EMC’s Cairo Center of Excellence (COE) recently celebrated its one year anniversary. During that time the employees have established a strong base for selling and supporting EMC’s portfolio of cloud products.
As the nation of Egypt builds a framework for their new form of government, their national technologists are engaged in a related exercise. Egypt is in the requirements and planning phase for specifying a national cloud computing framework. The engineers involved in this exercise are a combination of university professors, industry professionals, and government IT specialists.
I will be visiting many of these teams on behalf of EMC’s Global Innovation Network. Over the next few weeks I’ll document the use cases that are driving their technology choices, and look to establish research partnerships where appropriate. As a basis for engagement I’ll be using an innovation engagement strategy that’s been fairly successful at my corporation: Innovation by Adjacency.
From EMC’s standpoint, we’ve developed a level of expertise with cloud computing on several different fronts. One of them is the state-of-the-art cloud deployment that is being built out by EMC’s IT Department. Another is the wide set of products that can be architected into any given cloud deployment. These two capabilities (internal cloud deployment and cloud products) form the “expertise” sphere in the innovation by adjacency approach:
The second sphere in the equation is brought by the nation of Egypt itself. The use cases that drive the need for cloud deployments represent customer needs. These needs present problems that often cannot be solved fully by existing products and implementations. The first step in the establishment of research directions is the bi-directional exchange between these two spheres:
The final stage of innovation by adjacency is the search for adjacent technologies that fully solve the customer use cases. In many cases these technologies don’t yet exist. Both parties agree to collaborate to find those opportunities.
The strategic research objectives will end up being adjacent to the technologies found in currently shipping products. The “gaps” identified by analyzing Egypt’s cloud use cases are the catalysts for defining new research that addresses any shortcomings.
My next set of posts will dive into the expert and customer spheres. Ultimately a set of summary posts will introduce strategic research objectives that can trace their lineage back to these spheres.
Steve Todd is a high-tech inventor and author of the book “Innovate With Global Influence“. An EMC Intrapreneur with over 150 patent applications and billions in product revenue, he writes about innovation on his personal blog, the Information Playground.