January 5, 2021 Enterprise Crowdsourcing Stories – Paul Hlivko on why An All-In Talent Strategy is the Way Forward

If you’re really considering adopting crowdsourcing, we wrote the book on the 5 questions you’re likely to hear. Now as we start the new year, we want to share the words of someone who truly gets it—Paul Hlivko, CTO and CXO of Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Wellmark was honored as Program of the Year at the 2020 Topcoder Innovation Awards. The event was a chance to celebrate the people and companies who are taking risks and doing exceptional work on the Topcoder platform, and Paul presented a special customer keynote. Listen and read on to hear why Paul firmly believes that leveraging on-demand talent is the right approach to solving problems and leading a technology organization forward.


Wellmark has around 2,000 employees, 19,000 customers and close to 2 million members. They have been around for about 80 years, and Paul shares how that history creates an opportunity to continually “look at ourselves, innovate, disrupt our own ecosystem, especially within a technology division.”  Because of the amount of disruption in the healthcare ecosystem and business model, they need a robust, diverse, and scalable set of talent across the globe.

“With crowdsourcing, we can dynamically scale up and scale down, even during a pandemic, to match the work volumes and innovation demands of our organization.” —Paul Hlivko


Paul outlines three steps organizations should take to drive adoption and scale with on-demand talent:

  1. Introduce crowdsourcing to teams: In Wellmark’s case, they first did this internally to get their team comfortable with the concept and workflows. 
  2. Scale the workload for the crowd: Think about the components of your shared services and break them down. Then organize it efficiently for your business. 
  3. Ensure the team has enterprise coverage and a mature product management skillset. They need a strong adherence to a reference architecture, which is critical to achieving enterprise integration when you’re running shared services.


Over 24 months, Wellmark has executed over 25 projects with Topcoder. Paul closes by expressing how enterprise crowdsourcing has affected him and his organization:

“This is really transformative for our teams. We have teams of one or smaller that are crowd powered. We get access to more diversity for talent and problem solving. We get to leverage the intellectual capital of more people. We get the right person to do the right work. We get increased resiliency. During a pandemic, we get a lot faster speed to market, and when we’re innovating, rather than just one idea from one team member or partner, we can get lots of optionality. At the end of the day, the talent demand curve is a better match.”

Annika Nagy


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