Wazoku’s CEO & Founder, Simon Hill believes, ‘Good people, culture and identity are the DNA of your company’

Media 7 | November 19, 2021

Simon Hill, CEO & Founder of Wazoku, elaborates on their mission and innovative software. Read on to know what makes Wazoku the best workplace in the UK.


The innovation sector is still very nascent and there is a high demand for training and learning.

MEDIA 7: Thank you so much for doing this with us! Wazoku’s mission is to ‘Change the World, One idea at a time.’ How does Wazoku execute this?
SIMON HILL:
It’s a pleasure to share my thoughts and insights with you, thanks for the opportunity. Yes, our mission at Wazoku is to support global organizations, Government institutions, and NGOs in driving impactful innovation outcomes, at scale. We are a global software company and our AI-powered technology alongside a global community of on-demand innovators and a proven approach to delivering impactful innovation outcomes really do change the world.


M7: Sounds wonderful! Your world-leading Open Innovation Marketplace, InnoCentive, is the place for pioneering crowdsourced innovation. Could you please tell us more about it as well as about your innovative products?
SH:
Yes, InnoCentive is our Open Innovation Marketplace. It is a two-sided marketplace comprising Seekers (companies with an innovation challenge) and Solvers (people or companies who work to try and solve the challenge). We support our clients, the seekers, with the crafting of an innovation challenge, often drawing on our experience to abstract the problem slightly to draw in a broad range of perspectives. This challenge is promoted to our global network of innovators who work, entirely at their own risk, on this challenge. The seeker posts an award for anyone who can solve the challenge and the best submissions will receive this award, either as a challenge prize or in exchange for IP.

We handle the process through our technology end-to-end, making it easy for companies to scout, identify, select and obtain IP or partnerships with solution providers (solvers). This approach has helped thousands of companies solve over 80% of their innovation challenges and paid over $60m in awards. InnoCentive is a product on our Agile Innovation Management platform. This is an enterprise-grade, integrated suite of products for Research, Innovation, Scouting, and Talent Engagement providing workflow, analytics, and engagement tools for internal and external innovation activity. Our unique, integrated proposition is your Global Home for Innovation.

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AI should augment the human process, making things easier across the value chain, but not (implicitly) replacing the human element.



M7: Could you please give our readers a few insights about your upcoming webinar, 'Innovation at Scale: Using Wazoku to innovate with internal and external audiences?
SH:
Absolutely. We run a regular set of learning, knowledge sharing, and insights sessions for our community. The innovation sector is still very nascent and there is a high demand for training and learning. We support everyone who is interested in the broad topic of innovation through our learning series of events and make it freely available on-demand for everyone. This topic will take a deeper dive into the different approaches and considerations for innovating with different audiences. As I have mentioned, our software enables internal employee-driven innovation, supplier innovation, customer innovation, and also open innovation. We will be diving into this from a product perspective and looking at how our products enable businesses to drive innovation at scale as a core approach across all of these different communities and the different use cases people may wish to consider.


M7: What are the challenges that you face regarding handling and maintaining such highly developed AI technologies?
SH:
There are many challenges. We deal with complex data sets, in a non-consistent, non-uniform structure, so finding ways to enable machine-driven interaction is a constant challenge. Our philosophy on AI is that it should augment the human process, making things easier across the value chain, but not (implicitly) replacing the human element, as context is king and the machine isn’t (yet) capable of really grasping nuance and context. Additionally, as we draw on our AI engine to evaluate the content and recommend solutions, it is important we do not introduce any unintended bias into that process.

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Accept that you know very little about anything, try and listen, learn and network as much as possible.



M7: Congratulations on Wazoku being listed on the ‘Best WorkplacesTM UK 2021’ list. Could you please give us a demographic of your work culture that made this possible?
SH:
Wazoku is a pretty special place. The teams are super passionate about what we do, why we do it and there is an entrepreneurial spirit that runs through the business, even today. We have a broad mix of experience, tenure, nationalities and strive for balance in terms of diversity in all areas. It is a ‘work hard-celebrate success-learn from failure culture’, but we also care for our people, with a range of benefits including unlimited holiday, flexible working, mental health support, and much more besides. Our offices are also all dog friendly!


