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Filtering by Category: Competitive Intelligence

SCIP Vienna 2011

Call for proposals

SCIP asks for proposals to speek at the 2011 Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Summit, 8-10 November in Vienna, Austria.

As your Chairman for the 2011 Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Summit, 8-10 November in Vienna, Austria I would like to invite you to contribute to the Summit with your session or workshop. Below you can find the entire text of the Call for Proposals and the direct download links for the forms.


2011 SCIP European Summit Conference Call for Proposals

The Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) will present the European Summit November 8-10, 2011 in Vienna Austria.
SCIP continues to develop and provide educational programming and networking opportunities for its members all over the world. The European Summit traditionally has one of the most diverse attendance and speaker constituencies of all of our conferences. The 2011 European Summit call for proposals will open on May 6, 2011 and will close on June 7, 2011. Once the proposals are reviewed and sessions selected, notifications of acceptance will be sent to presenters via e-mail. SCIP reserves the right to invite additional presenters to the program.
All proposals must feature case studies and/or demonstrated best practices -- year after year attendees have told us they want to hear about successes and lessons learned in competitive intelligence practice. Proposals that provide case examples and professional tips for the audience will be given preference in the selection process.
Below are areas of focus suggested by our content committee but proposals on additional topics are also welcome.

1. Gaining Influence for the Competitive Intelligence Unit

Gaining influence is a critical part of any successful competitive intelligence program, because doing the right job and doing the job right sometimes is not enough. One needs also to demonstrate the importance and relevance of their work. It is not only a matter of merit, it is also a matter of how CI is presented and perceived.
Examples of topics for sessions and questions to be addressed are:
o Demonstrating through real-life cases how a competitive intelligence unit managed to gain influence and importance within a given company
 Which tools were successfully used to increase the importance of CI within your organization, and how were they used?
 How do you make competitive intelligence a critical component of your company?
 How do you engage senior management in the competitive intelligence effort?
 How do you secure the resources to complete the task (financial, personnel and others)?
o Overcoming barriers within the decision making process to increase visibility and influence of competitive intelligence
 Once the job is completed successfully, how do you increase the resources dedicated to the CI unit? Is that expansion actually necessary or desirable?
 How do you effectively influence people within and outside of your own organization?
 How do you make competitive intelligence an integral part of the decision-making process?
o Supporting tactical and operational decisions
 How should competitive intelligence support the sales organization?
 How should a competitive intelligence unit be structured to support different decision making entities?

2. Competitive Intelligence Communication

Communication is a key element in effectively accomplishing the Intelligence Cycle, especially the communicating competitive intelligence products and enhancing the relationship between the unit and the decision maker. Speakers will provide an actual experience and ways that practitioners solved their problems and enhanced their CI unit’s performance. Examples of topics and questions to be addressed are: Starting and completing the intelligence cycle: identifying the right needs and delivering the right products.
o How do you keep the competitive intelligence unit’s focus aligned with the decision-maker’s real needs?
o How do you conduct regular assessments of management’s Key Intelligence Topics?
o How do you obtain regular feedback from your decision-maker clients? Creating a good relationship and lines of communication with your decision-maker.
o How do you encourage your decision-makers to use the CI unit and request challenging jobs.
o How do you get your decision-maker to understand what information you need to do your job?

3. Innovation and the Competitive Intelligence Process

How much of innovation has to do with insights, and how much has to do with hard work? An actual competitive intelligence process based on knowledge, alongside its systematic pursuit of information and its analysis can have a great impact on the innovation processes.
Unexpected occurrences, different kinds of contradictions, process needs, or changes in an industry or market can create opportunities for the company. Competitive intelligence can help innovators to look for focused and simple solutions to approach real life problems and thus create successful opportunities. Examples of topics for speeches and questions to be addressed are: The CI role: Open innovation versus traditional innovation
o How can CI participate and boost the innovation process within companies?
o What kind of CI outputs might be useful in the innovation process?
o How do you use networks to foster innovation within your company?
o Is it possible to create fruitful synergies between CI and the innovation process? Using CI to find unexplored markets. Using CI as an innovation tool in emerging markets.
o CI as a tool in technology and organizational innovation. Applying technology innovation to boost the CI process.

4. Analysis Tools

Intelligence is only produced through an analytical process that takes the information and evidences collected and works through them to extract meaning and significance for the decision making process. Analysis is a creative process that is done inside our minds. We can accomplish it with the help of frameworks and methodologies, or in an unstructured way in which we use our intuition and previous knowledge to create connections among data and drive conclusions. In this topic experienced practitioners are expected to share their knowledge on how they have successfully been using analysis to deliver Intelligence to their decision makers.
Examples of topics to be addressed are:
Presenting your own experience on using traditional methodologies and their influence on the decision making process. This can be either on the tactical or strategic level. Case and results are expected.
o How do you use short analysis to add value to the collected data?
o How do you get organizational and shared knowledge to come to sound conclusions even without using any structured methodology? Explaining a new or a non-traditional methodology.
o How it is done?
o In which situations should it be applied
o What are the steps and framework, and how do you arrive at a conclusion.
Showing a successful case of developing collective analysis to solve a business problem.

