Product, Press relation

Co-Innovation – When Users Determine the Roadmap for Software Development

Björn Lorenz02/06/2019

Excellent IT solutions come about when developers are in tune with the market, not working behind closed doors. This is why the COSMO CONSULT Group develops its industry solutions using a co-innovation approach – in other words, in close cooperation with the users of the solutions in industry. Through direct contact and at events, such as customer innovation days, customers actively put forward their ideas and requirements and influence product development as a result. The customer innovation days take place across Germany over the course of the year at various COSMO CONSULT Group sites.

If business software or cloud services are not succeeding on the market, it could be down to strong competition or unreasonably high prices. In actual fact, the reason is often much simpler: The product is not responding to market demands. If software manufacturers don’t fully grasp the actual market requirements and problems, they run the risk of missing the mark with their products on the market. This is particularly the case when it comes to special requirements, like those of industry solutions. The good news is that business software is not a lottery and it is possible to predict future requirements. At least, that is the case when we stay in tune with the market and well-connected with users. The COSMO CONSULT Group is even going a step further and developing industry solutions in collaboration with customers. CEO Uwe Bergmann calls this “co-innovation”: “It’s about putting our customers at the center of what we do. We take their ideas and requests and combine them with our innovative strength and our expertise in IT and process optimization.” This results in solutions that are precisely tailored to the needs of the respective industry. The co-innovation principle not only helps to keep new software and services in line with market requirements, it also helps to continually develop existing products in dynamic markets with ever-increasing requirements.

Co-innovation means relevance in practice

Lots of industry solutions from the COSMO CONSULT Group have emerged from successful projects and are adapted to changing best practices and the expanding professional and technical horizon with each new project. The software and consultancy company generally maintains very close contact with its users. The new ideas and requirements that the consultants discover during these conversations with customers flow directly into product development.

Making time to look into the future

However, operational issues often dominate in the project business, meaning that the medium and long-term prospects of the respective industry solution are sometimes neglected. “Workshops that look to the future away from day-to-day business, without time pressure or pressure to produce results, have proven to be particularly effective in the past. This method produces lots of creative, practice-related approaches with a high value for users in all the industries that COSMO CONSULT serves,” explains Bergmann.

Customer innovation days as a key pillar

The customer innovation days, which are now a cornerstone of the co-innovation concept, are based on these experiences. They take place across Germany over the course of the year at various sites and are open to an “inner circle” of prospective users who want to actively contribute to the further development of their industry solutions. Workshops in small groups and one-to-one discussions are typical formats for these events. Anyone can put forward their ideas and expectations – regardless of whether they are a business controller, inventory manager, IT manager, or production manager. The goal is to work out the current and future requirements for the respective industry solution. Presentations on current market topics, the roadmap for COSMO CONSULT solutions, or new Microsoft products round off the event. “As users are also sharing their experiences with one another, the customer innovation days take on a very dynamic format, which means that all participants can take something away from them,” emphasizes Uwe Bergmann. The customers benefit because they become even more successful with innovative solutions. COSMO CONSULT benefits because their product portfolio maintains a high quality standard in the long term. This year’s COSMO CONSULT customer innovation days are taking place on:

  • February 19 in Münster
  • March 21 in Berlin
  • June 19 in Hamburg
  • July 4 in Nuremberg
  • September 10 in Dresden

Share post