Guest Post: CollabIT Connect launched


Readers of my previous articles will know I unashamedly think small-and-medium-size enterprises (SMEs) deliver organisations great value due to their unique supply characteristics.

Australia’s chief information officers (CIOs) speak highly of the SME sector’s ability to deliver flexible and timely solutions, first-mover innovation, and intimate customer service. And discerning global service firms carefully ally, partner and subcontract with SMEs when niche expertise can enhance value for end-clients.

That’s why I’m pleased to advise that finding out about the capabilities of local SMEs just became a whole lot easier with the recent launch of CollabIT Connect.

CollabIT Connect is a simple online tool that allows users to search and review capability information on the myriad of firms pursuing business in Canberra’s valuable government IT market.  

CollabIT Connect has been especially developed by the local information technology (IT) industry to help its industry participants speed-date one another and forge new business relationships without the risk of too much disclosure. 

When local SMEs need to team together to win business opportunities normally too large for SMEs acting alone, CollabIT Connect helps SMEs make those teaming connections.

When global services firms identify a capability gap in their next major tender, CollabIT Connect helps them find a local supplier that hopefully beats their existing bench of international collaborators.

And when government agencies look for a quick pay-off in the lead up to 30 June, CollabIT Connect can provide inspiration with some niche firms that don’t necessarily fit neatly into a panel classification.

As the depth and breadth of capability listings grow, industry intends for CollabIT Connect to become a pervasive tool for making sure local firms fully exploit local business opportunities and networks.

I encourage readers to check out CollabIT Connect. It’s free, and it only takes firms a short time to develop content. Firms wishing to go that little bit further can also post case study examples of work previously undertaken with government agencies or global service firms. 

A few of the well-known global firms have themselves already listed on CollabIT Connect —not because they need help with their business development, but because they want to link with capable and competitive local innovators.

Without an army of business development executives, SMEs need a little leg-up to gain attention and penetrate local industry networks   

This has been the focus of CollabIT ACT for many years now — helping big and small firms form business relationships.  CollabIT ACT has long been operating as an ‘honest broker’, receiving capability enquires and disseminating them within the local industry. CollabIT Connect will help grow this service even further to achieve a stronger IT supplier community.

CollabIT Connect was developed by members of CollabIT ACT with assistance from the Federal Department of Innovation and Industry, the ACT Economic Development Directorate and the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA).

CollabIT Connect was launched by the Deputy ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr MLA.

Don Easter was appointed IT Supplier Advocate by the Australian Government to work with the Australian IT industry on practical activities that promote the competitiveness and development of SMEs.  Don is the former Managing Director of EDS Australia and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Funded by the ACT Government, CollabIT ACT is an industry-led business development network that runs events and activities aimed at helping big and small firms form collaborative business relationships.

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