M7: What keeps you motivated and what advice would you like to give professionals starting their careers in this industry?
SH:
The work we are doing is hugely important, impactful, and complex. The opportunity for the company that gets it right is large, but for me, it’s the knowledge that the work we do drives real value. We are changing working practices and culture, we are opening up innovation to fresh ideas, new perspectives, and bringing the collective intelligence of the whole world to help us advance and innovate. If that doesn’t keep me motivated, I don’t know what would! For those starting out, I would say, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. There will be tough times, but also hugely rewarding times. Accept that you know very little about anything, try and listen, learn and network as much as possible. Surround yourself with good people, they make all the difference and think hard about culture and identity, these are the DNA of your company and will define you as you grow and scale.

ABOUT WAZOKU

Founded in 2011, Wazoku is both a for-profit and a for-purpose business. As a purpose-led, Carbon Neutral company, this is part of who they are and what they do. It is their goal to help change the world, one idea at a time. Every day they help people find, capture and share ideas to improve the world. From natural disasters to new drug development, from solar events to a circular economy, their Challenge Driven InnovationTM methodology is a proven approach to delivering tangible innovation and transformation outcomes for global organizations.

They understand that innovation and transformation challenges are complex and they have built the tools and frameworks to reduce complexity and provide support in building a culture of innovation. They have been named one of the UK’s 30 leading tech scale-ups, as part of Tech Nation’s Upscale 4.0! They are proud to have been ranked in Great Places To Work - Best Workplaces 2021.

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CoreStack Accelerates Vision and Growth with Acquisition of Optio3

CoreStack | September 27, 2022

CoreStack, a global multi-cloud governance provider, today announced the company’s acquisition of Optio3, an AI-powered operations management company based in Seattle, WA. As a result, CoreStack will acquire 100 percent of Optio3’s technology and IP and will integrate Optio3 team into the CoreStack team. Optio3 Co-founder and CEO Sridhar (Sri) Chandrashekar will be joining the CoreStack leadership team as Chief Digital Officer (CDO). “We’ve been leveraging Optio3’s technology in our platform for 9 months and have had tremendous success with it,” said Ezhilarasan (Ez) Natarajan, CoreStack Founder and CEO. “We now have the opportunity to bring the Optio3 team’s expertise in-house and can further tailor the technology to support our enterprise customers’ needs.” CoreStack helps enterprises unleash the power of cloud on their terms by providing a NextGen multi-cloud governance platform that is Continuous, Holistic, Autonomous, Integrated, and Nimble (CHAIN). This NextGen governance solution enables proactive multi-cloud governance and 360-degree visibility across financial management (FinOps), security operations (SecOps), and cloud operations (CloudOps) in a unified dashboard. The Optio3 acquisition will further facilitate CoreStack’s delivery of these NextGen multi-cloud governance capabilities, bringing their deep industry experience in building scalable SaaS products as well as a proven technology framework that strengthens the platform, automates the cloud infrastructure, and increases the speed of innovation and delivery. “CoreStack is at an inflection point in its growth curve with a phenomenal pipeline of Fortune 5000 customers,” said Sri Chandrashekar, CoreStack’s new CDO. “The Optio3 team is highly specialized in delivering high-scale platforms and SaaS solutions to those enterprise customers. I’m excited that we’re working together to achieve CoreStack’s ambitious vision and product roadmap for NextGen Cloud Governance.” Founded in 2016, CoreStack is a multi-national corporation with headquarters in Bellevue, WA, an engineering Center of Excellence is in Chennai, India, and sales and support personnel located across the globe to ensure seamless support. Since January 2022, CoreStack has hired more than 150 people, won significant deals, and added numerous marquee partners. Booked annual revenues have grown by more than 100%, and customer renewal rates remain at 100%. Annual cloud spend across all customers and partners governed by CoreStack is crossing $2B, and the company has doubled down on partnership engagements with AWS, Azure, Google, and Oracle. “We are thrilled to be bringing Optio3’s technology and team into our family,” said Ez Natarajan. “CoreStack was born with the mission of establishing a robust, NextGen governance layer on top of even the most complex multi-cloud ecosystems. We are now perfectly positioned to offer our customers a highly scalable, manageable, and reliable solution – one that drives digital transformation and delivers next-level performance.” “We are delighted to bring in Optio3’s technology, CoreStack was born with the mission of establishing a robust, NextGen governance layer on top of even the most complex multi-cloud ecosystems. We are now perfectly positioned to offer our customers a highly scalable, manageable, and reliable solution one that drives digital transformation and delivers next-level performance.” Sabapathy Arumugam, CoreStack Co-Founder and CTO About CoreStack CoreStack provides a NextGen Cloud Governance platform that empowers enterprises to predictably increase top-line revenues, improve bottom-line efficiencies, and gain a competitive edge through AI-powered real-time cloud governance on autopilot. CoreStack's FinOps, SecOps, and CloudOps solutions embrace, enhance, and extend native-cloud capabilities, enabling reporting, recommendation, and remediation and providing single pane-of-glass governance across multi-cloud. Through executive dashboards for comprehensive real-time insights, CoreStack delivers transformative value such as 40% increase in operational efficiencies, 50% decrease in cloud costs, and 100% security assurance and compliance. CoreStack helps 500+ global enterprises govern $2+ billion in annual cloud consumption. Gartner, Frost & Sullivan, Forrester, S&P Global and IDC have recognized CoreStack as an innovator and leader in cloud management solutions. CoreStack is backed by strategic advisors, including the ex-CEO of Wipro and ex-CIO of Microsoft. The company is a Microsoft Azure Gold Partner, Amazon AWS Advanced Technology Competency Partner, Oracle Cloud Build Partner, and Google Cloud Build Partner.

