Great example of Collaboration: Fujitsu Turns Traditional Approach to Innovation on its Head With New “Open Innovation” Service

Our research and presenations often identify Collaboration as one of the big trends in the New World of Work – collaboration with customers, vendors, suppliers and even employees! I’m a big supporter of Crowdsourcing or Open Innovation as a tool for developing rich engagements across the supply chain that deliver valuable innovations. Fujitsu have just announced a that they are embracing Open Innovation within their business. They site three reasons for this new strategic initiative:

  • the economic recession;
  • IT evolution and new concepts such as Cloud, and new online communications tools, plus,
  • Trust derived from social networking.

Here is the media report just released by Fujitsu:

Fujitsu is turning the traditional approach to customer innovation on its head with a new ‘Open Innovation’ service designed to break down the current method of R&D-led innovation to one that is a truly open and collaborative. The company believes that the days of self-serving R&D departments are over and that organisations in both the private and public sector are now ready for an open approach that sees individuals, businesses, government and academia brought together so that true innovation can occur.

The increased willingness for collaboration between organisations to find and develop the best solutions for some of the most challenging of shared business problems is still in its early days. However, Fujitsu’s strategy of extending the concept of real collaboration right back through the development cycle to the start of the creative function, is set to turn the innovation process on its head.

The three key factors driving this change are the economic recession; IT evolution and new concepts such as Cloud, as well as technology enablers that can aid open innovation such as collaboration / online communications tools and trust derived from social networking.

Fujitsu UK and Ireland’s chief information officer and chief technology officer, David Smith, said: “Many companies are still taking a linear approach to innovation, ie create something in their closed environment and then hope that they can sell it to meet the perceived market need. It is possible now to take a much more collaborative approach to innovation with Web 2.0 capabilities and social networking tools. These tools allow you to create distributed communities to collaborate on a given business challenge which operated outside of traditional corporate boundaries and potentially be far more engaged with your target marketplace and be directly driven by their input; I believe that companies that innovate alone will increasingly tend to be laggards not leaders.”

The new open innovation service will allow community members to:

  • Collaborate on innovative solutions, developing new business opportunities
  • Explore existing business problems, exploit expertise and identify innovative solutions
  • Gain an expert perspective on areas of interest relating to innovation
  • Understand Fujitsu’s future technology direction and technologies under development
  • Harness dedicated R&D activity to support their business
  • Shape Fujitsu R&D to ensure the outcomes fully fit their business needs
  • Reduce the costs of innovation by collaborating with Fujitsu and its partners to develop shared solutions.

Fujitsu is asking customers, vendors, academics, venture capitalist, collaborators and others who are interested in becoming part of the innovation community to contact the innovation team via the Open Innovation enquiry form.
About Fujitsu
Fujitsu is a leading provider of ICT-based business solutions for the global marketplace. With approximately 170,000 employees supporting customers in 70 countries, Fujitsu combines a worldwide corps of systems and services experts with highly reliable computing and communications products and advanced microelectronics to deliver added value to customers. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.6 trillion yen (US$50 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010. For more information, please see: www.fujitsu.com.

Fujitsu UK and Ireland is a leading IT systems, services and products company employing 11,400 people with an annual revenue of £1.7 billion. Its business is in enabling its customers to realise their objectives by exploiting information technology through its integrated product and service portfolio. This includes consulting, applications, systems integration, managed services and product for customers in the private and public sectors including retail, financial services, telecoms, government, defence and consumer sectors. For more information, please see: uk.fujitsu.com

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