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Business Collaboration - it makes sense! by Craig Savage CA

We just had a Networking over Coffee event at our office as part of our involvement with the Chamber of Commerce. It was great to have about 45 local business people together to mix and mingle.

It made me wonder if there is an increasing trend of businesses collaboration starting to show itself.

In our industry, cloud computing and programs like XERO are really changing the game and definitely making businesses much more collaborative. We see this in the use of add-on partners. Xero have decided they will stick to their knitting in terms of providing awesome accounting software. They freely acknowledge that many businesses will need more than the basic accounting functionality of Xero. Rather than try to be all things to all businesses, Xero have opened the doors for other software providers to create systems and programs that customers can utilise in conjunction with Xero.

A lot of effort has gone into ensuring the partners systems work seamlessly with Xero so the customer could think they are simply using one system, while they could actually have 5 different bits of software. When they all work together, the customer loves it, and each of the providers can focus on giving the customer excellent service in their area of expertise.

This level of co-operation is hard to find elsewhere. Xero has had to make some of its source coding open to others to allow them to integrate other software into Xero. The add-on partners have to make sure their software is open enough that it works not just with Xero, but other potential add-ons.

Information is power the saying goes, so why on earth would you collaborate with other businesses? Many think it would be madness to let anyone know of any issues they are facing – be it staffing, cashflow, or whatever. This leads to lots of businesses struggling to solve problems that may be very easy to solve simply by looking outside the business itself. Obviously knowing the right place to go is vital in this situation. Organisations like the Chamber of Commerce are invaluable at getting you and your business into an environment where you will be exposed to many other business people in a social way.

As Keystone sponsor of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce we strongly recommend every business become a member – you will be amazed at who you meet, and with a little effort will be amazed at what you get out of it!


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