Friday February 26, 2016

Co-creation – hype, buzzword or proven business model?

Co-creation is all the rage in corporate strategy nowadays. Renowned companies like Airbnb, Uber and Apple have adopted this relatively new initiative in a highly successful way. Yet co-creation is closer to home than one would expect:

  • Thanks to my fellow Waze users, every time I leave the office I know how long it will take me to get home depending on traffic.
  • TripAdvisor advises me on the best-rated restaurants to visit when traveling abroad.
  • And not a fine bottle of wine is purchased without me scanning the label and running it through the Vivino App on my smartphone.

The magic formula? Creating value and content that is generated by multiple parties.

The company creates a user-friendly platform available to all users. Its community, the users, provides the content. Resulting in tremendous added value for all parties.

Never heard of Designcrowd or Gelato Cloud? You should, they’re the pioneers in the graphics industry when it comes to co-creation.

DesignCrowd is an online marketplace delivering logo, website, print and graphic design services by providing access to freelance graphic designers and design studios around the world.

Gelato Cloud is connecting printers from every corner on our planet into a print cloud, which is open to everyone. Bonus points for the fact that they believe in sharing fixed assets – in their case print machines. Enabling a smart, productive and revenue generating allocation of excess capacity. Now, that’s smart.

Facing the risks of setting up a co-creation ecosystem

Setting up a co-creation ecosystem may not be as simple as it may seem, though. Shifting a company from a linear value chain model to a business ecosystem does bring about some challenges, both internal and external - and especially in a B2B environment.

Internally, associates have to understand that revenue and profit are no longer solely related to product features. They need to be made aware that outside experience will enhance the in-house reputation. They’ll have to open up to involving external partnerships to generate additional value.

Externally, the biggest challenge will be to convince the community to actively participate in the ecosystem. Customers and partners usually have a full plate, no need to add to that.

When co-creation initiatives fail, a lack of contributors is often the main reason.

Co-creation in Switch has been around for years. Now we launched the platform it deserves.

But even though the road may be long, the will to succeed is stronger.

Switch, our automation solution, has been building on an extensive ecosystem for quite some years. Our elaborate team of partners worldwide continuously lifts the solution by writing scripts on top of Switch to integrate it with a broad variety of components.

The Enfocus Community Forum is an ongoing source of support by and for Enfocus users. It continues to address questions, issues, topics and ideas for users around the world. We learn from it every day.

It inspired us to launch the Enfocus Appstore. News got out yesterday, keep an eye on it. It will become an integral part of the Enfocus co-creation business model. We’ll be going the extra mile to make it work. You can bet on it.

Check out the Enfocus Appstore

The Enfocus Appstore is a co-creation platform where you can instantly buy and use applications that extend your Switch flows and ultimately, your operations.

Visit the Enfocus Appstore


About Bjorn Willems

Bjorn Willems - director of Enfocus product management

Bjorn Willems is Director of Product Management for Enfocus. He is responsible for the Enfocus product portfolio and the overall product strategy and innovation and is also in charge of documentation and technology partnerships.

Before that, Bjorn worked as a product manager for Esko, responsible for the prepress editors (ArtPro, PackEdge and DeskPack). He particularly liked being on the crossroad between customers, management, sales and R&D and this helped him to develop a holistic view on the business.

Bjorn started his career back in 1998 as a field engineer for the former Artwork Systems, traveling the world to demo, install, configure and train prepress systems. He holds a Bachelor degree in Graphic Arts from the Artevelde School in Gent, Belgium and an Executive MBA from ESCP Europe.

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