What do you think of when you hear the word “community”?
Communities are important, not only do they help us to understand our own place in the world, they can also nurture and support us, enabling us to grow and reach our full potential. Communities can bring people together building trust while working for a common purpose.
The theme for this year’s itelligence conference #itelli2019 is community.
Groups and Communities
If you are a data and analytics geek and know your Georg Cantor then all this talk of communities no doubt makes you think of set theory concepts such as unions, intersections and compliments.
Let’s take a look at 3 large sets of people; SAP Partners, SAP Customers and SAP Employees.
The intersections (or overlaps) in the Venn diagram represent commonality, a shared experience, attribute or characteristic. A simple example of this is subsets of each community coming together to attend a webinar or event.
Not all set relationships are expressed as intersecting Venn diagrams.
itelligence UK is a 100% SAP focused business, that means all of our customers are, in one way or another, also SAP customers.
It is of course also true that not all SAP UK Customers are itelligence customers. At least not yet! In my experience a community works and has value when it has a recognised identity, a common cause, and common experiences.
Communities and itelligence
Within itelligence we work hard to create and support communities for our customers and employees. I am lucky to be a part of many, here are 3 for a start.
1. The near 300 colleagues who work for itelligence in the UK across our Presales, Field Consulting, Managed Services, Sales & Marketing and Back office Teams. This is a community that is always growing and evolving as we work with more and more customers.
2. The itelligence Global Innovation Technologies community where I am lucky to learn and share ideas with inspirational colleagues from places like Denmark.
3. Our local teams of Solution Directors and Thought Leaders who work together to understand the ways in which new technologies can meet the challenges our customers experience.
There is no doubt that I gain huge benefit from these communities, I have made many new friends and have been challenged to grow professionally.
However, if I step outside, what I find fascinating is the way in which these communities evolve, overlap, interact and of course influence each other.
We spend a lot of time thinking about the various groups that exist within the itelligence UK Customer list stored within SAP Sales Cloud. We segment in a number of different ways based on common or shared attributes that we maintain. Some lead to intersections, some to separation:
There are of course a number of different reasons for doing this “segmentation”, here are a few examples.
– Alignment: understanding our customers and their needs should help us to ensure we have the correct services and offerings. This also allows us to think about new offerings that we can bring to market based on synergies we spot between previously disparate groups.
– Effective Communication: it is important to try and make sure that when we communicate we do it in a relevant fashion. For example, a challenge faced by a customer in the Higher Education field may not be immediately relevant to a Financial Services customer.
– Focus: in order to better manage the relationship between itelligence and our customers we build capabilities around technologies and industries. It is impossible for everyone to know everything and understanding the groups within our customer base helps us with skills and resource planning.
On more practical terms, if you were at the last itelligence UK conference #itelli2018 then you will have seen my colleague Asad Mahmood build set based insights live on stage using SAP Analytics Cloud and our delegate registration data.
It is fair to say that this segmentation although ultimately useful to our customers, does not create community.
How many of these sets could be considered to be communities?
Is it even relevant to think they could all be communities?
Community & itelligence Customer
If you are an itelligence customer, then we want you to feel part of a community.
A community of over 500 organisations in the UK and over 6,000 organisations globally that trust itelligence to deliver SAP expertise.
But we want to go further than that.
We want to help you create focused communities founded on peer to peer relationships.
Communities built on solution or industry commonality that includes customers and itelligence solution experts from across Europe.
Communities where you share experiences and discuss approaches to help identify the benefits and mitigate the risks of Digital Transformation.
Communities that can challenge you to improve in the same way that the itelligence internal communities have challenged me.
Before ending this part, I want to draw your attention to one final community, it is a group who share at least one thing in common. They have all attended the itelligence conference. On the 23rd of May 2018 nearly 1000 people came together for one day to share an experience as a community.
Morning strategy keynotes featuring itelligence UK & SAP Executives alongside live demonstrations of innovative technologies including AI, drones, voice based interaction, IoT and Advanced Analytics. Followed by 24 breakout sessions across 6 focus streams including 8 customer success stories. Not forgetting the hugely popular Consultants Corner and Partner Marketplace.
The day closed with a keynote from Alastair Campbell followed by a drinks reception.
Community is not just the theme for our conference this year, it is a focus for us as a business. During 2019 you can expect to hear more from us as we introduce you to more of our internal communities and their members. We also want you to tell us how we can build upon the community spirit we see at our conference and events.
To see what community looks like in action, why not watch the #itelli2018 video.
If you want to experience the itelligence community first hand then apply for your #itelli2019 tickets now.