Over the years we have supported tens of different Operators with streamlining technology delivery. Essentially all these companies have some sort of internal technology catalogue, in different shapes and forms. Sometimes these catalogues are very basic; such as an overview in PowerPoint or in Excel. And sometimes these catalogues are more advanced, including web-based environments.
An internally developed technology catalogue offers advantages. It gives an overview of technologies that are considered important by the company, and it gives a chance to combine such an overview with internal reviews, as well as links to internal documents such as application guides.
Whether simple or more advanced, the internal catalogues usually also have a few downsides:
They rely on internal resources to keep the content up-to-date. However, as this is not the core business of Operators, such an overview is often out of date very quickly. It is more effective to let suppliers create and maintain the overview.
They only contain a limited number of technologies; usually only a very small subset of technologies that are under development or available globally. Essentially, companies don’t know what they don’t know.
A well-structured and maintained overview of technologies is essential. Without it, it is difficult to make conscious decisions which technologies to select to address business challenges. Companies without a clear overview of the key technologies that apply to them will not be able to make the most of their assets or develop projects in the best possible way.
The importance of external reviews and references
But there is one other important aspect that is a weakness of essentially all internal technology catalogues that we have seen: they mostly only contain internal views on the applicability of the technology. Of course, internal views matter, but we also need to keep in mind that technology deployment is very much an influencing game. If you want to convince senior management to adopt a certain technology, it helps if you can refer to deployment references and external reviews. If other companies – operating under similar conditions as your company - have successfully used a technology, then that is a very strong argument to also get the technology deployed in your company!
Nothing gives more confidence than a review from someone we trust. Such review doesn’t need to belong, a few sentences can be sufficient to think: “perhaps this is something I should consider as well”. This is not different from daily life, where we rely on opinions of people that we trust to decide which dentist to go to, or which plumber to call. Or big decisions such as in which part of town to buy a house; if already 10 friends live in a certain neighbourhood, you would typically do less research than when you’re the first to move somewhere.
Deployment references and reviews are cornerstones of TechnologyCatalogue.com. The platform was developed based on the first-hand experience that it is often difficult for decision-makers to stay up to date on available technology-driven improvement opportunities for their business. It was launched in Q3 2018 and is steadily growing in terms of content & functionality.
Reviews on the platform are always by name, never done anonymously. This way, you can check the background of the person on LinkedIn or other channels. Naturally, an independent expert is not going to say anything positive about a technology if he or she wouldn’t mean it; the person is not going to put his or her credibility on the line.
The deployment references and reviews not only aid the selection process, it also saves you a lot of time from talking to suppliers that you don’t know yet. Operators get many requests from suppliers to meet and talk about their value-adding technology. With this platform, you can simply tell suppliers: “We’re happy to talk to you, but first we want to see a credible number of references and reviews on TechnologyCatalogue.com”. Based on the information provided, you can then decide to discuss with suppliers.
As a supplier, you can naturally use the functionality to your advantage as well. By using the power of references and reviews, you can open the door of potential customers.
Suppliers can upload their technologies for free. Besides reviews and deployment references, the technology page contains information such as a brief description about the technology, specifications, pro’s/cons and maturity level. The reviews and references thereby help to give credibility to the information provided by suppliers, similar to the way reviews on hotel sites reinforce the messages given by the hotel owner.
The platform currently has ~250 registered technologies, and our aim is to grow this number to >5000 within the next couple of years. The growth of content will go hand-in-hand with introducing advanced functionality, such that it will still be easy to find the right technology to address your challenge; similar to the way that we are able to find the right hotel or restaurant using platforms in our consumer lives.
Combining the best of both worlds
In addition to the functionality of TechnologyCatalogue.com that any user will have access to for free, we can offer additional functionality that will combine the best of both worlds: your own ring-fenced, the customised area within the TechnologyCatalogue.com infrastructure.
Such an area will save you time and money. It will avoid the need for creating and maintaining your own technology catalogue overview; suppliers create and maintain the technology page, and they have a clear incentive to keep the information up to date. Also, by having access to external reviews, it can help in the selection and decision process. After all, the experiences from others can give the confidence to replicate the technology within your own company.
The ring-fenced, customised area will be located on the same secure server as TechnologyCatalogue.com and can be linked via own intranet or accessed directly.
The following functionality would form the starting point for a customized, ring-fenced area for your company.
A customised homepage including the logo of your company.
Space on the homepage to include a message by a senior leader within your company
Customised pre-defined filters on the homepage, reflecting your main business priorities (or instead of business priorities: following the naming convention of internal work processes).
Technologies selected from TechnologyCatalogue.com mapped against your priority areas. As a customer, you decide which technologies will be visible, and we equip you with the tools to make the selection.
Option to include in-house developed technologies, using the same template as for the technologies extracted from technologycatalogue.com.
Internal experts can add comments/reviews, only visible for your own users.
In addition to the basic functionality of a customized platform, there are many other options to expand the functionality to further streamline the delivery of your technology in your company, such as:
Knowledge sharing functionality
Tools to keep track of the uptake of technology across your company
Technology benchmarking tools
And multiple other options. However, our recommendation is to start with putting the basic structure in place, and that in itself will help to deliver significant value to your company. We speak from experience when we make that statement.