Innovation is one of the primary drivers for growth and profitability in business today, sitting at the top of many corporate agendas. Companies have recognized that efficiency and world-class operational performance alone are not enough to create sustained competitive differentiation and advantage in today’s challenging, global markets. Instead, consumers and businesses alike reward innovation.
Clearly innovation is highly dependent on corporate culture and the people involved. But innovation is also a process that can be managed and improved. Leading companies now recognize that structured innovation management approaches help them get the most out of the innovative potential of their people, customers, and partners.
Improving innovation starts with a strategy. The innovation strategy should address culture, processes, and enabling technology in a holistic way. Microsoft’s Innovation Management Framework is designed to help companies develop a comprehensive, integrated approach to implement and support an innovation management strategy. This framework is a repeatable reference architecture for innovation and is intended to allow companies to share and learn about innovation management best practices and enabling technologies as a starting point for strategic discussions for their company’s innovation management strategy.
The Innovation Management Framework focuses on the lifecycle of ideas and structures a process for turning insights into ideas, and then into action and improved ROI. To execute this framework, Microsoft provides Discrete Manufacturers with technology solutions that help ensure that they are funding the very best ideas for new product development using a vetting process that’ consistent with industry and company best practices.
Implementing Innovation Management requires companies to create collaborative teams that go well beyond project engineers. Microsoft provides underlying technology tools that speed innovation, integration, and collaboration. The solutions deliver electronic information through every stage of the product development and launch process—from research and development to engineering, through manufacturing, and out to the consumer. The innovation and product development teams join marketing, sales, finance, manufacturing customers, and suppliers in a rapid deployment mode in order to bring the product to market before competitors do.
Innovation Management doesn’t necessarily involve wholesale changes to technology platforms. In fact, with the familiar desktop productivity software in the Microsoft Office system, companies can streamline new product development and launch processes by expediting the creation and collaboration of critical product design documents.
To ensure that collaborative innovation is effectively managed, Microsoft tools control and flexibility to keep management informed about project work, schedules, financial decisions, and the fast-paced changes that can occur during the innovation process.
Collaborative solutions based on the Office system incorporate blog and wiki communications alongside dynamic workgroup computing, which can dramatically streamline multi-company product development efforts. Internet, enterprise, and desktop searches facilitate the finding of product information and associated people required for new product innovation.
In addition, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server portals monitor progress against Key Performance Indicators, so innovators can see red flags, make fact-based decisions, and take action - quickly aligning resources to deliver products that prove to be most strategically important.
Microsoft Innovation Management facilitates, organizes, and speeds high tech innovation processes, helping companies to survive the exceedingly rapid pace of worldwide, consumer-driven change.
Key Microsoft technologies supporting Innovation:
Microsoft SharePoint for the enterprise portal, collaboration; document management and business intelligence solutions that help provide role-based access and real-time visibility to consolidated product and business information.
Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management to bring management and control to project management processes; helps align people, investments and work with business priorities; manage portfolios; and create effective communication and collaboration across the organization.
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 is a cloud-ready information platform that helps bring sales & service data together from virtually any source within an organization and enables breakthrough insights across the organization. It also supports simple ad hoc analysis and sophisticated predictive analytics, and is used to publish highly formatted and interactive reports integrated with familiar Office tools (Excel, PowerPivot) that make data easily accessible to a large number of people.
Microsoft FAST Search Server provides broad and powerful search capabilities, including contextual search, whereby search results can be personalized based on role, job, function, or other user requirements.
Microsoft Lync is an enterprise-ready unified communications platform, fully integrated with Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Office. With Lync, users can keep track of their contacts’ availability; send an IM; start or join an audio, video, or web conference; or make a phone call—all through a consistent, familiar interface.
Windows Azure provides an open and flexible cloud platform with virtually unlimited compute and storage scale that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. You can build applications using any language, tool or framework. And you can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment.
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