SECOM is strategically collaborating with partners who share SECOM’s philosophy and accelerating open innovation aimed at creating new services that respond to the diversifying needs of society.
SECOM’s Approach to Open Innovation
SECOM creates new services to help achieve a society in which anyone can live with safety and peace of mind. Recent social environments have been changing at an amazing rate, and the concerns, issues, and needs of society are becoming ever more diverse. To launch a larger number of solutions rapidly in this situation, actively combining ideas and technologies from both inside and outside SECOM is essential. To accelerate the creation of services that meet these increasingly varied concerns, SECOM established the Open Innovation Team, which searches for social issues and collaborates with other companies.
The concept of open innovation originally relied on the perspective of exchanging seed technologies* across organizational lines to improve the efficiency of research and development. However, in addition to utilizing this concept, SECOM is engaging in activities that focus on the perspective of services. In particular, we place importance on how society will change and what the individual values of people and the desires and expectations of communities will be in the future. To gain insights into these areas, we hold SECOM Open Labs as a springboard for open innovation activities to discuss the future of society with numerous parties across business fields and industries while visualizing issues and expectations from diverse perspectives.
In SECOM Open Labs, we visualize the insights or various values gained by sharing the participants’ ideas regarding a variety of challenges, and release the results on our website. Amid the growing uncertainty of recent times, these results are released publicly to encourage their use throughout society to address new challenges faced by society and people in their daily lives. Case studies are presented not only from SECOM but also from the study participants. In innovation, it is important to maintain a problem solving-oriented focus and to come in contact with mindsets different from one’s own. The process of connecting with diverse mindsets leads to new discoveries and serendipity.
* Seed technologies: Technologies essential for developing and creating new business
Promoting Open Innovation
The Open Innovation Team utilizes SECOM Open Labs as the opportunities to discover needs and signs of the future. The team members link these discoveries to hypotheses derived from field visits and data, verify them, and confirm their value. Through this cycle, they work to create new services for resolving concerns in response to requests from the society.
SECOM Open Labs are held periodically, about four times a year, with each session focusing on a different theme. People from related fields participate and engage in discussions with the aim of visualizing values and challenges toward creating new value. Themes so far have included “Products, Services, Reasons in the Age of Million Foreigners Visiting Japan,” “The Future Created by Mapping —The Ups and Downs of Using Positioning Information,” and “Assets and Trust in the Digital Era.” Over 1,700 people have participated so far.
In June of 2020, we held our first live online SECOM Open Lab, “Fireside Chat: Outlook of Services of the 2020s,” as a reflection of the “new normal” trend created by the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in late fiscal 2019. In this innovative event, YouTube LIVE was utilized to present speakers’ fireside chats, while SECOM Open Innovation Team members visualized these discussions and comments from viewers on a virtual whiteboard*. The use of a workshop format with a virtual whiteboard, rather than a web seminar, drew the interest of a great number of viewers.
In addition, our Mago Channel with SECOM service meets new lifestyle needs such as providing online visits to homes and watching over family members living apart. This service received the Grand Prize in the App Category of the Diversity TOKYO App Awards, organized by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. In May of 2020, in collaboration with Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, a limited number of Mago Channel with SECOM devices were provided free of charge to Shibuya residents, to support communication within families when people were refraining from going out.
We disseminate information to the society about the joint development of new services, demonstration testing with various companies, and other specific measures through open innovation news on the SECOM Open Innovation website.
* Virtual whiteboard: A whiteboard in virtual space that users can attach notes to and write on freely