(A) Harvard Case Solution & Analysis (A) Case Study Solution

Threat of New Substitute:

With the fact, every product comes with the idea of its substitute product to make things further easy to deal. Similarly, it can be considered as the possible solution to have the same issue that any individual or any organization might had earlier and solved it. Therefore, with the concept, there could be the introduction of the online applications or the portals to offer the solution of your problem either just on one click by filling up the information or the key factors to get the solution of your problem. Thus, with advancement in the technological approaches, the threat of new substitute tends to be moderate to high.

Competitive Analysis:

Innocentive had been providing its services in six different categories of challenges providing them with the access of gaining a diverse experts network that results in the faster process of research at low cost in comparison to the use of internal resources for exploring solutions. (Bishop, 2009) Considering the competitors of Innocentive in the market, the key competitors include YourEncoreand NineSigma. (Davis, 2015)

An Indianapolis-based organization was founded in 2003. Similar to Innocentive, the founders of the organization were from Procter and Gamble and Eli Lilly. The organization is based on the concept of open innovation with a online environment i.e. secured that connects clients and professionals in the communities. Like Innocentive, it also does not offer direct collaboration among the professionals and the clients i.e. in order to secure the confidentiality and the protection of Intellectual Property rights.

Whereas NineSigma is privately owned firm in the Cleveland tending to the market leader among the intermediaries of innovation. It significantly provides assistance to clients to source the innovative services, products, technologies and ideas. They ask their potential clients to provide a clear definition of the problem they tend to seek the solution for. The average time of the solution provided by the NineSigma is about 4 weeks.


Solution 1: Creation of Solver Profile


  • Creating the Solver Profile on the website where Seeker submit their challenges or problems to be solved will eliminate the issue of not knowing anything about the Solver.
  • This will assist the Seeker to better evaluate the expected efficiency of the solution to be provided.
  • This would help Seekers to rate the Solver based on the skills exhibited by them to assist other Seekers.


  • Some people like to keep their services confidential, this would violate their expectation and their rights.
  • The open profile of the Solver might pose a threat to the company, due to the reason that based on high efficiency of the performance, competitor firms might approach him/her to work for them.

Solution 2: Communication access with Solver:


  • This would satisfy the needs of the Seekers of having a direct communication with the Solvers.
  • Seekers would have the opportunity to make Solver better understand his needs and what he would be looking for.
  • It would allow Solver to satisfy the Seeker by ensuring him/her, the guidelines that had been provided were better understood.


  • Providing direct access to Solvers might result in private contact with the Seekers which might resulting in the establishment of a separate team.
  • This might result in the loss of unnecessary information loss leading to a great threat to confidentiality.

Solution 3: Development of a public network


  • This would significantly provide both the Solver and the Seeker with the opportunity to discuss over the projects provided for solution.
  • Sharing the same IP address of the mode of the communication system between Solver and Seeker would control the sharing of information.
  • Controlled information sharing would possibly secure the risk of the losing the confidentiality concern.


  • This would require heavy investment in setting up the workplace to provide each Solver to contact with the Seeker.
  • It demonstrates the probability of the threat of making a separate or private relation with the Seeker that violates the rights of Intellectual Property.


Based on the analysis of the situation and the issue faced by the organization, Innocentive is recommended to implement the first solution i.e. the creation of Solver profiles on the website but that should be managed by the HR team, because hiring, recruiting are all the responsibilities of the human resource management of the organization. Additionally, the organization should reduce the time of solution delivery and make the services more time and cost efficient that should in approach to wide ranging Seekers all around the world.


Innocentive – an online and leading player in open innovation and crowdsourcing research and development. Although the ideation challenge had solicited from the ideas of the solvers to provide services in an effective manner by bringing improvement in the communication with the Seekers and Solvers of the community. This is primarily the human resource management issues. Innocentive is recommended to implement the first solution i.e. the creation of Solver profiles on the website.



Appendix A – SWOT Analysis

Strength Weakness
·         Network of passionate Solvers

·         Competitiveness

·         Motivates Solvers

·         Increased productivity

·         Poor understanding

·         Additional cost of Solvers

·         Many Solvers for one challenge

Opportunities Threats
·         Expansion

·         Team differentiation

·         Project bidding

·         Decline in effective solutions

·         Financial Instability

·         Ineffective services

Appendix B – Porter Five Forces


Appendix C – Solutions

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