5. Competitive Intelligence and Strategy

Intelligence is the radar of any company’s strategy. Managing a company’s strategy without a competitive intelligence process is like navigating through a fog without instruments. To develop and implement a successful strategy, companies must have a CI process that allows them to leverage from information and perspectives, thus becoming able to anticipate environmental changes, threats or opportunities, and establish goals and implement better strategies to approach it’s environment. Likewise SCIP’s name change reasons, CI and Strategy belong to the same discussion and must not be treated separately.
Examples of topics to be addressed are: Connecting Strategy and CI: why both must be tightly related.
o How do you fit CI in the strategy building process (conceptual discussion)?
o What are the strategic aspects of CI, over the tactical aspects?
o How do you introduce CI in the strategic decision process?
o How can CI service influence a company’s strategy?
o What are examples of successful participation of CI service in strategy elaboration process? Provide examples of successful CI service collaboration in scenario analysis process or War Games Providing examples of why CI and strategic management must be a symbiotic process.
o How do you use CI in support of M&A, long range planning and internationalization.
o What are some cases and discussions of M&A or internationalization process supported by CI process?

6. Structuring and Modifying a CI Unit

Many doctors would agree that performing an open heart surgery is simple: one can learn the basics in 6 months. However, doing it right and learning what to do if anything goes wrong, or if there is any deviation from the original plan, can take many years. The same can be said about building up and managing a competitive intelligence unit. Examples of topics for speeches and questions to be addressed are: What does a properly formed CI unit look like; How to fix CI units that were not formed properly from the beginning; How to increase the effectiveness of your CI unit; How to develop the critical competences required from a CI unit and its professionals.


The session presentations are 45 – 60 minutes in length and will be scheduled on the 9th or the 10th of November, 2011. The European Summit presentations can be in PowerPoint for those speakers who are in the practitioner category and should be in an interactive category without the use of PowerPoint for those in the solution provider category. Selected speakers will receive one complimentary registration to the main conference (November 9-10, 2011. This does not include registration for pre-conference workshops. Travel expenses and other related costs will not be compensated.
Co Presenters: If a co-presenter is requested for the presentation, please define what that person would add to the program so that we can determine if this co-presenter would possibly qualify for a complimentary registration. Co-presenters will not be accepted after your proposal is submitted unless requested by the Program Team. Signed agreements are required for both Primary and Co-Presenters. Duplication: If two proposals contain similar content, selection will be based on both quantitative and qualitative merit.

Call for proposals document download

Questions form download


CI Certification


SCIP joins forces with the leading competitive intelligence training organization to offer global certification in the field.

A joint venture between SCIP and ACI, the world's leading competitive intelligence training organizations, advances the profession's standards for this relatively young field through a quality certification program.

Read the official press release from the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) society and the Fuld-Gilad-Herring Academy of Competitive Intelligence LLC (ACI).

Download the .pdf press release.

Giving Rubber for SCIP

Road trip to SCIP Barcelona

Another European SCIP conference - this time in Barcelona, Spain. Meeting old friends again and making new ones. Yet: something drastic was different: No air travel! A SCIP Competitive Intelligence Magazine article, by Jens Thieme and Michel Bernaiche.

Michel and I - two fellows who originally met at a Northern European intelligence gathering - decided to make the trip to another SCIP conference a journey to remember. Read on my friends, you might be planning a cool appearance at this year's Vienna Conference just for kicks.

Download the pdf version of this CIM article here.

Great European CI Summit detour

Of Bears, Doughnuts and Chemistry, by Jens Thieme and Michel Bernaiche

The European CI Summit, SCIP November 2010 in Barcelona attracted 200 attendees from 22 different countries around the world with attendees.  But this is a story about a pair of friends who trekked their way through 5 countries over 4 days in an effort to continue and build their friendship that began at a CI gathering in Helsinki, Finland many moons back. When these two unsuspecting CI leaders in their respective companies Dunkin' Brands (the guys who feed you well even when Hotel Mom is closed for vacation) and Ciba (the former world leader in specialty chemicals, owned by BASF today), ventured to Helsinki to participate in a CI forum geared to providing insights and conversations that would lead to further development of CI programs around the world - little they guessed about the career successes and mutual adventures ahead.

It was here, at an International dinner event that included such delicacies as pigeon, bear salami, frog leg and reindeer, that a friendship was born that should not only bridge continents but business fields as far apart as doughnuts and automotive additives. For years to come, these two thought leaders in the world of CI, would meet in 9 different countries over the course of 4 years for one reason or another but mostly for the good of CI.

While chemicals and breakfast coffee hardly make a tempting combination these two remain just as passionate about CI as they did when they first met, though the true benefit of their meeting comes at the hands of the CI community at large. Jens and Michel as true ambassadors to the global CI cause have always remained interested in sharing thoughts, ideas and best practices in authoring, speaking and work-shopping in an effort to further elevate the relevance and longevity of CI.

So their trip to this year's European CI Summit in Barcelona, Spain began in Zurich, where the two discussed over espresso on the Limmat river, ideas around where the next Euro Summit could be in an effort to improve and further strengthen the eastern European CI community.  From there, they moved on to Bern where they had lunch and discussed the tough past two years that SCIP experienced and their related Board duties.  As daylight dwindled, they arrived in the quiet Souther Swiss Alps town of Naters where the two took part in one of their favorite traditions, toastings.

Onward, their travels took them to Lago Maggiore, Milan, Sion, Nice, Monaco and finally Barcelona - all by car - where they enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting new ones and the refreshing absence of air travel nuisances. Charged with excitement from these newly shared adventuresand an updated tool box of fresh ideas for the CI community that was to gather in Barcelona the two set out to enjoy the company of hundreds of CI related professionals and offered their experience in workshops, sessions and meetings again.

While this profession proves time and again that it is not only exciting to engage in and build upon the global CI community offers value way beyond individual growth potential and networking opportunities: true friendship and shared engagement in the cause of progress as individuals and professionals don't know any boundaries here and this spirit was - once again - felt every minute in the meeting rooms and Hotel hall ways at the summit venue.

