“Ideas are currency. Knowledge is capital. Innovation, brilliantly applied is gold.” As I enjoy discovering, I decided to explore the company`s new group wide model for bringing Innovation to clients in more depth. Starting 25 July I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a week in the Applied Innovation Exchange (AIE) environment located on the 8th Floor of Capgemini`s office in Holborn. Click here for an overview of AIE.

The AIE works with innovation partners, start-ups and clients in an environment which allows for cross-business collaboration, idea/knowledge sharing and co-creation of value. Capgemini’s AIE currently includes a global network of nine innovation spaces, known as ‘Exchanges’. The activities taking place range from running monthly events on topics such as the “Future of Work”, using tried and tested tools to help enterprises exploit today’s market disruptions to looking at ways to speed up the employees` on-boarding process. The week started with an interactive ice breaker where everyone introduced themselves and the business area they work in. Sam Hunt and Graham Taylor told us more about what they do and what projects we can get involved with.

My project was focused on transforming the customer journey in retail. This was achieved with the use of disruptive digitalisation and better engagement through a loyalty programme. The type of work I was doing made me think big. My team looked at what emerging technology can be used and how it is meant to solve the client`s issue. It presented me with a chance to learn new skills such as creating wireframes, developing applications and designing prototypes. The task at hand was quite challenging in the sense that what we were designing was quite complex. It also had to be done within a very short timeframe. At the same time the work space was collaborative and allowed me to meet people from all areas of the business. The ultimate goal was to work in an engaging and stimulating environment, end result being the ability to demonstrate to clients our innovative approach.

The AIE team also organised a tour of the ASE (Accelerated Solutions Environment) which I thought was very well designed to run events and workshops with clients. If you want to find out more, read the ASE blog.

We had stand ups every day, providing everyone in the group with an update on how our projects are going and if we are facing any obstacles. This enabled the facilitators to resolve any burning issues early on. A short “presentation tips” session helped us prepare for Friday when we had to deliver our final presentations. I then practiced my presenting skills, using various tools and techniques. My team got along really well – we complemented each other`s thoughts and came up with a lot of creative ideas. I personally took pride in what we managed to achieve, without doubt having fun along the way. I will definitely use what I have learned in the AIE lab on future client projects.

My name is Nikol and I work as an Applications Consultant in Organisational Change Management. I sit within BTS (Business & Technology Solutions) under Capgemini UK Apps.

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