I work as part of a tech team team that handles database applications for various business statistics. Our database platform is somewhat dated, but the business application that runs on it uses sophisticated statistical methods and generates very complex models.
There's a data science team at my company, who are supposed to be the "mad scientists/skunk ops" group, and are developing algorithms that perform the same business function that our team's software performs. They are using the latest trendy development tools and languages and running their code on the cloud as opposed to on premise servers.
However, the actual models they are generating are rudimentary and they are nowhere near achieving the functionality or scale that our application is capable of, despite how dated our platform is. Moreover, both myself and my team have more experience with the business area that we are working on than they do.
I want to collaborate with them for two reasons:
- They could actually use our knowledge and experience on the subject, to the benefit of both teams and the company as a whole.
- I would like to add some experience in the above mentioned trendy tools to my resume, for my own professional growth.
They have been unresponsive in my attempts to communicate with them. And from the way they talk to us, and from rumors circulating around the company grapevine, I get the impression that we are looked down on as mere technicians supporting an obsolete legacy app compared to the cutting edge development work they are doing. I also feel that the company higher-ups have a similar impression of our respective teams.
- How do me and my team breakthrough this perception issue and communicate to senior management and the company at large that what our team does is actually pretty advanced compared to what they are doing? (my immediate manager is aware of what is going on, as well as some of the business partners we deal with, but somehow this isn't bubbling up to the directors and VPs)
- How do I break the ice with this team, and convince that we can benefit from collaborating, and that we actual know a lot more about the subject than they think we do, without seeming confrontational or petty?