INVENTURES

March 2018

 

Leveraging an Alliance's Expert Viewpoint

When a new alliance or association forms, it is typically laser focused on building its specifications and solving an industry issue to get to market quickly. But it may inadvertently find itself in the role of industry expert and spokesperson. Is this an opportunity or a distraction?

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Sustained Innovation and Market Relevance

The SD Association (SDA) was formed in 2000 to set and promote industry standards for SD Cards as removable memory storage. From this initial introduction, there have been many innovations and developments that have enabled the SD Cards to maintain market relevance. These innovations and developments include changes in form factors (e.g., the micro SD card), increases in interface speeds, capacity improvements, and support for new SD Hosts and Ancillary product and applications such as speed classes for video recording, application performance classes for random access applications, and applications other than memory storage such as wireless communications, security and more.

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Client News: ONVIF Launches Open Source Spotlight Challenge

ONVIF®, the leading global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products, has announced the ONVIF Open Source Spotlight Challenge, a technology competition to develop open source applications for innovative IP video streaming applications that will help resolve global security issues. The need for interoperability is significantly growing and the online coding challenge will allow ONVIF to seek out innovative physical security solutions to ensure that the organization is offering interoperability with the highest levels of efficiency, security and reliability.

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5 Ways to Get Over Your Fear of Public Speaking

In overcoming a fear of public speaking, the article's authors offer five tips. First, "be prepared." This means knowing your material so well that you don't have to even think about it. It also means making sure all the logistics are set well in advance. "You want to be relaxed and focused, not scrambling to get the audio working," write columnists Mark Bonchek and Mandy Gonzalez. Tip two, "be real." The chances that someone will stand up and boo you in the middle of your speech are pretty slim. But if, for example, you have 100 slides for a 30-minute talk, your fear of running out of time is quite real. You'll need to cut some material. Being prepared and being real can help turn down the noise on your fears. The next three tips will help you turn up the volume on your confidence.

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imageLeveraging an Alliance's Expert Viewpoint

When a new alliance or association forms, it is typically laser focused on building its specifications and solving an industry issue to get to market quickly. But it may inadvertently find itself in the role of industry expert and spokesperson. Is this an opportunity or a distraction?

As with most ventures, there's a balancing act, or five, vying for center stage in any alliance. How to solve the issue quickly? Is certification necessary? How to engage members in the process? How to deal with changing industry dynamics? How to/whether to build a brand? Usually, it's easy to go all in on an engineering solution but sometimes the marketing and communication responsibilities are afterthoughts. History is full of great engineering solutions that never got adopted because no one knew about them so it's best to embrace opportunities to tell your alliance's viewpoint.

Alliances are uniquely positioned and usually well equipped to serve as industry experts. They provide an ecosystem-wide perspective that industry analysts and editors find valuable. Serving as an industry spokesperson also helps member recruitment, creates greater awareness of the issue and solutions offered by your alliance. Greater awareness helps not only the alliance organization itself but most importantly, your alliance members. Members benefit from having an impartial organization advocating on their behalf.

Here are a few example of alliances taking advantage of their industry spokesperson role:

The Mopria Alliance is an expert on mobile printing and its leaders regularly speak at conferences, hold briefings with media and industry analysts to bring greater attention to the ways the industry is responding to changing printing habits in a world that's dominated by mobile devices.

The Zigbee Alliance has been advocating for IoT solutions before it became the hot trend everyone is aware of today. Its advocacy work has created new markets and reshaped industries. It has also changed the way we live and work as IoT sensors become more prevalent around the world.

The EMerge Alliance has generated DC power standards and is a champion for the direct use of DC power to create highly efficient buildings and workspaces that are net-zero energy users.

Serving as an industry expert and spokesperson is an opportunity and responsibility every organization should embrace. Every organization has a wealth of data at its fingertips and this information provides valuable insight that can assist members and the marketplaces served. Building a thriving ecosystem to support the adoption of new specifications relies upon more than engineering expertise or industry know-how, it takes leadership.

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imageSustained Innovation and Market Relevance

The SD Association (SDA) was formed in 2000 to set and promote industry standards for SD Cards as removable memory storage. From this initial introduction, there have been many innovations and developments that have enabled the SD Cards to maintain market relevance. These innovations and developments include changes in form factors (e.g., the micro SD card), increases in interface speeds, capacity improvements, and support for new SD Hosts and Ancillary product and applications such as speed classes for video recording, application performance classes for random access applications, and applications other than memory storage such as wireless communications, security and more.

From this initial introduction, it can be noted that the lifetime of the SDA is relatively long (17+ years) for a technology alliance. Some might ask how the SDA was able to sustain itself for so long and adapt to changes in technology and the market. This case study will describe the services that Inventures provided to the SDA that enabled the SDA members and participants to focus on the technology and market success of the organization without having to worry about the operation and management of the organization.

