One of the most mentioned words when talking about innovation focused on society participation is crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is the ability to offer people the possibility to propose problems and rewards to those who solve the proposed problem. This model is starting to be applied more and more to the business world and has had novel results in taking some decisions compared to traditional methods. Telefónica I+D has applied this trend, which is becoming more and more prevailing, through the creation of an Ideas Marketplace.
The Telefónica I+D Ideas Marketplace offers all workers the possibility to participate in an active way in the ideation, evaluation (voting) and enrichment of those ideas that allow to confront the different necessities that come up in the present society in the telecommunications sector. Making the most out of crowdsourcing and the technologies related with the Web 2.0 movement, it is possible to share with a third party these ideas in order to expand the possibilities of finding interesting proposals for the different technological or business challenges that can come up. It is worth noting in this initiative, another two fundamental pillars when implementing initiatives of this kind: the possibility of counting on a group of experts in several areas, who give an additional value to the voting made by the rest of the employers and an acknowledgment to all those people, who participate in a way in this process in the search for new ideas.
This initiative is reinforced with the creation of the Ideas Evaluation Committee, formed by experts and specialists in several areas of the company, who contribute with relevant information when analysing and motivating the ideas received from all of the employers.
Nearly 1000 ideas proposed after a year of existence
Since the creation of Telefónica I+D Ideas Marketplace in June 2008 till June 2009, nearly 1000 ideas have been proposed and analysed, with more than 1600 participants in the process. 12 specific campaigns have been created inside the Ideas Marketplace (with the purpose of finding in a short period of time ideas proposals about specific themes).
The Ideas Marketplace has been the elected system to select the two last campaigns of the Seedbed projects (investigation projects of short duration oriented to test quickly the new concepts, ideas or technologies and act according to the results) inside Telefónica I+D. As a result of the ideas contributed to this campaign, 7 projects (4 in 2008 and 3 in 2009) have been launched with a total budget of more than 1.2 million Euros.
Initiative that sets trend in the Telefónica Group
The Telefónica I+D Ideas Marketplace is an initiative that has gone beyond the borders of the company itself: there are several companies within the Telefónica Group that have shown interest on this ideation model in order to see if they can adopt the best practices of this thematic in their internal processes.
As a result of the interest of the Ideas Marketplace, Telefónica I+D has actively participated in the improvement of the processes of Telefónica Group, advising in the definition of the systems that support the generation of ideas flow in the company. As well, the Ideas Evaluation Committee of Telefónica I+D participates as evaluator for some of the presented ideas, offering its experience in the technological area in several subjects.
The Telefónica I+D Ideas Marketplace expects to continue evolving, not only in the system itself, but also in the processes of creation, evaluation and selection of ideas of strategic interest for the Telefónica Group. Therefore, improvements related to the semantic technology have been applied in order to have a more handy and real time information, which makes easier all this work.
Another aspect to draw attention to is the aperture to third parties factor: the possibility of gradually incorporating into the ideation process of Telefónica I+D internal agents of the Telefónica Group and other external contributors and partners is being analysed.