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Collaboration promotes innovation

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Most organisations have tremendous brain capacity, but silos and hierarchies prevent people from putting their hands up with great ideas.

"Business needs to look at collaboration in a new light," said Gysbert Kappers, WyseTalk CEO, in an interview with ITWeb. "Great ideas sit within your business; you just need to listen."

According to Kappers, organisations with "closed innovation paradigms" put the responsibility of coming up with innovative ideas in the hands of a select group of people, who then take these concepts to the "all-knowing executives", who make the final decisions, he said. "This is a flawed approach."

Kappers used Kodak's recent filing for bankruptcy as an example of this very limited innovation paradigm. Kodak failed to leverage the innovative capabilities of its staff, he said, adding that companies like Nokia and BlackBerry have also stumbled due to their similar closed innovation mindsets.

For Kappers, an open innovation mindset allows everyone - high- and low-level staff, consumers and suppliers - to put their ideas on the table, promoting a collaborative approach to innovation. "Creating communities around the enterprise, consumers and suppliers allows a company to own and monitor these communication ecosystems," he said.

Promoting this kind of research and development approach is at the heart of the WyseTalk social business offering, which encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing in a secure package, said Kappers. The WyseTalk platform has an advantage over its competitors in that it is the only social business service offering in SA, making it more cost-effective, he added.

Looking forward, the brand's plan is to become a dominant player on the African continent. As such, WyseTalk is seriously looking to offer the platform on feature phones, he said. "While everyone is concentrating on the smartphone environment, we acknowledge that developing markets need feature-phone-friendly offerings.

"Because we are here in Africa, we can engage with the African landscape and meet the needs of the African consumer," Kappers concluded. "Information and knowledge creation are huge drivers future generations and business need to promote if they want to succeed in an ever-competitive business landscape."

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