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Whether disruptive or sustaining, innovation is crucial to continued market growth. SAP’s Co-Innovation Lab (COIL) is proof of SAP’s commitment to deliver solutions to our customers that combine best of breed technologies, processes and experts across the Ecosystem. Mike Flynn, a director of COIL, will moderate a unique panel of experts from partners and customers at TechEd 2009. The session is focused on sharing our collective “secret sauce” in achieving breakthrough results in co-innovation strategies and tactics.

Practices in Co-Innovation: Key Insights from SAP, Partners and Customers (ALM206), presented at both Phoenix and Vienna will focus on the following themes:

• The overall co-innovation / open innovation process
• The ways in which structures are put together to support the process(as)
• The ways in which cultures are enhanced for best co-innovation
• How thorny issues are addressed (e.g. IP Rights)

Participating companies include Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Procter & Gamble. You can expect to capture insights covering a broad range of topics from differences in models of collaborative innovation, to strategies for identifying the best opportunities for co-innovation, to IP ownership.

As a preview, here is a brief example from the challenges facing successful co-innovators today, which the panel will discuss.

Henry Chesbrough, arguably the father of open innovation defines it as:

 “the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectively. Open Innovation is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology”.  

In the experience of SAP’s Co-Innovation Lab (COIL), we have found that our framework for co-innovation strongly supports Chesbrough’s general definition. It’s one thing to accept general precepts of co-innovation. However, as we all find ourselves frequently saying, “The devil is in the details.” Such details require you to address how you build and maintain effective co-innovation teams. As subtext to this challenge, consider how you build trust and cooperation while maintaining a creative tension amongst the team.

Face-face meetings between the panel and TechEd attendees will be available through the Expert Sessions. Just sign up for one of the sessions entitled, “Co-Innovation Best Practices – COIL Team & Members.”

I look forward to seeing you in Phoenix and Vienna.

– Mike

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