Needs and Problems to Be Solved
Connecticut’s need for an innovation and economic development hub had many dimensions. They fell into a number of broad categories as described below:
Existing Program Support: CI had been playing, for many years, an active, leading role in facilitating innovation across the State and for a wide array of stakeholders. Accordingly, the solution needed to be designed to support existing programs but be flexible enough extend the value proposition in new ways.
Breadth of Features: As CI’s vision included social, collaborative and operational capabilities, the technology needed to include features that looked like those found in Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, Yammer, Yahoo Groups, UStream, and Salesforce.com, while being available through the web and mobile apps running in iPhone, iPad and Android.
Interoperability & “The Cloud”: It wasn't possible (nor necessary) to build from scratch all of the features CI desired. The mandate, therefore was to adopt a platform-type solution that could accommodate 3’rd party products and services being readily integrated in a secure way and then easily updated.
Familiarity & Ease of Use: As an entire generation was (and still is) being trained by using the mega-social sites like Facebook and Linked-in, CI wanted to adopt as many common notions as possible so users could be easily on-boarded and then brought up to speed quickly.
Ownership: Connecticut needed to “own,” in the truest sense of the word, their innovation environment. Simply nesting it in somebody else's community wasn't an option. Ownership needed to be at such fundamental levels as ownership of data, of the URL, of the user, and of the total experience.
Control: Closely related to ownership was the concept of control. CI needed to control all business policy and technical considerations ranging from user access, to where the system was hosted and maintained, to how and when it would evolve, to end-user licensing. Not the type of control consumer communities like Facebook provide.
Manageability & Upgradeability: While CI required a custom solution, they also needed one built on upgradeable, integrated components so they could achieve efficiency, quality and security at reasonable cost.
The solution delivered by Concursive, built entirely on its standard, upgradeable components, achieves these needs for Connecticut Innovations in the iHUB deployment.