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The importance of co-innovation in business

Posted March 23, 2021

In today’s highly competitive and fast-paced business environment, it is becoming increasingly difficult for organizations to keep up with the pace of technological change and to single-handedly do everything at an optimal level. In many cases, businesses are turning to digital solutions experts and tech partners to help accelerate digital innovation.

Commonly referred to as co-innovation, open innovation, or even co-creation, this strategy is quickly gaining traction and growing in popularity in today’s business practices. Here’s why.

Why co-innovate?

Co-innovation enables organizations to share resources and insights to collectively develop intuitive products, services and solutions that benefit everyone. This not only reduces some of the risks that come with innovative solution development, but also, it can empower companies with shared insights on evolving market and industry trends that are pivotal for the success of their co-innovation strategy.

Thanks to the rapid rise of all things digital, businesses in all industries are turning to next-gen technologies to advance their digital transformation journey. Notably, now, more than ever, businesses are looking for alternate ways to get the best results. This includes collaborating with external parties like clients, suppliers and even competitors to enable the sharing of best practices and findings.

Co-innovation success and underlining benefits

Collaborating with different external partners brings in new perspectives and skills that enable enterprises to anticipate and cater to their customers’ needs faster. However, the success of co-innovation is not guaranteed; there are key elements that companies need to consider to ensure its success, including:

  • Bringing in relevant partners and industry peers to leverage their experience and expertise to foster the sharing of new ideas and perspectives;
  • Establishing risk-and-reward sharing models that benefit all participants; and
  • Using industry and customer input to build trust and create strong relationships between partners throughout the co-innovation process.

If successfully implemented, there are a number of benefits that co-innovation brings to the table including:

  • Fostering customer alliances;
  • Developing a futuristic solution;
  • Promoting cooperation among industries;
  • Enabling agility for innovation within organizations; and
  • Sharing risks, costs and validating best practices.

Co-innovation in action: success stories

At TELUS International, we believe in the power of collaboration and have successfully partnered with some of our customers to develop innovative, out-of-the-box solutions that cater to ever-changing customer demands. Recently, we had the opportunity to partner with one of the largest broadcasting and cable service providers in the U.S. to help them design and deliver a number of solutions.

We collaborated with the client and their technology partners to develop an intelligent customer service support application that provides a 360-degree view of customer accounts. This comprehensive solution was developed by integrating multiple team member tools and widgets. It empowered the customer support representatives to accept payments, schedule future payments, store payment methods, view past bill details, compare past bill details, and highlight all the monetary transactions on the customer’s account. This new solution resulted in reduced turnaround time for service requests, improved first contact resolution (FCR) and led to higher CSAT scores.

Another co-innovation opportunity came when the client wanted to upgrade their ordering solution. Their progress was hampered by the complex order flows and lacked basic functionality such as upgrades, porting, integration into back-end systems and onboarding of new affiliates and partners. We developed an end-to-end solution that managed all operations from lead capture to sales. It featured:

  • A unified User Experience (UX) for call center employees and sales representatives at retail and partner stores; and
  • A flexible interface framework to integrate with third-party systems for easy onboarding of new affiliates and partners.

As a result of this co-innovation partnership, sales conversion rates increased by approximately 15%, order completion rate increased by 7% and new sales channels opened up by onboarding more partner / retail stores.

Innovation Labs to build the future

Co-innovation happens when two (or more) organizations purposely work together to solve a business problem. At TELUS International, co-innovation is a part of our DNA with our Innovation Labs - or iLabs - focused on co-creating innovative digital customer experience (CX) journeys using the latest CX tech. Through the years, we have experienced tremendous success innovating with our clients and partners, proving that great things happen when the best minds work together. Without a doubt, co-innovation and collaboration will serve as another instrumental strategy in accelerating digital transformation for better business and CX outcomes.

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