Exago partners with Microsoft for optimal innovation software performance

Exago announces a technological and business partnership with Microsoft, to strengthen its product scalability and performance and to accelerate growth in sales. Now hosted by the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform, Exago’s collaborative innovation SaaS solution is fully set to grow alongside corporate innovation programmes, supporting unlimited users’ increase in multiple geographical locations. The software is already available in eight different language options.

Exago’s CEO, Diana Neves de Carvalho, explains that this technological partnership “answers clients’ increasing security concerns worldwide. Exago’s infrastructure, hosted by Microsoft Azure, can now guarantee total network and perimeter security, as well as compliance with all major industry standards”. Based on the most frequently used web technologies, Microsoft software ensures fast and controlled upgrades, as well as business continuity.

Exago and Microsoft will be working together to open new business channels and explore strategic markets. Recognising the needs of start-ups and small- and medium-sized companies that develop technology solutions, Microsoft also wants to accelerate existing and new solutions and applications to the market. “Exago’s Idea Market software allows companies to efficiently manage their innovation challenges and continuously find new solutions and growth paths. We therefore believe we are investing in the future,” says Diogo Pinto de Sousa, Partners Director at Microsoft.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

Six common mistakes and one advice for innovation challenges

Operational efficiency is clearly ahead in idea implementation, while sales and marketing, sustainability and better customer experience count for more than half of all the ideas implemented. By dissecting the innovation challenges that performed the worst – and excluding extrinsic factors such as a weak system of incentives and feeble, meagre or uninteresting communication – we note that these challenges tend to be:

a. Unfamiliar or distant from people’s everyday work and needs;
b. Detached from current business strategic alignment: This may happen, for instance, if you launch a challenge focused on anticorruption, social inclusion or ecosystem protection, but your company has never, in your daily practices and initiatives, really shown interest in such themes;
c. Too technical for the target audience: Both technical and business jargon has the power to dismiss and demobilise larger parts of your audience;
d. Too abstract: Remember that, the wider the scope, the more people tend to submit ideas that are irrelevant for your business;
e. Too narrow: Yet, if you completely limit the scope, you may miss some relevant insights;
f. Ambiguous or difficult to understand: Linguistic complexity, such as unclear or complex sentences, may make you lose your audience’s focus and attention.

One of our clients suggests as well that “communication is important, but, if you find it is too important, then all the rest is poorly structured. You cannot feed a fire just with straw. . . Guidance on how to write a good idea must go well beyond mouseover suggestions.”

Also, remember that, even if you map the right tools and needs, other factors can still undermine the success and participation in your innovation programme. For instance, you should not expect highly engaging initiatives without first planning and rolling out an appropriate communication plan, as well as adequate awards, recognition and implementation mechanisms. In the next posts, we seek to give you a hand in establishing and structuring your innovation challenges.

Diana Neves de Carvalho, Exago’s CEO/ dnc@exago.com
Francisco Bernardes, Exago’s head of Innovation Services/ fmb@exago.com

READ MORE:
A step-by-step guide to defining your innovation challenges

FROM THE START:
Your ultimate innovation challenge – what works and what doesn’t

What’s your ultimate innovation challenge?

How much time do you spend thinking about your company’s problems? Probably too much, you would say. Yet, when planning and developing your collaborative innovation initiatives, the way you identify, frame and share your organisation’s challenges with your targeted community is key to your initiatives’ success.

But what are your most relevant challenges? Which topics are more common or easily embraced by your employees? And what techniques can help you both choose and define your challenges?

At Exago, we’ve decided to revisit our clients’ challenges over past years, to understand what has and hasn’t worked in the field in different realities, as well as collecting wisdom from this experience. In our most recent videocast, Exago’s senior consultant Vânia Vargues, and Francisco Bernardes, our head of Innovation Services, tell you more on what we’ve learned. Check it out!

Are you also interested in?
– Main trends and industry best practices
– Real clients’ challenges data analysis
– Lessons learnt: What works best and what doesn’t work – six common mistakes
– A step-by-step guide to defining your challenges

We can share the related in-depth paper. Just reach us at enquiries@exago.com

Exago’s team puts creativity at play at Productized Conference

From 19 to 21 October, our services team is joining managers, designers and product leaders from around the world at Productized Conference, taking place at Lisbon Congress Centre. In three days of ‘insightful workshops and inspiring talks’, participants are working and discovering together what it means to create and manage cutting-edge products. David Fradin, former project management at Apple and HP, and Bruce Nussbaum, one of the world’s top Design Thinking advocates, are among the invited speakers.

‘Service Design Crash Course’, ‘Accelerating UX’, ‘Building insanely great products’ and ‘VCW – Value Creation Wheel®: Be the owner of the best solution’ are some of the workshops Exago’s team is taking part in. ‘We are here to shake up and challenge our creativity and get fully equipped to improve our services and product offer’, says Francisco Bernardes, Exago’s head of Innovation Services.

Know more on the conference here.

Exago at INDEG’s Executive MBA

Why is collaborative innovation imperative for companies today? Exago’s CEO, Diana Neves de Carvalho, met with students from the INDEG-ISCTE Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) programme, in Lisbon, to debate innovation management’s main challenges and opportunities for businesses. Diana also shared insights into how to ensure success in implementing idea management software, based on customer examples.

‘Incremental collaborative innovation is a cornerstone of any resilient innovation programme, offering many possible focus applications: from process, product and service improvement to customer experience enhancement, cost optimisation and digitisation of core business,’ Exago’s CEO told the audience. She also explained how idea management software can be a powerful lever in this process ‘if well-tuned to a company’s innovation maturity level’, and by incorporating the wisdom of crowds and a predictive market mechanism.

Diana was invited to present real case studies, share insights and discuss the potential of innovation management solutions for companies. Isabel Caetano, who teaches innovation management classes in the EMBA, further underlined how ‘innovation management is a crucial competence to improve our students’ ability to nurture an innovative organisation, as well as to enable a more global career’.

Now in its thirteenth edition, the INDEG-ISCTE EMBA gives its graduates the skills to reach leadership positions and leverage their organisations through value creation and business development. INDEG-ISCTE was the first business school in Portugal, and it is a leader in executive education, with several MBA programmes well positioned in global rankings.

In 2015, INDEG-ISCTE also launched its Executive Master in Innovation Management, in partnership with CTT, R&D Nester, Siemens and VORTAL – this year joined by Nokia. The programme is designed for innovators, professionals and entrepreneurs seeking to develop a more structured approach to driving innovation towards value creation.