How can two companies productively innovate together to address an opportunity that matters to them both? Shannon Lucas of Vodafone Global Enterprise and Saidah Nash Carter of Thomson Reuters share below a document that addresses that question.
Lucas explains, “Vodafone ran an innovation workshop with Thomson Reuters a little over a year ago, and Saidah and I ended up sitting next to each other at dinner. We discovered that we both had a passion for helping our companies grow our businesses in Africa.”
After that initial meeting, Lucas and Carter began discussing the competencies that the telecom provider and the financial data company each brought to the table, and the overlap in their customer bases in Africa. “We decided to explore mobile banking,” Lucas says, “because we realized that some of the top banks in Africa were customers of both of our companies.”
The project was kicked off in September 2014, and the two companies expect to begin testing a prototype in March. It’s a solution that connects smallholder farmers to banking services. This wasn’t Vodafone’s first experience with co-creation, but Lucas says it was the most complex one so far, with many different stakeholders internally and externally.
Carter adds, “Co-creation of this sort is a relatively new area for Thomson Reuters, but we quickly recognized that the combination of our discrete and complementary strengths could lead to a real game-changer. Partnerships of this sort are particularly valuable when tackling an especially complicated or risky opportunity. This project ticks both those boxes.