While the hotel (Hisperia Tower) was situated a bit off course from the stunningly attractive inner city attractions of Barcelona the hotel itself made up for the taxi rides at night. First class rooms, top notch break out facilities and excellent food for main courses and as snacks soothed the senses all along.

As the lodging and conferencing areas were separated in two main buildings the setup provided excellent access to the exhibit halls and major gathering places. Breakfast and afternoon snacks were offered right between the vendor community's booths and meeting areas which provided an outstanding opportunity for practitioners and vendors to stick together whenever outside of sessions. This energy and friendly atmosphere was echoed in the many break out sessions.

With an increased focus on interactivity this year's summit has to be judged as one of the most active, energetic and result oriented events in the history of SCIP events! Many participants took away a tremendous amount of new contacts, fresh ideas and immediately applicable learnings. While the key notes could become a bit more actionable and strategic for summits to come there are additional feedbacks that offer requirements by our members and participants: accessible c-level executives should be lured in to the format more and more to gain insights into the voice of the customer for CI practitioner's services to their decision makers.

Not to single out any of the sessions or workshops in this review but it bares mentioning that the most cheered upon speakers acted up to the challenge of increased interactivity with scores of creative ideas ranging from throwing candy into the crowd for active responses to mutually created work documents as key take-away's.

As with any of the past SCIP summits sadness kicks in when bidding each other farewell, thanking all contributors and supporters for massive value that was provided and for all the friends who disperse into the wide world. While Michel and Jens have yet to share their first calorie laden doughnut together, the ongoing joy, fun and experience shared, beginning with bear salami and temporarily ending with the last Spanish tapas in some idle, yummy Barcelona down town bar - the mind is already set for next year's adventure: a train ride across Europe to catch that chocolaty Sacher Torte in Vienna (Google is and you will gain weight and appetite already) and add on more friends and value for our jobs, once again bridging industries and geographies because the chemistry is just perfect as enabled by those excellent SCIP summits.

(Michel Bernaiche and Jens Thieme have become CI adventurers and visionaries over time and serve the global CI community at the SCIP board. Don't hesitate to take advantage of their energy and expertise and who knows: some more friendships and personal successes might just be around the corner...)

Find the current SCIP Competitive Intelligence Magazine here.

Sky is the Limit!

SCIP Barcelona CI Workshop

At this year's SCIP (Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Association) European Summit in Barcelona, Spain, November 16-18 I will hold another competitive intelligence related workshop.

After the huge success at last year's Amsterdam Summit I was asked by SCIP to come up with an advanced edition of the workshop based on my past experience to establish and advance a global competitive intelligence unit. I truly hope to meet you all again at that SCIP conference. Contact me should you have any questions prior to signing up for that workshop.

For participants in my last year's SCIP workshop: if you are ready to extend your CI unit's exposure throughout the organization this workshop is for you. There is about 30% overlap with the initial workshop which might serve as a refresher.

November 16, 9am-12noon

Sky is the Limit! Identify Surprising Opportunities to Expand your CI Unit’s Operation Span

Jens Thieme, Global Head of Program Management Custom Manufacturing/Lonza

Participants will work out and experience hands-on how to easily and structurally identify the CI function’s status and growth potential and how to exploit additional opportunities from within their own organization.


  • Identify fundamentals of a modern CI function broken down into real world key elements

  • Establish an actionable framework that is used to guide any improvement by identifying obstacles and solutions for all key elements of the CI function

  • Explore opportunities based on their own work environment and prepare decision makers to buy in to additional mandates for the CI function well beyond the current scope


Hesperia Tower
Gran Via 144 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat
08907 Barcelona
Barcelona Spain
Tel: (+34) 93 413 50 00
Fax: (+34) 934 135 010

Register for the SCIP Barcelona European Summit 2010 here.

Don Heathfield - Russian Spy?

Intelligence consultant arrested

It does not happen every day that you recognize a face you know well in the papers under the heading "CEO 'spy' with S'pore link". Someone I met on multiple occasions provided me just that experience this week. Exciting? Hardly!

Having worked in the global Competitive Intelligence arena as a leading Intelligence Officer and as a Director of the Board of the largest Competitive Intelligence association the networks are colorful and interesting. Sometimes a bit too colorful it turns out.

As reported in the global media, Don Heathfield (as we know today that might not have been his name) was arrested this week among 9 other people on charges of spying for the Russian secret service. Having dealt with Donald over the years at conferences and business meetings as well as casual chats and even personal lunches it strikes me how much one can be tricked into false identities or circumstances.

Not wanting to comment on Don's potential involvement before he might even be convicted, the shock sits deep as I was actually under the impression to have dealt with a proper company and a reliable, solid and trustworthy CEO of FutureMap (Don's business).

I still remember last fall when I asked him during lunch we had in Basel, Switzerland where his weird accent came from he responded candidly that his mother came from Eastern Europe. Something seemed fishy there as Don knew about my upbringing in former communist East Germany because it seemed odd that he did not mention a specific country in response let alone Russia. I clearly identified his accent on the spot but did not want to elaborate further for politeness.

Sometimes I wonder though what might have happened had I pushed him further and nailed the question on this Russian shade more closely... or whether I should avoid opening his LinkedIn page (that also shows my lose connection with him)... profile of Donald Howard Heathfield, clear name: Andrey Bezrukov or Андрей Безруков. profile of Donald Howard Heathfield, clear name: Andrey Bezrukov or Андрей Безруков.

UPDATE 2010/07/09

Apparently Don and his wife confirmed the claims and have been swapped with agents and spies of interest to the US in the largest spy swap after the cold war. According to a Boston Globe article Don's Russian clear name is: Andrey Bezrukov  or Андрей Безруков.

