IT integrator and consultant Capgemini is a big, successful multinational company based in Paris. It’s also smart enough to know that quite often, innovation happens outside of its team of 180,000 employees in 40-plus countries.
So, to keep the company focusing on new and better products and services, it announced a couple of things. First, on Feb. 25, it acquired Fahrenheit 212, an innovation strategy and design firm that it hopes will bring a boatload of new ideas to decision meetings. Terms of the deal were not released.
New York City-based Fahrenheit 212 is expected to augment the capabilities of Capgemini Consulting, the firm’s global strategy and transformation consulting division, to provide new innovation, business transformation and digital customer experience solutions. Fahrenheit 212 has spent the last 12 years developing similar growth opportunities for clients such as Coca-Cola, Marriott and Citi.
Secondly, Capgemini has opened a global network of nine innovation spaces, known as Applied Innovation Exchanges, where organizations are able to immerse themselves in the understanding, experimentation and application of all aspects of emerging tech. Working at these incubator-like Exchanges, companies also will figure out new approaches to the business disruptions confronting them and their industries, Capgemini said. The newest Exchange office opened in San Francisco on Feb. 18.
Fahrenheit 212 will immediately gain access to the company’s international implementation strengths in addition to the global network of Applied Innovation Exchanges, the company said.
The new Exchange in San Francisco specializes in co-innovation with established technology brands and startups. It provides exposure and access to a portfolio of selected venture capital and private equity partners.
Capgemini’s global network of Exchanges provides a structured and secure environment to help organizations to understand and apply emerging technologies, such as Internet of things, insights and data, cloud, and cybersecurity. Also, each Exchange houses key market and process domain expertise to enable organizations to apply these innovations to their specific business context, Lanny Cohen, Global Chief Technology Officer and member of the Group Executive Committee at Capgemini, told eWEEK.
For example, Capgemini’s Munich Exchange is home to extensive automotive Applied Innovation specialties. Capgemini’s AIE team in the Paris Exchange has developed an application dedicated to the Oculus Rift virtual reality glasses; it enables users to stroll through a 3D environment replicating large industrial infrastructures and facilities.
This provides efficient capabilities for experts to prepare a high-risk intervention after an incident has occurred in a hostile environment. Other Exchanges are located in Lille, Toulouse, Utrecht, Mumbai, Melbourne and now San Francisco, with London coming soon and plans to expand further this footprint in 2016.
“Companies can no longer innovate in isolation, or be content with development and deployment cycles measured in years, or months,” Cohen told eWEEK. “The risks of not acting or acting in yesterday’s innovation paradigms are far too great.
“Given the fast pace of emerging technology introductions, and the way they are removing traditional barriers to market entry, it is the rapid application of innovation which promises sustainable value for the enterprise. We do this by focusing on the discipline of applied innovation.”