Innovation: where the journey is the destination

By James Walker, Director of Product Innovation at Interxion

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James Walker - Product Innovation team at Interxion

Ah, innovation. Many companies think of it as a process of inventing something entirely new and bringing it to market, and it’s seductive to think of a situation where one brilliant idea changes a company’s fortunes or transforms the market. That certainly can happen – and perhaps in the field of technology we’re exposed to it more often than most - but let’s not forget the huge benefits we can also gain from day to day incremental improvements. In my experience companies rarely have a shortage of ideas; the real problem is collecting, culling, prioritising, funding, and then executing them. At Interxion we can’t help you choose your next big idea, but we can help you make it happen.

Interxion has more than 2,000 customers, all of whom keep innovating and evolving to remain competitive. At the same time Interxion is making investments to create new products and services that, in turn, will make new opportunities for our customers to cut costs and increase revenues.

Supporting the formation and enrichment of communities of interest within our environment has been the foundation to Interxion’s business for more than 20 years. It has been proven time and time again that collaborating with partners and suppliers is absolutely critical to our customers, in both their day-to-day business and to foster innovation. As a neutral point of interconnection between enterprises, networks, and cloud, we have the vision to give our customers the right place for them to continue their innovation journey and make new relationships that they’ll benefit from. Our aim within these communities is to provide an environment which is flexible enough to facilitate small changes and enables collaboration to build big ideas - quickly.

I took up the position of leading product innovation at Interxion eight months ago, and I’ve found that I need to keep hold of two luxuries that are usually time limited – the ability to see inside the company from an outsider’s perspective, and free rein to poke things and ask simple questions like “why?” For the couple of years prior to Interxion I had been doing consulting work across the world, which gives you the mandate to do both things (which I very much enjoyed); but it doesn’t usually allow you to build things and see them grow (which I also love). My task at Interxion then is to maintain that spirit of constant enquiry while fostering ideas - big and small – that allow us to create decisive value to gain a competitive advantage.

A very important part of my job is to listen to our customers (and the wider market) to understand their business, hear their ideas, and suggest ways Interxion and our customer community can collaborate and help. Innovation, whether world-changing or just making something better, is a difficult journey – but one that’s easier when supported by the right team and the right platform.