All of us are potential teachers and learners – in a collaborative environment we are both.
Ecosystem has been a topic I have covered off and on here both in the context of enterprise communities as well as social communities. Social communities continue to grow with various popular examples popping up everyday ala Facebook, MySpace, Digg, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
Likewise, Enterprise Communities landscape continue to change and grow as well enabling collaborative and self learning Ecosystems. Few examples in the Higher Education space includes Sakai, Kuali and uPortal groups. In the Enterprise product space a good example is Act! from Sage and others that continue to make inroads. The paradigm shift include:-
|Old Paradigm||New Paradigm|
|Participants||Business Partners||Various (Partners, Customers, ISVs, Developers, System Integrators, VARs, etc.)|
|Purpose||Means to an end (Sales, Service and Support)||Way of life (Innovation, More Product, Reach and Scope, etc.)|
|Relationship||Business, Formal||Trusted, Collaborative|
|Communication||Mostly one way||Dialogue|
|Knowledge Sharing||Training||Peer Learning beside necessary Training|
|Problem solving||Mostly individual groups; limited sharing||Work with peers to solve the problem; and share learning with the world to follow suit|
|Process||Provide necessary steps to deal with the fiefdoms||Transparency|
|Technology||Phone, Email, Fax||Wiki, Blog, Forum, Bulletin Board, Youtube, etc. beside conventional means|
|Use of Web||Limited||Social. Can one live without it now?|
|World view||World is round||World is flat|
For a software product company, regardless of the camp it lives – closed/traditional source software or open source software – the need to foster and harness collaborative, learning ecosystem help achieve sustainable growth as well as nurture innovation avenues.