Courtesy of W. Kohn/DHM, Berlin
“Who’s turn to do the dishes?” is one of the favorites in a shared household community which you might have enjoyed when you were a student.
Each of us may have a different set of experiences from being part of a community. But what becomes clear very fast is that every community needs to share a defined interest – and you better confirm with the members that they all have the same understanding and sufficient motivation to engage in pursuing a common goal.
Shared households want to split their expense for the rent, football teams want to score and win, an expedition to the Himalaya wants to get to the top and survive. JFK empowered the US nation – a large community – with the goal to get man on the moon.
What’s the secret behind successful communities? It’s certainly not an easy task to start up a community and keep it running. It requires leadership, dedication, skills and continuous efforts.
Similar principles apply for business partnerships. Beyond an initial euphoria regarding “becoming partners” a joint vision and business model are needed where everyone can contribute, win and take their share of the business. Motivation comes from benefits achieved through cooperation, a tangible value from working together for success.
For Dassault Systèmes the ecosystem of partners has always been of primary importance. Find out more about our programs and the different types of partnerships in the world of PLM and 3D by browsing our website.
If we look at our software partner community for instance: since the year 2000 the adoption and deployment of the V5 PLM solution portfolio has been strongly supported by independent software companies who use the V5 infrastructure delivering applications to complete and extend the global solution for customers in specific industry processes.
Today the offering counts almost 500 partner applications. Partner software integrates with DS’ products which brings value and advantages for users, but also enables the partner and DS channels to sell both their respective products. This is the win-win-win business model needed to define a shared goal, to keep the team going together.
Beyond the logic of leveraging business value from the partnership there is the emotional side of things – call it spirit, call it attitude – which is essential for the success of a community. A community is made of people after all. And if you can establish trust and maintain confidence, if you are able to grow the motivation and unleash the energy in a team: you win.
This is why we put a lot of emphasis in what is called “community animation” which is probably not a good expression as it reminds of a Club Med vacation camp. What we want to achieve is to show the community in action, to get more and more participation from members, to enable cross-collaboration between partner companies. This is at the core of what I am doing at DS
Animation happens at joint customer events when we co-present solutions, at industry shows at a joint exhibit, by sharing information in newsletters, by posting and linking website content. We conduct specific partner events such as the Dassault Systèmes Developers Conference with the Partner Summit on June 23/24 and 25, 2009. And with the availability of social software opportunities we have started to involve our partners in participating and contributing their ideas and specific capabilities online, in a community forum and a public blog focusing on partner solutions on the PLM MarketPlace.
In a second post in this series you will learn more about the transition “from ecosystems to communities”, and the specific programs DS runs to incite increasing cooperation in the communities. Expect insights in how this offers opportunities to participate and benefit.
Stay tuned for more,
P.S. And keep in mind: partnership is a people business.