The rise of Big Data has created the misconception that data alone can define a networking effect. However, while data is precious to understand profitability, identify trends and influence customer behavior, it only becomes a product that enhances the whole organization if employees learn how to use it effectively. Corporations tend to collect a vast number of documents but if employees have difficulties in finding easily and quickly the information they need; those valuable insights quickly turn into noise.
The difference between Elqano and traditional knowledge management platforms remains on the fact that Elqano offers both network and virality effects. Quoting Paul Choudary in Virality vs. Networking Effects: "A viral product is one whose rate of adoption increases with adoption. Within a certain limit, the product grows faster as more users adopt it”.
Email is a clear example of a product that offers virality without networking effects due to its interoperability nature. It is a top form of communication in business since employees can interact with each other no matter the location but it remains a form of communication that is private.
Though the years, several companies have tried to put in place knowledge management platforms as part of new social business initiatives that end up with users sharply constrained by who they can collaborate with. On those individual enterprise networks, employees can communicate and share documents only with those on the same group which makes it difficult to grow participation and benefit from greater collaboration. As a result, they end up going back to solutions that have no such constrains.
Using interoperability standards, Elqano breaks the barrier to communicating with those that employees are trying to collaborate with. Its interface is simple, consistent and broadly understood which ensures that it is fully adopted, wieldy and reliable for employees. It also incorporates social media metadata (e.g. likes, possibility to follow, pushed content, recommendations) so that users are up-to-date with all the new documents and information that could enhance the activity system in which they are working. Herbert Simon, a Nobel prize winning social scientist, declared that better decision makers have at their disposal repertoires of possible actions. The incorporation of machine learning algorithms allows Elqano to identify and anticipate the needs that each employee will have in the future.
In order to better illustrate this concept, let’s consider the following example:
“A consultant has been assigned a new project to design the branding of a luxury firm. Based on the new information that he / she is managing, Elqano is able to understand that a particular #consultant is working on #branddesign in #luxury. This will allow the algorithm to find, in the whole organization, valuable documents that relate to similar projects and will push that knowledge to the consultant. This will not only save the consultant a lot of time but also allow him/her to make the best recommendation to the luxury firm.”
All of it serves a clear objective: make it extremely easy for employees to communicate across locations, departments and teams. Without extensibility it is hard for an industry to evolve and innovate. In ThinkGrowth, Matt Ward stated: “Businesses without strong network effects always struggle, both in terms of growth and profitability”. Knowledge management platforms have to fuel networking effects by increasing its value with each new user. The more users share their documents, the more useful the platform becomes to people looking for supporting information. Both parties must love the platform, connecting people with information they otherwise wouldn´t find.