Ericsson's Idea Boxes enable global power of innovation
Ericsson's Idea Boxes are a web-based and global innovation system where all 120,000 employees can build on each other's ideas. No matter which department or continent they work. Also, they dared to challenge.
Ericsson is a multinational company with 120,000 employees around the world. As one of the world's leading companies in communication technology, innovation is a necessary element of daily work.
- Ericsson has succeeded in systematizing its innovation process in a deserving way, and IdeaBoxes is central in this context, says Richard Richthoff.
Good ideas come from collaboration
Good ideas do not come when people sit together in a room and think alike, says Magnus Karlsson, Director of New Business Development and Innovation at Ericsson. The best ideas are born when ideas and ideas flow between people with different backgrounds and different views.
- The old classic proposal boxes quickly tend to become a cemetery for old ideas, which instead inhibit creativity than contribute to it, continues Richard Richtoff. Ideas come from collaboration between people. IdeaBoxes is a transparent system that is based on the fact that all employees can build on someone else's ideas and thoughts in an associative flow, regardless of which department you work for.
"Secret ideas come nowhere"
IdeaBoxes is designed based on a philosophy of openness and collaboration.
- We wanted to create a system that is very flat without any central control or hierarchy, says Magnus Karlsson. We want to encourage different disciplines to work together. Also, we want to create an opportunity for different people to see the same idea at the same time. Secret ideas come nowhere, says Magnus Karlsson. It is only by releasing them that they can grow and be realized.
Responsive in all units
IdeaBoxes is not quite unlike a social network, where users can follow and submit ideas and at the same time, search and find others with the same interests. Thanks to Facebook and other networks, people are used to this type of system. IdeaBoxes is built on a Microsoft platform, says Peter Dietrich, customer manager at Precio Fishbone.
It is a web-based system that is responsive in all units, built in a very modern framework and user interface.
Precio Fishbone was something of an outsider in the procurement, and it was not only the solution itself that decided in Precio Fishbone's favor.
- I think our commitment meant a lot and that we could present an excellent team.
"We have to work with people who dare to say what they believe in"
Richard Richthoff confirms Peter's thoughts.
- We chose Precio Fishbone for their overall competence and their strong orientation about the team's strength. We also appreciated their direct communication as we have to work with people who dare to say what they believe.
Agile is the best way
Although it is a technically advanced system, work has gone both quickly and well.
The project started in May and was completed in November, says Richard Richthoff. But it never felt rushed. Excellent collaboration with continuous conversations and discussions between the team and the users' representatives.
- It was agile in the best way, he continues. Which is very important. It is often necessary to be able to adapt quickly to changing requirements during the project.
Precio Fishbone has fulfilled Ericsson's high standards of quality and rapid progress. The construction of Idea Boxes was carried out with a combined delivery from Sweden and Vietnam where the team from Vietnam was taken to Sweden to collaborate on-site with Ericsson's team for a period of three months. Through this arrangement, everyone got to know each other and thus gain trust in each other.
- The close collaboration between competent people from both Precio Fishbone and Ericsson is one of the keys to a very successful project.