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By Julieta Vidal, Head of Business Development at Wayra Hispam
It is commonly said that opposites attract, it is a physical law applicable in the corporate and entrepreneurship world , corporations find the commitment, risk orientation and adaptability of startups attractive. Innovation, technology and flexibility are attributes of entrepreneurs, and in contrast, companies offer marketing channels, strategic alliances, contacts with investors and the experience to achieve business expansion and scalability .
The pilots are a gateway, the way to test the operation of a solution within the corporation, that is, the “first date”, which can determine the dynamics and life of the alliance. Both corporations and startups seek sustainable and scalable collaborations , where both parties benefit, to achieve this, five determining factors must be considered:
1. Understanding the problem
It is important to establish the criticality of the problem that the startup is going to solve and to know the needs in a real way. The answer to the following questions allows us to see if we are facing an alliance with a promising future: Is the solution related to the core of the business? Is it transversal to different areas? Does it generate efficiency or representative savings? and creates added value?
It is a promising starting point to work on a Business Case aimed at efficiencies or savings, present solutions for the digitization of the company and respond to critical situations, such as those involved in the COVID-19 pandemic . For example, the startup Camonapp, promoted by Wayra Hispam of Telefónica Movistar, managed to scale its immersive technology in a multiregional way in 2020, providing solutions in the Retail, Costumer Service and Marketing sectors, by generating a new virtual scenario to replace interaction of the consumer in the real world in times of pandemic, enabling customer experiences to be delivered despite restrictions.
2. Clarity of objectives
Both startups and large corporations have their own goals. In a successful collaboration, there is a coherence and common vision, where it is possible to generate a strategy and a win-win relationship.
It is necessary to establish the objectives of the pilot test, taking into account the time and the steps to follow if the project continues, which will allow to have a roadmap, creating an incentive for the startup and the achievement of the proposed objectives.
3. Digital Transformation
The pandemic has brought with it the need for a rapid adaptation of companies to multiple scenarios and the adoption of new technologies such as Cloud Computing, Edge Computing, IoT, among others. Today corporations base their decisions on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence , seeking to be more flexible, efficient, competitive and with a broad response capacity.
In this context, there is the case of the startup Webcentrix, which began to market its Omnichannel customer service platform in 2017 through Movistar Empresas in Argentina. Today they have more than 500 clients and they managed to take their proposal to Peru, Chile and Colombia, achieving record year-on-year growth. The pandemic opened an opportunity, companies were forced to open an efficient customer service channel, reallocated resources to manage digital channels and phone calls from their homes.
4. Adaptation to processes
Large corporations, in many cases, require going through an infinity of internal processes, approvals and interlocutors for decision-making, causing frustration in entrepreneurs by being trapped in platforms and dynamics outside of them.
Having pre-assigned interlocutors who lead and accompany the adaptation process, and their complete visibility through a document, are very powerful tools to facilitate the initial integration of startups in a corporation.
5. Patience and persistence
Being two entities that work in opposite ways, times and dynamics may differ. For this reason, patience and persistence are important, keeping in mind the necessary effort and adaptation time, following the established roadmap, taking the corresponding measurements, avoiding losing the rhythm and guaranteeing the fulfillment of the objectives.
Corporations and startups are destined to meet, there is a mutual need enhanced by a dizzying context. It is up to both to generate scalable business and success stories.