DF Proposal: Accelerating Enterprise Adoption in Polkadot

Hi all, I wanted to share the following ideas I had for accelerating enterprise adoption within the Polkadot ecosystem and bridging some of the business development gaps that exist today. Any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated.

# Introduction:

The proposal below sets out a strategic approach to accelerating enterprise adoption, centred around three pillars:

  • Partnerships and Ecosystem Roundtables
  • Education & Certification Programs
  • Developing Strategic Use Cases

The team taking on this initiative would be led by myself, Miriam Bourke, Director of Ecosystem Operations at Parity Technologies. In addition to my experience providing strategy and operations support for the Ecosystem Development team at Parity, I also have extensive enterprise experience from my time with Deloitte’s Technology Consulting practice.

The proposal also puts forward a budget for one Events & Operations manager, who will support me in the organisation and execution of the proposed roundtable discussions, and one Technical Certification Programme Manager who will manage the development and roll out of the Polkadot certification programs.

In addition to the core team, we have put forward some additional budget for engaging industry experts and BD specialists on a case by case basis to support the roundtable discussions and POC/ use case initiatives, as well as any technical consultations required to review and quality control the certification program.

# Problem Statement:

Despite the immense potential of our decentralised technologies, enterprise adoption on Polkadot has been comparatively modest.

It is our belief that there are a number of factors which play into this including:

  • A lack of education & understanding about the technology and ecosystem.
  • Limited integration support for existing enterprise systems.
  • Lack of proven use cases demonstrating tangible benefits for enterprises.
  • Too few BD focused resources within the ecosystem, especially in North America where a significant majority of enterprises have a presence.

In order to accelerate enterprise adoption it is critical that we bridge these gaps.

# Solution Overview:

To accelerate enterprise adoption within the ecosystem, it’s imperative to educate businesses about Polkadot’s advantages, cultivate close communities and networks in pivotal regions, and enable third-party vendors with the expertise to act as business development representatives, advocating for Polkadot on our behalf.

Our solution is centred around three strategic pillars which are designed to achieve & reinforce these goals at all stages.

## Pillar 1: Partnerships and Ecosystem Roundtables:

Fostering partnerships and collaboration is essential for advancing education, driving use case innovation and promoting the adoption of Polkadot. To support these objectives, we propose hosting a series of partnership and ecosystem roundtable sessions.

Objectives of the Sessions:

  1. Network Development: Bringing together key stakeholders from both inside and outside the Polkadot ecosystem provides a valuable opportunity to expand networks, forge new connections, and strengthen existing relationships. These sessions serve as catalysts for collaboration, enabling participants to share insights, exchange ideas, and explore potential new use cases.

  2. Polkadot Education: Teaching external stakeholders about Polkadot’s technology, its ecosystem, and the opportunities available within it is essential for driving adoption and fostering innovation. The roundtables will act as a platform for valuable knowledge and insights sharing, empowering enterprises to harness the full potential of Polkadot.

  3. Promoting Longer-Term Partnerships: Building enduring partnerships that extend beyond individual transactions or initiatives is critical for driving sustained growth and impact within the Polkadot ecosystem. Through ongoing engagement and dialogue facilitated by these roundtable sessions, participants can identify shared goals, align interests, and lay the groundwork for deeper, more meaningful partnerships over the long term.

What These Sessions Would Look Like:

  • Format: The roundtable sessions will be structured as interactive forums, combining presentations, discussions, and networking opportunities.

  • Topics: Sessions will be customised to suit the region in which the roundtable is held, encompassing topics such as the value proposition of Polkadot, enterprise challenges and barriers to adoption, and emerging industry trends and opportunities.

  • Engagement and Collaboration: Emphasis will be placed on fostering active engagement, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing among participants. Breakout discussions, Q&A sessions, and networking opportunities will be integrated throughout the agenda to encourage meaningful interactions and exchange of ideas.

Location Considerations:

While no locations have been confirmed the following locations have been assessed for viability and impact. If you have any alternative suggestions however please drop a comment below.

  1. Dublin: With its growing reputation as a technology hub and gateway to Europe, Dublin will act as the pilot city for these roundtable initiatives. The city’s diverse industry coverage, supportive regulatory environment, and thriving blockchain ecosystem make it an ideal location for fostering innovation, collaboration and partnerships.
  2. New York: As a global financial and cultural centre, New York serves as a strategic location for engaging with enterprises, financial institutions, and blockchain integrators interested in exploring the potential of Polkadot’s DeFi technologies and use cases.
  3. San Francisco: Known as a hub for technology and innovation, San Francisco offers an ideal setting for hosting roundtable sessions focused on cutting-edge developments in Web3 technologies. Discussion here will focus on emerging industries and innovative use case development.
  4. Berlin: Home to startups and multinationals alike, Berlin is a dynamic hub for innovation and enterprise in Europe. Hosting roundtable sessions in Berlin will provide an opportunity to engage with a diverse community of developers, technologists, and blockchain enthusiasts who are driving the evolution of Web3 technologies in the region. Discussions in Berlin will likely focus on supply chain, sustainability and digital identity.

Participants:

Exclusive events, these sessions will be invite only and participants will be selected based on their expertise in a given industry or specialisation in a particular technology. Examples of participants would be:

  • Leadership from B2B projects in the ecosystem.
  • CTOs and innovation leads from large enterprises.
  • Leadership from professional services firms.
  • Web3 and Polkadot thought leadership.

It is our expectation that there would be no more than 15-20 people in the room for these round table discussions.