"Bezrukov and Vavilova have two sons, a 20-year-old student at George Washington University and a 16-year-old student of the International School of Boston. Both left the United States in the past few days and are in Russia awaiting the return of their parents..."

"The agreement requires Bezrukov and Vavilova to forfeit their $799,000 Cambridge townhouse, all the belongings and cash within it, and their US bank accounts and other assets.

They are also barred from profiting from any book or movie that tells their story, a common provision in such deals in American courts. In addition, they agreed to renounce any right to claim Social Security benefits they might have earned while living in the country.

They also agreed to never to return to the United States and to abandon any claim to US citizenship..."

UPDATE 2010/08/02

German newspaper publishes more pictures and background story...

Donald Howard Heathfield, clear name: Andrey Bezrukov or Андрей Безруков.
Donald Howard Heathfield, clear name: Andrey Bezrukov or Андрей Безруков.

"Donald Howard Heathfield", clear name: Andrey Bezrukov or Андрей Безруков.

UPDATE 2012/07/31

Turns out Don and his "wife" Tracey Foley already had made arrangements for their children to be lured into spy roles as a second generation breed that would create much less alertness on the part of US authorities.

"The effort to bring children into the family business suggests the ring was thinking long term: Children born or reared in America were potentially more valuable espionage assets than their parents because when they grew up they would be more likely to pass a U.S. government background check." - quote WSJ of today.

UPDATE 2016/05/07

The Guardian writes about the sons who were born Canadians and had to relocate to Russia with their parents. A personal drama on a totally different level.

Another farewell

Ending SCIA Board Membership

After a couple of very fruitful, active and rewarding years at the board of the Swiss Competitive Intelligence Association (SCIA) new ventures in my professional life dictate another mile stone to be completed.

With my relocation to Valais and the new challenge to build a new, global contract management function for the world's largest Contract Manufacturing Organization in Pharma, Biotech, Life Science I had to hand over my board membership to two new SCIA board memberswho are in fact very well known CI seniors and will enrich SCIA greatly.

To my former fellow board members Maarit, Urszula, Kurt, Robert and Thomas I would like to say: "It has been a great honor and pleasure to serve our Swiss Competitive Intelligence practitioners and collaborate with so many consultants, scholars and partners over the years. I will miss the friendly and productive, creative discussions at board meetings and in pubs, the gatherings at global SCIP conferences and the occasional chat in between. I am sure you will continue to have fun and success and be able to build this society stronger and more robust over time. You have become great friends, advisors and colleagues and I am proud having been part of the SCIA success story for some time."

To Monika and Chistian I would like to express my congratulations and thanks for the nice hand-over experience and our other encounters over the years as CI professionals.

You all are welcome at any time down here in beautiful Valais.

To the SCIA members, sponsors and partners I would like to express my deepest gratitude to be loyal, forthcoming, demanding at times and always friendly in any way. Serving you, learning with you, driving the Swiss CI community forward has been a pleasure beyond words and I thank you for that experience and the unforgettable evenings in Zurich the past years.

SCIA workshop

CI Roadmap by GIA

As a long time Global Intelligence Alliance customer I have grown familiar with their services and impact. The CI Development Roadmap had helped me in my former function to establish a CI function for a global chemicals conglomerate.

This new installment of workshop, Competitive Intelligence Magazine article and White Paper on the GIA Competitive Intelligence Roadmap plus my personal experience with it in a corporate setting was sbject of the November 24 workshop in Zurich for the Swiss Competitive Intelligence Alliance.

As you can find in below's documents GIA describes a CI function's evolution in 5 potential development stages across 6 distinct success factors. The matrix they use compares the functions of CI organization, scope, process, culture, tool and deliverables.

As a global Market & Competitive Intelligence executive I turned this matrix into a sophisticated survey and program for my former management to determine the status quo of the then CI function, compare with best practice whereas the gap analysis resulted in firm mandates by these very executives.

Have fun studying the material and let me know if you have any questions. sold

New Owner: Digimind

It is always hard to give up a project. Due to my career move this was a no brainer though as the new owner is on top of the CI solutions provider list.

Having created and grown into a global competitive intelligence resource with my own and the user's experience in the field it was a tough decision to hand it over. Here is my last message I posted at Markintell:

"Dear community,

Over the past couple of years you have come to know me as the founder and owner of, a regular speaker at SCIP and SCIA events, publisher of various intelligence related works and (some of you at least) a CI colleague and friend.

With a very recent career change I have decided to transfer into the hands of a very professional, traditional and well embedded CI solutions provider - Digimind. I was just not in the position to contribute enough anymore as my private live and career options shifted quite substantially (incl. relocation, new industry and job position).

Sad and nostalgic at first, both the personal changes and the new ownership for excite me now very much as you, the user, will be served much better from now on with valuable, frequent content and I can concentrate entirely on the new field.

As a member of the Board of Directors of SCIP I will still remain well connected with CI and continue to serve the global CI community. Especially within my function as SCIP’s Chairman of the International Advisory Committee (IAC).

Please feel free to follow me on the established business networks, contact me in any regard (both via and receive my gratitude for having been an excellent audience to me on

Finally, please continue to support the new owner of the site with ideas, suggestions, contributions and challenges to the site will continue to grow along your needs as CI professionals.

My best wishes for your future both personally and professionally, Jens Thieme ("

So, that was it - but wait: check out the very first post by the new owner and you will absolutely know that: more umph means more value for the Markintell community and this, my friends, is the best wrap up of a success and fun story for me - and undoubtedly a new era and success for Digimind and for many years to come!

SCIA Event June 25

World-class CI Organizations

The Swiss Competitive Intelligence Association (SCIA) invited members and other interested Competitive Intelligence professionals to the 2009 summer evening event “World-class Competitive Intelligence Organizations: Academic Model vs. Reality” presented by Monika Giese, Basel (Switzerland).

