IBM如何重启增长引擎(EBO)

陈雄 转载自 网络 | 2011-08-30 13:24 | 收藏 | 投票
关键字:机会 EBO 

     在前段时间负责一个新事业部,经历很多以后,加上这段时间接手战略&市场部一直在思考战略及方向如何给企业带来价值,尤其能够前瞻性地把握机会,这段时间看了一些文章以及结合这些年的经历,一直想寻求一种能够面对综错复杂的外部环境迅速发现机会,并快速决定手段和方式,之前都认为这个是靠积累,是要敏锐度。看到了IBM的 EBO让我思路越来越清晰了,可操作性也有了。一同分享给大家!

 

      一项对美国600万家企业进行的研究发现,只有不到0.1%的企业能存活40年以上。为什么有这么多企业如昙花一现,而有一些企业,比如IBM(成立于1914年)、强生(成立于1886年)、诺基亚(成立于1876年)等,却能够成为百年老字号?

       阿里在其著作(长寿公司)中阐述了许多企业过早夭折的原因——因为它们管理者只致力于制造商品和提供服务,忘记了企业组织是处于商业环境之中的有生命力的人类共同体。而在分析长寿公司之所以长寿的原因时,德赫斯认为,这些公司都对周围环境非常敏感,并且对各种新想法都采取宽容的态度。因此,长寿公司不一定是那些经验丰富、资金充裕,具有强大核心竞争力的公司,而是那些能够适应周围环境变化的公司。这正如达尔文在进化论中提出的:不是那些庞大的,也不是最聪明的,而是那些最能适应变化的物种能存活。

      植物或动物如此,企业也是如此。最近,斯坦福大学的查尔斯教授等人的研究更进一步证明了这一点。在他们的文章《组织二元性:IBM和新兴商业机会》中,详细介绍了IBM如何通过新兴商业机会(Emerging Business Opportunities,简称EBO)计划与时俱进,在保持成熟市场领先地位的同时,又推动了新业务的发展。

蓝色巨人的增长困惑

      IBM是全球最大的信息技术公司,因其数以千计的经理人员都穿蓝色衣服而被称为“蓝色巨人”。然而,到了20世纪90年代后期,IBM的增速锐减,随着1999年和2000年科技浪潮达到顶峰,其增长也接近了停滞——收入增长率只1%,已无法跟上行业的步伐。经过在公司内部大范围的研究发现:IBM之所以总是失去增长的机会。是因为它虽然开发了很多新技术和产品,却没有主导这些技术和产品的商业化过程。比如IBM研制出了第一个商业路由器,但成为该产品市场的主导;早在1996年,IBM就开发出了提高网页速度的技术,但后来的AKAMAI公司首先占领了这一产品的市场;IBM很早就开发出了语音识别软件,但Nuance却抢占了先机--IBM本来有可能在这些市场上获胜,但却没有好好利用这些机会。为什么会这样呢?

      奥雷理教授等人的研究发现,以下原因导致IBM错过了这些市场机会:

      重短期结果,轻战略性业务建设。IBM传统的领导风格偏爱那些能够完美、及时地把握现有机会的人,而不是新领域的开拓者,突破性思维在公司内并不受认可。

     只关注目前的服务和产品。IBM设计了很多程序来听取现有客户的意见,并专注于传统市场。这使得IBM对于颠覆性技术和新市场的认识越来越迟纯。

强调持续的利润和每股收益增加

缺乏制度保障

执行不到位

虽然一些制度或流程保证了IBM在成熟业务方面的成功,但它们并不适用于新兴业务的建立,甚至会成为新业务模式的绊脚石

成为候选不容易

     要成为EBO计划的候选,必须要符合一些标准,主要包括:与IBM的公司战略相契合;能够创造新的客户价值;有在3-5年内实现10亿美元利润增长的潜力;能使IBM成为该市场的领导者:具备持续的盈利能力等等。

      为了推动新机会的出现,并吸引高管们的注意,IBM每年举行两次正式评审,评审团既包括公司内部杰出工程师、威和销售人员,也包括外部的客户、风投和专家,以征求多方面意见和建议。

