Friday, April 4, 2008

The Anaqua Client Community and ACE

From the beginning, Anaqua and its clients have placed great emphasis on building an active, collaborative community of IAM leaders to share ideas and experiences and provide direction for Anaqua’s IAM solution. Last week we held the third annual gathering of this community at the Anaqua User Conference in Delray Beach, Florida. Every client sent multiple delegates including Heads of IP, patent and trademark attorneys, portfolio managers, IT and operations staff and paralegals. The program included client presentations on best practices in IAM strategy and operations and a series of workshops and tutorials.

At last year’s conference, there was a strong desire for a collaborative, open forum for sharing best practices in all aspects of IAM— both related to their use of the Anaqua system, as well as more broadly to share information about strategy, organization and process . This year we were able to unveil Anaqua’s new IAM best practices resource, the Anaqua Community Exchange (ACE).

The Anaqua Community Exchange is a “private” collaboration environment provided to Anaqua clients. The ACE system was initially conceived by our Executive Council, a special group of senior IAM executives who provide both industry insight and guidance to Anaqua’s business. The objective of ACE was to provide a robust, active resource that would enable clients to both contribute and receive IAM best practices amongst and between their fellow Anaqua users. While other IAM related sites were available through the web, the Executive Council felt that a dedicated, client directed system would provide a much higher value resource. Importantly, the Council felt that the ACE environment must provide a flexible structure, and support for both peer-to-peer collaboration, as well as providing a conduit for Anaqua training and support materials.

Over the last few years we’ve seen a plethora of new technologies and resources emerge that are aimed at helping companies share “best practices” information – online forums, discussion boards, blogs, wikis, to name a few. In designing the ACE system, Anaqua worked closely with its clients to understand their expectations and requirements. Having past experience with various online forums, the team was committed to providing a resource that would be truly valuable—and therefore would flourish with evergreen content driven by active use and participation. In implementing ACE, the following are some of the key components have been provided:

A robust wiki infrastructure that allows shared content to evolve through community exchange of revisions. This is particularly useful for user guides and training materials, which can be collaboratively revised and updated by the Anaqua user community, and shared by all;

  • A document sharing function where presentations, white papers, best practice guides and other materials can be posted and shared;
  • Discussion rooms where users can contribute ideas, documents and other information;
  • A Resources area where ANAQUA document and email templates and user-written reports can be posted and shared;
  • Postings of upcoming events including user conferences, webinars and industry meetings;
  • Notifications and RSS subscriptions to allow users to automatically receive updates from their topics of interest—pushed directly to their email or browser

Content has included new versions of the Anaqua training materials (for the new ANAQUA6 release), case studies (including the recent IAM article by Amy Achter (Kimberly Clark) and Paul DiGiammarino (Anaqua), and the presentation materials from our recent Anaqua User Conference.

So what are the implications for Anaqua’s current and future clients? We are excited about the added value that ACE delivers by providing a unique environment and eco-system for our leading client companies. Anaqua sees the opportunity to go far beyond providing the industry’s best IAM system “features and functions”. ACE is a critical component in Anaqua’s overall customer experience, providing an incredible resource to derive substantial benefit from the collaboration and sharing of ideas across the full set of clients – the Anaqua Community Exchange!

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