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The Innovation Platform

The Innovation Platform has gone from being a ‘support system’ to a central part of any Innovation Process in a very short space of time. It is unlikely that any major organisation or business will be successful in the area of innovation management without a dedicated digital Innovation Management system there to support the process. Technology can help with the overall management of the innovation framework and with the development of AI (Artificial Intelligence) apps within platforms they have become critical enablers and accelerators of this part of any business.

A platform for managing innovation should be web-based, available to all involved in the innovation process, available 24-7 and quick and easy to use. It should reflect the business strategy (see Planning) and the systems or processes currently in use in the business. Originally we have seen Platforms in the innovation space divide into two specific applications: Electronic Suggestion Schemes (ESS) and Innovation Trackers. However this division is somewhat artificial aa both elements are now combined in web based innovation management tools.

Electronic Suggestion Schemes (ESS)- appealing on the surface as they appear to embrace the whole organisation, quickly, but they are fraught with pitfalls and poor management. Usually we have seen these die a quick death in organisations that have implemented them. The challenge he is to keep the quantity of ideas to a management number so that they can be reviewed and acted upon quickly. An ESS is not a substitute to good management and motivation of employees to come up with ideas. This is why they fail. They do not replace good management and leadership but are an aide to one part of the innovation framework or process.

Innovation Trackers – these on the other hand take longer to develop and install but will be more integrated into the overall innovation process. They will support the implementation (project management) process and will result in a much higher success rate.

What should an Innovation Platform involve?


  1. Web Based – To be able to manage your innovation process effectively the modern business requires a web basedPlatform which maps their process and supports managers in making decisions and tracking progress anywhere and anytime.
  2. Current Database – The platform should link to a current database within the organisation to ensure that all ideas, successful or not, are captured and stored. They have a currency and value all of their own.
  3. Visibility – The system should provide a high level of visibility over the current and historic portfolio of ideas in order to maximise cross functional learning and to avoid reinventing the wheel.
  4. Use Existing Innovation – The platform must mirror the existing innovation process as simply as possible. It should cover initial capture, screening, prioritisation and through to implementation and linking to the corporate project management process. Best practice says that it should also nature the review stage too.
  5. Quick – Any platform must be quick, easy to implement and use and simple to upgrade.
  6. Secure – It should also be secure. Innovations and ideas need to be protected and the associated IP (intellectual property) secured.
  7. Artificial Intelligence – Ideally it should have an AI component helping with the generation of ideas and scanning the internet for best practice tools and techniques.

The InnovX™ (Innovation Accelerator) platform from Softools Ltd, our technology partner, is a fully customisable, web-based solution that supports the effective management of your innovation process – from Ideas to Implementation. The InnovX™ platform enables all organisations to use world class innovation management tools and techniques to help deliver two core dimensions of sustainable performance improvement: Increased visibility and control of your innovation process and consistent application of best practice techniques

The InnovX™ platform provides:


  • An Ideas and Insight capture tool to instantly capture great ideas
  • An AI (Artificial Intelligence) module to help generate ideas and highlight best practice
  • An Ideas Pipeline tracker to help you see your current and future innovation pathway
  • A ‘My Space’ module to group all your ideas and innovations together
  • Best practice templates reflecting the latest in innovation management thinking
  • An ‘On-Line Coach’ – more than just a help function but a full support tool
  • Return on Investment (RoI) calculator to ensure your ideas are profitable
  • Dynamic report creator to produce instant updates on progress, tailored to your needs
  • Real-time status reports and performance dashboards
  • Digital Dashboard Graphical Interface – graphical representation of your innovation process and the ideas flowing through it
  • Expert Forums – the ability to create internal discussion groups to share best practice and the ability to link to external innovation sites on the web

The InnovX™ platform is fully customisable and therefore you can tailor what and how you measure and monitor your insights, ideas and innovations. The SofTools Platform-as-as-Service (PAAS) model enables you to control who has access to your innovation technology and what you pay for. It gives you total control over the whole innovation process and enables companies working on multiple sites, in multiple time zones to bring all your ideas together.


Integrated Innovation Framework

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