In her presentation Monika provided exciting insights in her decades-long experience as a leading Competitive Intelligence executive in the pharmaceutical industry at Smith Kline, Roche and Novartis among others.

Sharing some best practice tips in terms of exposure within the own organization Monika introduced various models she recommended to develop and run Competitive Intelligence departments or functions within large corporate settings.

With friendly permission of Jan Herring of ACI and world renowned business school professor and Competitive Intelligence scholar John Prescott of Katz Graduate School of Business Swiss Competitive Intelligence Association (SCIA) members learned about their models to evaluate internal Competitive Intelligence capabilities, identify gaps and generate solutions for sustainable Competitive Intelligence operations.

At the Swiss Competitive Intelligence Association (SCIA)’s Education Day September 29, 2009 Monika will dive into Novartis’ example of organizing and running Competitive Intelligence education events featuring the world’s most known Competitive Intelligence consultants and scholars for all Competitive Intelligence professionals inside Novartis to excel in their tasks and Competitive Intelligence activities.

John Prescott and Alessandro Comai will also join (by phone conference) the Swiss Competitive Intelligence Association (SCIA)’s Education Day September 29 among some other high profile Competitive Intelligence scholars and other speakers.

Please find your way to Swiss Competitive Intelligence Association (SCIA)’s events via this events link. Monika Giese is in the process to establish her own business these days. John Prescott and Alessandro Comai are the authors and scholars of World Class Competitive Intelligence.

Feel free to comment or post questions on or about Swiss Competitive Intelligence Association (SCIA)’s events as I might be in a good position to respond exhaustively as a member of the board of the Swiss Competitive Intelligence Association (SCIA).

"World-class CI" workshop

From firefighters to futurists

Joint half-day workshop with Hans Hedin of Global Intelligence Alliance at the 2009 Competitive Intelligence Summit by the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP), Amsterdam November 4, 2009.

At this year’s Competitive Intelligence Summit by the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) I will have the pleasure and honor to collaborate with Hans Hedin of Global Intelligence Alliance (GIA) to offer a half day workshop featuring Competitive Intelligence modeling I have used in my current role as Global Head of Market & Competitive Intelligence.

The model is based on a framework to develop or improve a Competitive Intelligence function. Dimensions such as Competitive Intelligence processes, Competitive Intelligence organization, Competitive Intelligence culture, Competitive Intelligence scope, Competitive Intelligence deliverables are being evaluated with this model and solutions worked-out, offered for various development stages labeled from “Firefighters” (ad-hoc, spontaneous and on-demand fragmented Competitive Intelligence activities) towards “world-class” Competitive Intelligence function containing structured and fully integrated best practice Competitive Intelligence solutions.

This workshop provides a hands-on learning experience about the key elements of a modern CI function and their development options.

You will identify CI process elements, organizational setup options, the various scopes of a CI function, tools potential, cultural status and driving forces. Participants will also be guided through development stages of the various functions and identify key elements of each function.

The framework will enable participants to determine the status quo of their own CI function and develop solutions for detailed improvements and sustainable progress.

The workshop includes best practice theory as well as actionable real world examples to generate executive buy-in and move the CI function towards world class status.

Workshop Objectives

* learn the fundamentals of a modern CI function broken down into real world key elements

* establish an actionable framework that is used to guide any improvement by identifying obstacles and solutions for reaching next step in the evolution process

* use the framework to generate executive buy-in and drive change throughout the organization
This is a joined workshop of a global intelligence consultancy and a corporate CI leader. You will walk away with a workable action plan to move your CI function from a given status to the desired end game in a structured way.

Workshop structure
This workshop will be of a highly participative nature. You will learn to apply the suggested methodology in your own organization. The presenters will use concepts, cases and real world examples in order to describe the evolution of a CI function. The participants will create a blueprint for their own development plan. This plan will be presented and discussed during the workshop, giving the participants the benefit of obtaining ideas and recommendations for how to proceed when implementing CI in his/her organization.

If you are interested in more detail or want to register for this and other workshops at the SCIP conference, please visit SCIP's dedicated European Summit website.

World-Class Market Intelligence

From Firefighters to Futurists

A Webinar presentation introducing the newest Global Intelligence Alliance (GIA) White Paper titled "World-Class Market Intelligence - From Firefighters to Futurists" was hosted May 6, 2009 by GIA where I featured a case study from my work as Global Head of Market & Competitive Intelligence.

The GIA White Paper introduced and discussed Global Intelligence Alliance’s “World Class Market Intelligence Development Framework”. The model finds its base in GIA’s extensive consultative experience, and also relies on research into how hundreds of large organizations conduct intelligence.

As I used the World Class Market Intelligence Development Framework within my role at Ciba (part of BASF today) I transformed theory into practice while developing and ongoingly improving the global Market & Competitive Intelligence function.

The GIA White Paper features my case study which will also be subject to my half day workshop at the European Competitive Intelligence Summit in Amsterdam this November. Below you can find the Webinar slides and the White Paper that can also be downloaded via the Global Intelligence Alliance website.


Webinar "World-Class Market Intelligence - From Firefighters to Futurists", size: 2.56 MB

White Paper "World-Class Market Intelligence - From Firefighters to Futurists", size 1.99 MB

SCIP Conference Rebates

Attractive Discounts again

Take Advantage of a Full Range of Discounts for SCIP's 2009 International Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago!

* Take $100 off of our regular registration rate
* Get 5 percent off your American Airlines flight to Chicago
* Take advantage of reduced rates on ground transportation to your hotel
* Get SCIP's low group rate for your room at the Sheraton Chicago
* NEW! Vendors offering a generous discount on services to attendees!

