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Ideas competition fosters creativity at COSMO CONSULT Berlin

Björn Lorenz10/18/2017

Whether when you are in the bathtub, at night before falling asleep or annoyed by an inefficient process: Good ideas come to you at all times, both the most appropriate and inappropriate moments. However, they often fail because the company lacks the necessary culture of innovation. "Innovation does not happen on command. In most cases, it is the employees who discover potential for improvement or approaches for new business models. These ideas are very valuable to us as an IT company. This is why it is important to create an environment that promotes creativity," explains Uwe Bergmann, CEO of the COSMO CONSULT Group.

A competition of ideas promotes a culture of innovation

This insight has been taken up at the Berlin location with an ideas competition. Under this year’s motto "Digital Hero", Berlin COSMOnauts were able to submit concepts and solutions for a second time. The conditions: The ideas had to be new and have something to do with digital transformation and COSMO CONSULT in one way or another. "Such a challenge is a practical way to structure the innovation process. This way we do not get whimsical inputs, but perfectly developed concepts. The fact that there is also something to be won is also motivating," explains Peter Kleinsorge, managing director of COSMO CONSULT Berlin. Participants presented their solutions, either as individuals or in a team, as part of a 90-minute presentation.

Making better use of corporate knowledge

This year, Torsten Heymann emerged from the "Shark Tank" as the winner. His approach: making the extensive corporate knowledge of the COSMO CONSULT group more accessible. "We have many experts in the group, but people don’t really know that. You don’t know who to ask, many questions are asked several times and the search for answers is often complex," he explains. The concept was given the name "cc|knowledge manager" and is based on the Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS), a system designed to recognize and interpret textual queries. Users simply enter their questions and receive appropriate answers. New questions are sent to a group of experts and are automatically added to the index after they have been answered. "In just two years, we will already have such a comprehensive database that at least 80 percent of all queries can be answered at the system level," says Heymann.

Digital ideas that are very useful

Second place went to "cc|newsfeed", a digital marketing strategy. Messages, product information and update notics can be displayed directly in the welcome screen of Dynamics NAV. The idea comes from the team headed by Theodor Bach. Third place is shared by two analytical tools: While "cc|visual order assistant" lists all activities for a particular order in a concise way, "cc|web services" displays current core data in real time in Dynamics NAV. These ideas  were developed by Christian Koch and Yuri Mischin.

New year, new challenge

For the jury, the decisive factor was above all the positive relationship between the economic value and the expected implementation effort. While cc|knowledge manager is already being implemented, the other proposals are still being examined in terms of market feasibility. In its second year, the ideas competition has established itself as a cornerstone of Berlin’s innovation management system.

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