SAP’s Innovation Management offering combines a software product with professional services, and is designed to help organisations embrace innovation, particularly in the context of digital transformation initiatives. The product, SAP Innovation Management, focuses on the front-end aspects of innovation: enabling the collection, validation and selection of ideas. It integrates with SAP Project and Portfolio Management for the back-end stages in the process.
A services-led approach to innovation management
The innovation management software market is full of small, niche suppliers: SAP stands out as one of the few large software companies that has seen the opportunity. Positioning its offering as software + services, SAP approaches innovation management from the perspective of helping organisations to realise their goals around digital transformation, and a way to help accelerate their innovation outputs – establishing a structured, co-ordinated process that connects the ‘fuzzy front-end’ of ideation with an organisation’s existing project and portfolio management environment.
SAP Innovation Management was launched in August 2014 and stems from SAP’s own investment in innovation, as well as its existing engagements with customers through its Business Services team. The product – which sits in SAP’s Product Lifecycle Management area – addresses the ‘front end’ aspects of an innovation programme, providing a community-style online environment in which organisations can capture, collaborate on and evaluate ideas via time-boxed campaigns.
Deployed either on premise or in the cloud (privately hosted via SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, or public cloud), the product comprises two core components:
- Idea Community – where participants can view and contribute to active campaigns, submitting their own ideas and commenting and voting on those of others. Innovation managers, campaign managers and idea coaches also have access to additional features to support evaluation and campaign management, for example.
- Innovation Office – an administrative area where innovation managers can configure and define the innovation process, and co-ordinate and manage campaigns alongside campaign managers (who take responsibility for individual campaigns).