Portfolio simplification to open Innovation

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Innovations can occur when different viewpoints come together even in the midst of chaos. Welcome to the Open Innovation journey of the Capgemini SAP Center of Excellence.

Ryunosuke Satoro said, "Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” An indicator to a company’s innovative index is the fundamentally novel approaches they take to reach and serve any customer better. Sustainable, innovative companies recognize that beyond their walls are brilliant people with brilliant ideas who readily contribute with different means!

My last series of blogs focused on portfolio innovation simplification. The next round will enter the realm of open innovation. Rather than look at academic definitions of open innovation, my intent is to focus on the different aspects of this concept that we execute at the Capgemini SAP Center of Excellence (CoE). While global powerhouses, such as Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline, Cisco etc., have constantly looked at establishing open innovation ecosystems as ways of working with potential partners, a remarkable shift has been noticed in the world of software product and services companies. With customer preferences changing rapidly, with reduced cost and time to market being other factors driving the world of business and innovation, the wisdom of the crowd is finally being appreciated. The testament lies in the marketing message of companies such as SAP, Amazon, Microsoft et al. have showcased over the last few years – a stark contrast to their approach and business model less than a decade ago.

David Lowson, Head of Capgemini’s European SAP Practice and Center of Excellence, is a big believer of open innovation. He believes that open innovation is not the unconventional way, but inherent to a successful and sustainable business operation. He noticed how much better companies who adopt open innovation perform compared to those who put this at the bottom of their priorities. He challenged teams within the CoE to pave the journey and look out for ideas beyond SAP alone. Teaming up with Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange (AIE) and Invent we’ve engaged with a varied audience of business, universities, startups, freelancers, etc. on strategic and operational problems with possible approaches and solutions. Our business and technology leads have technology scouts giving interesting leads, analyzing our own capabilities while looking to build new synergies. One example of this is with Consumer Physics and their SCIO product where we helped to develop molecular sensing with advanced AI capabilities which opened up more opportunities with SAP Cloud Platform and SAP Leonardo along the way.

Perhaps you’re wondering why I haven’t explicitly mentioned crowdsourcing. So here we go – crowdsourcing is another paradigm we’ve explored and, while we do this formally B2B with some clients, prepare yourself for a brand-new innovation journey in 2019. Crowdsourcing isn’t about reaching to a larger crowd making noise, it’s about directing your voice to a community of like-minded experts who are willing to engage on similar topics relevant to your needs.

Innovation is deliberate. Innovations can occur when different viewpoints come together – even in the midst of chaos. Over my next set of blogs, I’ll qualitatively and quantitatively show how we’re planning and executing our journey around SAP and open innovation.

To learn more about Capgemini AIE/Invent, our innovation play, or developing something completely new, please reach out to my colleagues Alex Bulat, David Lowson, or me. You can also contact us here.

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