Reverse innovation stories in emerging markets highlight the untapped potential of innovating operating and business practices in developed markets.

The more I read about “reverse innovation” and the opportunity this creative method of rethinking products and services has opened up for the developed world, the more I see how important operating and business processes are. What’s interesting is that in the telecom industry the best examples (and the most successful ones) are coming out of emerging economies. This shouldn’t be a surprise as innovation in the emerging world has been an outcome of the prevailing business pressures that left little option but to change conventional thinking.

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I’m usually skeptical when local habits become emerging trends and are subsequently declared a new global management paradigm, but in the case of the much buzzed-about Jugaad I am inclined to follow the gurus.The trend began with Reena Jana’s seminal article in BusinessWeek in December 2009 (full disclosure: Reena is a consulting editor at frog, a company of he Aricent Group), in which she critically investigated the value of Jugaad and anticipated its entering the lexicon of management consultants. The term Jugaad (pronounced “joo-gaardh”) is a colloquial Hindi word that describes a creative ad hoc solution to a vexing issue, making existing things work and/or creating new things with scarce resources. Although sometimes used pejoratively (in the sense of a makeshift cheap fix), it is now widely accepted as a noun to describe Indian-style innovation (some also call it “indovation”) – describing the inventiveness of Indian grassroots engineers and scientists that have led to the pedal-powered washing machine, inspired the extra-low-cost Tata Nano car, or the success of India’s space program. It is, in short, the art of holistic (and therefore lateral) thinking, of unbound, resilient creativity, and of improvisation and rapid prototyping under severe constraints.

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Earlier this week we held a webinar - "7 Myths about Agile Testing - Busted!" - that generated a lot of good questions about how best to conduct testing while in a fast-paced, fluid Agile environment. We didn't have time to get to all the questions, so the Aricent experts who ran the webinar, Gopinath Ramachandran, Gayatri Singla, and Srimanta Kumar Purohit, have gone through the unanswered questions and answered them below.

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In my last blog post, “Race to the Cloud,” I talked about cloud strategies for Tier-1 telcos. Essentially, they’re big enough to be able to take the risk of hosting their own cloud data centers (telco’s “private cloud”), while gradually climbing up the cloud-chain from IaaS-provider to PaaS-provider to SaaS-broker/communication-and-collaboration-as-a-service provider. But, what about the smaller players? They must be shying away from hosting cloud data centers (otherwise they would have been in the news) because of the kind of investment they need to set up the cloud infrastructure. However, they can’t ignore the fact that the cloud-model is knocking at their door and they really can’t afford to lose the business opportunities.

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How do you build a collaborative mindset in a company? Collaboration needs to be seen as a process that happens over time, and that the crucial groundwork for successful collaboration needs to be laid before the "actual" collaborative work happens.

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Openness is the mega-trend for innovation in the 21st century, and it remains the topic du jour for  businesses of all kinds. Granted, it has been on the agenda of every executive ever since Henry Chesbrough’s seminal Open Innovation came out in 2003. However, as several new books elaborate upon the concept from different perspectives, and a growing number of organizations have recently launched ambitious initiatives to expand the paradigm to other areas of business, I thought it might be a good time to reframe “Open” from a design point of view.

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