Your collaboration partnerships must be maintained in order to support your strategic plans.  This maintenance includes the refresh of the tools and platforms and especially the content on a regular and frequent basis.  The maintenance is an important aspect and tool to maintaining the partner interest in collaboration and the challenge with this maintenance is that it must be supported and coordinated across all of the business partners, yes you must maintain your maintenance plan and procedures.  It is important that you maintain a platform, tools and portals to your business and consumer collaborators that continuously provides new content and capabilities and collaboration opportunities to maintain the interest in the partnerships. 


This requires a great deal of thought and effort to deliver a capability that is easy to navigate and utilize while maintaining a continuous stream of fresh content.  The content maintenance is important to drive the partner interest to collaborate and most importantly the reason to return frequently.  This collaboration portal is most important for maintaining and encouraging consumer participation and collaboration. This will produce the greatest challenge for your business and partners to maintain and add functionality and fresh features and information.  This collaboration portal provides the means to encourage age two way conversation with the consumer or end customer and this is also the platform that will require the greatest focus and level of maintenance. 


Maintenance related to the professional and business collaboration partners is probably more focused on the electronic integration and interface to promote the flow of information and integration messages.  Each business partner in the collaboration network will also have the opportunity for a consumer collaboration portal in addition to the electronic business integration.  Again while the electronic collaboration integration requires maintenance to hardware, software and the addition of new integration points as necessary it really does not require a great deal of additional focus.  The challenge for all of the business collaboration partners will be the maintenance and connectivity across partners that is focused on the end consumer. 


Business partners will require development and maintenance of collaboration portals that connect the consumer with the business and then allow the other business partners to connect their consumer collaboration portals to create a consumer collaboration network that allows consumers to interact and obtain information from all partners in the network.  This is similar to the integration of shipment tracking information to allow the consumer to request update notifications from all integrated parties.  The challenge is maintaining a continuous fresh portal that will attract the consumer and encouraged the return to participate and collaborate with other consumers and all business 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?