      每次评审都由评审团成员从100 多个新想法中确定20多个,由战略部门对它们进行更为详细的战略分析。然后IBM负责EBO的高级执行副总裁亲自在公司高管和客户之间对这些想法开展社会化希望的调查,看看哪些想法能被他们接受。一旦通过这项测试,战略部门就要对这个想法开展更深入的调查,全面审核市场机会。因此,虽然每次正式评审都会通过很多新想法,但是只有少数能被确定为EBO。

      然而,在已有的商业领域培育新业务并非易事,新业务得到的支持也非常有限。为了解决这个问题,IBM将EBO设计成了一个跨越公司战略部门和其他主要部门的混和机构,将EBO分配到每个业务部门中,充分利用并发挥部门的顾客资源和技术优势。IBM规定:EBO项目的领导每月都必须要向主要业务部门的领导和哈兰德递交详细的进度报告。这种又重汇报机制使得公司能够对EBO进行监督,以保证每个项目中产生的问题和所需的资源都能得到及时的解决和满足。

       严格审查,精心呵护

      EBO项目一旦形成,哈兰德和IBM战略部门就分别该项目的合伙人和代理商。他们不但每个月都要审查项目的进展情况,帮助项目领导判断什么可以做,什么不能做,还要确保项目资金用在正确的地方。奥雷理教授等人总结IBM成功建立一个EBO项目的关键点包括:

      公司高层的支持。如果没有公司高层的支持,EBO计划的新业务很容易被忽略,或因资源匮乏而失败。为了解决这个问题,所有EBO项进展报告,确保该项目有明确的战略和组织路线。频繁的会议能确保公司高层们积极、有效的监督和支持。

    专业化的领导。以往,IBM的新项目常常由年轻人来管理,因为管理者认为年轻人做事较少受"IBM方式”的限制,更有创新意识。但是这些年轻人领导的项目大都失败了。IBM从中总结了经验——年轻管理者往往缺乏将新业务培养成大公司所需的网络关系和经验。因此,在EBO计划中,IBM选择由那些经验丰富、曾经建立过大公司并且真正懂得IBM的人来管理新业务。由于新业务与成熟业务相比有很大差别,所以IBM还会根据新业务的需要对管理者进行选择和技术培训。

       跨公司的保障机制。由于EBO计划就是要为公司创造新的商机,因此,即使一个项目可能违背企业的短期利益目标,但是EBO计划也要其得到必要的支持。比如,每个EBO项目建立之前,都需要由咨询部门来进行审查和指导,如果这些服务是免费的。就会影响到咨询部门的利益。为了克服这一障碍EBO计划中设立了专门的基金来为咨询部门提供的服务买单,这既保证了咨询服务及时性,也有利于咨询部门的长远发展。此外,IBM还将对于EBO计划的支持纳入部门经理年度考核的重要指标;在通过月度评估会议流程来确保EBO项止进行的连续性时,IBM还规定EBO的将部分归于支持它们的部门。这些制度都很好地促进了EBO计划的展开。

       严格的监督

       分阶段,设目标

       快速启动,快速停止

       从终点到起点;

 

IBM research: ultimate source for new businesses: the emerging business opportunities team plays a major role in accelerating research technologies from the labs to the marketplace.

 

 

OVERVIEW: Research organizations must have a strong balance of near-term and exploratory projects. Having a system that tracks and nurtures the development of these projects enables the organization to advance or eliminate them based on strategic milestones. IBM has developed an organization to identify emerging business opportunities (EBO) within the research organization. By teaming with researchers earl), in the development process, the EBO team can provide support, funding, and the business advice necessary to advance new technologies more quickly to the market. Over the past three years, IBM has taken a systematic, company-wide approach to growing these new businesses. Beginning with a handful of EBOs, the program has grown to 17 EBOs--and generated market leadership for IBM in prime growth areas like life sciences, Linux, pervasive computing, and business integration.

**********

IBM's emerging business opportunities (EBO) program can be viewed as a group of startup companies being developed and nurtured inside the management constructs of the industry's largest information technology company. Although funded and managed within business divisions, the strategies are managed centrally and the funding for the EBOs is protected centrally--based on strategic milestones, rather than standard near-term business results. The EBOs are managed very differently from the rest of IBM's business units, and for good reason, because they represent the future.