Situation

The SDA Technical Committee and work groups that consist of volunteers of SDA member companies have been focused on the continued evolution, growth, and expansion of the SDA Specifications in order to meet the changing needs for removable storage in devices. Correspondingly, the SDA Marketing Committee, which is also made up of volunteers from SDA member companies, organizes and participates in events that help promote the advantages of SD technology, along with events that promotes the SDA activity attracting new members to participate in the constant development of the SDA Specifications. These resources from SDA member companies are responsible for the success of the SD Card technology, but due to time and resource constraints, the member companies are not able provide the people to fully manage and operate the SDA organization - assistance is required. The SDA is a unique standards development organization that that in addition to specification creation, performs compliance checks, and technology promotion initiatives. All these activities require various kinds of support that the SDA member company volunteers either don't have the necessary expertise or the time required - for example, event management, financial management & administration, legal support, and marketing & communications.

Solution

In 2008, the SDA turned to Inventures to request support for the management and operations of the SD Association. This support includes services such as advice and counsel to the Board of Directors, program management, event management, marketing support, external communications (PR & publicity), membership administration, and financial management. The support services provided by Inventures are matched to people or groups in the SDA in order to ensure that the SDA's needs are being met and to provide accountability. For example, an executive director supplied by Inventures reports to the Board of Directors and provides advice and strategic guidance and financial management support is provided to the SDA Finance Committee and Treasurer by supplying monthly reports and information. The event management support for the SDA bi-annual general assembly ("all member") meetings, board & committee meetings, and tradeshow management is an Inventures service that is done in cooperation with the SDA Marketing Committee. Likewise, the SDA created a "corporate communications" team to work with the SDA Director of Communication, supplied by Inventures, in order to deliver press releases, white papers, webinars, member newsletter and monthly email blasts - this combination ensures that SDA requirements are met and that the quality deliverables are consistently on-time.

Outcome

The various SDA people and groups that interfaced with and/or utilized the services provided by Inventures were able to leverage that support to ensure their specific deliverables and programs were completed. For example, the Board utilizes Inventures to help track the progress of activities related to annual objectives that are aligned with the SDA's strategy and goals. Inventures is able to provide assurance to the SDA Board of Directors, that the SDA is "well managed" so that the Board does not have to actively manage the organization.

Conclusions

By utilizing the specific Inventures Alliance Management Services needed by the SDA that were tailored to the SDA organization, the SDA member company volunteers were able to continue to focus on and execute the SDA mission. The fact that SDA volunteers could rely on Inventures for operations and management of the organization helped enable the SDA to sustain its success as an organization and in the market.

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imageClient News: ONVIF Launches Open Source Spotlight Challenge

ONVIF®, the leading global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products, has announced the ONVIF Open Source Spotlight Challenge, a technology competition to develop open source applications for innovative IP video streaming applications that will help resolve global security issues. The need for interoperability is significantly growing and the online coding challenge will allow ONVIF to seek out innovative physical security solutions to ensure that the organization is offering interoperability with the highest levels of efficiency, security and reliability.

The two-month online challenge offers lucrative cash prizes for developers who use the protocol provided by ONVIF to create open source mobile or desktop applications for advanced video streaming that provides easy and secure authentication from all platforms. Judging will be based on innovation, viability of implementation, functionality and whether the app is easy to navigate and use. The competition will close on May 20 with winners announced in late June.

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image5 Ways to Get Over Your Fear of Public Speaking

In overcoming a fear of public speaking, the article's authors offer five tips. First, "be prepared." This means knowing your material so well that you don't have to even think about it. It also means making sure all the logistics are set well in advance. "You want to be relaxed and focused, not scrambling to get the audio working," write columnists Mark Bonchek and Mandy Gonzalez. Tip two, "be real." The chances that someone will stand up and boo you in the middle of your speech are pretty slim. But if, for example, you have 100 slides for a 30-minute talk, your fear of running out of time is quite real. You'll need to cut some material. Being prepared and being real can help turn down the noise on your fears. The next three tips will help you turn up the volume on your confidence.

Tip three is to "be vulnerable." Bonchek and Gonzalez write, "Our vulnerability can be our greatest strength. The way to connect with an audience is by being human." This means allowing your audience to get to know you. You won't be able to connect with attendees if they are not connecting with you. "Be present" is tip number four. Just because you are physically onstage doesn't mean you're all there. You must be fully present if you have any hope of making a real connection. Do something beforehand that makes you present, whether it's exercise, sight-seeing, a deep breathe, or something to clear out the mental fog. Finally, "be generous." "There's a message you want your audience to walk away with," the authors conclude. "Maybe it's an insight, an inspiration, a direction, or an experience." Share it with them.

Harvard Business Review (02/23/18) Bonchek, Mark; Gonzalez, Mandy

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