Kalypso and Sopheon Launch Front End of Innovation Solution for Consumer Goods, FEI Optimizer

May 15, 2012

ORLANDO, Fla. – Innovation for many consumer goods organizations is a top priority, but launching new products that deliver business growth is an industry-wide challenge. In fact, a recent CGT-Sopheon study found that only 18 percent of new products released by consumer goods companies are considered “highly innovative.” Very few manufacturers attribute this innovation anemia to a shortage of ideas. Most often, it is due to a lack of high-value ideas and concepts in the front end of innovation. To address this, Kalypso and Sopheon have jointly launched FEI Optimizer, a front end of innovation solution, at this week’s Front End of Innovation Conference (FEI) 2012 in Orlando, Florida.

FEI Optimizer helps consumer goods companies increase the value of new products by improving ideation and concept development processes. The solution combines software from Sopheon – via the Accolade® Idea LabTM idea management platform – with innovation services from Kalypso to enable companies to transform their front end of innovation.

“FEI Optimizer helps consumer goods companies dramatically improve their front end of innovation process to develop bigger, better ideas and concepts,” said Mike Friedman, partner and Consumer Packaged Goods practice lead at Kalypso. “By combining Kalypso’s 150 years of consumer goods experience with Sopheon’s best-in-class Accolade software, we can help our joint clients drive new product revenue growth to deliver better business results.”

Many companies lack standardized, repeatable processes for ideation and concept development. Instead, these activities are siloed by geography, brand or product-line—disconnected from the needs of real consumers and shoppers, and merely recycling low-value concepts from the past. Because of these factors, good ideas often get “lost” and old ideas are unknowingly invested in again and again.

FEI Optimizer provides an enterprise portal for global collaboration on ideas and concepts in an intuitive, easy-to-use environment. The solution goes beyond traditional ideation systems by serving as the enterprise repository-of-record for all ideas and new product concepts—even those created through such methods as conference room brainstorming, consumer immersion exercises, retail store visits and meetings with trade partners. The resulting, centralized access enables innovation teams to reuse and leverage high-quality ideas across the enterprise.

Another differentiating feature of the Kalypso/Sopheon offering for consumer goods companies is that it tightly links concepts to the consumer research that is conducted for concept testing, typically supplied by third-party sources such as Nielsen or IRI. This integration enables innovation teams to understand how concepts have evolved over time, and to see the consumer feedback that influenced such change. By tracing the lineage of concepts, teams can understand why alterations were made to pricing, positioning, packaging, or to the product itself. This complete picture provides the context required to learn what worked, what didn’t and what should be repeated or avoided based on earlier experience.

FEI Optimizer offers a range of other unique capabilities that enable transformation of front end processes. Among the most important is a connection to downstream execution that allows high-value ideas and concepts to transition directly from the front end into gated product development and commercialization processes. The solution is accompanied by a rich array of leading practice-based change management assistance provided by Kalypso’s consumer goods innovation experts.

“FEI Optimizer is the first front end system that extends support beyond ideation to concept development and testing, making it a complete solution for consumer goods companies,” said Bryan Seyfarth, director of product strategy for Sopheon. “The advantage of integrated access to consumer research results in a self-contained virtual incubator where concepts can be enhanced and prepared for transfer to product development. When ready, concepts move seamlessly to development and launch. FEI Optimizer allows consumer goods companies to draw a direct line between ideation, concept development and revenue and profit growth.”

Accolade® and Idea Lab TM are trademarks of Sopheon plc.

About Sopheon

Sopheon is a leading international provider of software solutions that structure, align and manage innovation processes to increase profits and revenues from new products. Sopheon’s Accolade® system enables end-to-end product lifecycle management, including innovation planning, ideation, innovation process execution, in-market product management and product portfolio management. Among Sopheon’s customers are many of the largest and most innovative companies in the consumer goods industry.