Product innovation is exciting when it solves a problem; but, it’s really amazing when it sparks further innovation.
Consider for a moment the original Apple iPod. It’s hard to believe that it was launched 15 years ago; so much has changed since then. At the time it was a true game-changer. Prior to the iPod, it was a real challenge to take your digital music with you – portable music devices were cumbersome and you would have to carry them around along with dozens of CDs if you wanted to listen to a variety of music. The iPod successfully solved the core problem: portability. By doing so, the iPod effectively placed a library of digital music in your pocket. That was exciting.
Then, the solution sparked a series of further innovations. Quite expectedly, it led to other versions of the iPod and similar offerings from existing and emerging competitors. It set into motion a new aftermarket of products. It also hastened the rapid and enthusiastic adoption of iTunes. Finally, some of its components and evolving interfaces contributed to the eventual explosion of the worldwide smartphone industry. All of this cascading product innovation started from the desire to solve the single problem of music portability.
This kind of progressing innovation happens all the time in the world of Corporate Performance Management (CPM). But, what makes it particularly inspiring is that the adopters of CPM solutions drive such innovation. The reason: robust CPM software actually puts into the hands of senior Finance professionals the ability to shape solutions to their challenges – while accommodating their unique organizational and industry-specific challenges.
For example, Spacesaver – an internationally renowned leader in building large-scale storage systems – shaped Prophix’s software to help them better understand/plan their product inventories, their product discounting strategies, and their product mix. This kind of customer-driven and customer-specific product innovation ensures that the software is always practical because it stays in sync as a customer’s business and business conditions evolve. That kind of product innovation is amazing.