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Harnessing Open Innovation at SAP Research (COIL & Imagineering)

Recently, our Open Innovation team (including David Cruickshank) sat down with two innovators from SAP Research to discuss their approaches to innovating in the real world. Dr. Axel Saleck, VP of SAP Co-Innovation Lab Global Network, and Denis Browne, Senior Vice President of SAP Imagineering Research are featured in a video interview moderated by our own Rocky Ongkowidjojo. Axel and Denis share their motivations and some examples of exploring opportunities for open innovation as well as exploiting technologies and processes in unique ways.

Axel notes that in COIL, “We don’t think that we (SAP) don’t know everything….” This becomes the basis for open collaboration with partners, customers and others, leading to innovative solutions. COIL’s aim is to not look just at SAP landscapes but at the real world situations where SAP technologies and processes applied to solve big problems. One example is drawn from a project addressing disaster/recovery across a complex landscape of technologies and processes from many vendors. This resulted in a highly optimized solution that was successfully implemented, prior to the catastrophic 2011 earthquake and tsunami, with a number of Japanese companies. Axel goes on to describe recent collaboration in the mobility space, as well as Smart Meter Analytics enabling support for renewable energy.

Denis emphasizes the point that Imagineering is intended to be a positive disruptive force. Their motto is, “Jump and find your wings on the way down.” When collaborating with entrepreneurs, start-ups, partners and customers, the Imagineering team desires risk, uncertainty, and requires the willingness to find a creative solution to a business problem. Imagineering looks closely at the challenge of understanding when to ramp investments in order to make the transition from exploration to exploitation.

We look forward to hearing more from COIL and Imagineering as they achieve additional success in Open Innovation.

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