Does your supplier have a sustainable innovation roadmap?

By Richard Wyles, CEO at Totara

The Prisoner's Dilemma is known in game theory in which each side can choose to either cooperate or switch sides. Payoffs are arranged in such a way that if only played once, the highest payoff is achieved by defecting while the other player continues to try to cooperate. However, when played repeatedly, it becomes obvious that two entities would benefit from collaborating or alternatively suffer from the failure to do so. If everyone makes the choice not to collaborate, eventually nobody wins at all.

At Totara, we’re firm believers that collaborative innovation networks provide a better model for software development.

Let's take the Learning Management System (LMS) as an example. Single vendors tend towards offering standardised and therefore inflexible solutions for their customers because this is the only way they can afford to compete. And yet collectively their development investment results in high levels of duplicated effort. This actually slows the pace of innovation and provides no additional value to the customer. Inevitably, each single vendor starts to fall behind. As per the Prisoner's Dilemma, by going their own way, they generate a worse outcome than if they choose to collaborate. Unfortunately, it is the customer that bears the cost.

Collaborate to innovate

Conversely, a global collaborative  network accelerates the innovation cycle. Adaptable, extensible open systems reduce overall costs while providing the foundations for more targeted innovative development that can be specific to a company or situation. Often disproportionate value lives at the edges, when differentiating features strongly align with the specific requirements of a sector or individual business. Totara enables this through its collaborative innovation network of Totara Partners. They are empowered to focus (and differentiate) on the implementation services, support, and innovations the customers value, leveraging Totara’s sustained investment in the core platform . The incremental cost of adding a new feature is much smaller than the cost of the entire development if any supplier was having to do that on their own. Totara effectively spreads that cost across its entire community to the collective benefit of all.

These benefits are numerous. As the customer, you receive more transparent value, choice, opportunities to collaborate, and the freedom to innovate that results in business agility. As solution providers, they are able to build sustainable revenue streams that can flex and adapt to new operating conditions and customer needs. 

There are 100 Totara Partners worldwide which provides Totara customers with choice and stability. Naturally, there are always new partners joining and sometimes old partners leaving. The reasons can vary, but where a supplier may be looking for a  short-term financial gain, this can only be to the long term detriment of their customers. It simply reintroduces all the original problems and risks in sustainably meeting your technology requirements going forward. 

If you prefer the safety, assurance and innovation that comes from a global innovation community, contact Totara Learning or a Totara Alliance Partner today.