Patterns start to emerge regarding how customers cluster into segments.

Engaging customers and suppliers

In semi-open innovation customers and suppliers are engaged in in-depth discussions about the most attractive value-creating options. Based on the input from customers, patterns start to emerge regarding how customers cluster into segments and the segment-specific offering priorities. The first design ideas of the new offering can then be turned into prototypes, which again will be explored with the customers for further evaluation and possible testing. Again, additional feedback may be used to improve the understanding of the offering architecture, and subsequent offering improvements will be made. This iterative process will be repeated until the offering is felt to be mature enough for full commercial roll out.

Active learning through cooperation

Semi-open innovation comprises the iterative development of the whole value package for a customer; the product, the service, and the relationships. In this respect it is an action learning process. To succeed in semi-open innovation there is a need to see the customers and the suppliers as active members in the value creating process and use the interactions with the partners to reconfigure the whole value creating system.

The support infrastructures needed to enable an effective semi-open innovation process have to facilitate the simultaneous pursuit of efficiency and creativity. This requires that the involved parties are prepared to comprehensively engage in developing a collaborative set-up, which is aimed at not just providing a single solution, but will evolve into a platform providing the basis for further benefits as the degree of co-specialization and the internal efficiency improves within, the collaboration matures.