JUST ANNOUNCED: Vendors Offer Minimum Eight Percent Discount on Services!
Participating vendors have agreed to offer a minimum discount of eight percent to all attendees who purchase services or products offered by the vendors. The discount is offered only to conference attendees, generating an immediate positive ROI.

Five Percent Off of Airfare
SCIP09 attendees are eligible to receive a 5 percent discount on airfare through American Airlines. To receive the discount, book your flight starting Monday, March 9 using the discount code A1849BF at

Reduced Rates on Ground Transportation
We've secured inexpensive rates for ground transportation through the Airport Express Shuttle service.


Global Intelligence Alliance

Kundenseminar 2008, Helsinki

Wie in jedem Jahr gegen Ende Mai so wurden auch dieses Frühjahr wieder Global Intelligence Alliance Kunden zu einem Seminar nach Helsinki eingeladen.

Nachdem ich in Stuttgart gemeinsam mit Frieder Spieth von Bosch Power Tools bereits einen Workshop erfolgreich durchgeführt hatte, wollte ich diesmal einen neuen Vortrag ausprobieren der eine strukturierte Herangehensweise bezüglich Etablierung und Festigung einer Marktforschungsabteilung oder –funktion zum Inhalt hatte.

Als wäre das nicht spannend genug gewesen, ich hatte sogar die Ehre mit meinem Freund Michel Bernaiche von Dunkin’ Brands gemeinsam zu reden. Hans Hedin von GIA war auch mit von der Partie um die neueste globale Studie über Marktforschungs- und Wettbewerbsbeobachtungsabteilungen in globalen Unternehmen vorzustellen. Zusätzlich fokussierte Hans auf einer Matrix zu den verschiedenen Entwicklungsstufen solcher Marktforschungs- und Wettbewerbsbeobachtungsabteilungen. Diese Matrix war im Übrigen die Basis für meine im Referat vorgetragene Erfahrung mit Ciba.

Markko Vaarnas GIA’s CEO und Mitbegründer stellte im Detail GIA’s Leistungsnachweis und die künftige Businessausrichtung vor.

Sämtliche Beiträge wurden nicht nur wohlwollend aufgenommen sondern auch sehr aktiv diskutiert. Das Interesse an der „Entwicklungsmatrix“, einer eher praktischen Umsetzung die ich vortrug und der folgenden Präsentation von Michel war signifikant. Auch Tage nach dem Helsinki Aufenthalt diskutierte ich mich vielen Anwesenden online verschiedene Implementierungsmöglickeiten und meine Erfarhungen.

Michel’s Präsentation über counter intelligence (oder geeignete Schutzmassnahmen gegen Wettbewerbsanalyse) war dann auch wieder für mich ein ultimatives Highlight. Mir wurde überdeutlich klar, wie wichtig eine volle Integration von counter intelligence sein muss für jedes Unternehmen das sich gegen zu tiefe Einblicke zur Wehr setzen will.

Der durchaus aufwühlende und intessante Tag (oder die Tage nach meinen mehrtägigen meetings mit GIA in deren Stammsitz in Helsinki) wurde wiederum mit einem Zückerchen beschlossen: eine dreistündige Cruise mit einem Zweimaster in der Bucht von Helsinki. Ein exzellenter Netzwerkrahmen von dem alle Teilnehmer kräftig Gebrauch machten.

Intelligence Seminar May 29/08

Helsinki, Finland

Following another GIA invitation (after the successful and fun May 15 event in Stuttgart, Germany where I had the privilege to present alongside with Frieder Spieth of Bosch, Munich) the annual GIA customer summit offered an opportunity to speak about “Executive Buy-In to Competitive Intelligence” to existing GIA customers.

As if this (and meeting the really friendly and fun GIA folks in Helsinki again) wasn’t enough fun I was thrilled to present together with two great minds in Competitive Intelligence: Hans Hedin (VP Business Development Global Intelligence Alliance) and my good friend Michel Bernaiche with whom I also attended one (Competitive Intelligence for Strategic Planning) of the great GIA workshops in the morning of our presentations.

Markko Vaarnas GIA’s CEO and cofounder reviewed GIA’s business performance and service additions (of which the new Rapid Response Service certainly strikes my fancy!) plus an outlook on future developments (regional strengthening into central Europe).

global CI survey 2008 and moved on to introduce in great detail the matrix of a competitive intelligence function evolution or development.

Ciba in an effort to move our CI function to the next level I used this programmatic, structured approach for mandating of all necessary improvement actions and activities which, at the same time, resulted in my presentation at the GIA event leading from Hans’ World Class CI Function approach to an actual utilization case study of this very matrix and approach.

SCIP events since) of Dunkin’ Brands focused on a CI topic which is dramatically under-represented but needs more attention in the years to come: counter intelligence!

Find some additional notes at my market & competitive intelligence blog

Afterwards Hans Hedin produced some results of the

As I have used the matrix at

The presentation was very well received which reflected in many discussions at the night of the event and even more e-mail exchange in the days following the GIA summit. Again: GIA events prove time and again to be excellent networking opportunities.

As the last presentation that day my very good friend Michel Bernaiche (whom I met right there in Helsinki at the GIA customer summit 2006 and have met several times at GIA and

Michel’s presentation was a clear eye opener for me as it visualized the clear need of an integrated, well established and maintained counter intelligence function that should span across several classical business functions such as security, legal, communications to name just a few.

Now for the socializing highlight: a trip with a two mast sail ship “name…” across the Helsinki bay. Find some photo’s neat photos underneath. We all had a ball after some serious work and fruitful business exchange again.

