Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” More often than not, it is the simplest idea that is successful in starting off an innovative revolution. At the Capgemini SAP Center of Excellence (CoE), my colleagues and I constantly look for ways to simplify business complexity while continuously innovating new products, processes, and ourselves.
For the better part of the decade, I’ve led innovation teams and helped set up relevant frameworks on innovation. The European SAP CoE is unique in this respect. A part of my go-to-market strategy is the “phygital” play that allows industry and line-of-business experts to sit with innovation experts and chalk out new (re)combinations of products, processes, and services to expected market trends.
Broadly, we design innovation in our agile and dynamic portfolio through a combination of five different categories of innovation:
- Product innovation
- Process innovation
- Service innovation
- Business model innovation
- Management innovation
We couple these into either radical or incremental, or open or closed innovation. This helps balance the exploration and exploitation focus from a pragmatic investment standpoint.
For instance, with the Fast Digital for Discreet Industries (FD4DI) play, our team takes a closer look at the innovation happening at three distinct levels:
- Internal (to Capgemini and within SAP)
- Alongside the extended enterprise (working with specific clients, suppliers, etc.)
- The technology ecosystem (universities, regulators, competitors, partners, etc.)
Innovation is an inside-out and outside-in activity. Hence, the answer to understanding who and what is influencing the market is critical. This translates into our offerings and solutions. For example, with the predictive maintenance solutions built on the SAP Leonardo platform, we both address the needs of smart operations and create a sleuth of possible after-market services in different industries. Similarly, the Smart Operations offering combines the concept of IoT to integrated business planning with the SAP Leonardo toolbox, bringing about the end-to-end real-time visibility of supply chain data and operations.
The lines between product and services companies are blurring. A “technology push” with large, formal R&D budgets compliments an “innovation-as-a-culture” approach today. No longer are service companies reactive or dependent on building new offerings and solutions. Companies realize there is no one-size-fits-all solution to innovation. Innovation is a design and the ones who take the leap, are the ones who dare, as Steve Jobs said: “… to put a ding in the universe.”