Digital Transformation: Innovation for SMBs

Business Innovation, Digitale Transformation

At ppi Media, we successfully embarked on a digital transformation process in 2016. As part of this transformation, we founded our business innovation department, which has already created some successful digital solutions for other companies. We also offer consulting services for those who are looking for support and some new impetus in their own innovation efforts.

Nowadays, the publishing industry in particular has to keep developing new digital revenue models in order to stay competitive and survive as a publisher or media house. Yet it is all but impossible to develop solutions and products genuinely meeting the needs of a real target audience while running your day-to-day business at the same time. Genuine innovation requires the courage to set aside resources for this modernization process. But it is worth it: just a single Innovation Camp away from your daily company routines and with a select number of employees can deliver valuable impetus that translates into genuine innovation. And our offer goes beyond that: as an SMB currently undergoing a digital transformation process ourselves, we understand the situation and the needs of our customers better than most and are keen to drive this transformation with you.

What exactly is Design Thinking?

“Design Thinking” is an important component of our consulting and innovation services. Simply speaking, this is a modern approach to solving problems creatively. It involves bringing together employees from different departments of a company to develop new products together that address the actual needs of a target group. During this process, interdisciplinary teams initially develop dummies, which may even be discarded again. This way, prototypes that turn out to be unsuccessful do not cause high costs. New products and services are eventually implemented as minimum viable products (MVP) in order to receive meaningful customer feedback straight away and to translate this into product improvements quickly. Employees learn about specific Design Thinking methods in our workshops and innovation events, which ensure that participants can benefit from and use these methods afterwards back at their company. If required, we are happy to provide advice throughout the entire innovation process.

Digital transformation: What sort of help do we offer?

Hiring external consultants often comes with an unpleasant aftertaste for SMBs. They are expensive, not always available and often take a long time to gain a thorough understanding of a company’s main structures and processes. This makes it much more attractive for many companies to train their own staff to become internal consultants. However, in order to drive change management with a company’s own employees, new methods and skill sets are required. The consulting services that our business innovation department offers to SMBs focus on acquiring exactly these skills.

Our interdisciplinary business innovation team consists of employees from a wide range of areas and with a variety of skills – ranging from visionary product strategists to graphic designers, who create prototypes and click dummies. For example, Corinna Coverly, Senior Innovation Manager at ppi Media, is an expert on design thinking and has previously played a major role in promoting our own innovation processes and those of some of our partners. But the real strength of our innovation department comes from the way all team members complement each other: true to the design thinking idea, you can benefit from the collective skill set of our experts, who in turn form new, interdisciplinary teams with our customer’s employees. In the end, we give you more than the methods and tools to master the digital transformation – we also help you to develop a new mindset to change deep-rooted structures and habits successfully.

Success that motivates

Together with our partners, the business innovation department has already developed a number of prototypes and new digital revenue models over the last two years. These include the location-based “thanks” service, which provided the basis for the  official app accompanying the Digital Week Kiel 2018 , the social media wall “LeagueDeck”, which is used by the Hamburger Sportverein e.V. and the city of Kiel, and our most recent project, a portal for handball coaches called “Handball-Coach”. Based on this work, the team at business innovation offers consulting services to companies ready for innovation. These services, which can be either workshops or consulting activities, have already helped several companies on their way through the digital transformation. We will publish success stories on some of these shortly.