This is just an experiment with no plans of actual public implementation. SAS has provided NFC tags to EuroBonus Gold members for a long time. The tag contains only the EuroBonus ID, in an encrypted format. Only SAS can write valid EuroBonus ID data to NFC tags. When traveling, you are always required to provide a valid ID when requested.

A few weeks ago I had an NFC chip implanted into my hand, just beneath the skin. While I am certainly not the first person to have an NFC implant, I am probably one of the first travelers to pass through Stockholm Arlanda airport, through security, at the lounge, and finally through the gate to the aircraft, using only the chip in my hand.

My NFC chip contains my Scandinavian Airlines EuroBonus member ID, and since the airport has NFC readers all the way from security to the gate, I can use the chip instead of ordinary boarding passes.


In the video below, you can check out how it went at the airport, and you can also meet Massimo Pascotto, working with innovation at SAS, and listen in on a conversation we had about the experiment. At the end of the video, you can see how the actual procedure went. Viewer discretion is advised.

The NFC kit I use is from Dangerous Things. Don’t miss the TEDxSFU talk by the founder, Amal Graafstra.


Andreas Sjostrom AUTHOR:
Andreas Sjöström is Sogeti’s Global Mobility Practice Lead. He’s sincerely passionate about new business enabling technology. For more than ten years, his focus has been related to mobile solutions and apps for business. Andreas is a senior adviser to multiple international companies, co-author of “The App Effect”

Posted in: Biology, Business Intelligence, Human Behaviour, Human Interaction Testing, Innovation, IT strategy, Research, Robotics, Security, Social Aspects, Software Development, Testing and innovation      
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The topic of innovation is critical in this age of digital disruption and transformation. How do companies and organizations plan for and deliver innovation, which often seems to be an illusive mirage? The answer is to include innovation in the strategic executive agenda and invest long term in an Innovation Lab.

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An Innovation Lab, if setup correctly, enables rapid and business value focused ideation and prototyping. When connected, end-to-end, from the origin of the opportunity/problem to final production, time-to-market is improved, speed-to-volume is accelerated, and more importantly makes it possible to bring that which is radically different to the market.

The term “radically different” is critical in an Innovation Lab-context. Business-as-usual development outside of the Innovation Lab needs to stay relevant and innovative. Innovation is not something that can or should be excluded anywhere, even if an Innovation Lab is implemented. However, an Innovation Lab must be challenged with the primary task: to design and bring to market that which is radically different, since this factor is what is at the heart of disruption and transformation. image courtesy:


That said, here are my top 10 Innovation Lab Best Practices:

Define and publish the Innovation Lab charter
The purpose of a charter is to clearly and concisely explain what the Innovation Lab should do and how. The charter could be as short as:

“XYZ Labs delivers innovation to radically improve customer experience and accelerate business operations. The lab lives in an open ecosystem of idea generating forums and prototypes in a failing-fast spirit.”

Linked to the charter, you need to define the Innovation Lab’s governance model, process, location, and budget. Publish the charter. Make it known. Be proud of it.

  1. Ask the right questions
image courtesy: google imagesimage courtesy: google images 

An Innovation Lab often tries to do the seemingly impossible: creating a structured approach to what seems to live by randomness and ad-hoc-opportunities. However, by asking the right questions you command the attention to the right topics. For example:

“How can we radically improve customer experiences in sales and delivery processes?
How can we delight the customer in unexpectedly helpful ways?
What are the most critical customer problems?”

  1. Define the characteristics of a great idea

Guiding innovation principles and desired digital characteristics are not about limiting the scope of relevant ideas or about detailing specific ideas. Instead, they serve as helpful markers of the selection process. When these markers are known in advance, the relevance of gathered ideas increase.

Examples of characteristics: contextually smart, real-time connections between customer events and internal operations, radically innovative, differentiating, connects customers/users with each other, omnichannel enabled, unexpectedly digital, enabling third party companies to add value to customers/users, etc.

  1. Implement an open ideation process and platform

Great ideas come from everywhere; from both external and internal sources. Limit ideation sources as little as possible. Engage in a planned and structured way with different sources. Implement a capable ideation solution platform from where ideas can be discussed, rated, and fed into the Innovation Lab. Include idea generation at every digital touch-point, for example through “I have an idea!” widgets.

  1. Engage proactively with critical ideation groups

Identify key persons in VIP customer/user groups, and interact frequently with them specifically on the topic of innovation, and give special attention to their ideas.

  1. Observe the customer/user

Nothing beats leaving the office and workshop facilities, and going to where the customer/user physically uses your products and services. This is especially true in app and IoT ideation. Observe and interact, with both the customer/user as well as employees at/near the location. The more time you can spend where the actual challenges and opportunities exist, the better you’ll understand what innovation can improve.