EBOs have become a critical element in delivering IBM's sustained, future revenue growth. The EBO program was established in 2000 to improve the company's ability to explore, develop and test emerging business opportunities, and ultimately, to exploit these opportunities to grow our business. The intent was to identify new businesses that would develop into scalable growth businesses with significant, recurring revenue streams. The EBOs are not product upgrades or simply technical opportunities--they are business opportunities, ones we believe we can commercialize and turn into revenue-producing businesses because they meet the needs of our customers.

EBOs, by their definition, are changing the dynamics of our marketplace by introducing new business models like business transformation outsourcing, new customer sets like life sciences, new offerings like pervasive computing, and disruptive technologies like Linux and grid computing. IBM's future success is predicated on the ability to gain share and generate new streams of revenue growth and profit in areas like these. The identification and marketplace execution of EBOs is critical to this effort.

Horizon Businesses

IBM's EBO model is adapted from The Alchemy of Growth, by Baghai, Coley and White (1). We use their "Horizon" terminology to categorize the kind of new business opportunity and the type of general management style needed for projects in that horizon. Horizon One (H1) businesses are mature, and managed with a focus on current revenue and profit. Horizon Two (H2) has a longer time frame and is more uncertain. H2 involves growth into new technologies for the company's current customers, or growth of current technology to new customer segments. Horizon Three (H3) businesses, commonly referred to as EBOs, are aimed at long-term growth and involve significant experimentation in new markets or technical areas.

IBM is managing the EBOs tightly in terms of monitoring results and modifying investments over time. Every EBO is managed by a different set of milestones--but in the early stages, profitability is rarely one of them. EBOs are opportunities that IBM believes may become more important in a two-to-three year time frame. To keep a close eye on these projects, each EBO has an executive leader who reports into and is funded by a specific business organization. This leader also reports centrally to IBM's strategy organization, to ensure that appropriate funding is provided and to keep executive focus on the technical and business progress of the EBOs.

How do you maintain a flow of viable H3 opportunities while growing the H1 and H2 businesses? This is the challenge at hand for Research's EBO group. IBM Research has become the breeding ground for many of the new H3 initiatives. In the past, IBM has relied on the researchers to focus on technology and science, not the business issues associated with their projects.

The Research EBO Program

In 2000, the Research EBO group was established to accelerate the transfer of technology to the marketplace by wrapping business knowledge around the technical development in Research (2). Where the Research EBO group offers significant value is with business insight, which is crucial when developing the H3 projects. The Research EBO program is becoming an integral part of the leadership model of IBM, and is focused on improving alignment with key growth areas through market analysis, industry expertise and education of the research community around new market opportunities.

Research EBOs get the extra support and attention they need as young, unformed and unexplored ventures. The Research EBO team acts as their agent and partner by meeting with them on a regular basis, ensuring clarity of strategy and organizational structure. The Research EBO team also works with the technical team to define the related business issues and helps them to understand how to go to market by working with the various channels, including sales and distribution (S&D), IBM Global Services (IGS), sectors/industries, and the global small and medium business (GSMB) organization.

The Research EBO team ensures alignment with external and internal priorities by focusing on such areas as marketing, business development, finance, and entrepreneurship. By having the EBO team handle these business issues, the researchers can focus on what they do best: exploratory, technical work. Once a project is approved as a Research EBO, the EBO team becomes an integral part of the research team and guides the project by means of executive reviews of technical milestones.

Four Approaches to Growth

The Research EBO group has four approaches for growth (see Figure 1): new products, new practices, new businesses, and acceleration of product extensions. Having these four options gives each EBO the flexibility to grow in many different directions, based on market demand, technical capabilities and resources. A project that starts out as a new product can morph into a new business.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

IBM Research has developed a system for each stage of the EBO process, from QuikScan to investigation to validation/incubation to transfer (Figure 2). This system allows us to advance or eliminate projects based on established milestones. If a project makes it through the incubation process, it is then transferred to the appropriate IBM division.

[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]

One of the first projects incubated by the Research EBO team was Web Fountain, a very-large-scale integrated infrastructure for advanced text analytics that allows the discovery of trends, patterns and relationships from unstructured and semi-structured data on a worldwide basis. Web Fountain is based on three years of research at IBM's labs around the world. More than 250 scientists and researchers in five countries contributed to the core technology. The EBO team recognized this opportunity, nurtured the project and is now working with the Web Fountain leadership team and IBM's services division to transition Web Fountain into a formal company offering.

