Orange opens innovation crowdsourcing platform « imagine with Orange »
Orange innovation teams are harnessing the power of crowdsourcing by tapping into the collective wisdom of the people at the very forefront of the digital revolution: consumers. As part of the “Imagine with Orange” initiative, your ideas take on a global dimension, giving you the chance to influence the development trajectory of digital services at Orange, or to pursue your idea by initiating an entrepreneurial venture. This is what makes the Imagine platform truly collaborative, and a unique initiative.
From a Local Idea to a Global Innovation: Imagine with Orange
Marcus Evans: Major EU-based firms continue to rely on R&D for their competitive edge. However, investment by itself does not do the trick. In order to secure ROI, the companies need to ensure they make optimal use of the available resources. On top of that they need to respond to a high volume information regarding market needs and opportunities, faster than their competitors, in better quality and minimum resources. Ahead of the 3rd Edition R&D Process Excellence Conference we spoke with Nicolas Bry (Senior Vice President at Orange Innovation) about innovation management and Orange`s co-creation platform, Imagine with Orange.
What is the idea behind the platform “Imagine with Orange”?
Orange`s open innovation crowdsourcing platform Imagine with Orange seeks to mobilise the innovative potential of the community. Every quarter, ordinary consumers around the world are invited to offer their input via the Imagine platform on various thematic topics ranging from education and shopping to health care. Ideas are then collectively curated: ideas go all around the world, and hundreds of people will comment on them and enrich them. The community is shaping the innovation.
How can Orange help to make an idea, generated through this co-creation platform, become reality?
Orange invites the people behind the most successful ideas to take part in a workshop in Paris with Orange innovation experts. Ideas can then join the Orange innovation stream, or give birth to entrepreneurial projects and start-ups. Thus, a local innovation can have a global span.
As part of the Imagine with Orange initiative, your ideas take on a global dimension, giving you the chance to influence the development trajectory of digital services at Orange, or to pursue your idea by initiating an entrepreneurial venture. This is what makes the Imagine platform truly collaborative, and a unique initiative.
What are the main challenges for innovation management?
Innovation thrives on creativity. An innovator is someone who’s being accused of transgression: he needs a leader to protect him, and to set a culture of innovation, a risk-taking culture, with a tolerance for failure.
The paradox of innovation is that its newness needs to be adopted: innovation is the invention of the new tradition. Imagine that in his time, Champagne was an unexpected sparkling wine, and not the reference it has become. Think of the early days of the iPhone before it became an iconic standard.
Acceptance means opening a dialogue with other units that will roll out your innovation, and with the market, and iterate to improve your first attempt. Innovation is a collective adventure, where knowledge circulation is key at every stage.
How can you speed up innovation, and what are the ground rules?
The Rapid Innovation model involves 4 principles:
- Autonomy: the mother of motivation;
- Creative tension: fuzziness does not help the innovation team; one must commit to set-up stretched goals and then let the team lead the team in a start-up mode, progressing collectively;
- Strategic alignment: being different does not mean being separate: we need alignment with the core, nurturing a network of innovation peers;
- Modular design: to facilitate cooperation, let’s design modules and deliver API that will let others create value on top of your platform.
You can find more information on www.rapidinnovation.fr
What is Orange`s focus for the future?
Significant innovation priorities are to support emerging digital activities like Mobile Money and Internet of Things where mobile connectivity and operator core capabilities (cloud, billing, platform, data, API, and broadband access) can make a difference. Innovation is also at the service of the growing markets where Orange operates like Africa, where specific needs are expressed.
Moreover innovation mission is to build user experience on top of technology, and combine agility with openness, in order to be ‘the first operator of the Internet era’ as claims our CEO, Stéphane Richard.