Innovation is more than just a buzzword at Avanade
- Posted on February 14, 2014
The virtual halls of Avanade are buzzing this week and the talk is all about innovation.
The third annual Avanade Employee Innovation Contest is underway, giving our 20,000+ global employees the opportunity to work individually or in teams to develop their own customer-focused technology innovations and compete for a BIG prize (read on!).
These innovations are not just “pie in the sky” ideas. Firstly, we provide some guidance in the form of themes. This year, we’re using two programs that we’re already talking to our customers about to help them navigate some real world business challenges their facing today: Work Redesigned and IT Without Boundaries. Then, every team that makes it through the first round must build a working demonstration of their idea.
Selecting the best ideas is a pretty open process. Everyone in the company gets to vote for the ideas they like best before expert panels review and assess the submissions against a comprehensive score sheet. The final four teams get to go to our top training event in Seattle in June where they present their ideas live to the 500+ Avanade attendees. It’s the attendees’ jobs to vote for and decide who wins the contest.
The stakes are high: the winners of the contest receive a $25,000 USD first prize. And this year we’re offering the winning team the option to participate in a very exclusive Lotus F1 Team experience through our partnership with the team.
Something else that’s really exciting this year is that, for the first time since we started the contest, we’re getting our customers involved. We’ve got some really big and well-known names taking part and they’re going to work directly with our teams in Round 2 of the contest to guide them and challenge them and help the teams take their idea to the next level.
Last year’s contest attracted over 250 entries and the quality was impressive. The final itself was really exciting. All four finalists presented high quality demonstrations which really blew the crowd away and led to all the teams getting a standing ovation at the end.
The 2013 winning team came from Avanade’s Global Delivery Network (GDN). Their innovation, SocialiSight—a 360-degree Social Mobility Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) enabled framework that provides an innovative way for personalized shopping for consumers and a dashboard-based framework to track consumer buying trends and sales targets for retailers. The solution is already in development for Avanade customers—as are several other innovation submissions that came from last year’s contest.
The Avanade Employee Innovation Contest is more than just a contest. It symbolizes Avanade’s commitment to customer-centric innovation and our passion for realizing results. I know I am not alone in my excitement anticipating what incredible innovations will come out of this year’s entries—and how they will help solve pressing challenges for our customers.