Mezzanine in Action: The Innovation Lab
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Companies don’t earn a spot on the Fortune 500 list—and keep it—by resting on past accomplishments. Innovation is essential.
That’s why a number of Fortune 500 companies in recent years have opened up innovation labs: those small, brainy research and development centers tasked with developing new products and services—or even an entirely new corporate culture.
These innovation labs are sometimes located far from corporate headquarters, in specific geographic areas noted for their cluster of innovative talent: think Silicon Valley, or the Boston area.
The goal for these "outpost innovation labs", as Industry Analysts call them, is to create innovative products and practices, and then ship them back to corporate headquarters.
But how best to accomplish this goal? How do you make sure the innovation that you’ve worked so hard to create doesn’t get trapped inside the outpost? How do you make sure it successfully travels back to headquarters in a way that it can be fully understood and absorbed, so that it can be implemented or productized?
Now, we’re legally sworn to protect their identities, so we can’t tell you who these companies are, but we can tell you some of the ways they’re using and benefiting from Mezzanine in their innovation labs.
- Co-innovate across great geographical distances.
When teams use Mezzanine, they can interact with video, data, and devices in a shared workspace that bridges distances. This type of fluid collaboration is what enables an energy company headquartered in the Middle East, for example, to more effectively leverage the mathematical analyses and gasses research of its Advanced Research Center in Boston.
- Communicate innovative ideas—in any language.
One large telecommunications company installed Mezzanine as a way to ease the language barrier between its California-based innovation lab and its Asian head office. After all, a picture’s worth a thousand words–and when you have a full Mezzanine triptych of screens plus digital corkboards, you can not just display a lot of images, you can annotate, organize, highlight, and present them in ways that get a point across in any language.
- Transfer innovation in both directions.
Innovation can happen anywhere in an organization, of course: the outpost labs don’t have a monopoly on bright ideas. We’ve seen several Fortune 500 companies install multiple Mezzanine systems across their geographically distributed operations to create an Infopresence Fabric that allows ideas to easily flow in both directions: from the lab to headquarters, and from headquarters to the lab.
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