GIA Breakfast

Stuttgart, Germany

In their effort to extend their business model and services throughout Europe the Global Intelligence Association (GIA) provided a deeper look into their portfolio and capabilities at the first GIA Breakfast event in Stuttgart May 15, 2008 at the noble Möwenpick Hotel.
No control over who does what beyond own group, region
No intelligence channeling across company
Missing vendor strategy

Many link collections not maintained
Dead links, outdated documents
Missing sourcing strategy and processes

Cost impact
Unknown number of reports, studies purchased, no cost control
Potential duplication of contracted consultant work and acquired studies

License situations not transparent

No mutual understanding of preferred provider

Lack of Professionalism
No mutual basis and expertise in marketing research and analysis
No common way and standards to visualize intelligence simply and effectively across all businesses, “don’t make me think” reporting

Niko Porkka Solutions Manager, Germany and Markko Vaarnas, CEO Global Intelligence Association introduced the ways and opportunities „Towards a World Class Market Intelligence Operation“. Additionally the brand new “Global Market Intelligence Study 2008” was introduced. More than 400 global companies were surveyed for their market & competitive intelligence functions and capabilities.

As keynote speakers for this event Frieder Spieth of Bosch Power Tools was invited as well as myself. Frieder introduced the Intelligence Desk solution at Bosch that provides an internal repository and dissemination option for intelligence serving the global power tools business.

My presentation focused on the implementation of the Intelligence Plaza application and service at Ciba with the impact on top management buy-in and decision support.

First I introduced Ciba’s intelligence needs and issues: Establish Marketing & Sales Excellence, Genuine support needed to Ciba’s strategic marketing efforts, Limited internal MI resources, Flexible external services necessary, Globally coordinated Market Intelligence, Consolidate externally and internally available market information, One user-friendly interface instead of many, Measure and control costs of business information.

Challenges, as mentioned in many of my earlier best practice presentations that we needed to address:

Hundreds of employees using hundreds of different sources and systems
No defined common intelligence flow: paths, interfaces, joints
Mostly intelligence stays where it is picked, no cross-segmental utilization

Logically I moved on to the impact and the inner workings of the mutual partnership with GIA lining out the benefits we enjoyed since working with GIA’s intelligence knowledge and the Intelligence Plaza service in particular.

In overview of our (Ciba’s) market & competitive intelligence model rounded up this presentation tailor-made for this specific German audience.

In summary of this interesting and lively exchange I would suggest the German market to finally catch on to the concept and opportunities to integrate market & competitive intelligence into common business practices and processes.

Structured approaches to business intelligence are being studied and considered more seriously and step by step we will see this market to explore more sophisticated market intelligence options.

SCIA Round Tabel

Process Integration

At the May 20, 2008 SCIA (Swiss Competitive Intelligence) event we tried a new, interactive format with our members which has proven very successful indeed.

Hans Hedin of the Global Intelligence Association (GIA) introduced the recent global study on the state of competitive intelligence in international corporations.
He also focused on the evolutions matrix of competitive intelligence functions which visualizes various states of development of classic market intelligence functions and activities such as competitive intelligence processes, competitive intelligence organization, competitive intelligence culture, competitive intelligence scope, competitive intelligence deliverables, etc.

I have successfully used the matrix in my developments of the competitive intelligence function at Ciba and presented the findings along with Hans on May 29, 2008 at the GIA Helsinki Customer Summit.

A subsequent roundtable discussion on process integration moved the event into an even more interactive format which has proven very satisfying for the participating SCIA members. Following a summary of the discussion:

Business processes integration are crucial for any competitive intelligence (CI) operation. Within the discussion between the SCIA members in the room and the panelists Hans Hedin, Marc Limacher, Maarit Seppä and Jens Thieme plus Kurt Kobel as the moderator and facilitator of the discussion some of the following remarks were being made and we would like to trigger a discussion among our members on their individual experience in that regard.

- Planning and process integration can be vital indicators for education needs as they might unveil skill gaps in implementation (Thieme)
- Some or many processes within an enterprice might not even be known as such. It might be worthwhile to visualize and communicate to make sure their importance and rightful existence are supported (Seppä)
- Processes within a Marketing & Sales organization are highly visibly and strongly required to carry CI activities, this visibility can be taken advantage of (Limacher)
- A good option for CI process intagtration offer controling/finance operations. Investor relation could host the intelligence activities in such a setup as observed in some major Swiss financial companies (Hedin)
- Sales force involvement to close the communication feedback loop and enrich the intelligence base are crucial and could/should be secured by processes as well (Kobel/Limacher)
- Networking activities need to be part of any CI operation and processes can help to enforce networking as a business tool (Kobel)
- Differences across various industries were stressed as well, especially in the light of varying product life cycles (Limacher)
- Crucial bridging between group services and business areas such as R&D and Marketing & Sales and any other relevant intelligence-driven decision level need to be supported by cross-departmental processes and planning tools (Thieme)

Audience responses, contributions:
- As CI develops more and more, in-depth expertise is required and process integration can only be helpful
- CI needs to be driven via key champions within an organization, doubling the effort with process integration would be a plus
- If there were cross-departmental processes it might be possible to get to know what new recruits could add to the company's intelligence base, HR was mentioned several times as a resource for CI
- In order to support intelligence flow something like an internal exchange breakfast was mentioned as a succesful format
- A concern was discussed: "What if the CI Ferrari is not recognized as such but as a bicycle at best?" - this might be an education issue to management!

