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Video: 300 developers + 3.5 days = 79 proofs of concept for the Microsoft Innovation Programme

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Video: 300 developers + 3.5 days = 79 proofs of concept for the Microsoft Innovation Programme

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By Adrian Clarke

Before I joined Microsoft I was Director of small innovation companies. For these small businesses, survival was dependent on driving innovation and delivering new, cutting edge products with features that would make them successful in the market. When I joined Microsoft I saw the opportunity to create a programme that did the same thing with large corporations, so I created the Microsoft Innovation Program. The objective is to help our partners create and deliver new products and so be more successful in the market. It’s about inspiring and working with partners to help them create a planned window for innovation. It’s essentially a trade-off – we train developers on our latest software tools, they create proof of concepts for new product ideas or efficiencies into existing products.

We kicked off the programme with Pitney Bowes, who are very passionate about innovation. An amazing 300 developers took part, forming 81 teams that created 79 proof of concepts over 3.5 days on Azure, Phone, SQL 2012, Kinect, .NET and Dynamics. The Innovation Program delivered new product ideas and possible new ways of monetising existing products – out of the 79 proof of concepts, 2-3 potential new products are being considered by Pitney Bowes to add to their portfolio.

For such a large company (6 billion turnover business) Pitney Bowes understands that if you invest in research and development it adds value to your business. They recognise that the value a new product can bring to the business is far more than the loss of production of having their developers focus purely on innovation for a few days.

“What do the developers get out of it?” I hear you ask… Winking smile Well, as developers you get free training on our latest tools, incentives for winning teams and individuals in the form of prizes and certificates recognising individuals for “Excellence in Innovation” and the chance to engage with and impress your employer in a way you may not have had the chance to do before. The feedback from developers on the Pitney Bowes programme has been great –  certificates are of most value as they’re a good CV builder.

What’s next for the programme? Well we hope to roll it out to many other Microsoft partners and help them generate new innovative market leading products.

Want to find out more? Watch the video below and if you’re interested in the programme and want to find out how you can do something similar, please contact me.


adrian clarkeAdrian Clarke is CTO, Microsoft Technical Strategy Advisor. He joined Microsoft in 2010 and specialises in software development and cloud computing.


  • Amazing

  • 79 proof of concepts these guys must have been on fire dude

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