Interview with Vikas Sharan, CEO, Regalix, Inc.
Situation: Online communities offer the opportunity to leverage crowd sourcing to both solve problems and create new capabilities. How can these communities be leveraged to expand business models?
Advice from Vikas Sharan:
- With the simultaneous explosion of digital devices and online communities, the concept of crowd sourcing will only increase. The ability to tap into the crowd sourcing ecosystem will differentiate high performers from everyone else.
- If you can think through a problem strategically, and build crowd sourcing capability to scale, you can leapfrog the competition and change the game.
- Take the example of ComplianceOnline (CO) from MetricStream.
○ MetricStream started as a company with an enterprise compliance platform. Their vision was to build information and best practices across multiple areas of compliance and vertical industries.
○ Since compliance is a very large area and spans thousands of industries and topics, MetricStream started with building best practices in a couple of compliance topics. To further their vision, they partnered with Regalix to create CO.
○ At CO, MetricStream and Regalix have created an ecosystem of over 20-30,000 experts on different compliance topics. These experts contribute training and best practices on thousands of compliance topics. Without adopting a crowd sourcing model, it would have been very difficult for MetricStream to build expertise across such a diverse range of compliance topics.
- Here is the sequence of events that helped to build CO.
- CO secured a collaboration with top regulatory officials across a handful of topics. These individuals brought not only credibility, but an initial list of advisers, peers and regulatory contacts to seed the new ecosystem.
- From this seed, the ecosystem rapidly grew to a large community which submitted white papers, best practices and training programs.
- Using the model first developed with the initial topics, CO has expanded their efforts to thousands of compliance verticals, with 20-30,000 experts contributing information to these verticals.
- There are thousands of federal, state and international compliance verticals to which this model can be applied.
Key Words: Strategy, Technology, Online Communities, Crowd Sourcing, Business Model, Platform, Compliance