Guest blog written by Aaron Sahagun from KYOCERA Document Solutions Development America
Have you ever wondered which industry ranks the highest in terms of pace, market size, and generated revenue?
When referring to fast-paced industries, the world of technology indisputably trumps other forms of trade. According to New Orleans Marketing Group, 90% of the world’s data has been created in the past 3 years, clearly highlighting the spike of technological output. In addition, the revenue opportunity in the tech will grow beyond 4 trillion dollars by 2020. However, this growth can be a double-edged sword as fruitful markets tend to become highly competitive under such circumstances.
With this in mind, innovation, a commonly used buzzword in the streets of Silicon Valley as well as the virtual avenues of the internet, becomes a means of survival for tech giants. As an article by CBINSIGHTS states, “innovation is critical for established companies to stay relevant in the face of disruption from up-and-coming startups.” Since the 1970s, tech giants, including Kyocera began dedicating entire facilities to this problem thus giving birth to products and services such as self-driving cars, Kindle, and 3D printing.
An innovation lab is a mindset and space that companies create with the mission of serving as the focal point for innovation programs and initiatives. Companies such as Google, Amazon, IBM, and others have opened innovation labs with the focus of developing additional revenue streams in the form of products or services. Here at KDDA (Kyocera Document Solutions Development America) in the SF Bay Area, we are also an innovation lab focused on advancements in machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), data science, and other initiatives. Furthermore, we host an annual Internal Shark Tank to promote innovative thinking in a fun collaborative (and competitive) environment.
What makes us different from the other innovation labs?
We have strong channel relationships in both Japan and the San Francisco Bay Area to come up with innovative ideas that have a strong global reach. We have developed a strategic partnership with UC Berkeley and host an annual case competition on campus. As a result, we are able to come up with local Bay Area ideas, test out the technology and business hypothesis/model, and then potentially turn the local products into global products through Japan.
Organizational Change Management
A great success story for KDDA that epitomizes the added value of an innovation lab is the birth of Organizational Change Management (OCM) services started by the Technical Program Management team. OCM is a service/framework for managing the adoption of new processes, organizational structure or cultural changes within a company. Specifically speaking, OCM addresses the people side of change management.
In partnership with DataBank, KDDA’s OCM team worked extensively with a State Government Agency to update and further enhance the organization’s document management tools and processes. With over 25 districts/divisions and 12 thousand employees, this assignment was no easy feat. Stakeholder engagement, a cohesive top-down message, and sustainable processes were the most challenging waters to navigate. However, to keep the analogy consistent, the ship successfully reached its destination despite the many challenges that we had to overcome. This anecdote is a testament to how important innovation labs are for the continuous growth of companies including Kyocera.