When it comes to his favorite topic- innovation research – Vinnie Mirchandani doesn’t disappoint.

At Workday Rising, Dennis caught up with Vinnie’s latest research and found out why Vinnie thinks most enterprise analysts are missing the boat (see also Den’s video with Vinnie on Workday Rising).

As I wrote in a detailed commentary on Vinnie’s work for diginomica:

As Vinnie explains, most of the innovation he is tracking happens in product-focused areas. That means embedding technology in products, making products smarter, or changing how that product is built and distributed. The result? Revenue-centric innovation. Products lead to customers and then to revenue.

Vinnie makes the argument that customer innovations are the real ‘unrecorded conversations’ that those with a stake in the enterprise should be paying attention to:

Every 18 months or so as I do book research for 3-4 months, I become acutely aware of those “unrecorded conversations”. While Oracle has had the social net spellbound with its cloud announcements this week, my calls to companies around the world don’t seem to be even aware of them. They are telling me about complex events processing, semantic memories in their products, Industrial Internet applications in their industries.

Of the examples Vinnie shares with Dennis during the video, my favorite might be pralines. You wouldn’t think that nuts could have much to do with enterprise re-invention, but the new generation of smart products have a great story to tell. Vinnie:

The box of pralines then drives the shop floor and says, ‘Take me to Filling Station A. Now take me to Filling Station B. Now take me to Pay Package Station 1.’ So the whole MRP concept has been turned around on its head. It’s not recipe driven. It’s driven by the customer order. When the box of pralines is getting shipped, it’s talking to the DHL truck and saying, ‘I can sense the temperature is a little too hot. Can you turn the temperature down?’

Show Notes

:45 How Vinnie’s latest book with the CEO of Software AG came together

1:56 “30 customers in 10 countries and 15 industries”

2:35 Product-centric innovation examples

4:52 Complex event processing and robotics are having an impact

5:34 “They’re not waiting for a big vendor to come along and say, ‘Here is a solution.'”

6:47 “We tend to get caught up in the fancy, hype terms”

8:08 More innovation examples, including GE’s smart wind turbines

9:11 “Mass customization will finally become real”

10:09 About that box of pralines…