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CLOUD STORAGE

Alibaba Cloud Unveils Strategic Roadmap for International Business

Alibaba Cloud | September 23, 2022

Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, has announced its latest international strategic roadmap at the 2022 Alibaba Cloud Summit. During the three-day summit, the trusted cloud provider has revealed new products to support technology innovation among enterprises, an investment of USD1 billion for a global partner ecosystem upgrade, and enhanced customer services to provide comprehensive support throughout a customer's digitalization journey. Technology innovation to power rapidly increasing cloud consumption With more enterprises moving to the cloud and an increase in demand for cloud services in a hybrid environment, Alibaba Cloud has made available globally a series of its proven infrastructure products, a multi-model cloud-native database and distributed cloud services. This range of new products aims to provide enterprise customers with a wider scope of cloud services covering network, storage and compute. Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN) 2.0, the newly available network services, provides global intelligent networking to support enterprises' global expansion. CEN 2.0 supports ultra-large-scale networking capabilities with higher availability, lower latency, enhanced security capability and greater flexibility in pricing options for enterprises, compared to the previous version. Alibaba Cloud has also unveiled a storage product called ESSD Auto PL, which provides block storage services and supports automatic scaling within seconds to allow businesses to handle sudden traffic surges. As the world's leading elastic block storage product with auto-scaling function, it offers up to one million IOPS (input/output operations per second), significantly higher than the industry average. Lindorm, the cloud-native multi-model database developed by Alibaba Cloud, successfully supported Alibaba Group's 11.11, the world's largest shopping festival, last year. Designed for fusion-processing requirements for wide tables, time series, space-time and various unstructured data, Lindorm has also been supporting customers in various industries in China – including automotive, finance and manufacturing – thanks to its high availability and low storage cost. Alibaba Cloud also introduced ACK One (Alibaba Cloud Distributed Cloud Container Platform), a multi-region and multi-cluster container management platform to provide a consistent management, delivery and operation experience for enterprises. It allows users to implement container cluster management, resource scheduling, data disaster recovery and application delivery through a unified platform, whether in a public cloud, private cloud or on-premise environment. ACK One is the latest addition to ACK Anywhere, Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes. Earlier this year, among the eight significant industry players evaluated, Alibaba Cloud was named a "Leader" in The Forrester Wave™ Public Cloud Container Platforms Q1 2022 for the first time. Lastly, to support enterprises' need for hybrid cloud, CloudBox integrates Alibaba Cloud's public cloud infrastructure technologies such as compute, storage and network to provide enterprises with fully managed cloud services for deployment close to customers' business premises. CloudBox delivers a consistent experience as Alibaba Cloud's public cloud, while meeting enterprises' demand for on-premise data processing and low latency compute. CloudBox is designed for multinational companies with business operations in China. Alibaba Cloud has been strengthening its capabilities in computing, storage, network and security. For example, its recently unveiled Cloud Infrastructure Processing Unit (CIPU), a dedicated processing unit designed for its Apsara Cloud operating system, can reduce network latency to as low as five microseconds and improve computing power performance in data-intensive AI and data analytics scenarios by as much as 30%. Prioritizing partner benefits to build inclusive technology ecosystem With its revamped ecosystem strategy, Alibaba Cloud has announced that it is committed to investing USD1 billion to support partners' technology innovation and their market expansion with Alibaba Cloud in the coming three fiscal years. This investment consists of both financial and non-financial incentives, such as funding, rebates and go-to-market initiatives. To accelerate partners' growth, Alibaba Cloud also launched a "Regional Accelerator" program to provide partners operating in different markets with a localized business collaboration model. The model is designed around factors such as a market's level of technical