Blog Coveo Insights

R&D’s Greatest Challenge: Insight to Innovate

Posted by Diane Berry on August 9, 2012

Amid the excitement and athleticism of the Olympics, we have uncovered another interesting display of global competition.  And although it may not be as entertaining, the ramifications are more far-reaching. Specifically, the Global Innovation Index evaluates each country’s level of innovation over the past year, as judged by each country’s knowledge, technology and creative outputs. It was reported by the CEO of Eli Lily in a Forbes post about America’s declining ranking last month.

Regardless of which country is the most innovative, businesses all over the world are plagued by an “Insight Deficit” within their R&D departments. This is because engineers and developers generally don’t have access to the full breadth of information necessary to make informed decisions—product data, competitive insight, customer surveys and more. As a result, products take longer to get to market, production requires more re-dos, and competition may often seem one step ahead. Without easy assimilation of relevant and actionable insights, organizations aren’t as nimble or flexible as they could be.

Having better and immediate insight into data across systems and departments helps companies improve agility in their innovation, and to innovate “incrementally,” that is, building on each incremental innovation. They can understand more about what has occurred before—and why—plus incorporate feedback from customers, internal review teams. They can adjust processes and perhaps swap in new materials to improve each cycle of development. Overall, having more insight into these facets allows R&D departments to better justify the investments they make. Read more and comment »

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New Study: The Keys to Innovation for R&D Organizations – Their Own, Unused Knowledge

Posted by Diane Berry on July 31, 2012

We recently polled R&D teams about how they use and share innovation across offices and departments, and the challenges they face in doing so.  Because R&D is a primary creator and consumer of knowledge, these organizations should be a model for how to utilize and share it. However, as we’ve seen in the demand for our intelligent indexing technology, and as revealed in the study, we found that R&D teams are more apt to duplicate work, lose knowledge and operate in siloed, “tribal” environments where information isn’t shared and experts can’t be found.  This creates a huge opportunity for those who get it right—to out-innovate and out-perform their competition.

Specifically, engineers told us about their information challenges in our social media poll. The graphic below outlines the results.

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Engineering Teams: Who’s in your Tribe?

Posted by Laurent Simoneau on July 17, 2012

Many organizations have invested significantly to create a “network effect,” where teams dispersed internationally are encouraged to use technologies to share, explore and innovate faster. As we’ve seen, additional tools don’t necessarily lead to additional collaboration and knowledge sharing. Often, the tools themselves become new silos of information, from which it is difficult if not impossible to extract relevant information.

Particularly in R&D departments comprised of highly educated, highly skilled specialists working in small groups, knowledge access and sharing can be a significant hurdle, and one that impacts innovation. Working in a very large engineering organization, with multiple departments working on multiple aspects of product design and engineering, chances are most engineers have an idea of what the five or six people around them have developed and what they know.

If they’ve worked for the organization for a number of years, this could extend to a hundred people, based on work over time. But what about the hundreds or potentially thousands of other experts in the organization? What information have they developed and shared? What kinds of product-related challenges have they encountered in their jobs? Subject matter experts often remain untapped resources, resulting in lost opportunities for R&D gains in innovation, efficiency and productivity. Read more and comment »

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Let us know if this has ever happened to you – “I just wasted how much time?” or “What do you mean this already exists?”

Posted by Diane Berry on May 15, 2012

Let’s face it. The more data available to your company, the less you know what you think you know.

Sound strange? Just think about it…and perhaps consider your own experience. Let’s say you are an engineer or product developer for a mid-sized company. Say the company has been around for 30 years, creates complex products requiring QA testing and perhaps regulatory compliance. At the same time, the company has grown to 10,000 people with 3,000 engineers split among seven different offices in three countries.

You’ve been with the company for three years, working in the headquarters campus where there are close to 1,000 engineers. Perhaps you know 100 people with whom you’ve worked on projects during the past three years. Say you know another 100 people by reputation, but you’re not entirely sure of all of their projects (past and present). That leaves 2800 engineers you don’t know, and you have no idea what they‘ve done, or even what they are working on right now. Sure, you may have Sharepoint profiles, but that doesn’t help you understand expertise, projects worked, or interests, because it is not created from each engineer’s actual, ongoing work and interactions. Read more and comment »

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Customer-Centricity and Information Availability – The Necessity of Innovation

Posted by Diane Berry on May 9, 2012

We’ve all heard the expression “necessity is the mother of invention.” In today’s day and age of digital engagement and the rapid pace of change in which we all live, this statement couldn’t be more true. Today’s consumers do not want to wait. There is a need for immediate satisfaction which means proprietors need to not only react to requests faster – they must have all of the necessary information to answers any number of requests at their fingertips, in an instant.

This information immediacy issue is playing out every day in many industries in multiple formats – whether it’s a customer on the phone with his or her mobile phone provider trying to straighten out a bill, a product engineer working to determine the next phase of a development cycle and needing to tap into a side project for research data, or a sales force leader determining an appropriate engagement strategy for his or her organization. The problem is, as common as these scenarios are, the access to all of the information necessary to make insightful decisions is not as prevalent as one may think.

This is why Coveo and its customers are paving the way – truly leading the charge as innovators – bringing together vast amounts of data on our unified indexing platform across enterprise systems and social channels and making it available with contextual relevance to each and every user—we term this one-to-one, end-to-end. With a single, unified view of information across channels (think an information mash-up like you’d get on Yahoo! Finance), customer service teams discover information relationships within diverse data sources to better know and serve their customers and enable better decision making – all aimed at building a truly customer-centric organization. Read more and comment »

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