Our experience

Innovation Observatory has undertaken over 250 projects for its clients, and its founders have run over 350 projects for customers in the telecoms, media, IT, software, Internet, healthcare, energy, consulting, publishing and public sectors.

Our team members have been helping customers to drive product and service innovation throughout their careers, and between them have addressed a variety of technology markets. Their cvs include all of the following projects and many more:

Finding new business opportunities

Nature of project   Client type   Project details
         
Service portfolio review   Blue-chip supplier of telecoms services   Review of top ideas for new propositions in the context of industry trends, likely revenue opportunities, and the client’s strategic positioning. Workshop to identify the most important criteria for filtering market opportunities, to generate new ideas, challenge existing proposition plans, and re-prioritize the development list
         
Identifying new sales opportunities   Network engineering services provider   Detailed analysis of one of the client’s own key customers, including a review of strategy, market positioning, product and service development and financial performance. Recommendations for ways to increase sales, and identification of new service opportunities worthy of investigation.
         
Highlighting new markets being opened up by industry trends, and interpreting impact of those trends on demand for existing services   Multinational law firm   Preparation of a report and delivery of a workshop identifying trends in the segments of the technology sector that would impact demand for the client's legal services over a two-year period. Provision of recommendations for new areas of business.
         
Support to understand technology trends   Global telecoms equipment vendor   Analysis of the new technologies being driven by European handset vendors, operator services and platforms, and proprietary technology vendors. Review of deployment status, technical specs, development timelines and adoption rates. Delivery of outputs to plug into global HQ technology development roadmap and planning activities.

Characterising new business opportunities

Nature of project   Client type   Project details
         
Support for international expansion   A supplier of domain name portfolio management services   Identification and analysis of data sets from various European countries to indicate the likely market opportunity in each country. Interviews with market experts around Europe. Development of an evaluation framework to combine all qualitative and quantitative data. Facilitation of a workshop with the client team to help characterise the best markets for international expansion.
         
Quantifying and qualifying new engineering service opportunities   A blue-chip provider of engineering services   A series of projects to assess the current and future requirements of the customers, to analyse competitor positioning, trends in the market place, forecast future market values, and to identify new market opportunities. Provision of recommendations for specific products to take to market, the optimal channels to use for selling them, and sales and marketing collateral to underpin service launch.
         
Defining the regional market potential to underpin emerging plans for new communications infrastructure   A UK regional development agency   Assessment of demand for a fibre-optic network linking major coastal towns in an area with limited availability of broadband. Completion of a survey of potential business and public sector users in the area, and development of a detailed market model. Estimation of possible revenue from various types of customer. Calculation of market values for different geographic regions and recommendations about the best areas for the network to serve.

Testing new business ideas

Nature of project   Client type   Project details
         
Testing new technology ideas   Consultancy   Design and subsequent analysis of the feedback from a web survey of health service and health industry experts which asked them to compare and vote on the commercial and scientific prospects for around 50 new technologies. Documentation of the results for further testing and for use as an input into the end users’ decision about which technologies to fund through to the next phase of development.
         
Idea viability analysis   UK regional development agency   A feasibility study to examine the viability and impact of small-scale flexible working centres in market towns. Workshops with the client to fully define the proposition idea. Primary research amongst possible end users and regional and local stakeholders in sample geographic areas. Modelling of likely revenues and costs to assess the commercial viability of different sizes of centre. Recommendations for alternative potential support strategies and options for partnerships.
         
Validating market entry strategy   Leading European power company   Examination of an energy services provider’s plan to use its infrastructure to enter a new utility market. Interviews with possible buyers of the proposed service. Identification of factors influencing choice of supplier, and testing of attitudes and price sensitivity to a number of specific product and service concepts based on alternative technologies. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the interview results. Provision of a series of recommendations to inform market entry strategy.
         
Ascertaining customer demand   Leading provider of Internet services   Investigation of potential new business opportunities in Internet security. An extensive desk research project to examine the distribution mechanisms and current status of relevant Internet security services. Research into demand for such services amongst the provider’s existing client base. Analysis of the current market and likely future market trends. A review of competitor positioning. A wider survey into consumer perception of the product concept. Provision of a “go” / “no go” recommendation.

Helping clients to capitalise on business opportunities

Nature of project   Client type   Project details
         
Commercialisation of new secure communications technology   Major European-based electronics research and development company   Desk-based research and interviews with potential customers and solution partners in Europe and North America. Recommendations on the optimal route to market for the technology.
         
Guiding sales strategy and generating sales leads   Telecoms engineering services provider   Identification of possible corporate buyers for the client’s services. Contacting those target companies to gauge their interest. Facilitation of meetings between the client’s sales team and the target customers.
         
Guiding sales and marketing strategy   International provider of mobile services for businesses   Research into demand amongst European businesses for managed mobility services. Detailed interviews with businesses in four European countries. Analysis of the results. Identification of criteria for the client to use to identify potential sales targets. Recommendations for how to tailor the client’s sales and marketing strategy.
         
Assistance to refine market positioning   Leading global equipment manufacturer   Extensive expert interview survey of the needs of enterprises for advanced communications solutions, including unified communications. Face to face interviews with senior decision makers and significant influencers of large businesses and public sector organisations in France, the UK and the USA. Production of qualitative results to help the client refine its market positioning for unified communications, better understand the decision making criteria for this type of solution and develop a successful sales strategy for the product.