  1. Select the right ideas to prototype

The single most important aspect of the Innovation Lab process is most likely the step from ideation to prototyping. Why is one idea considered good and another not as good? Why is one idea selected to move forward to prototyping, and another idea is not? As soon as this step is considered ad-hoc, uncontrolled, or prone to purely personal subjective preference, the legitimacy of the Innovation Lab can be questioned. Even though some innovative ideas don’t fit into seemingly simplistic molds of criteria, most actually do.
The answer is: filter ideas through desired characteristics, customer/user desires, technical feasibility, and business value, and keep an updated and visible backlog/roadmap for the Innovation Lab.

  1. Smart prototyping using MVP, FF, and Beta

Create prototypes using correctly scoped “Minimum Viable Product” features and fail-fast!
Don’t bet the farm on one plant. Many Innovation Lab ideas fail because it’s entire bandwidth is spent on one single idea. Plan to run multiple idea prototypes simultaneously. This forces you to adopt a “Minimum Viable Product”-scoping, i.e. what can you take out from the idea to actually try it. Mind the common pitfall in cutting scope: don’t keep most of of the functional scope and cut most of the user experience/visual design! Instead, keep just the most critical functional aspects of the idea, and wrap those in as much as visual glory as possible.
“Fail-Fast” and stay away from destructive pride. A prototype shouldn’t typically take more than four weeks to design and develop. With the hardware challenges in IoT, allow another four weeks, but consider two months for a prototype to be developed, a very long time.
Unless some or even most prototypes fail, for whatever reason, you are not trying hard enough to perform as an Innovation Lab. Therefore, make sure failing is expected in and around the lab, and execute prototypes in a failing-fast spirit. Avoid getting stuck on one idea for too long, especially if it is untried with customers/users. The key is to be patient that same idea may re-appear in other lab contexts.

Make room for prototypes in your production systems. For example, create a place on your site or in your apps to hold “Beta” features. You can have some beta features available for everyone and if you support customer/user accounts, you can even enable some beta features just for some select groups of customers/users.

  1. Leverage the creative nature open innovation ecosystems

Enable third party groups to prototype their own ideas by supplying sandboxed environments with as complete APIs as possible. You’d be surprised how many are intrigued by the creative nature of innovation. Expect partners, startups, students, and other third-party groups to be interested in innovating in and around your traditional value chain. Invite them to open hackathons and innovation workshops.

  1. Take feedback seriously

Prototypes are meant to be tried and tested, not just by Innovation Lab staff, but by customers/users. Be sure to take their feedback seriously. Be prepared to iterate through a handful versions of each prototype, before deciding whether or not to introduce the solution into production.

fastcodesign.comimage courtesy: 

Finally, the handover from the Innovation Lab to production is critical. Be pragmatic on resourcing in the handover phase. Most likely Innovation Lab staff will need to participate in the first few steps of infusion of the solution into that which is already in production.

If you need assistance in setting up or revitalizing your Innovation Lab, don’t hesitate to contact me. We recently launched a new initiative called “Applied Innovation Exchange” with a robust Innovation Lab – service catalog (and an exciting San Francisco venue to meet at). Together with my Capgemini and SogetiLabs colleagues, I’d love to interact with you on that which is radically different.


Andreas Sjostrom AUTHOR:
Andreas Sjöström is Sogeti’s Global Mobility Practice Lead. He’s sincerely passionate about new business enabling technology. For more than ten years, his focus has been related to mobile solutions and apps for business. Andreas is a senior adviser to multiple international companies, co-author of “The App Effect”

Posted in: beta testing, Capgemini Group, communication, component testing, Digital, High Tech, Innovation, Internet of Things, IT strategy, Open Innovation, Quality Assurance, Rapid Application Development, Research, Software Development, SogetiLabs, test data management, User Experience      
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digital convergenceA significant shift of digital focus has happened in just the last few months. Not long ago we found that customers were busy catching up in the mobile channel.

Most companies had then already implemented business critical features on external and internal web sites, and were now challenged to catch up with responsive web design-enabled sites and native apps.

Today, the scope is clearly broadened. Instead of discussing “mobile strategy” internally in smaller focus groups and planning the next app project, executive leadership in companies aims for the ultimate digital goal: a truly consistent experience across all channels of interaction. This means that the goal should be to provide the user, regardless of whether the user is a customer, partner or employee, with a connected and consistent set of features across both physical channels (such as stores and offices) and digital channels (such as PCs, phones, tablets and wearables). The user experience should support even moving from one channel to another while having the solution aware of all previous actions in other channels. In other words, today the goal is true digital convergence.