## Pillar 2: Education & Certification Programs:

Building on the successful model of cloud certification programs, we will develop comprehensive education and certification programs focused on Polkadot technologies and the ecosystem. These programs will empower enterprise teams, third-party vendors and professional services firms with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the complexities of the Polkadot ecosystem and implement decentralised solutions effectively and securely.

AWS’s cloud certification program has been successful because it effectively bridges the gap between the demand for skilled cloud professionals and the need for validated expertise in using AWS services. It provides a clear pathway for individuals to acquire relevant skills, validate their knowledge, and advance their careers in the cloud computing industry. By developing a native certification program for Polkadot, it’s our belief that we can do the same for our technologies and our ecosystem.

Benefits of a certification program:

  1. Partnership Opportunities: Certified professionals develop a sense of loyalty to Polkadot through certification, as the training equips them with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the protocol’s capabilities and advantages. Armed with this expertise, they become adept at articulating the benefits of Polkadot to their clients in a compelling manner. This proficiency not only enhances their credibility but also positions them as independent sales professionals who can effectively convey the value proposition of Polkadot, thus opening up further partnership opportunities for Polkadot with certified individuals and their organisations or clients.

  2. Recognition and Credibility: Many enterprise organisations that are seeking to integrate new technology services prefer to work with certified professionals. Certification demonstrates a commitment to excellence and proficiency in leveraging the technology, and plays a crucial role in enhancing the credibility of professionals. In emerging technologies like Web3, credibility holds paramount significance, particularly in light of significant negative media incidents, such as the FTX case, which have contributed to a widespread erosion of trust.

  3. Builds Community: Native certification programs have a large and active community of certified professionals, students, and enthusiasts who actively engage in forums, user groups, and events. This community provides valuable support, resources, and networking opportunities for other individuals pursuing certifications and can benefit the ecosystem as a whole by increasing product usage and community engagement (for example in governance).

Programming and Pathways:

Our education pathways and certifications will emulate the structure of the AWS certification program, but with customised content and pathways aligned with the specific requirements of our ecosystem. These materials will undergo continuous updates in response to technical advancements in the ecosystem.

The program will be structured in such a way as to allow individuals to progress through different levels of expertise, building upon their existing knowledge and skills. This design creates a pathway of stackable certifications, where each certification serves as a stepping stone to more advanced levels, while also being bespoke to the specialisation that the individual is seeking to achieve (e.g. Infrastructure, DiFi or Security).

The requested funding will support the development of a foundational certification, serving as a prototype for subsequent specialised certifications. This foundational certificate will be an entry level certification designed for individuals with a basic understanding of Web3. It will cover fundamental Polkadot concepts and architecture, key products & services, security, governance and an introduction to the ecosystem.

It’s our intention to work with the Web3 Foundation’s Education Team, developer education teams such as Papermoon, and the PBA team to co-develop the content and review and QC the exams. Exams will be administered online and will be proctored by an external provider. All content created will be available for free, however exams will have a small fee (less than $150). Revenue made from the exams will be reinvested back into educational content & the development of enterprise use cases.

## Pillar 3: Developing Strategic Use Cases

By leveraging insights and networks gathered from each of the roundtable discussions, we will provide tailored business development support to parachains as they engage with enterprises. This support will involve facilitating collaboration, offering strategic guidance, and ensuring alignment between enterprise objectives and the capabilities of the parachain.

If a high-value, strategic use case or partnership opportunity is identified, we will assist in its development by adhering to the following approach:

  1. Engaging with all parties for the initial consultation and ideation sessions
  2. Conducting market research and analysis to support the use case
  3. Developing detailed concepts and supporting with scoping of requirements
  4. Providing technical guidance via introductions to technical specialists in the ecosystem
  5. Supporting the development of a proof of concept

In addition to supporting round table follow up discussions, our team will also be available for inbound requests for enterprise business development support.

# Expected Outcomes:

  • Increased awareness and understanding of Polkadot technologies and the ecosystem among enterprises.
  • Expanded ecosystem collaboration and partnerships.
  • Empowered enterprise & third party vendor teams with the knowledge and skills to adopt Polkadot solutions.
  • Successful implementation of proof of concept initiatives demonstrating the value of Polkadot in strategic industry verticals.
  • Accelerated enterprise adoption of decentralised technologies, driving growth and innovation within the Polkadot ecosystem.

# Conclusion:
Our proposal represents a strategic and holistic approach to addressing the challenge of enterprise adoption in the Polkadot ecosystem. By leveraging partnerships, education, and targeted BD initiatives in Europe & North America, we will empower enterprises to build on Polkadot and unlock the full potential of decentralised technologies. We believe that we can make Polkadot the number 1 choice for enterprises in the Web3 space.

If you have any questions or feedback please drop a comment below or reach out to me directly on TG @miriambourke.

Thanks,
Miriam :purple_heart:

5 Likes

Fully supportive of this proposal. Enterprise adoption is essential for the long-term growth of the Polkadot Ecosystem. The first step to sustainable adoption is education and the strategy here clearly describes how we as an Ecosystem can take commercial businesses from ‘0-1’ in terms of understanding how to properly leverage Polkadot’s tech stack.
As a RWA Founder in the Polkadot Ecosystem, a large part of my role is to meet with businesses who have no experience with interacting with DLT and to help them understand the benefits. A certification program would be extremely helpful to add more weight to conversations and go beyond a simple ‘yes I understand this’ (be cool to use on-chain certificates). Our ideal character personality is someone who not only understands the technology but also is committed to collaborating on meaningful solutions. Let’s start quantifying and benchmarking enterprise understanding!
Finally, the fact that Miriam is coming from a Big 4 background also suggests to me that her team will be well placed to chair professional and productive conversation.
Excited for this one - good luck!

2 Likes

Thanks for the feedback and support Tom :pray: