Collaboration 3.0 – A Way to Work Without the Hype

Two weeks ago we began our look at Collaboration 3.0 (which was continued last week as well).  In an age of This 2.0 and That 2.0, where such terms become meaningless, it behooves us to look at technologies in the marketplace that have the potential to dramatically influence how we work and conduct business while also having a positive impact on the bottom line.

We coined Collaboration 3.0 in part to poke fun at the 2.0ers but the reality is that Collaboration 3.0 describes a very high level of collaboration, where multiple companies across the globe work together as if they were all part of one giant enterprise.  The tools that such collaboration requires are extraordinary as well.

Indeed, companies can even achieve extraordinary results through the use of fairly early Collaboration 3.0 technologies.  Our poster child for this is Boeing and its 787 Dreamliner aircraft program.  By bringing customers and partners into the process from day 1, and developing the platforms to support extensive interaction, Boeing cut 18 months out of the development and production cycle.

The use of Collaboration 3.0 also had a transformative effect on Boeing’s business.  In many respects, Boeing moved from being a traditional aircraft manufacturer to a model that more resembles a systems and design company cum supply-chain integrator.

Ironically, at the same time, competitor Airbus was struggling to use Collaboration 1.0 technologies – and not doing terribly well at that.  Different parts of Airbus working on the same project were using different and incompatible versions of design and PLM tools.  This resulted in significant delays in the Airbus A380 program and an expected ca. €4.8 billion loss.

The proof is in the bottom line.  The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the most successful launch of a new aircraft in history.  To date, 47 customers have ordered 677 airplanes worth ca. $110 billion based on current list prices.  The Dreamliner’s competitor, the Airbus A350 XWB, has struggled through three redesigns and industry criticism for not meeting fuel economy and passenger comfort goals.  It has garnered only 154 firm orders.

This concludes our initial look at Collaboration 3.0 but we would like to hear from those of you who are starting to deploy Collaboration 3.0-like technologies.  E-mail me at

Jonathan B. Spira is CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex.

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