If I had to pinpoint one key driver of human progress in business or society, it would have to be innovation. Often used and misused, innovation is a term that has multiple connotations. To me, innovation is about doing something differently - not incrementally different, but radically different.
Innovation is crucial in the context of the Telecom industry. In a market that is fiercely competitive, innovation holds the key to successful competitive differentiation. With shrinking margins and reducing R&D budgets, innovation in Telecom means doing more with less.
Recently, Zinnov Management Consulting, a leading globalization and market expansion advisory firm, released its "Global R&D Service Providers (GSPR) Rating 2012", a ranking of the top global R&D service providers across geographies like India, China, Russia and Eastern Europe. This annual study serves as a guide to business leaders on driving global engineering initiatives and partner selection. Wipro was ranked #1 in Telecommunications R&D.
So how did we do it? I can narrow it down to 5 core attributes that established our leadership, with innovation at the heart of our success:
- Innovation. A formal organization wide culture of innovation, that results in the generation of IP and strategic innovations.
- R&D Practice Maturity. Significant investment in lab infrastructure and the ability to take products from concept to market.
- Breadth of Offerings. Niche capabilities across engineering, embedded technologies, and software services.
- Ecosystem Connect. Leadership in forging alliances, fostering academic research, leveraging startups, and co-creating with customers.
- Quality. Strong focus on quality as a differentiator.
Our achievement is a reflection of our continuous effort to tread the path of innovation, maintain business best practices, and deliver customer satisfaction. The key cornerstones of our R&D strategy are:
- Development of new skills and lab infrastructure
- Innovation in upcoming technologies such as 4G LTE, M2M, and customer experience
- On-time delivery that meets the highest standards of quality
In the rapidly evolving Telecom industry, technology remains critical to growth but deriving maximum business value from technology investments is the key to success. As a result, ecosystem players need to expand their focus of innovation beyond Technology Innovation to the area of Business Innovation. This has prompted us look at new areas of innovation such as Market Innovation, Process Innovation, and Business Model Innovation, in addition to Technology Innovation, to help our customers stay ahead. For example, under Market Innovation, we are looking at rural markets for growth opportunities. We are also looking at vertical industries for new revenue streams. These include areas such as mobile commerce and remote healthcare. When it comes to Process Innovation, we are looking at ways of optimizing operations via the outsourcing of non-core activities such as access operations and feature/functionality driven deployment (iterative/agile solution development). In the area of Technology Innovation, we are focusing on Small Cells, which are the future of the network, for reduced power consumption and increased capacity and coverage. We are also working on innovation around remote infrastructure management and Software Defined Networks to meet the rapidly growing demands from networks.
Today our clients want to leverage the partner ecosystem to share uncertainty risks and innovation costs, create relevant talent pools, and reduce time to market. To help our clients do so, we offer innovative business models. These models are geared towards enhancing monetization opportunities for our clients, while mitigating associated risks. Our Risk-Reward and Revenue Share models have witnessed strong traction. We are now engaging with our customers in the co-creation of solutions. The co-creation model involves joint solution development. In this model, we productize IP components and solutions to suit the specific requirements of telecom equipment vendors and invest resources, expertise, and infrastructure to develop next generation solutions. Our partnership model is one of our most preferred engagement models where our customers trust us completely with their IP and we are able to cross-leverage resources, infrastructure, and industry experience to drive mutual success and win in the Digital World.