maturity, vertical focus, digitalization needs and business demands, with an aim to boost partners' income and strengthen their technical expertise. Alibaba Cloud ecosystem partners including resellers, technology partners (ISV, SaaS and SI), service and consulting partners can benefit from the program. "Partners have always been a key focus for Alibaba Cloud, and we are committed to providing them with strong support for our ongoing co-creation and value-add – both technologically and commercially to further empower our joined customers, Our revamped partner strategy prioritizes our partners' growth. By continuing to support our partners' business expansion, we can build an inclusive ecosystem benefiting partners and customers." Selina Yuan, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence International President To address complications with partners' international business operations, Alibaba Cloud has also upgraded its collaboration model with its ISV partners, with a focus on enhancing industry collaboration, standardizing go-to-market process, and accelerating technical solution integration to increase efficiency. Looking ahead, Alibaba Cloud hopes to recruit more financial services, retail, internet and manufacturing ISVs to co-develop products and support customer innovation. Alibaba Cloud currently works with about 11,000 partners worldwide, including Salesforce, VMware, Fortinet, IBM and Neo4j. Empowering customers with comprehensive support In order to provide all-round cloud-based solutions and services to all customers, Alibaba Cloud also launched a "Global Delivery and Service Program" to enhance the cloud adoption process for customers. Under the program, it has unveiled three Customer Service Centers in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Porto (Portugal), and Mexico City (Mexico), to support customers in their cloud adoption journey, providing timely and regionalized cloud migration and consulting services. In addition to the Customer Service Centers, Alibaba Cloud has set up three Service Delivery Centers in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Hong Kong (Greater China), to provide extra technology support to its regional offices and customer project delivery in Asia Pacific and the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Fueling new innovations with reliable infrastructure During the summit, Alibaba Cloud has inked nearly 30 agreements to help customers and partners accelerate their digital innovation capabilities with leading cloud computing technologies. In collaboration with JP Games, Japan's leading game development studio, Alibaba Cloud has unveiled a set of new services to create virtual spaces and realistic avatars for global customers venturing into the metaverse. Together with MetaverseXR, Thailand's leading metaverse company, Alibaba Cloud rolled out a comprehensive suite of metaverse solutions for the Thai market in order to fulfill growing local demand for embarking on a Web 3.0 journey. Alibaba Cloud also teamed up with UMG Group in Myanmar, to power the country's digital transformation – especially in traditional industries. With BeLive and VisionTech from Singapore, Alibaba Cloud is expanding its regional outreach in the media and Fintech verticals. Alibaba Cloud is collaborating with OnFinality, a leading New Zealand-based blockchain infrastructure provider, to offer robust cloud-computing capability and a strong global network for Web 3.0 developers looking to scale globally. More than 300 Alibaba Cloud customers and partners around the globe are attending the summit, including Accenture, Tiger Brokers, DANA, Thai Data, and Lala station. About Alibaba Cloud Established in 2009, Alibaba Cloud (www.alibabacloud.com) is the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group. It offers a complete suite of cloud services to customers worldwide, including elastic computing, database, storage, network virtualization services, large-scale computing, security, management and application services, big data analytics, a machine learning platform and IoT services. Alibaba maintained its position as the third leading public cloud IaaS service provider globally since 2018, according to IDC. Alibaba is the world's third leading and Asia Pacific's leading IaaS provider by revenue in U.S. dollars since 2018, according to Gartner.

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Founded in 2011, Wazoku is both a for-profit and a for-purpose business. As a purpose-led, Carbon Neutral company, this is part of who they are and what they do. It is their goal to help change the world, one idea at a time. Every day they help people find, capture and share ideas to improve the wor...

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