Partnerships are vital to the ongoing state of a business as it's known today. Whether it's something as simple as two businesses getting together to share contacts or something as complex as several corporations working to decide industry standards, the partnership is vital to getting the most out of operations. Partnership with the community is just as important, and recently, Level 3 and Ciena have been spotted making moves in just that direction.
More specifically, the duo have been working on a community garden program, with Level 3 Communications (News - Alert) offering the Level 3 Foundation a full acre of land on which to set up its plan to bring a complete community garden to the area around Broomfield, Colorado. With the City of Broomfield chipping in a water tap, the work began in earnest to bring not only a garden, but a slate of other features to the area.
Since Level 3 has a program that offers compensated volunteer time to its employees, the end result was more than a few folks willing to step in and provide the necessary sweat and labor to help turn an acre of ground into a community garden, and the produce from same going not only to employees' families but also to area food banks.
Ciena, meanwhile, stepped in with a pavilion for the garden, and it joined features like a garden shed and a pergola to form the start of a fairly large-scale raised-bed garden. It's not stopping there, though, as the company plans to bring in trees, vineyards, a pumpkin patch, a children's play area and a lot more to the overall structure.
In this, Level 3 and Ciena have demonstrated the value of having a closure connection to the community. By providing a few simple benefits, both are making themselves more valuable to the community. That improves the likelihood of attracting better talent that wants to be a part of something larger, and in turn, has the time and wherewithal to do things like volunteer work. Ciena has demonstrated the value of partnerships before; Windstream (News - Alert) recently went with Ciena's Blue Planet system for better automation of managed wavelength systems and Telecom Egypt turned to Ciena to help modernize its operations.
While a business is primarily operating to make money, it can't do such for long if the community around it regards it as a resource-sucking menace that potentially limits the community's own access to said resources. By “giving back” to the community in open partnership, it improves its own image and makes it more likely that the best talent of the community will join it later. Ciena, Level 3, and companies like them are delivering new value every day with community partnerships, and that's a practice every business should more closely consider.
Edited by Maurice Nagle