The idea of the innovation center goes back to 2006 (Business Objects Labs announcement) and has been a great success ever since. Among our well-known "product graduates" you can count: Query as a Web Service, Mobile BI and Polestar.
So how does it work?
It often starts with a customer or partner need or idea that gets raised to us (directly or indirectly), a "coffee corner" discussion or even some kind of "illumination" coming out of nowhere... Then comes a more thorough analysis including market research and feasibility evaluation. If everything turns out positive, we work on prototyping the idea and publish it for evaluation and validation. It's not rare to see multiple versions of the same prototype as it is really an iterative process to get a prototype right.
What areas are we focusing on?
The focus is on business intelligence (BI) including user experience, advanced visualization, community and networks, applications, semantic layer, and the information infrastructure.
What to expect from the prototypes?
They are more than mock-ups, they are functioning software but haven't been fully tested so they should be used carefully and not in production environments.
What do we expect from the community?
It is fairly simple, we'd like you to test drive our prototypes, get involved, send us feedback and help us define the future of BI.
What can the community expect from us?
First and foremost, a true collaboration and open-minded attitude. Secondly, a way to push new ideas into future products. Indeed, in many cases, a prototype could turn into an official product release or a new set of features. But keep in mind that, it is not always the case and it may be that a prototype simply get dropped because of lack of interest from the market.
We can achieve great things together and I'm looking forward to a very fruitful collaboration with this community!