How do you successfully build networks and ecosystems as your company moves beyond single solutions and one-to-one collaborations? And how do you tap into the digital capabilities of partners required to expand your market reach and delivery?

Open innovation in today’s world has become more complex. Advances in information technology and connectivity have heightened consumers’ expectations for seamless experiences from choosing to buying to rapid and/or instant delivery – including service, repair, and even return of purchases. Blockchain is enabling unprecedented levels of trust and transparency in data-sharing, with transformative impact. Finally, price wars and the need for speed have put intense pressure on cost control and efficiency.

Collaboration has never been more necessary. Choosing and skillfully managing the right partnerships has never been more critical.

Some of the most successful strategic partnerships we have seen are at the top rung of what we call the Ascent of Collaboration (see figure below), Innovationedge’s (IE) four-level maturity model. Level 4, Alliance Business Development, involves multiple partners and ecosystems (which may include competitors) and requires the highest degree of communication and trust.

IE Ascent of Collaboration
Companies and ecosystems that exemplify level four include:

All these alliances and ecosystems leverage the core strengths of each player while collectively creating powerful market advantage. Today’s collaborations are not just filling technical gaps or adding new customers – they are reinventing value chains and changing the game.

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