Since 2015 Colygon and Starmind have been working together to offer the most advanced workplace of the future, with the aim of providing access to the entire documented and undocumented knowledge of an organization. They have achieved this goal by integrating Starmind’s intelligent knowledge management technology into Colygon's Digital Workplace solution "MatchPoint Snow".
The PwC workplace platform, their first joint installation, was recognized in the "Innovative Technology Integration" category at the Intra.Net Reloaded in Berlin in April 2016.
I was therefore eager to learn more about the success factors of the cooperation and to bring together the builders of the partnership: Patrick Püntener, sales director Colygon and Anton Meier, CSO Starmind International, discuss social collaboration and the future of digitalization.
The partnership between Colygon and Starmind started back in 2015. How did it come to life?
Anton Meier: It was funny. During my previous role as Head of Finance and IT, we had been considering Colygon and Starmind as possible components of the future collaboration solution for employees in the organization. Already back then I considered them as a "Perfect Match".
Patrick Püntener: We knew Anton Meier from his time at Finnova. Our CEO, Jürg Wyttenbach, used to have connections with him at SAP. Anton approached Jürg shortly after he joined Starmind as he believed our products would complement each other well.
After the first meeting, it was immediately clear to me that the ideas of both companies would perfectly complement each other. By linking our technologies, we would be able to connect and relate knowledge and expertise more closely and thus develop unique knowledge management capabilities which do not currently exist in the market.
Anton: Colygon solves many problems of typical SharePoint implementations very elegantly. A sophisticated, user-centric design, a fast introduction and the solid Microsoft technology base were and are winning arguments for Colygon. In addition, the many reference customers continue to underline the quality of the solution.
Why does the combination of MatchPoint Snow and Starmind work so well? How do the two applications complement each other?
Anton: We have a common vision, namely the fast and accurate location of valuable information, whether through documents, workspaces or solutions to questions in the corporate context. Simplicity is particularly important for us both. An integrated solution has to provide direct and instant access to all essential information.
Patrick: Both Colygon and Starmind share the same view. Information is not primarily content, but also context. When someone needs a piece of information, the first action is to look for familiar topics. For example, a product, a customer or a keyword related to that context.
Starmind explicitly focuses on the human factor in large companies: Questions from employees are answered by intelligently locating previously undocumented solutions. This allows Starmind to find out which topics are currently important in a company.
Anton: MatchPoint Snow focuses on all the documented information that is generated during the daily work of a knowledge worker. Starmind focuses on the undocumented knowledge of the employees, which has accumulated over time as work experience and expertise. This combination is indeed a perfect match in the digital workplace of today and thus we achieve a much higher information content than other providers.
Both Starmind and MatchPoint place people at the center of the workplace. Why is the human still important despite the advent of AI?
Patrick: At least today, it is the human who makes decisions, while the machine is merely a tool.
Anton: AI will become an indispensable tool in the future and will strongly support human efforts in selected areas. Ultimately, however, the natural intelligence of man and his creativity will remain unique in the near future.
Patrick: Exactly. With the help of AI, we must ensure that the human being receives the information relevant to him automatically, quickly and purposefully. All in relation to his current context and what he wants to do next.
Today everything is changing - How do you see the future in the field of digitalization and social collaboration?
Anton: The trend of complete digitalization has just begun. In the coming years, we will see many more successful application examples (IoT, Big Data, intelligent assistants such as Siri / Cortana, etc.). The fact that a large part of the social collaboration of the coming generations is already taking place digitally, suggests that in a few years, the collaboration will become even more digital and social media-like in the business day. It can be assumed today that the technologies developed under the slogan "digitalization " will have a similar influence on our society over the coming years and decades as the development of the first steam engine at the beginning of the industrial revolution in the second half of the 18th century. There are exciting times ahead!
Patrick: We must consider that digitalization is the driver and the prerequisite to be successful as a company in the future. It is part of the context of social change and influences new business models. These, in turn, fuel digitalization in a highly dynamic interaction, which is also the reason for the rapid changes we see today.
We already had a similar phenomenon around the year 2000, but it was doomed to failure because of the limited technological possibilities. At the same time society was not yet ready for it. Today, all components play together, which is why I also believe that digitalization is sustainable and unavoidable.
Social collaboration is a topic, because the organization in a company is changing massively. The hierarchies of yesterday are the networks of tomorrow. This affects how people work together and new tools are needed to make this collaboration efficient.
How do you see the partnership between Colygon and Starmind developing in the future?
Patrick: We are firmly convinced that many companies today, regardless of their industry, face the very same problems that we can solve with our unique technology. As a software manufacturer, we strongly rely on the standardization of solutions in the field of the digital workplace. Our common offering covers many areas as no other providers can. As a result, we offer great advantages to our customers, like transparency of cost, risk minimization and the ever-increasing high speed of implementation in projects.
Anton: There are currently talks with other companies interested in a joint use of MatchPoint Snow and Starmind. At the same time, the integration and, in particular, the mutual learning of content will be even more important. For example, we would like to make the expert profiles within Starmind even better, by taking relevant activities of users in MatchPoint Snow into account. So there is still a lot of potential. We look forward to further cooperation!
Colygon was founded by Patrick Püntener in Basel in 2011. With MatchPoint Snow, Colygon offers an award-winning Digital Workplace solution for large companies and SMEs. In MatchPoint Snow, tools for corporate communication, social collaboration and knowledge management merge into one personalized portal that delivers individually tailored information to each employee on any device. MatchPoint Snow supports the digital transformation and optimizes the information flow within organizations. Well-known companies such as Roche, Shell and Kuoni are using MatchPoint Snow in more than 50 countries.
For more information visit colygon.com