This week at Synthesize, the premier conference for corporate innovators, we unveiled the Brightidea Innovation Cloud 2.0 (BIC 2.0), the next generation of our innovation management products. For this new release, we designed four distinct products serving four distinct innovation management roles. Each Brightidea product is aligned to a phase of the corporate innovation journey so that no matter where you are along yours, you’ll have the tools, guides, and support to meet your innovation goals.
To further address the needs of every role in corporate innovation, this release brings a new innovation app to each product plus a collection of new features and enhancements. And for unique needs that require a bespoke solution, we now offer Build: Innovation Management Customized. Whatever your role, whatever your need, the Brightidea Innovation Cloud 2.0 brings a whole new level of ease, versatility, and power to your innovation efforts.
Jumpstart Employee Innovation
Innovation programs are a common place to start the innovation journey because they drive innovative thinking in an organization and deliver impact quickly with minimal resources. Usually, these are idea challenges, prototyping events (i.e. hackathons), and pitch competitions. By helping to run these initiatives, our Programs product enables the Head of Innovation Programs to jumpstart employee innovation and enjoy three important benefits:
- Fostering a culture that engages employees in innovation
- Running repeatable processes that build momentum for the innovation process
- Creating measurable business impact from implementing great ideas
Within our Programs product suite are eight apps; each runs a different type of innovation activity. With this new release, we’ve added the Explore app for companies that want to explore ideas that address a market opportunity, with the goal of delivering greater value to their customers with an existing business model. You might, for example, seek to target younger customers in addition to your current customer base. With Explore, you can spearhead a company-wide discussion on how to provide value to this new market segment where they spend the most time: on mobile devices and social media.
To bring more personalization to Brightidea Programs, we’ve added two new features. First is our User Home, which offers a curated, personalized experience to each employee, the moment they log into their Brightidea system. With this new homepage, users can see:
- The idea challenges and events s/he has been invited to participate in
- His/her submissions to challenges
- Personalized data, including stats on the performance of his/her submissions
The second new feature brings personalization to the point of inspiration: My Ideas. Brightidea users often have ideas that don’t fit into a current challenge, and can’t record them for future consideration. With My Ideas, every user now has a personal, private repository to capture sparks of inspiration that can hit at anytime, but aren’t ready for sharing yet. To further develop a private idea, a user has the option to copy, link, or move it into a new submission. An idea can even be captured using Amazon Alexa and, new for 2018, Google Home. Finally, these ideas all appear in a user’s “Ideas” list on his/her End User Homepage.
Incubate the Next Big Thing
Funded innovation labs are established by teams further along in their innovation journey, to incubate bigger, riskier ideas safely away from the core business. Since most of these bold ideas never see the light of day, resource efficiency is key. Brightidea Labs helps the Head of Innovation Labs to incubate the next big thing, by funding only the most promising projects and sunsetting others as quickly as possible.
Our new Apply app helps the Head of Innovation Labs to identify the most impactful application of a new technology for the business—the “killer application.” Submitted ideas go through an evaluation process that the Labs product helps to streamline. The Head of Labs can then grant a project team seed funding for a proof-of-concept on the best of those ideas. You might, for example, feel that artificial intelligence is an untapped market opportunity for your company. With Apply, you can launch a timeboxed challenge to crowdsource ideas on how to apply AI to your business model.
When different iterations of an idea are developed in an innovation lab, it helps to trace those variations back to their original idea. A Lab head using Brightidea Labs might, for example, want to track the virtual reality project in her Incubate pipeline. To support that, we’ve introduced Submission Cross-Linking, which enables every submission to be linked to all the others to which it’s related. Admins and users can now see the full context of any submission across initiatives.
Integrate External Innovation
When companies reach the Ecosystem stage, innovation teams might seek out fresh inspiration or specific expertise that may not reside in-house—open innovation. These teams can leverage Brightidea Ecosystem to integrate with external innovation by connecting to resources outside of the company, such as startups, universities, customers, or other partners, and incorporate them into a corporate vision for innovation.
The Head of the Innovation Ecosystem can use the various apps in our Ecosystem product suite for such activities as launching a public hackathon, running a corporate startup accelerator, or partnering with a university department. To augment those activities, we’ve now introduced an app to help your team discover emerging technology to incorporate into the business: Scout. The app provides a structured process to collect, vet, and track companies with new technology to address problems or create new products or services.
To make the Ecosystem product even easier to use, we’ve now enhanced the Idea Boards feature with Submission-Form Filtering. By popular customer demand, users can now filter their ideas by all of their submission form questions, enabling them to target specific, more meaningful segments of submissions.
Command Company-wide Change
Companies at a more mature stage of their innovation journey appoint a head of transformation with full C-suite support to command far-reaching change. Brightidea Transformation was developed to empower that Head of Company-Wide Transformation to completely recreate the organization. Because this transformation can be cultural, digital, or organizational, our latest update supports all three.
In creating a culture of innovation, many companies recognize the growing role of innovation training. To support that, we’ve added great new feature: Certifications. Now, a Head of Transformation can apply specialty certifications to a user’s profile, such as in Design Thinking or Lean Startup. The simple upload of a spreadsheet of training session attendees will automatically apply the certifications and email employees notifications of their new achievement. It’s a great way to showcase the innovators at your company, and to give more weight to your training efforts.
To support digital transformation, we’ve more deeply developed financial impact tracking. Introduced last year, the Pipeline Business Impact Dashboard has been such a hit with customers that many have asked for a similar feature for all initiatives. The new Enterprise Business Impact Dashboard gives an overview of financial benefits—projected, actuals, and targets—across the entire enterprise. Below the graph of aggregate data is a table that lists each contributing initiative, along with the dollar amount and percentage it contributes to the total benefit. With one glance, admins and users can now see in real time how much the entire business is benefiting from its innovation efforts.
Finally, we’re unveiling a new app in support of organizational transformation: Gig. Many companies today are creating their own versions of a gig economy to make the most of a treasure trove of internal talent. Doing so repurposes and strengthens company resources and enables employees to diversify their skills. To activate this talent, Gig creates an internal marketplace connecting eager employees who want to contribute to job owners who need help. Using the app, Head of Transformation can build and manage an internal gig economy, centrally and without needing a separate platform.
Customized Innovation Management
Because not every innovation need can be anticipated, we offer to customize the technology that powers the Brightidea Innovation Cloud. Innovation teams with unique demands can work with Brightidea Professional Services to design a custom innovation process. Whether to augment one or more of our products, or to build an entirely bespoke product from the ground up, Brightidea Build empowers you to innovate in ways that have never been done before.
A Distinct Product for Every Innovation Role
The Brightidea Innovation Cloud 2.0 is a modern, more evolved approach to innovation management, serving the needs of four distinct and unique roles. With this latest release, each product is complete with new software features, new apps, new guides and playbooks, and new advanced technology. Whether you’re just starting an innovation program, running a fully funded innovation lab, tapping into outside opportunities, or transforming your entire organization, Brightidea offers a product that empowers you to think bigger about your role in innovation management. After all, just as no creative process happens on its own, innovation is too important to be left to chance.