Living innovation in the Chicago Innovation Center

  • Posted on October 24, 2017
  • Estimated reading time 2 minutes
Avanade Chicago Innovation Center

The following blog post was written by Avanade alum Jeff Vilimek.

I joined Avanade in 2011 after many years at Microsoft and as an executive in a small technology consulting company. At the time, colleagues at Avanade described a dynamic company focused on being agile, keeping up with changing technology and bringing value to a wide array of clients. It was an opportunity I couldn't refuse. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to help build the Chicago Innovation Center (CiC) and work directly with clients to help them navigate their digital journey. These experiences have been, and continue to be, some of the most satisfying I’ve had in my career.


Last year journalist Grame Wood described the tech industry by saying, "Change has never happened this fast before, and it will never be this slow again." This really resonated with me, and has certainly proven true during the on-going journey of the CiC. We opened the first version of the CiC in 2012 with a single room, two screens showing innovation demos and a video conference wall. Since then, we've nearly quadrupled in size, number of visits, and amount of digital innovation and leading-edge technology we showcase to clients and partners.


I am amazed each day at Avanade where I’m surrounded by digital innovation and smart people from just about every industry. Most of what we showcase in our innovation center represents "The Art of the Possible", or representations of real digital innovation we are building with clients around the world today. On top of that, I get to constantly add emerging technology and leading-edge solutions. I'm now working with the very best in the industry, my colleagues, to bring in demonstrations of our work on Intelligent Agents, Machine Learning, Cognitive Services, and Intelligent Automation.


Keeping up with the pace of change and building it into the CiC is only half of what keeps me going. The other half comes from the clients and partners I get to work with, showing our solution concepts and brainstorming what might be possible for their businesses. Each visit to the CiC leaves an imprint on me and uncovers another set of challenges, and new ideas for using digital solutions to solve them. And our center is now just one of five Avanade innovation centers around the globe, with interactive showcases also open in Barcelona, New York, Bangalore and Beijing.


While change continues to accelerate, I'm happy to be in the middle of it here at Avanade and in the Chicago Innovation Center. If you have the opportunity, stop by and I'll be happy to show you in person.


sergio rezende

Greetings! Wonderful motivation and work!

July 4, 2019

Katharina Treptow

Kind regards from Accenture IIoT Innovation Lab in Garching (near Munich/Germany), where I`m working for Avanade now. Feel free to get in contact with me. Cheers, Katharina 

November 15, 2017

Julia Martin

The evolution of the CiC has been amazing! Great job Jeff Vilimek!

October 25, 2017

Tim Groulx

wow, the looked like a really cool robotics setup in there! I could see a lot of opportunity using something like that as a Digital Twin in manufacturing scenarios... :-)

October 25, 2017

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