The World Economic Forum, Tech Pioneers, and CollabNet

By Bill Portelli, CollabNet CEO & President

I
am proud to be sitting here in Frankfurt making my way to Davos, Switzerland,
where I will accept a Technology Pioneer Award. While there, I will also participate
in a number of working sessions and breakout groups along with hundreds of
technical, business, and social leaders from around the globe.  Although I
will have the pleasure of accepting this award and participating in these
sessions, I accept this on behalf of the hard work, passion, and vision of the
current and past employees of CollabNet who have made globally distributed
software development a reality. The community of World Economic Forum (WEF)
Technical Pioneers was established by the WEF in 2000 in recognition of the
importance of small companies that create impact through technical innovation
of entire industries.  Since 2000, a rigorous annual selection process by
the WEF in cooperation with a host of strategic partners identifies hundreds of
companies worldwide, and eventually selects about two dozen companies each
year. 

When
thinking about why CollabNet won this award, a couple of things struck me.
 First, it takes a certain kind of company to win.  Klaus Schwab,
founder and still the driving force behind the WEF, founded it in 1971, based
on the stakeholder theory, which states that the management of an enterprise
has to serve all stakeholders.  In a 2008 London Times opinion piece, he wrote: 
“ . . . the management has to lead the enterprise as the trustee of all
stakeholders . . . in order to secure the long term prosperity of the company”

By “stakeholder”, Schwab means all constituencies – both internal and
external.  I’d like to believe that CollabNet management has operated in
an open manner with this long-term view of serving our stakeholders since we
founded the company in 1999 – both internally among our employees, as well as
externally with our clients and business partners.   And of course,
we need to look no further than CollabNet’s founding of Subversion and
continued corporate sponsorship and leadership of it over the last 10 years to
see that this multi-stakeholder long term view of the world is a core value of
our company.  Perhaps it’s the open source gene coming through….

The
second aspect that struck me even more was that the companies honored as
Pioneers are recognized for creating “impact through technical innovation of
entire industries.”  CollabNet, and our nearly 1,000 customers, have blazed
the path for industry to define and adopt industry-changing software
development paradigms — from fractured and decentralized to collaborative and
distributed.  We have done this across every industry, and often with
award-winning results, such as the recent recognition by the US government
for DISA’s CollabNet-based implementation of forge.mil.  Certainly, great
technology is critical to winning such an award. Even more important is the
ability to have the long-term vision and perseverance to identify an industry
opportunity, and to work within that industry to bring to bear that technology
for transformative gains for all that participate in that industry.
 That’s exactly what CollabNet, DISA, and other companies have done in the
past year – but more about that in a blog to come.

Bill Portelli is CollabNet's CEO. Read his full bio here.

(Posted by Dana Nourie)

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