Posted by Chris Townsend on December 11, 2008
***Updated December 30, 2008: I've added basic category definitions for innovation software, innovation services, and innovation consulting. I consider it as a working first draft -- please comment on this post to let me know what you think.***
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First, I'd like to thank everyone who responded to my previous blog post -- either publicly or privately. The responses were mixed; some vendor strategists supported my forecasting hesitance; others strongly disagreed with my decision.
Regardless, I realize that my work is now cut out for me. Although I'm still not planning to launch a rigorous quant forecast earlier than mid-2009, your comments have moderated my "no forecast" views a bit. More to the point, it was unfair for me to castigate the vendor landscape for its "overlapping, vaguely marketed, and undifferentiated" technologies. This may be true, but the fault is partly mine.
The reason? As an analyst, I haven't played my part in cataloging the vendor landscape. Erroneously, I believed I had already made my necessary contributions. For instance, in a previous report, I had characterized the "innovation technology stack" from the buyers' perspective. And in another report published back in July, I had explained the backdrop reasons causing the innovation management tools market to "pop" in 2008-2009.
But this is not enough. I still need to categorize the vendor landscape directly -- i.e., characterize the emerging sell-side value chain. This is an additional (and extremely important) market dimension that I have unfortunately ignored thus far. Starting with this post, I aim to redress this oversight.
Listening to your feedback (special thanks to a particular few -- you know who you are), I'd like to start tackling this task by collaborating -- openly and publicly -- with this blog's target audience of "Vendor Strategists" (to use Forrester's parlance).
What follows is a broad and inclusive list of today's innovation management vendors --
those that in my mind are either "leaders" or "vendors to watch." (changes made 12/16/08). Importantly, I've split the list into functional categories to create a quick-and-dirty marketplace taxonomy.
Either privately or (ideally) publicly, I encourage you to send me your thoughts on this list. I will use the accumulated responses as one of my inputs for an upcoming research report. This report will categorize the sell-side ecosystem more rigorously -- and with clear explanations and reasoning behind each of the market categories.
*note: vendors in each section are listed in alpha order*
includes, but not limited to: idea management software; collaboration platforms; brainstorming tools; innovation analytics tools; innovation management engines; IP management software systems; mind mapping software
common thread that defines the category: packaged and/or hosted enterprise software -- to be installed / implemented as a software system with customers
Applied Market Science (IDEALYST)
Brainstorm on Demand
IBM Idea Factory
Idea Management Group (Idea Manager)
INCENT Solutions (iDS)
Innovation Framework Technologies
Innovation Portal (Cognistreamer)
Insight RESULTS (e-Impact)
Invention Machine (Goldfire)
Jenni Idea Management
MindMatters Technologies (Innovator)
Nosco (Idea Exchange)
OVO Innovation (OVO Tools)
Rite-Solutions (Innovation Engine)
Salesforce.com (Salesforce CRM Ideas)
target Idea Management
Total Quality Systems Software (SimNet)
Varatek Software (MindApp)
includes, but not limited to: Innovation Sourcing services (e.g., crowdsourcing, expert-sourcing, etc.); IP trading networks; outsourced creative services; outsourced science / engineering invention services; third-party-brokered, white-label innovation / ideation communities
common thread that defines the category: third-party outsourced, in-house partnered, or sub-contracted innovation services -- perhaps focused on IT support systems, perhaps focused on business process (both of which "count" for this category)
Big Idea Group
IBM Global Services
Imaginatik (Idea Central)
TekScout Open Innovation Network
includes, but not limited to: innovation strategy consulting; innovation workshops and training; market growth consulting; organizational change consulting; innovation execution advisory; consulting and advisory on innovation subtopics (e.g., product innovation; value innovation; biz-model innovation; Enterprise 2.0 collaboration models; etc.)
common thread that defines the category: innovation-focused advisory, consulting, and training services -- offering knowledge and advice rather than software systems or discrete third-party services
Axiom Business Concepts
BCG Innovation Institute
Brick & Click Consulting
Business Strategy Innovation
Cheskin Added Value
Creativity And Innovation Driving Business
Doyle Research Associates
Kathy Mast Consulting
Patricia Seybold Group
Quark Engineering & Development
Radical Innovation Group
Silicon Valley Innovation Institute
Systematic Inventive Thinking
The Desai Group
The Enterprise Development Group
The Innovation Workgroup
Think For A Change
For now, I'll keep my thoughts very brief, because I want to give everyone a chance to speak.
I'll only say this: my biggest reservation is around the "innovation services" category. Currently, it's a more of a catch-all than a true class of provider types.
For instance, I would never consider Vertical*i and Kluster as direct competitors.** They're on opposite sides of the Innovation Sourcing paradigm (to be explained further in a report in early 2009).
Therefore, clearly this list still needs work. And in that respect, I'm eager for your input.
**update 12/16/08: Upon further reflection, Vertical*i best falls into the "software" category. I've adjusted the list accordingly. This mitigates at least some of my concerns regarding the lack of rational coherence in the "services" list.