Precyse Technologies Turns to ‘Crowdsourcing’ for a Technology Solution Providing Solid ROI

gerrycall    March 1, 2012

Organisation Name: Precyse Technologies

Industry: Entity Awareness Solutions (delivering real-time actionable insight to decision makers – allowing customers to effectively manage their strategic physical and human assets).

Name of contact if available: Rom Eizenberg, co-founder and CMO of Precyse

Web references:        http://blog.innocentive.com/2010/08/10/crowdsourcing-its-not-just-for-logos-and-web-design/

(Abridged from the blog ‘Perspectives on Innovation’, from the original article located on About.com by Mitchell York)

Description of how social media is used for business performance:

Precyse Technologies is a provider of real-time location and supply-chain solutions that help companies track their assets using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. Its challenge was to improve mobile device performance and battery life. Precyse was looking for a way to “wake up” active RFID tags as they arrive from transit or enter a customer facility-without draining the battery’s energy listening to these wake-up calls.

The company did not have the technology resources in house to solve the problem and turned to crowdsourcing site InnoCentive. Precyse chose to use crowdsourcing instead of attempting to solve the challenge in-house, as this alternative provided shorter time-to-market, excellent access to the best talent around the world, with a stronger ROI and lower development risk.

InnoCentive is an open ‘innovation’ company that takes research and development problems in a broad range of domains such as engineering, computer science, math, chemistry, life sciences, physical sciences and business and frames them as “challenge problems” for anyone to solve. Cash awards are provided for the best solutions meeting the challenge criteria. InnoCentive provides anonymity for the solver company through the filing process.

More than 350 solvers opened project rooms on the InnoCentive web platform. Precyse received more than 300 ideas and narrowed that down to 3 finalists from whom one winner was chosen. Each solver’s solution was evaluated based on the detailed proof and calculations the solver provided.

It took approximately four months from initial concept with InnoCentive to selecting the best solution.

Lessons for others:

Rom Eizenberg, co-founder and CMO of Precyse estimates cost savings from using this crowdsourcing solution at $250,000.

He estimates the savings by calculating the costs associated with assigning a team of engineers to evaluate the problem, performing background research and consequently developing the solution. This process entails management and other overheads, and would not have guaranteed success, as Precyse were after an innovative technology which was not available in the market at start-point. Being able to buy an “option” on IP and pay only if the challenge was solved allowed the company not only to save on costs but also to mitigate R&D risk. Of further benefit was the access Precyse obtained to the best minds around the world. Some of the participants held expertise in specific areas Precyse required but did not necessarily have in-house.

Submitted By: Gerry Call

To contact the author of this entry please email at: gerrycall018@gmail.com

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