How Psion Fosters Open Innovation and Adaptive Ingenuity

In our latest eBook, Social Customer Service – Customer Communities in 7 Steps, we discuss different business objectives for peer-to-peer communities: ideation, expertise exchange, Q&A, etc. I believe that the best pathway to understanding is through example. So, let’s take a closer look at some of these objectives with a little help from our friends at Psion.

Over the past 40 years, Psion has installed rugged mobile solutions in more than 80 countries and has developed a strong reputation for innovation. Its mobile computers are designed to withstand the harshest workplaces - ports, warehouses, freezers, factories, delivery vans and airports where equipment gets dropped, bumped, sprayed, chilled and generally abused. And, Psion solutions aren’t just tough, they’re incredibly smart too.

Psion was one of the earliest companies to identify social media and online community as enablers of open innovation – bringing together the ideas of all constituents including customers, resellers, developers and Psion employees. Today, Psion engages more than 22,000 registered members and more than 50,000 monthly visitors in peer-to-peer support and collaborative product innovation with its community, IngenuityWorking. Here are just a few of the ways that IngenuityWorking illustrates the objectives of ideation, expertise exchange and Q&A.

Ideation

Psion encourages its employees to actively participate in the community. This means that Psion engineers have direct access to the product feedback and ideas being generated from customers and partners on a daily basis. Also, Psion conducts online field trials in the community to gather feedback during product development. Testing products in the community prior to production allows Psion to resolve issues earlier, which mitigates the higher costs associated with fixing issues post-production.

Expertise Exchange

Within the IngenuityWorking community, Psion created a sub-community called IngenuityLive where partners can promote devices that they have augmented with extra features for various competencies (e.g. Barcoding, GPS, etc.) for specific applications such as inventory control and workforce automation, as well as for specific industries such as agriculture and retail. Similar to an online marketplace, the sub-community helps match customers with solutions, plus it adds to the proactive nature of Psion’s product development process.

Q&A

Online discussions, ranging from technology-related topics like data capture and operating systems to more social topics like vacation and restaurant recommendations, create an open environment that helps people find solutions to problems and recommend ideas. Wiki articles cover everything from product manuals to best practices and applications, which makes it easier for customers and partners to access the information they need to create new software and hardware for Psion products.

These are just some of the ways that Psion leverages online community to engage with its customers and partners. You can learn more by reading Psion’s customer success story, or better yet, visit the IngenuityWorking community and see it in action.