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Intel Case

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By mase408
Words 427
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The problem that every company in an uncertain technology space is facing is that of “what is next?” – a question with which in particular incumbents are struggling very often, we know for example from Clayton Christensen’s work. However, in interconnected (i.e., vertically disintegrated) business environments or “ecosystems” in which many players have interlinking commercial offerings that consumers can choose from, this problem becomes even more complicated, because the innovations of other firms who might not even be direct competitors might have an impact on the focal firm, because they can change the competitive dynamics of the ecosystem.

Intel is in exactly this situation – its microprocessors are essential components of many products, which is good (note ‘essential’) and bad (note ‘component’) at the same time: whereas Intel’s position in the microprocessor business is probably unrivaled, it also needs to fend of the threat of the larger ‘products’ (or: ecosystems) shift in a way that renders microprocessors obsolete, or creates different demand profiles for microprocessors which are better met by competitors’ offerings. This is exactly where Intel Research comes in – it is Intel’s sensor for the future, which, opposite to the R&D conducted by the core departments (note: Intel’s microprocessing business has its own R&D, and the integration of production and R&D was one of the core organizational design choices of Intel’s founders) follows principles of open innovation in doing exploratory research that does not necessarily focus on silicone. The case goes on to describe how Intel Research was set and the choices that led Intel Research to evolve into what it had become at the time of the case.

Unsurprisingly, this case has become one of the cornerstones of my case portfolio on open innovation – not many cases capture the benefits of open innovation on…...

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