November 14, 2017

First Hand Experience with Innovation

BY :     November 14, 2017

The Background

I recently applied for Global Entry with the US Department of Homeland Security.  The process is relatively simple, and includes three parts.

  1. Complete the online application
  2. Initial approval of the application
  3. In-person Interview

After I received my application approval, I went to the site to schedule my interview.  The earliest available appointment was six months out.  I called and told them “your website is broken”.  They said the site is fine, demand is extremely high.  The recommendation is to check the site frequently because people often cancel.

No one has time to check the site all day, so I created a script to search for new appointment times every hour.  In a few days, I had my interview scheduled for the next week.

I showed the script to a friend and he said, “Publish that!”.

The Results

In just two weeks, I had an entire service available for purchase.  This included a professional, responsive website complete with payment processing.  The script I originally created was fully automated and hosted in the cloud. A new customer could sign-up and schedule a new interview without outside interaction.

Using Google Adwords, site traffic jumped dramatically.  Within weeks, the site had hundreds of visitors every day. New registrations started to come in consistently.  I had a viable as-a-service business up and running.

The Point

When I first started in IT, this concept would have been impossible.  It would have been cost and time prohibitive.  This really shows how easy it is (should be) for organizations to experiment with new ideas.

Give your teams the freedom to experiment with simple, open technologies and unique ideas. Learn what clients like and build on those successes.  When something succeeds, take the time to industrialize, and grow it with enterprise technologies.

If one person can build a new service in weeks with no resources, imagine what your teams do with available resources.  Innovation Empowers.

Leave a comment below and let me know if you agree or in case you disagree, would like to know why you disagree.

Robert LeRoy

About

Bob LeRoy is Vice-President of Application Development in New Technology for Sogeti USA. Bob’s team today has over 700 full-time employees across 23 cities.

More on Robert LeRoy.

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    *Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Sogeti Group