It is important to implement a platform and the methods to support the platform that will ensure that all of the network partners have the opportunity to participate and reap the value that can be provided by collaboration across the network.  This participation platform provides a standard method, or framework, for each of the partners in your network to participate as they see fit.  This platform also provides the framework and method to simplify the participation to encourage your partners to participate.  These are very important aspects that will help to encourage, or at least to remove the obstacles to your network partner participation. 

This ease of access and especially ease of execution are important aspects to the platform and more importantly to the partner participation.  There are way too many reasons for everyone to put off a task and especially when that task requires communication with external partners.  There are just too many distractions and pop-up priorities in everyone’s day to day life to support a cumbersome and complicated platform of collaboration.  This participation platform must not only be easy to access and easy to use but it must also become compulsive and pervasive to use.  This can be difficult with all of the influences and distractions that are pervasive in the day to day business activities.

It doesn’t really matter how valuable the results of the partnership if it is difficult for the partners to communicate and collaborate.  One of the reasons that the Apple iphone is so successful is the simplicity of the tool and the platform.  On the other hand, one of the draws of the Android is the open platform and ability to enhance the capabilities, and by the way, with each upgrade to the Android it becomes even more robust and collaborative.  Your collaborative participation network should incorporate the simplicity along with the open platform and ability to enhance the capabilities.  This combination of collaborative concepts along with ease of use and ease of customization through add on software will provide the platform that will encourage your network partners to participate and continue to return to the network.

Your partners want to participate and they want to engage with their collaborative counterparts and in the past this was a chore to execute.  The new capabilities of not only the connected Internet but also the collaborative tools and platforms address a great deal of these difficulties.  The opportunity, or challenge, now is to invest the initial time with your partners to identify and construct the platform based on the tools and concepts defined by the partners.  This initial investment will then pay off by encouraging new partners to join the network and also by retaining the initial partners to see out their investment in the platform.  Do not underestimate the power of that initial investment by your network partners.


And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?