Welcome to the Brightidea Frequently Asked Questions

About Brightidea

Who is Brightidea?
Brightidea is the market leader in cloud-based innovation management software. Our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products help over 300 leading companies worldwide manage and streamline their innovation processes. With our product suite consisting of WebStorm, Switchboard and Pipeline, we are the only provider of a complete, end-to-end innovation management solution to track ideas from concept through to realization.

Founded in 1999, Brightidea is closely held and headquartered in San Francisco, CA, with an additional office in New York, NY.

How can our company benefit from Brightidea's software?
Our solutions support every kind of innovation processes, from crowdsourcing and open innovation initiatives to the process of turning the best ideas into tangible results.

Collect feedback from your customers on product and service enhancements. Gather insights on process improvements, cost savings and new business opportunities from your employees and/or business partners. Crowdsource ideas from the open public. Run idea contests.

  • Let people vote and collaborate on ideas
  • Efficiently manage the evaluation and prioritization of large numbers of ideas
  • Make competent decisions on which ideas to implement
  • Streamline and control a portfolio of projects
  • Track and forecast return on investments of your innovation pipeline
  • Facilitate cross-functional collaboration throughout the complete innovation process

See our Case Studies for examples of how some of our customers have benefited from Brightidea's software.

See our Case Studies for concrete examples of customer successes.

What's special about Brightidea?

  • Over 10 years of experience in innovation management and social software development
  • Best in class products and expert services
  • Intuitive and user friendly products that are easy to integrate and fully customizable
  • Complete innovation management, from ideation to project completion

(Back to top)

Innovation & Innovation Management Software

Why is Innovation Management Important?
Increasing competition and limited resources make it more important than ever to identify and leverage new business opportunities fast and efficiently. Companies that implement processes and tools to make innovation a controllable, streamlined, repeatable discipline are able to continuously collect larger volumes of new knowledge for the organization and implement and commercialize the best ideas faster and more effectively.

What tools for Innovation Management are there?
In recent years, many new methods and products to foster innovation have entered the market.

  • Ideation: Different techniques and tools for brainstorming and crowdsourcing, among others, have been developed. Most idea management software products focus solely on the collection of ideas.
  • Project prioritization methods aim at helping companies focus on the most profitable initiatives for implementation.
  • Execution: Project portfolio management (PPM) tools support implementation and commercialization.

Brightidea is the only provider of software solutions that support the entire innovation lifecycle.

What makes Brightidea's software the best innovation management technology out there?
Our products are built for only one purpose: to help your company make innovating easier and more effective.

  • Comprehensive range of functions
  • Completely customizable through CSS skinning
  • Very intuitive and easy to use
  • Supporting the complete process, from ideation to actual results
  • Complying with highest security standards

(Back to top)

Brightidea's Products

What is Brightidea's Innovation Management Suite?
Brightidea's cloud-based software suite consists of three applications:

Our Suite provides the only complete solution that supports the entire innovation process. Each of our three products can function as a powerful stand-alone tool or be integrated into a tailored package. We can help you define and set up the ideal solution for your company. See Brightidea's Products pages for more detailed information and contact us today!

What is WebStorm?
WebStorm is a social software platform for idea collection and collaboration with groups of employees, customers, partners or the open public. Users can submit ideas, vote and comment on others' ideas and attach documents. WebStorms can be set up as private systems with access only for invited individuals or open portals that allow everyone to register and participate. For more information on WebStorm, please click here.

Visit WebStorm FAQs Page

What is Switchboard?
Switchboard helps decision makers evaluate, select and prioritize ideas more efficiently. Features to organize and manage large numbers of ideas help speed up the ranking process and maintain oversight. By routing proposals to teams of subject matter experts, competent evaluation and cross-silo collaboration are improved. More information on Switchboard can be found here.

Visit Switchboard FAQs Page

What is Pipeline?
Pipeline is a light-weight portfolio management tool specifically designed for innovation projects. It supports the process of turning ideas into strategically-aligned projects and allows the tracking and prediction of financial streams across the innovation pipeline. Find out details about Pipeline here.

Visit Pipeline FAQs Page

(Back to top)

Configuration and Integration

How customizable is Brightidea's software?
All user interfaces are completely customizable through CSS skinning to match the look and feel of your corporate website. This allows for ultimate flexibility and creates a seamless user experience that encourages participation. For quicker and simple setup, we also offer pre-designed skin templates.

Static content, such as images or embedded videos, can be added to every page, while drag and drop widgets make the arrangement of dynamic content very easy.

What features do Brightidea's products include? Can we choose which features we want?
Brightidea offers an exhaustive list of features for each of its products. All widgets can be enabled or disabled for optimum configuration. We work closely with our customers to constantly enhance and expand the functionality of our applications according to their feedback. For a complete list of features please contact us.

Can Brightidea integrate with our SSO system? Can we integrate an existing user community into a new WebStorm?
Yes, we integrate seamlessly with both SAML 1.1 and 2.0 systems. Your employee database can be integrated easily using Single Sign On, employee directory integration, or via API (all are optional add-ons).

