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NineSigma Declares "Innovate or Die" Is the Mantra for Business Success

CLEVELAND, July 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether engaging experts from the outside to develop a new energy source or discover a vaccine for AIDS, leaders around the globe acknowledge the need to innovate collaboratively if they are to solve the most critical problems facing business and society today. NineSigma, the leading provider of Open Innovation and collaboration strategies and tools, says the imperative to innovate for organizations is greater than ever, and can make a difference to more than the success of an enterprise, but its ultimate survival.

Innovative enterprises in business and government are realizing billions of dollars in tangible value because of such collaboration. Done right, the Open Innovation process accelerates time-to market for new commercial products, speeds solutions to global challenges, increases top-line growth, and reduces risk. NineSigma's unique approach, enabling internal and external collaboration, can accelerate development time by 30 percent or more. Beyond those benefits, though, the NineSigma approach to Open Innovation also closes internal development gaps and helps transform an organization's innovation culture.

"To remain competitive, today's organizations must continually innovate," said Graeme Armstrong, Executive Committee Member and Corporate Director of Research, Development and Innovation, AkzoNobel. "AkzoNobel's ability to foster innovation is critical to our growth and our worldwide market leadership."

Indeed, AkzoNobel, a global leader in the coatings and specialty chemicals industry, is a leader in Open Innovation, working with NineSigma to foster collaboration among its worldwide business units, and also open access to a network of external innovation partners.

Creating Value through Open Innovation

As it embarks on its second century in business, Hallmark Cards has made the consumer experience paramount to its innovation efforts. The greeting card leader partnered with NineSigma to develop a new line of technology enabled cards for its next generation of consumers.

"Scanning the globe to find new innovation solutions requires a costly use of time and resources," said Tom Esselman, Innovation Exploration Leader at Hallmark. "NineSigma accelerated the product development process and helped us bring more unique items to market. That helped us to win at the retail level - these activities contributed to our best year ever since 2007."

Key to the success of the Hallmark innovation was the ability to tap the world's largest open global network of solution providers spanning all industries and technical disciplines. In addition to this, NineSigma provides a unique blend of market and technology intelligence, accelerated product development, leadership development and Open Innovation training and consulting.

"Leaders like Hallmark, AkzoNobel and our other clients won't allow themselves to be eclipsed by competitors who strive to bring products and new technologies to market faster," cautions NineSigma CEO Andy Zynga. "We provide the end to end solutions that support our clients' growth targets, enabling them to achieve measurable results in a reduced amount of time. They know it's not hyperbole to say in today's competitive marketplace the mantra for business success is to innovate or die."  

Ready to Innovate?

While the need to innovate is clear, how to go about it in the current environment of Open Innovation is not always so obvious or simple. It's not enough to just reach out to innovators globally to access new capabilities and knowledge. In addition, organizations should strive to maximize collaboration internally and within their existing networks of universities, suppliers and other research partners.

NineSigma has developed a free, interactive readiness assessment that helps organizations determine what resources and capabilities they need to begin adopting Open Innovation and collaboration strategies. The online tool evaluates and "scores" a company's ability to collaborate internally and externally on innovation and provides actionable recommendations on how to advance the organization's innovation program.

In a survey to take the pulse of companies' general readiness sponsored by NineSigma, a large percentage (71 percent) not surprisingly rank as 'Early Stage' in their global outreach efforts. What is surprising, though, is that companies say they are doing better in integrating ideas and solutions from the global innovation community than from their existing network of partners, and even within their own company. Clearly companies are heading towards increased collaboration in their innovation programs, but there is still work to be done to create a foundation that supports collaboration on a sustainable basis.

For more information or to evaluate your organization's readiness, please visit We also invite you to join our community on LinkedIn at to learn more about how to use Open Innovation in your organization.

About NineSigma

NineSigma engages organizations with external innovation resources and enables them to share knowledge to accelerate the innovation cycle, whether they are in the private, public, or social sectors. Their proprietary and collaborative process has produced billions of dollars in tangible value. Companies such as Kraft, Philips, L'Oreal, Unilever, Denso and Suntory utilize NineSigma's Open Innovation services to solve immediate challenges, fill product pipelines, integrate new knowledge into their organizations, close development gaps, and improve financial performance. NineSigma has the largest open global network of solution providers and an extensive database of existing solutions that spans all industries and technical disciplines. Our team integrates professionals from a variety of fields, including business leaders, innovation consultants and Ph.D.-level scientists. Learn more at or join our LinkedIn group at

Media Contact:  Dawn Ringel, Warner Communications –, (781) 449-8456

SOURCE NineSigma
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