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Freitag, 04. Mai 2018

When Bosch, Schneider Electric and Societe Generale Insurance challenge ESCP Europe students : a win-win scenario

During 3 months, students from the IoT specialization course have been exposed to real business challenges.

 

ESCP Europe IoT Chair

ESCP Europe makes an extensive use of company projects as an efficient learning approach. "This is a very interesting exercise, both academic and business oriented, as it meets the requirements of the company." said Sandrine Macé, Professor and Scientific Director of the IoT Chair.
MBA in IM programme for example puts Company Consultancy Projects (CCP) at the heart of the path. Valeo, also sponsor of the IoT Chair, got the chance to work with MBA in IM students in that context.

Let’s have a look at 4 projects provided by Schneider Electric and Societe Generale Insurance (partners in the IoT Chair) and Bosch that have entrusted ESCP Europe students from  the IoT Class with a 3-month consulting assignment.

Wednesday 4th April, the final oral defence took place.

The groups presented to companies representatives their recommendations.

Alina Razzouk, Chiara Obert, Emeline Kielboom, Maurizio Bello were involved in the company projects for Societe Generale Insurance about "Synchronised marketing".
They choose this topics because it perfectly merged their interest for innovation in the finance industry to their marketing expertise acquired during our previous working experiences.
They learnt a lot about the process and specially appreciated "the availability of the company to answer to our questions to better understand their needs". 
"We have been also invited for a company visit at La Défense and we had the opportunity to run interviews with managers from DataLab and Innovation."  they said. "They really valued our input."

Maximilian Adt, Roman Albrecht, Zhongpei Ke, Solène Pratmarty worked on the Schneider Electric project, about the key competencies needed for SAEs (Strategic Account Executives) to engage with customer executives and stakeholders about their digital transformation and how Schneider’s IoT/EcoStruxure solutions can improve their business and operational performance.
They pointed out how much it was "to have Schneider Electric representatives available and ready to discuss every time students needed to. The communication went very smoothly."
Manage an internal project, in collaboration with a large company, get insights on a large French company, better understand IoT & Digital transformation challenges… are the main outcomes from the Company Project as a learning process.

Aleksandra Kiesak, Isaure De Fougerolle, Matteo Gatti, Idris Ben Hassine, Cheng Peng were the students dealing with the Smart City Bosch project.
"We chose the BOSCH – Escrypt Smart City project because of the chance to gain an overview of who are the different players in the market and to study the dynamics between them. It was interesting working on a hot topic focusing on the city we live in." 
"We learned from the company project process that it is very important to adjust the direction of the project while gaining new insights."
They also stressed out how much a learning by doing approach in a real working environment gave a sense to the lessons in the classroom.

 

The experience was also very valuable for the companies.

"The group hasn’t just given a "Yes”/no"-answer, it was the broad scope of proposals which was interesting." explains Thomas Weber, Bosch Software Innovations GmbH, Business Development. "On one side, including Blockchain was so obvious…that we haven’t considered it before, on the other side Vertical Farming is an interesting proposal which was quite unexpected and prompts us to think in other directions than before. 
The students are bright and motivated young people, interested in learning something and providing added value. So, it is always a pleasure and even fun to have discussions, and to receive questions from fresh perspectives. Very important: I don’t expect "The answer", that would be too much. What always is very interesting is shaping a re-shaping of the question, when being challenged by the students: what do I really want to know?"

At Schneider Electric , Phillip Lund, Solution Sales Program Director, Solutions University, Strategic Customers & Segments and Caroline Durand-Schmutz, Energy Management and Segment Knowledge Programme Director really appreciated the way students interacted with them. "Students were very comfortable in interpersonal communication. From the beginning, a real dialogue took place.
Open-minded, they also asked a lot of questions bringing us a fresh perspective. Unexpected and unusual questions helped us looking our context through a new pair of glasses. Our exposure to students enabled us to step back, to develop a new way to see things and to encourage new ideas generation. It was like a co-creation process.
Students got inspirations from a Cap Gemini Model to measure the digital readiness of manufacturing firms.
The next step will be to further explore some recommendations to go a step forward internally."

Amelie Royer, Innovation Project Manager at Societe Generale Insurance pointed out powerful new insights: "At the beginning of 2018, Societe Generale Insurance suggested 2 topics to the students of the IoT Chair. The first company project covers the analysis of the value of the cyber security market and the opportunities for Societe Generale Insurance to enter it. The second company project focuses on synchronized marketing to leverage on IoT new uses. Once again, student works has been valuable to better understand what was at stake on these specific fields. What was very appreciated is the ability to get an international market overview and key elements on stakeholders. For instance, students presented a detailed map of cybersecurity players regarding market share and offer diversification, which indicates that the market is still fragmented. On synchronized marketing, the students approach focused on key success factors, which are who gathers and owns the data.
Each group suggested strategic recommendations that nurtured our own reflection and work. The customer needs for cybersecurity protection was demonstrated and students helped us find factors of differentiation for multiple IoT devices. Being aware of the importance of open innovation, they suggested strong collaboration with new players and incumbents. As for synchronized marketing, those partnerships could lead to new distribution models and new customer relationship approaches..”

 

These company projects gave students a taste of IoT issues … What if it inspire them to consider getting a job in the IoT area?
“During our company project our interest in the IOT area definitely grew, we are much more aware now about which types of jobs are required in this industry. The project definitely inspired us to continue our careers towards this booming sector.”

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