The latest release of Idea Place has launched. This release of Idea Place takes a significant step in the commoditization of running innovation campaigns for SAP teams who wish to co-innovate with customers partners and the greater ecosystem. Simply, SAP now has the program and platform to enable a much broader set of innovation scenarios to run with customers, partners and the greater ecosystem.
With this release, Idea Place is a step closer to reaching the vision of providing disruptive innovation through break through ideas, reaching out to new audiences and connecting with audiences that SAP has traditionally not connected with before. This doesn't mean that Idea Place will stop supporting existing Idea Sessions but it does mean that they will be reviewed to ensure they are providing strong value for SAP and for the ecosystem.
What's New with Idea Place?
With the latest launch, Idea Place has adopted the leading Innovation Management vendor BrightIdea for platform and program services. With the new vendor, Idea Place now supports four types of innovation campaigns with customizable options that offer greater degree of flexibility in how campaigns are run. The four types are:
- Continuous Innovation: where users can share ideas and suggestions for future SAP product releases
- Innovation Contests: where a challenge is presented to be solved and a prize awarded for the top answer
- Innovation Jams: to encourage disruptive thinking and accelerate adoption of new SAP technologies - and
- Private Brainstorming: where SAP employees, customers and partners can brainstorm together in private around a common challenge
The decision on what types of innovation challenges that internal SAP teams chose to run is ultimately up to them, however part of the reason for change in Idea Place has been due to demand for these scenarios to be supported.
From a functional perspective, Idea Place continues to offer the essentials including idea submission, commenting and voting. However, these amongst themselves are a minimum for running innovation campaigns. Additional options will focus on greater community participation and idea evaluation. For example, instead of simply voting any idea up or down, votes can be treated like cash in a limited resource scenario. Another insightful method is where voters must evaluate each ideas against a set of predetermined criteria or dimensions. These types of options are leading practices in innovation management business processes and are proven to drive greater depths of participation while increasing the accuracy of the results.
One big change is that voting is transparent, something that was not possible in the previous version of Idea Place, though we had always wanted it to be. In actual fact, voting was visible but not in an easily consumable way. Now with Idea Place, you can see who voted and which way. The expectation is that this keeps people honest. With that said, voting, down votes, limited voting, down voting requiring comments and vote transparency are all configurable by the product/solution who own the Idea Session. The Idea Place team will provide recommended best practices and strive for consistency, however many Idea Sessions are independent of each other and it may prove that one technique works better for one product and audience than another.
As well, I recommend looking at the SAP NetWeaver Gateway Idea Session for an example Idea Session.
Also, if you haven’t read my previous post on Idea Place to Start a New Experience in 2013 then I recommend checking that out for a lot of background of what is coming and different and key areas of focus.
NOTE: The Customer Connection program is different than the Idea Place program. The Customer Connection program had been using the Idea Place platform for their projects which led to customer confusion between the two. The new Idea Place platform now physically separates the two with different systems and branding while continuing to have different programs and goals. Please click here to find out more about Customer Connection and changes affecting that program.