Manage communication in the innovation process: SkipsoLabs
Communication resources are considered one of the foremost areas of influence in the innovation process. Companies must re-think communication management when they develop an Open Innovation strategy because of the different internal and external actors involved in the process. There are a wide-range of traditional and new communication tools available; therefore, it is important to manage communication in the innovation process strategically.
SkipsoLabs offers you the chance to manage communication in the innovation process effectively. You’re probably asking yourself some questions, like: How do I manage the internal and external communication of my open innovation process? Who is involved? What are the main processes/mechanisms? Is there an automatic system of alerts for important actions performed by users, stakeholders, and administrators? Well, here we answer all of those questions.
Managing your community
An integral part of managing open innovation is managing the community you have attracted. Therefore, not only is your internal strategy important but so is the way in which you bring stakeholders together for collaboration.
The first phase of managing communication in the innovation process is planning a communication strategy for your open innovation program. In the second phase, you must implement the strategy you have set up. The final phase requires ongoing assessment, revisiting your strategy continuously to check if it is working as intended.
It doesn't matter if the community is external or internal. To manage a community, you need to keep members constantly engaged and informed, and the way the platform does this is by offering various types of communication tools and features.
Before we jump into the communication mechanisms used to manage communication, we are going to take a look at SkipsoContest. SkipsoContest is used to create and manage a community that wants to run large-scale challenges to innovate faster and more cost-effectively. It offers technology scouting, contests for start-ups, ideas, and innovations, expert/talent searches, and problem-solving. Best of all, with SkipsoLabs’ help, you can run multiple programs at once.
Our competition management platform is helping businesses, government agencies, non-profits, and universities around the world tap into the smartest minds and technologies to drive innovation.
Taking advantage of this solution enables you to innovate faster and save time and money.
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One of the tools that enables you to carry out a SkipsoContest is an open call.
With this innovation management tool, users can submit proposals on the microsite built for the open call, which offers the following pages:
- Homepage - an entrance site that graphically explains the program, timeline, and process.
- Open call page - a detailed page that provided more information about the call, including even a FAQ section.
- Other pages - other pages dedicated to the team partners, news, events, etc.
- “Contact us” page - a page for users to contact the team when or if they have problems or questions
Companies can manage their contest thanks to the services that the SkipsoLabs platform provides, such as the effortless management of teams, participants, submissions, judges, reports, statistics, and more.
For each of the open calls launched, we provide a private and secure application where your team members, as well as external experts and judges, can review and rate the submissions. SkipsoLabs can also configure profiles for mentors and investors.
SkipsoLabs provides an innovation ecosystem that is designed to maximize market outreach and, ultimately, “Deal flow” for each Open Call. Existing contacts and new contacts are proactively pursued through this approach.
To ensure that the entire system enables the successful management of the innovative process, it is important that the microsites stated above implement the following communication mechanisms.
Here are three main ways to communicate with internal and external stakeholders:
- Automatic emails
- Direct chat
Automatic emails are sent to the user and/or platform administrator and are based on actions made by that user. It is a centralized and flexible messaging system that helps you keep in touch with your community.
You can broadcast messages to all registered members, teams, or specific groups of users (e.g., only participants of a specific category like user groups, all platform tenants such as users who have not completed their registration or teams who have joined a specific program, etc.).
Automatic emails sent to users: when users carry out a certain action, the platform will send an automatic email with the messaging that your communication strategy requires. These automatic emails keep the users informed of the following steps and prompt further action.
- Example: User registers for the platform, then a confirmation email is prompted to let them know what to do next or thanking them for their registration.
- Example: User submits an idea to an open call (contest or challenge), which triggers an automatic email that is sent to confirm that the idea has been submitted and includes a link so the user can access the idea at any time.
Automatic emails sent to administrators: for tasks that admins track, there is an automatic notification sent to the Admin, informing them that a user has performed a certain action. This allows the administrator to execute whatever action might be needed next.
- Example: A user submits an idea, then the platform sends a notification to the administrator. This notifies the administrator that she/he can take the first steps in the review process.
Direct chat is an option for users to directly communicate with other users, teams, companies, etc. from the profile page. This messaging allows you to easily and quickly chat with members of your team and more.
Alerts/Notifications: since the platform encourages collaboration, a built-in notification system alerts users when someone else has carried out an action related to them. It allows every user to configure and manage an email management system based on his or her interests and needs. SkipsoLabs will then upload and configure all messages once authorized by the client team.
- Example: A user has sent another user a private message
- Example: A user has commented on another user idea
- Example: A user has rated (star rating) another user entry
In addition to these communication strategies, you can also manage comments or notes from different user feedback or ratings. This includes all user and team requests (e.g., requests to join a team, account cancellations) as well as responses to “Contact Us” requests and pending comments. These sections are modular and can also be added to any part of the platform.
The notes features can also be used as a “workspace,” in which team members and their coach or mentor can chat, discuss, and attach documents
Moreover, many users will contribute to a platform by giving feedback, voting, and collaborating with others. These users may never submit an idea, but that doesn't mean their contribution isn’t valuable. Being able to track communication is key in finding these high-value contributors.
The Skipsolabs platform also incorporates social media at different layers, from registration and login to sharing pages externally, integrating Facebook comments or the popular Disqus comments plugin.
All communication is tracked from the backend. This allows community managers and administrators to moderate, analyze, and take action when needed. Since communication is trackable and recorded, that means it can be plugged into data analytics tools.
SkipsoLabs can implement a multi-tenant solution to manage communication effectively on the Innovation Management Platform. It is unique in the market and has been built and designed to support complex environments running multiple concurrent open calls on geographically distributed platforms.
Through the use of these communication mechanisms, you can quickly and efficiently set up an open call, communicate with internal and external stakeholders, and find innovative solutions to meet your needs.