50 Leading Companies of the Year 2017

Taking Innovative Ideas Into the Marketplace: NTT Innovation Institute, Inc. (NTT i³)

thesiliconreview-nina-simosko-ceo-ntt-innovation-institute-inc-17The most curious and brilliant minds are never satisfied with things that are status quo. Rather they are always peeking around the corners seeking something different, something that is extraordinary. They are continually hunting for the next big thing.

The world is full of amazing ideas that are still tagged as theories. These fantastic life-changing ideas are caged inside the laboratories of universities and colleges, getting lost or ignored or still waiting to be discovered. And this is where the hard work of innovations begins.

NTT i³ - Global Innovation Center

Founded in 2013, NTT Innovation Institute, Inc. (NTT i³) is one of the most distinguished companies focused on accelerating the movement of innovation from initial idea to marketplace implementation. Based in Silicon Valley, NTT i³ is the innovation center for the NTT Group, which is one of the world’s largest ICT companies. NTT i³combines access to NTT’s significant global infrastructure resources, investment fund, and research knowledge.

The company embraces a unique approach to innovation combining the best practices of open innovation research, applied R&D expertise, and agile product development. Collaborative open innovation elevates and expands enterprise companies’ internal conversations and explorations around digital innovation opportunities. Applied R&D expertise and agile product methodologies then bring focus and practical application by translating those ideas into the development of new technology platforms, products, and practices.

NTT i³ works with both established enterprise companies and early stage digitally-native businesses to identify ambitious innovation ideas in the R&D lab and develop them into new technology platforms that are applied against real business and consumer problems in the marketplace.

Taking CLOUDWAN to Market

In May 2017, NTT i³ launched CLOUDWAN in a globally collaborative effort with NTT Group’s operating company partners: Internet Solutions (IS), the leading pan-African telecoms services provider, and NTT PC Communications (NTTPC), a network service and communication solution provider in Japan.

CLOUDWAN delivers an enhanced user experience, powerful flexibility and extraordinary agility to NTT’s enterprise customers. This product is an important part of NTT i³ as it reduces an organization’s setup and maintenance costs, simplifies the complexity of adding new locations, and gives unprecedented control. Because of its unique and exceptional flexibility, CLOUDWAN quickly became a must-have solution.

CLOUDWAN is a powerful networking solution for the next generation businesses, connecting legacy systems with powerful, centralized visibility and control. With CLOUDWAN, NTT i³ is supporting organizations to grow and respond to changing business needs.

Innovation Is the Key

The most ambitious and game-changing ideas can come from anywhere. Finding and developing ideas is one of the most important things for NTT i³. The team at NTT i³ is the company’s biggest asset, as everyone comes with required skills, experience, and intuition for finding and developing these ideas. It believes that there is no better place than NTT i3 in the world to scale and commercialize ideas and innovations into new technologies and business practices.

With a deep focus on technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, NTT i³ sees itself in continuing to develop new prototypes and platforms and to emerge as a leading curator and collaborator of the best minds and makers in these areas around the world.

“Every organization of every size has the potential and the need to be innovative. It takes the creation and nurturing of something uniquely human, the right culture, to create the space in which everyone has a voice and can be a creator.”

There are some common attributes of places that both spark and fuel innovation: People, Ideas, Attitudes, Connections, Divergence, and Convergence. They all play a major role and one can decide how to make them relevant and aligned with the business and resources.

At NTT i³, the way everyone creates, share and learn from each other is founded on the principles of Open Innovation. This is a core premise of the company’s innovation practice - the belief that the best ideas come from and are developed by a well-curated and engaged global ecosystem of technologists and business experts.

The Future Sight

Over the next year, NTT i³ is doubling down its hands-on innovation partnerships, investigations, and proof of concept development with its colleagues at NTT’s Operating Companies around the world. These collaborations will not only enable the company to address real industry problems, but also create best practices, learning, and IP that NTT i³ can share with others.

With this approach of collaborative innovation and the building of technology proofs of concept, all engaged parties benefit from taking ideas and solutions that were once into the lab into real marketplace settings.

Behind the Success

Nina Simosko is the President and CEO of NTT Innovation Institute Inc. (NTT i³), the prestigious Silicon Valley-based innovation center for NTT Group, one of the world’s largest ICT companies.

Previously, Nina was responsible for leading the creation and execution of Nike Technology strategy, planning and operations worldwide. Prior to that, she was Senior Vice President of SAP’s Global Premier Customer Network (PCN). During her eight-year tenure, Nina was a part of SAP’s Global Ecosystem & Partner Group. Additionally, she served as the Global Chief Operating Officer for the worldwide Customer Education organization, responsible for driving more than half a billion Euros in global education software and services revenue.

“Innovation isn’t just about technical expertise. It is also about supporting those sparks of creative ideas that you find in an engineer’s passion.”