Another example of a successful EBO that originated in Research is the Business Value Modeling Tool, a new asset developed jointly by IBM Business Consulting Services (BCS) and IBM Research (Figure 3). This tool helps clients make better decisions by providing a deeper understanding of the business impact of proposed initiatives. A rich set of model inputs supports analysis of multiple business segments across the client's value chain. Additionally, prepackaged "scenarios" provide an intuitive approach for assessing specific industry-related offerings.

[FIGURE 3 OMITTED]

 

The tool supports traditional return on investment (ROI) analysis but also goes beyond ROI to analyze a transformation's broader impact on business performance. It also benchmarks customer performance against industry peers. This project was developed in Research under the guidance of the EBO team, which then joined with the BCS team to pilot it with customers.

Life Sciences is an example of an initiative that was identified as being ripe for dramatic growth; however, this happened in 1998, before IBM developed its EBO model. Some researchers had recognized that computational biology was growing by leaps and bounds with the advent of the human genome project, and thought that this could be a significant business opportunity for IBM. Without the EBO model, it took nearly two years to establish the Life Sciences business organization. Had there been an EBO management system in place, the time to launch the business could have likely been cut in half.

Accelerating to Market

The goal of the Research EBO team is to accelerate research technologies into the marketplace, and this can happen in a number of ways: technology assets can be combined with intellectual capital to form a services practice; technology assets and architectures can transfer into a new platform; and technology assets and existing offerings can become market extensions.

IBM Research experiments in the marketplace using first-of-a-kind projects and pilots. These are projects between IBM Research and a customer, and typically will last for 12 months. The EBO team provides market insights to researchers which helps them in creating these customer-oriented prototypes. The team also improves Research's portfolio in targeted areas through proactive market intelligence, identification of technology gaps, and "go-to-market" linkages. This helps shorten the time it takes to transfer technology from the labs to the marketplace.

Another way to link research more closely with customers is a new initiative, called On Demand Innovation Services. This program is aimed at making our research innovation directly available to customers through IBM's consulting group. As researchers work with business consultants and customers to solve real-world problems, we are better positioned to identify emerging business opportunities.

 

The growth of the EBO program has demonstrated the value of a structured management process for emerging businesses. For continued growth, it is critical to have a viable H3 pipeline to drive future EBOs. The Research EBO team will continue to play a major role in accelerating research technologies from the labs to the marketplace and growing IBM's future revenue stream.

Lessons Learned

The EBO team has learned to deal with many challenges while nurturing these emerging projects. One key lesson has been around the personal aspects and learning to make business decisions based on measurable criteria (business and technical milestones) and not solely on the passion of the technical team leading the project. IBM encourages exploratory research through support of grant programs, and it is important to remember that the goals of the emerging business group are focused on delivering revenue to IBM, not just on delivering cool new technologies.

A second lesson centers on the timing for project transfer to IBM divisions. Researchers are never done with developing technologies, as there are always new functions that can be added to a project to improve it. The role of the business team is to keep the technical team focused on a set of deliverables against a specific timetable, agreed upon early in the project. The focus on emerging business (versus emerging technologies) is a new venture for IBM Research, but the early indications show that we are influencing the thinking of the research technical community, and by partnering with them we are creating new opportunities for IBM.

References

(1.) Baghai, Mehrdad; Coley, Stephen; and White, David. The Alchemy of Growth. Perseus Publishing, Cambridge, MA, 2000.

(2.) McQueeny, David. "IBM's Evolving Research Strategy." Research. Technology Management, July--August 2003, pp. 20-27.

Sharon Nunes is vice president, Emerging Business at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, where she is responsible for identifying and growing new technologies into future businesses for the company. Prior to this, she was director of Life Sciences Solutions in IBM, bringing new technology solutions to the pharmaceutical and biotech markets. Nunes received her Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Connecticut.

slnunes@us.ibm.com; www.research.ibm.com



Source:http://www.allbusiness.com/management/benchmarking-key-business-process-benchmarking/762853-1.html#ixzz1WUC3zE7W

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