The two most critical focus areas that must be in place to succeed with achieving a true digital convergence are:

  1. Digital transformation management – This is the execution of actions relating to intensifying digital leverage and doing so in an organized manner.
  2. Omnichannel solution architecture – This is digital enabler of having features and information available across all channels.

Andreas1Digital transformation management involves leveraging customer experience opportunities, process optimizations and new business model implementations.

Omnichannel solution architecture is what makes it possible to pull data from internal and external sources, and having it flow through any channel. In order to successfully drive both digital transformation management and build an omnichannel solution architecture, you need to quickly establish and empower a cross-organizational “Digital Center of Excellence” with members representing all parts of your business, and have this team take responsibility to achieving true digital convergence.

Andreas2We are just at the brink of the next generation of Internet, fueled by the Internet of Things, wearables and embedded senors everywhere. The winners will be the companies that meet this future with a vibrant digital transformation program and a solid omnichannel solution architecture… and their customers, employees and partners.

Andreas Sjostrom AUTHOR:
Andreas Sjöström is Sogeti’s Global Mobility Practice Lead. He’s sincerely passionate about new business enabling technology. For more than ten years, his focus has been related to mobile solutions and apps for business. Andreas is a senior adviser to multiple international companies, co-author of “The App Effect”

Posted in: Digital, Internet of Things, mobile applications, Mobility, Omnichannel, Technology Outlook, Transformation, User Experience      
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We are spoiled, ‘consumerized’ users of technology nowadays. We expect compelling, aesthetic user experiences as a default and we want to use our own, favourite devices. If that expectation is not met, we disconnect; in our role as consumers, but just as much as enterprise workers. Create desirable apps that facilitate specific tasks and contexts and hide what’s underneath. Apply Design Thinking, Gamification and Responsive Design so that the apps morph into the overall experience of clients and enterprise users. Turn your mobile app store into a candy store and enable any device.

On top of most corporate digital agendas today is digital convergence. Engaging and inspiring user experiences across all channels gives products and services unprecedented reach.

Most of us have adopted smartphones, some nearly literally, and rely on a multitude of apps for both business and pleasure. For all practical purposes, the smartphone has become a remote control of life enabling us to manage everything from relationships to financial transactions. The combination of superbly designed phones and visually stunning apps reaches to the level of being a fashion statement, a statement of character and identity.

They have become objects of desire.

User experience and user interface design can be summed up into one word: beauty. Unless the apps or response sites are gorgeously designed, the risk is that users will find alternatives. Functionality alone is simply not enough anymore. This means that IT now has to deal with engagement requirements being business critical.

Beside design aspects, the reason why mobile is at the core of digital development is because its catalyst characteristics from the fact that it teaches us the true value of ubiquitous access to information and it enchants us with new and unexpected context driven value. (A great example of an app that enchants the user with context driven value using location, the phone’s camera and open data is FlightRadar24).

In many sectors, mobile has become the new normal (most usage is driven from mobile devices), for example in the banking and travel sectors. The design trend in these sectors is clear: new generation solutions are designed for mobile first and with a strong design ambition.

Engagement can also be accelerated using different types of relevant gamification. For example, use top lists of opted-in users based on activity, create levels of achievements, and award the highest achieving with perks and offers (FourSquare is an example of a gamification-driven community for location check-in, you may also want to check out Badgeville for their multi-channel ‘behavior platform’ that aims to engage both customers and employees).

Most successful, innovative and stunningly designed solutions were the result of agile design driven development. We have found the following best practices critical:

–  Define and maintain scope and requirements using sketches and mockups

–  Use personas and scenario maps to identify relevant contextual value

–  Design style sheets and mood boards used across all digital channels

–  Collect feedback from users in target groups using prototypes

To ensure that your solutions become natural members among these objects of desire, we recommend embracing four cornerstones: inspire the user, enchant with context driven value, enable personalization and include some level of innovation.

Regardless of what solution you take on next, if it’s a mobile app, a responsive web site, a Google Glass app, or a Leap Motion controlled innovation, following these best practices maximizes the chances of being taken to your user’s heart, as an object of desire.

Andreas Sjostrom AUTHOR:
Andreas Sjöström is Sogeti’s Global Mobility Practice Lead. He’s sincerely passionate about new business enabling technology. For more than ten years, his focus has been related to mobile solutions and apps for business. Andreas is a senior adviser to multiple international companies, co-author of “The App Effect”

Posted in: Agile, mobile applications, Mobility, Opinion, SogetiLabs      
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