Monday, June 15, 2009

Using Tech to Partner

True partnership building requires change in each organization's behavior to support agreed upon objectives. Too much consultant-speak?

Then let's get concrete.

Our experience is that partnerships do not form well unless working together does not require any one partner to give up on their ideals--or on specific operational needs. In the world of technology, this means that every partner needs to have their needs met by the technology. Only after those needs are met is that partner truly able to consider a more collaborative partnership.

Thus is the vision of CommunityOS--that the tools are flexible enough so that each partner can deploy the tools they need, customized as they need them. The tools are also, however, built from the ground up for multi-agency deployment. Each partner can have the private space they need for day-to-day work, AND the collaborative space to take on larger problems working together.

Technically this is extraordinarily complex. For example, there are software products that let you customize the forms you use. And there are products that let you share between agencies. But very few do both. Fewer still wrap all this in a portal based architecture for cross-sector collaboration. Fewer still give you administrative tools to make management of a complex collaborative simple.

Thanks to our customers, we learn how to do this better every day. Technology used to be the excuse; it was the "why" partners couldn't be partners. That excuse is gone. Now what? Let's take it on.

Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO