AppDirect’s Daniel Saks says organizations need “co-opetition” to stay competitive

Daniel saks

While digital transformation can mean many things—from adopting agile practices to integrating tech across all teams—AppDirect’s co-CEO Daniel Saks took to the Web Summit stage to share his belief that offering an ecosystem of products and collaboration is key.

“You need to be able to sell multiple products in a quick and agile way,” Saks said. “You also need to sell multiple products from third parties that work well with yours and build an ecosystem. You have to figure out the multitude of channels that you’re going to sell with, so retail, digital channels, app stores.”

“You’re going to be partnering with your competitors and you’re going to be partnering with others to help you grow.”

On top of having multiple products, Saks said the ability to have software accessible across multiple devices is becoming increasingly important. “That creates massive back-office complexity because it challenges how you operate the business,” he said. Saks pointed to Amazon as an example of a company that created the right processes and systems for distribution, technology, and enablement that allowed it to bring more Amazon and third-party products to market quickly.

Saks also believes that the software industry could learn from the music industry. Over time, music has been developed both as an art form and an industry, culminating into the ability for anyone to access the world’s library of music quickly and easily. “You take that example in the software world, and it couldn’t be further from the case,” Saks said. “You have to buy from vendors, the stuff doesn’t work together, businesses don’t know where to get their things, so that’s what we’re trying to solve as an ecosystem is making technology accessible globally,” he said.

Technology is creating a convergence between industries; buying a car now also means buying an infotainment system within it and downloading Apple software. For this reason, companies should prepare for the next digital economy that requires collaboration. “We are living in an open world where ecosystems prevail, and the reality of that is that culturally, we need to build in the notion of co-opetition,” Saks said. “You’re going to be partnering with your competitors and you’re going to be partnering with others to help you grow.”

Feature photo via Twitter.

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang is BetaKit's News Editor. Follow her on Twitter @jessicagalangg or send her pitches to jessica.galang@betakit.com.