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The rise of the digital suggestion box

Divina Paredes | May 26, 2015
...And why a Wellington startup for an ‘idea management platform' is named as one of the 'cool vendors in government' by Gartner


HunchBuzz, A Wellington start-up providing an 'idea management platform' has been named as one of the 'cool vendors in government' by Gartner.

"We are moving the traditional suggestion box from the reception desk to the digital cloud," says Steve Graham, co-founder and director of HunchBuzz.

"We are born in the cloud, architected for the cloud, he says.

As a Kiwi company, he says this is important so it can deploy anywhere in the world.

He says HunchBuzz will help with the engagement with staff and allows the organisation to listen to "the voice of the frontline".

But it is critical that organisations follow up and interact, and commit time and energy to the project, he states.

The 'cool' factor

Gartner describes HunchBuzz as a cloud-based social software collaboration platform for governments that provides users with different social tools, including the ability to upload supporting documents to sort, track and prioritise crowdsourced ideas.

"By offering an idea generation and civic dialogue platform, governments can now capture the 'voice of the citizen' and staff across the agency, run innovation events or campaigns, crowdsource projects, or survey citizen priorities and preferences," says Gartner in a report on Cool Vendors in Government that was released last month.

"To solve organisational or community challenges, governments must learn to routinely harvest and analyse the collective intelligence of their workforce and citizens at large. Social software and collaboration vendors, such as the idea management platform offered by HunchBuzz, can be used to solicit and act on the best ideas gleaned from collaborative networks of interested individuals or groups," according to the report.

HunchBuzz was one of three vendors cited in the report -- the others being OpenGov and Vlocity, both based in the US.

The Gartner report says HunchBuzz users can be both internal and external. Employees can use a single sign-on protocols to eliminate the need for accounts and passwords. Citizens can offer feedback via an integrated widget into existing websites or intranets to collect ideas without having to visit a specific community.

"Providing government with the capacity to elicit feedback from internal staff, partners or the general public quickly and easily for any size organisation that is operational within 30 minutes with minimal training is a best practice for government," says Gartner on why HunchBuzz made it to the list.

Key lesson: Market validation

Graham is also a founder of Act On Insight. He formed the consultancy after holding executive roles at technology companies including Fronde, Microsoft and TelstraClear.

He says in the past five years when he has been working with Act on Insight clients, he realised a number of them were struggling with innovation models.


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