What third party applications does Brightidea integrate with?
Our software seamlessly integrates with most 3rd party applications like MS Office, SharePoint, MS Project, HP PPM, Planview, Rally and many more.

Does Brightidea use APIs?
Yes. You can find pertinent information in our online Resources & Support center.

(Back to top)

Users and Administrators

How many users can we invite?
The scalability of our software allows for extreme flexibility with the number of users. Generally, the size of your user group(s) will depend on your campaign objectives and can be expanded throughout the course of your campaign(s). Your program administrators control which users have access to which campaigns.

What training and support is needed?
Brightidea's software is very intuitive and easy to use. Therefore, end-users do not require training. For system and campaign administrators, we provide training and support as needed through our Professional Services Team. In addition, training materials and video portals are available.

How do we engage people to participate?
Encouraging users to actively contribute is crucial for the success of every innovation initiative. Brightidea's team can provide consulting and best practices for communication, promotion and rewards and recognition plans that help drive participation.

(Back to top)

Getting Started

What is the easiest way to get started?
Our team of experts can assist you in determining and implementing just the right solution for your company. If you are new to managed innovation campaigns, the easiest way to start is with a single WebStorm for one topic and a limited number of users. Contact us to find out more about our pilot packages that get you up and running very quickly!

Can we add additional WebStorms, users and/or software products in the future?
Yes. Brightidea's software is scalable so that additional WebStorms and our other software components can be easily added. Most innovation programs grow by gradually incorporating new user groups and additional campaigns. Eventually, multiple WebStorms can build a hierarchy of integrated innovation campaigns supporting a true culture of innovation on a company-wide level.

How long does it take to get a WebStorm up and running?
WebStorms, in their most basic form, can be setup and ready for use within hours. The more configuration is needed, the more setup time will be necessary. Also, it is advisable to plan in time for the program preparation including the definition of objectives.

(Back to top)

ROI and Metrics

What return on investment can we expect?
The ROI of your innovation campaign depends on a variety of factors including the objectives you set. Brightidea's products are designed to help you achieve maximum results no matter what your innovation goals are. Our software has supported many companies in achieving great returns on investment. For concrete examples of selected customer success stories, please visit our customer center.

How can we measure the success of our innovation efforts?
Obviously, the "success" of your initiatives is defined by the goals you are aiming for. Brightidea's software provides activity dashboards and clear insights into key metrics that will help you track the progress of each of your initiatives and make sure they are geared toward success.

What percentages of ideas submitted into WebStorm are usually implemented?
This depends on the "challenge" of the campaign and type of ideas being targeted. Often, challenges to improve processes see idea implementation rates of 40-50%, whereas campaigns to find ideas for new products or "radical" new business opportunities are considered successful with implementation rates between 5-10%.

(Back to top)

Support, Services and Best Practices

How does Brightidea provide customer support?
We have a dedicated team of service professionals who provide help with setup, configuration, and implementation. We also offer consulting and best practices to make each of our customers' innovation initiatives a success. Most services can be provided remotely through online conferencing and over the phone. If required or preferred, our professional services team can work on site with you to get your program up and running.

What different levels of customer support do you offer?
Various service packages are available and can be tailored to your needs. The number of service and technical support hours available to you can be determined based on your company's level of experience and requirements. All our customers have access to customer service email and our online customer service portals that offer a range of training videos and downloadable documents.

Do you provide emergency support?
Yes. Our Professional Services Team, together with OpSource, provides timely, reliable emergency support.

(Back to top)


How reliable and secure is your software? Is our data safe?

Brightidea complies with the highest quality and safety standards. We would not settle for less.
Our production environment is SAS 70 Type II certified and operated by OpSource, in compliance with existing U.S. Dept. of Commerce Safe Harbor certifications and EU Data Privacy regulations since 2007. We also have top Backup and Disaster Recovery Strategies in place. See our website for more detailed information.

What about Intellectual Property?
Our experts can share best practices around how to manage intellectual property with you. Brightidea's products include various features that facilitate the management of intellectual property, including customizable registration and definition of terms & conditions.

Can our company host the software ourselves rather than in the "cloud""
"Cloud computing"' is what allows Brightidea to offer scalable and secure software solutions that can be quickly implement at lower costs for our customers. Thus, we do not sell hard copies of our software.

(Back to top)

Pricing & Payments

How much does it cost to use Brightidea's software? What factors determine the cost of an innovation campaign?
Pricing depends on the following factors:

  • Number of licenses
  • Duration of your program
  • Number of WebStorms you run
  • Use of Switchboard
  • Use of Pipeline
  • Professional services
  • Technical support

Please contact us for further information on our product and services packages available.

Do you offer any discounts?
To find out about current promotions and whether your company qualifies for a discount, please contact us.

(Back to top)

Schedule A Demo415-814-1387Email Us