The past year has accelerated the technical innovation cycle, unlike anything before. In the past eight months, as professionals around the world worked from home, technologists and developers used the extra time to come up with new ideas and initiate new partnerships, investments, and collaborations.
While the past decade has been dominated by social media, the phenomenon, and the ecosystem in general, I believe the years to come will be shaped by intense collaboration and partnerships. Look no further than Salesforce’s acquisition of Slack to see this in action. While Salesforce had the corporate connections, Slack had the water cooling technology for today. Together, they will change the way companies work in a remote / hybrid environment. However, this is just the beginning. Whether as an acquisition or a loosely coupled partnership, this will be the future.
Let’s look at some more examples.
LivePerson and “Over the Wall”
More small businesses were launched in 2020 than ever before, and entrepreneurs across the board need guidance on how to navigate unsafe waters. These instructions cannot only come from an isolated urge to motivate. It will take a collaborative approach. Over The Wall, a brand new podcast from Rob LoCascio, CEO of LivePerson, features interviews with multidisciplinary guests, from psychologists to thinkers like Deepak Chopra. On the show, LoCascio shares his own 25-year entrepreneurial journey and invites industry titans to discuss their biggest mistakes and lessons. The podcast will look beyond the glamor and glitz of entrepreneurship and focus on the essentials that LoCascio developed after starting a billion dollar company and headed a public organization for more than 20 years.
Coca-Cola and OneDine
Coca-Cola recently partnered with Teneo, a global consulting firm for CEOs, to conduct a survey that looked at how the pandemic has affected restaurants. The results were eye-opening: only 45 percent of restaurateurs are very confident that they will stay in business for the next 12 months. As a result of the survey, Coca-Cola launched its “MarketPlace”, which gives restaurant owners access to discounted apps and services that create a more contactless dining experience, such as OneDine’s scan-to-order solution. With the partnership between Coca-Cola and Teneo and the collaboration between Coca-Cola and OneDine, restaurant owners are better informed about new ways to serve their customers.
CognitiveScale and RedHat
CognitiveScale, an enterprise AI software company with solutions that help customers win with intelligent, transparent, and trustworthy digital systems powered by AI / ML, recently partnered with RedHat, a multinational software company that promotes open source Provides software products to the corporate community. In particular, CognitiveScale’s Cortex Certifai product examines decisions made by AI models and measures the accuracy of those decisions. RedHat Openshift customers can now deploy and manage Cortex Certifai at scale in the cloud.
ATB Ventures and Radical Ventures
As companies face increasingly competitive market demands, tactical acceleration (through acquisitions and venture capital investments) enables inorganic growth to develop advanced strategies. Technically oriented venture funds such as Gradient & Radical Ventures enable investments in the new technologies that are responsible for rewriting the innovation architecture. We saw this strategy through ATB Financial’s Alberta-based innovation arm, ATB Ventures, through their strategic investment in Radical Ventures to accelerate ATB’s innovation function in applied AI and machine learning. Radical is an early stage AI-focused venture capital firm helping entrepreneurs use artificial intelligence to transform industries. This partnership underpins the recent growth and success of the technology and venture capital ecosystem in Alberta, a region to watch this year. Through this relationship, ATB Ventures continues to codify its position in the startup ecosystem and the critical nature of data and AI in emerging businesses. Effective partnerships and connections with companies like Radical ensure that ATB and AI startups continue to grow and compete globally.
Whether they partner with strategic partners or work with like-minded brands, top companies will continue to leverage alliances in 2021. Business leaders will find they need to proactively seek and nurture such industry relationships in order to maintain continued growth in the post-pandemic and beyond.