One of the things I love about Appirio is our inherent belief that amazingly innovative ideas can come from anyone in the company. One unique way this is encouraged is via our Cloud Innovation Program. Employees share their ideas via a cloud-based app and others in the company can show their confidence in their proposal by their votes. Contributors of the ideas with the highest potential are then rewarded dedicated time to focus on the implementation.
"Innovators" selected into the program have access to the same technology and tools as our customer projects. They use Appirio’s Cloud Enablement Suite to track their backlog of work, collaborate with others, capture automated metrics on their development progress, and utilize our crowdsourcing community of nearly 75,000 cloud developers to get the idea implemented. Once ready for beta testing, we pilot internally at Appirio to gather valuable information used to decide if we wish to productize, internally institutionalize, or potentially abandon what was built.
I was blown away by two recent submissions. The first was technology that embeds contextually-relevant, custom-branded Salesforce Chatter feeds in intranets, external applications, and document repositories like Sharepoint. Since Appirio has no servers nor legacy apps, a browser plugin was built for our users to take advantage of this functionality. The outcome was so cool, I've switched to using it as my primary way to consume and post Chatter.
The second was an application to facilitate the full life cycle of data migration on a project. It displays real-time migration progress and exceptions, automates runs, and allows for context-sensitive collaboration between the entire project team, including our customers. Data migrations are well-known to be a high risk part of system implementations and often define the critical path. This tool helps mitigate that risk head on with increased visibility and collaboration.
These ideas would have likely remained simply ideas without the Cloud Innovation Program. At Appirio, we’ve seen time and again that those that are passionate about a good idea are often the best ones to see those ideas through to fulfillment. Participants in the program seem to really enjoy the change of pace and exposure. I know it’s been incredibly exciting for me to see the variety of innovative ideas coming from the team!