The Sopra Steria innovation awards

In January, took place the second edition of Sopra Steria’s ‘Trophées de l’Innovation’. These innovation awards are an opportunity for all the group’s staff to hone their sense of innovation, by undertaking unique projects. The innovation awards were a great success, with more than 500 projects brought forward. The winners of the challenge have already moved onto the design phase!

Offering our staff the opportunity to be innovative

With the Innovation Awards, Sopra Steria emphasises the importance of innovation. Our staff have the opportunity to bring forward their innovative ideas, before 38,000 of the group’s employees. Whether you are in India or France, from human resources or the engineering sector, all the group’s staff can be a part of this creative space and participate in the innovation awards.

There is no such thing as a bad idea! All plans and projects are acceptable, with no limits to numbers or participants.

From submitting an idea to presenting a project at the Palais des Congrès in Paris

The Innovation Awards unfold in four stages:

During the first phase, staff members are invited to publish their ideas of the company intranet. This year, 592 ideas were listed from 15 different countries! The success is testament to the growing interest in the awards and the ingenious nature of Sopra Steria employees across the world.

Ideas which are submitted are then chosen on the basis of four criteria:

●          The idea’s level of innovation
●          Its level of interest for Sopra Steria and its clients
●          The feasibility of the project
●          The relevance of the idea

Among the projects chosen this year, 40 were anonymously assessed by a jury, with 15 being retained.

In the second phase, the 15 ideas then go through a prototyping phase. The creative teams are brought together and move into ‘mini project’ mode.

To offer the best possible support to the teams, we give them the means and materials (tools, licencing, software, etc.) that they need to successfully complete prototyping phase.

The company also gives them flexibility in terms of time, as the prototyping phase takes place during working hours, over a period of two months.

In the third phase, each team is called to defend their project before a jury.

The teams then commence the fourth phase of the process, presenting their projects to Sopra Steria staff. This year, the presentations took place during the ‘annual kick-off meeting’ at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, with 3,000 staff members present!

France was the big winner of the Innovation Awards, taking home the first and second prizes. The United Kingdom meanwhile won the Jury Prize.

The following prizes were awarded:

1st prize: a team trip to San Francisco, for Oracle Open World.
2nd prize: the team gets to participate at the IoT World Congress in London, in April.
3rd and 4th prizes: the team wins an allowance of high-tech equipment.

IBM, which is a partner for this second edition of the innovation awards, gave out a Special Prize for Sopra Steria staff whose project makes use of the IBM cloud service, Blue Mix. The prize also came with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to present a project at IBM Connect 2016, on February 20 in Las Vegas.

Bringing innovative projects to fruition

The 15 pre-selected teams continue to work with the group’s business units, to think about how to further develop their project, in particular looking at how it could be of interest to Sopra Steria clients.

Several innovative ideas presented at Innovation Awards have progressed beyond the simple ‘project’ phase and are now offered by Sopra Steria or one of its entities. Here are a few examples:

Shopping made accessible to the visually impaired. Thanks to an application which is able to read and process bar codes, on any product, people who are visually impaired can now do their shopping in complete independence. The application scans a product’s bar code and then reads out its provenance and composition to the user.

‘Green World Gaming’. This Spanish project encourages citizens to take recycling more seriously. Its success has led it to be used in many large cities. It is a place to experiment, processing public and private urban data.

Serious Game on cybersecurity. The aim of this project is to raise public awareness, and among staff, of cybersecurity attacks. In a rather playful way, each user plays a hacker and must try to seize sensitive information in a working environment. In order to give players a game which is as close to reality as possible, the creative team worked with SopraSteria’s security team. The Serious Game is a true business opportunity for the creative team, because the project is currently being presented to company clients. The game has also been exhibited during sessions at the DigiLab.

The second edition of Innovation Awards has unveiled a number of talents within the company’s teams, as well as a sharp sense of innovation among our staff. Thanks to this initiative, a number of innovative ideas have been brought to life and some will soon be part of the group’s offering.

The first edition has already brought two projects, created by Sopra Steria staff, to the marketing stage. One brings together a Kinect (the Xbox accessory) and property listings. The project has been deployed by three of the company’s clients, notably by Total for document research. The other is now part of Sopra Banking Software’s entire range of offerings.

Let’s go forth and innovate!

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