Vodafone - eRis

Nominee Name:
Zoey Carver

Nominee Position:
Head of Solution Architecture
Thank you for voting for eRis!

eRIS started 16mth back as an internal ideation platform (Imaginarium) where Vodafone Employees globally can submit their ideas and seek funding through gamification. We have kept the definition of innovation fairly open and define it as fresh thinking that generates business value and we encourage the employee to take part in the Imaginarium by raising their fresh ideas, participating in existing ideas, forming working groups etc. eRIS offers a structured, repeatable approach for idea selection, getting management support, getting funding required to turn ideas into prototypes.

eRIS champions an agile way of innovating by ensuring that the process is slick and purposeful and returns in quick conversion from idea to prototype to delivery and also supports fail fast and learning approach. On each stage of the process – idea owners are receiving feedback from the team on the status and potential enhancements.

The core team driving eRIS also includes active engagement and participation from Vodafone Graduate community so that we can have fresh minds and new ideas within the Program Team.

All ideas are going through a process to ensure the quality and support such that:

  • Ideas are posted on the platform and reviewed by the community
  • Ideas are funded through gamification with eRIS virtual coins
  • All ideas that are funded with community support, are reviewed on eRIS Board with volunteers from 11 different departments across Vodafone Group organization to ensure coverage and proper feedback
  • The ideas that are approved in board, are being prepared for Dragon’s Den – where Olympians within Vodafone Group review and sponsor the ideas
  • All ideas that are funded / supported through eRIS pitch – are being supported financially and receiving on-going administrative and mentoring support from rapid prototyping
  • All ideas that have completed prototyping are reviewed to come back with measured benefits and use-cases
  • Prototype results are reviewed with related stakeholders, to discuss wider roll out of the ideas

Vodafone eRis.

What was the in-market status quo before the proposition was created?

Ideation and innovation has been managed in Silo’s in Vodafone prior to eRIS. Catalyst (a not-fit-for-purpose tool) was being used for Ideation and Innovation Management, where employee’s ideas were kept on a database and not reviewed properly. The idea review and delivery was in a waterfall approach where idea owners would not be able to have feedbacks and support within the ideation process.

What challenges were you facing as a business?

Innovation taking place, but in silo’s

No collaborative innovation community to bread creativity

Duplication of resource working in similar initiatives

No repeatable process for Vendors, Partner, Startups to engage with Enterprise IT

No access to our internal community

Prototypes running up large budgets and then failing

No transparency on what people were engaged on

No ability to learn from others

No channel to take ideas to Production-Market

People’s times to spare on the prototype – to have 80-20 mindset to allow people

some space within daily lives to work on their ideas

What impact has the proposition had?

A cultural shift that promotes innovative thinking

Joining of people whom would never have spoken before

Insight into what our community feels is important

Talent and skills set we didn’t know existed

Social events driving creative design thinking

Introduction of an agile and structured approach to innovation

Fail fast and learn fast culture which people believe in

Gamification and fun way of ideation

What approach was taken to produce the programme and what advice would we give to other corporate entrepreneurs?

Good due diligence

A clear brand, vision and definition

Rallying key stakeholders for buy in

Easy tool for users to interact with

Fun, energy and passionate people

Agile way of innovating

A simple Framework and e2e process for prototyping

Clear regular communications

Mentoring for Idea owners

Engage the Interns, Grads and Apprentices who work around our business

What challenges did you overcome?

Internal culture for failure

How to align Ideas to strategic themes, business outcomes etc

Keeping people focused on ‘true’ innovation

Trust from Idea creators any idea will be reviewed through the process

Employees time to work on ideation and prototyping and show casing the benefits for the delivery within Vodafone

Access to budget (and fast) that may not return value

Any benefit identified may not to be realized for many months

What advice would you give to other corporate entrepreneurs?

Find people with a ‘Can Do’ attitude

Find a tool that catches attention and people are engaged

Have new people on board who has fresh minds and are not blind folded with standard ways of working

To have motivation and reward recognition which works within an innovation culture

Take the time to educate people on what innovation is, the types, the approach

Look to see what is out there and talk to people in the community to learn

Encourage people to try, to think, to take space to be creative as they will be surprised with what they can come up with!

What was your project highlight?

Tough as this was a startup in Vodafone, with very limited funding and no FTE’s, but from Aug 2016 some key stats are:

2k eRIS users are subscribed

351 ideas submitted

24k logins

47k idea visits

925 comments about ideas

16 prototypes in cycle

7 more to pitch this month

The most opened/read news letter released

It’s very exciting times!!!!!!

Who are your project heroes?

We have couple of different heroes within the program: Mohammad Tahir : to structure and start up the program with the process and people ‘s points

Antonio Guerrero : to have a innovative and out of the box thinking on the process and how to develop eRIS

Sergio Coppola : to have the ownership before the ask and love innovation and support the whole team to deliver innovation

Andrei Varban : to drive ideation and create new ideas through the process


sjpetty sjpetty
23 hours ago

We have delivered some great innovation ideas and projects as a result of eRIS and it encourages cross company involvement in an exciting way

Paul Taylor Paul Taylor
2 days ago

eRIS has proven to be a great tool to enable and embed innovation throughout the business at all levels, breaking down silos and barriers and driving change in an agile and fun way.