Just over one year since the opening of the Plan.Net Innovation Studio in Munich and Plan.Net Group is yielding positive results: In total, employing modern approaches to thinking and working has facilitated the development of more than 30 prototypes in digital products and services for customers. And this success is now being taken into account: the studio in Munich is being expanded both spatially and in terms of personnel, and a new satellite site is being launched in Hamburg.
Munich, 05 February 2019 — For more than a year now, Plan.Net Innovation Studio has been working collaboratively on concepts in new digital approaches to communications, products, and services. In cooperation with customers, partners, and external experts, ideas are being developed, made into tangible prototypes, and advanced to the pilot stage. A year following its launch, the capabilities of the Innovation Studio are being expanded: the existing workspaces - the XR Lab and Design Thinking Area - are now set to be complemented with a so-called "Co-Working Space". Meanwhile, the Studio team is being expanded in tandem with this spatial enlargement with the addition of another Creative Coder. On top of this, the Innovation Studio is also expanding to Hamburg, where the concept is being adopted at the city's House of Communication in the form of a "Studio-Hub".
"In expanding the Studio, we are continuing to work hard to ensure our future sustainability, by building up the innovative strength and collaborative capability of the Group as a whole and making this available for our customers to harness," Plan.Net Group Managing Director and Partner Klaus Schwab explains. "Another especially interesting aspect of this is that the way we collaborate with our customers is changing as part of this process. Most of our customers come to us without a concrete brief, and it is only then that potential approaches are developed."
The New Co-Working Space
As its name suggests, this new space has been designed explicitly for use by interdisciplinary teams, which consist of agency and company representatives, external experts and end-users. Here, products and services are brainstormed, designed, transformed into prototypes and subjected to user feedback, and projects and assignments are advanced from every perspective through direct dialogue. A modern spatial concept, complete with a flexible furniture system, provides a freedom that allows the room to be adjusted in accordance with the number of team members and their respective needs. "New collaborative ways of working are increasingly shaping everyday life at our agency. With the Co-Creation Space, we have created a working environment that is explicitly designed to meet the needs of interdisciplinary teams," Head of the Plan.Net Innovation Studio Stephan Enders explains.
Opening the Plan.Net Innovation Studio Hub in Hamburg
The Studio is not only expanding in Munich, however: a satellite Studio has already been operating in Hamburg since 1 January 2019. The concept for future Studio development is based on building up a team across many sites. "We are delighted that two top-level individuals - Serviceplan Group Global Executive Creative Director Peter Gocht and Plan.Net UX Director of Experience Strategy Mathias Becker - are enriching the team into a even more powerful force," Stephan Enders comments.
The personal highlight for me is that we have succeeded so quickly with the Innovation Studio in making the transition from a theoretical agenda to practical implementation, thereby bringing the idea to life.
Stefan Enders, Head of Plan.Net Innovation Studio
The First Year of the Innovation Studio - Highlights
Within the space of a year, 30 prototypes have already been developed. The highlights include:
Facebook Chatbot for Mini Germany: This Chatbot has been implemented in Messenger for the John Cooper Works product range, and boasts numerous additional features that include 360° displays, product slides, and mini games. The bot also had to be integrated into the range's media strategy and efficiently supplied with traffic, which demanded a continuous optimisation process. With an average Chatbot dialogue stay time of more than three minutes, its development has been a complete success.
Voice Assistant Application for MINI: A prototype for a voice-based vehicle soft configurator has been created in an iterative process involving several developmental stages. The prototype is serving both as a valuable learning environment, and as inspiration for the voice-based applications of the future.
HypoVereinsbank Alexa Skill: As part of a collaborative process with HVB and Bank Austria, we have developed a voice solution which in its first stage contains all essential information on banking products, together with a finance Wiki and a currency converter. In so doing, we have created the starting point for the voice-based banking of the future. An entirely new approach to studies to test the quality of Amazon Skills and Google Actions during the design process has also been developed over the course of this project in collaboration with Facit Digital.
"The personal highlight for me is that we have succeeded so quickly with the Innovation Studio in making the transition from a theoretical agenda to practical implementation, thereby bringing the idea to life. The Studio has rapidly become an in-process inventory at the House of Communication, which has positioned it to further support our agency group's innovative credentials," Stephan Enders explains.
Moreover, a new series of events has been established since the launch of the Studio: A regular After Work XChange features keynote speeches from experts, each of which illuminates a different topic from a range of perspectives. Past XChanges have addressed such topics as blockchain, artificial intelligence and customer experience. Incidentally, the fourth After Work XChange, which is devoted to the topic of "Bricks & Clicks", is set to take place on 7 February 2019.
About the Plan.Net Innovation Studio
In order to make the best possible use of the opportunities digital transformation presents for customer solutions, a new kind of collaboration is being practised in the Studio between the agency, the customer and external experts. Collaborative work is being carried out here on concepts in new digital approaches to communications, products and services, and ideas are being developed, transformed into tangible prototypes and advanced to the pilot stage. With the Plan.Net Innovation Studio, a space has been created for learning about new technologies and stimulating people to try them out and experiment with them.
The Innovation Studio supports all Plan.Net and Serviceplan agencies, in addition to working on direct customer briefs. In this way, the Studio serves as an interface for interdisciplinary and collaborative work between all partners involved in a project, both internally and externally.