Enterprise Innovation Management: How To Leverage Office 365 Instead Of Cots Idea Management Products? Sareen Babu June 28, 2018

Enterprise Innovation Management: How To Leverage Office 365 Instead Of Cots Idea Management Products?

Enterprise Innovation Management How To Leverage Office 365 Instead Of Cots Idea Management Products

Importance of Innovation Management

Ideas Are The Lifeblood Of Business. Capture Every Fleeting Idea And Drive For Change – Richard Branson

Decentralized innovation management

Organizations are quickly coming to the realization that their employees are a powerhouse for ideas. Therefore, they’re moving away from closed-door meetings comprising only senior management team and instead leveraging employees across various to generate their most outstanding ideas.

Decentralization has the added benefit of increasing the quality of ideas. C-level executives may not always be aware of challenges and pain points experienced by specific markets, as much as a manager interacting directly with individuals operating within those markets. These interactions and observations from real life experiences provide deeper insights.

This knowledge enables managers to devise an improved innovation strategy as compared to a high-level executive who may not be as closely in touch with market challenges.

Learn more: 5 Benefits of Decentralized Innovation Management

When choosing an idea management software for your enterprise, there are certain key features to look out for:

Ideate and Collaborate

The idea management software should be designed to enable employees to submit ideas, collaborate, evaluate, prioritize and finalize ideas that will generate improved business outcomes.

Idea Management Process

A process should be set in place to capture your best ideas and quickly turn them into valuable new innovations. Business excellence moderators should be able to review, comment, score, and ultimately choose ideas which will generate the greatest impact.

Dashboards & Reporting

Meaningful dashboards are critical in understanding how successful an innovation program has been. Look for idea management software that will allow you to plan, control and analyze from a variety of perspectives and generate detailed reports and graphs to bring about more transparency into idea management.


Rewarding contributors with points and badges will encourage them to participate enthusiastically and drives employee engagement.

Office 365 Communication and Collaboration Features

Discussion boards  / Yammer with built-in employee engagement

Yammer Groups function rather similarly to Outlook Groups. This means when a Yammer Group is created, users obtain access to various tools, including calendar, planner, notebook, and so on. Yammer also supports file sharing and facilitates collaboration. While the central purpose of Yammer is to allow for enterprise-wide communication, when integrated with a SharePoint team will allow employees to share ideas and collaboration.

Customizable Workflows

SharePoint enables workflow-based collaboration and ensure smooth functioning of workflows that are critical in managing business processes.  Workflow management is critical in managing various processes and also for organizations that are looking to migrate to the cloud but want to retain the blueprint of their On-Premise SharePoint solutions.

How Office 365 SharePoint Online is the perfect platform to implement the Idea management Application

  • Helps increase ROI, by efficiently leveraging the investment made on Office 365
  • It allows for easy extensibility, as well as customization and modification in the future
  • Minimized total cost of ownership, as they already have an existing team managing their Office 365
  • There are typically no adoption issues or any drastic changes, as users are already proficient with Office 365

What Is the Alternative?

As an increasing number of organizations are attempting to revolutionize their organization in terms of innovation and idea management, a plethora of new vendors has cropped up in the market, offering COTS idea management products into the market.   MarketsandMarkets Research predicts that the Innovation Management market is projected to grow from an estimated USD 421.6 Million in 2017 to USD 1,519.2 Million by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 29.2% during 2017–2022.

But it’s important to evaluate various factors that will make a specific idea management software the right one for your organization’s needs. An imprudent investment in technologies that do not address your challenges can lead to diminished ROI or worse, having to scrap the product. Below are a few scenarios to keep in mind:

  • There may be security risks associated with new vendors. The software itself may contain bugs or flaws, and as it is plugged into the enterprise IT system, it may result in increased security risks and other complications
  • Since customization is not possible in COTS software, there is a risk of being locked down to it
  • There may be huge expenses associated with change management. Additionally, adoption itself may be an arduous task, causing issues with productivity
  • There may also be issues with the vendor if there is a lack of trust

We believe that a company that chooses openness and thinking outside the box has already created an environment that is conducive to innovation. As you embark on your journey to instill improved idea-sharing capabilities with your organization, may we suggest taking a demo of Wave, our SharePoint based idea management application.

If you’d like to learn more about this topic, please feel free to get in touch with one of our experts for a personalized consultation.