensive quantitative survey and series of qualitative dialogues with business and IT executives from Fortune 500 companies, the initiative will take a deep dive into the priorities, best practices and challenges of building collaborative business networks and how they ultimately impact business performance. This will include the growing importance of connectivity, communication and collaboration with partners and customers across all key business functions. In addition, it will look at operational and IT challenges for both organizing and participating companies as these networks become more vital, distributed, complex and fluid.

The initiative will involve a coalition of market access partners and communications channels, including a leading business publication and executive IT media partner, as well as a variety professional and industry organizations concerned with supply and demand chain management, business collaboration and other relevant topics.