GE Capital today unveiled an integrated web portal and private social network, called GE Edge, that will enable middle market companies to access academic and business subject matter experts, proprietary research and analysis and a peer-to-peer discussion of the relevant challenges facing businesses today. Developed with industry leading companies IDEO and salesforce.com, the new platform is designed to address the specific needs of middle market firms helping facilitate economic growth.
"GE's breadth of business and industry-specific expertise has helped us navigate many of the same challenges that our customers are confronting today. This platform allows GE Capital to provide select middle market companies with access to the intellectual and human capital of GE and our recognized partners," said Mike Pilot, chief commercial officer, GE Capital. "This new platform is a trusted channel that helps customers and prospects make their capital work harder."
The newly created GE Capital digital platform was designed to help middle market leaders find solutions to what they have identified as barriers to growth for their own companies.
In fact, a study released today by The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and GE Capital revealed that middle market executives believe:
- Talent management and developing future leaders is a pressing challenge (80% of respondents)
- Their companies lack the necessary capabilities to meet the challenges they have faced since the recession (41% respondents)
- Most firms lack a honed strategy to engage stakeholders through social media (80% of respondents)
"Through our discussions and research with relevant business leaders, we discovered two key types of executives that would benefit from these capabilities: the curious explorers who are looking for new ideas and those who want specific guidance on pressing issues," said Bruce MacGregor, managing director at IDEO. "We helped design an always-on utility that can serve as a resource for both types of executives."
The innovative platform, unveiled in beta to attendees of the 2011 National Middle Market Summit allows current and prospective customers to network with peers from other industries and across the globe, as well as enables exclusive access to experts and other pieces of intellectual capital from both GE and select content partners, which will be announced over the next several months. Following the beta test period, the new platform is slated to be released to customers in Q1 2012.