Another topic area that was discussed very lively was raised by the moderator Kurt Kobel: "How formal does CI need to be?", some ideas and responses:
- There will always be a fair share of ad-hoc activities in CI but it also depends on existing processes and product life cycles (Thieme)
- It seems to be important to embedd CI into already existing processes as much as possible (make friends with process owners, mutual support) (Thieme)
- Follow up on key intelligence requirements! (Hedin, Seppä)
- Deliver something to intelligence owners to establish two-way flow (Limacher)
- A seat at the table is crucial (audience)

With this recap we would like to invite you to contribute more ideas and kick off a discussion among SCIA members.

Many thanks for making SCIA such a lively, great sharing experience, looking forward to your feedbacks and your personal appearance at one of our next events.

GIA Seminar, Stuttgart

Structured Buy-in

I was asked to speak at the Global Intelligence Alliance's Seminar, Towards a World Class Market Intelligence Operation, held in Stuttgart on 15 May 2008.

The event program will include a GIA presentation on the main theme, as well as my and another presentations on similar CI topics by Robert Bosch GmbH, Power Tools Division.

Time: Thursday, 15 May 2008, from 9:00 to 12:00
Location: Moevenpick Hotel Stuttgart Airport, Flughafenstrasse 50, 70629 Stuttgart

9:00 - 9:30: Breakfast served

9:30 - 9:45: Welcoming words and introduction Niko Porkka, Solutions Manager, Global Intelligence Alliance

9:45 - 10:15: Towards a World Class Market Intelligence Operation Markko Vaarnas, CEO, Global Intelligence Alliance

10:15 - 10:45: Bosch Intelligence Plaza as a Tool for Sharing Global Market Intelligence Frieder A. Spieth, Senior Manager Business Development, Robert Bosch GmbH, Power Tools Division

10:45 - 11:15: Structured Executive Buy-In to Competitive Intelligence Excellence - How Ciba Intelligence Plaza Kicked Off a Landslide Intelligence Mind Shift Jens Thieme, Head of Market and Competitive Intelligence, Ciba.

For more information on the event, please contact or visit

I would be glad to meet you in Stuttgart!

Panel Discussion

S&M Effectiveness

At this years Jacob Fleming "3rd Chemical Sales & Marketing Effectiveness”, I was honored to share the posium with Professor Dr. Kaj Storbacka of the Business University Nyenrode, the CEO of Dow Corning Xiameter Shelley Bausch, Ubald Kragten of DSM, Klaus Hoffmann of Dynea and Lionel Breuilly of Huntsman to focus on topics such as CRM systems, sales challenges in a globalized world, Asia/China.

Another current issue revolves around sales as a discipline that did not enjoy any major innovation investments as of late. Although sales professionals are oftentimes charged to be more adaptive they are hardly equipped to act up to the challenge. Spin selling and value selling were stressed as suitable responses to this situation.

As a major challenge Dr. Storbacka stressed the necessity of configurational fit to match, deploy and successfully execute various business models at one.

Asia, in particular China were mentioned in the discussion as incredibly local economies with major global impact. Western companies need to learn to act in such a local manner and grow into becoming an important part of this localized effort.

Innovation challenges need to invite more risk. The strategic intent should be driven by opportunities that present themselves through regulatory and legislative possibilities.

Finally questions regarding success in acquisitions were answered with "speed and execution" to be most crucial for success or failure.

The panel was excellently moderated by Phil Allen who was also a great chair for the entire conference.

Jacob Fleming Conference

From pre-communication and organization via execution and atmosphere to post conference communication I was really impressed with the conference! Great value in content, excellent insight into the industry’s efforts to improve the marketing and sales functions.

Before Jacob Fleming approached me to speak at their annual chemical conference for marketing & sales effectiveness I didn’t really know much about the company and their events. A colleague recommended the event and there were many interesting topics on the agenda so I agreed to participate and speak both in my own session on “Centralization of competitive intelligence in a global chemical corporation” and as a panelist joined by a couple of high caliber speakers.

Conference staff
The conference producer, Monika Gonda, located in Barcelona, Spain, exhibited a very professional easiness in approaching potential speakers and guiding me through the process with much politeness - always timely and friendly.

At the venue she was accessible at all times and very supportive to the participants as were all of the Jacob Fleming staff. I never felt pushed into their commercial stakes which is not always a given by conferencing companies.

Conference scope
To align the chemical industry behind mutual marketing & sales effectiveness topics makes perfect sense as this special breed of the global economy shares a lot of common interest, ways of conducting transactions with the mutual customer base and among each other and with that many of the marketing and sales approaches.

If you would have drawn relation lines between the 120+ participants in the conference room it would have been a very dense jungle of lines running back and forth. By the very nature the chemical industry is very diverse, fragmented, yet dependent from it own supply lines among competitors and partners.

The blend of speakers for this two day event was excellent, mostly project and department leaders in conceptualizing and implementing state-of-the-art marketing and sales systems, methodologies and programs.

Conference venue
The Okura hotel in Amsterdam is a rather expensive place but offers a great deal of comfort. It seemed almost a bit over the edge in terms of luxurious offerings with its fine in-house dining and excellent atmosphere. The walking distance to Amsterdam’s stunning inner city of about 20 minutes (a lot quicker by cap or tram of course) seemed like a blessing for the conference participants to really exclusively concentrate on the event without too much unrest.

Conference program
The conference topics were divided into six main tracks: Improving sales strategies, innovative pricing strategies, competitive intelligence, key account strategies, new marketing instruments and distribution systems and customer relationship management.

The various tracks featured speakers from DSM, BASF, Brenntag, Dow Corning - Xiameter, Ciba, Reliance, Huntsman, GEMS, Sigma Aldrich, Dynea, Solvey, Yara, Cytec, Degussa and Arthur D. Little.

Many of the presentations stressed the theme of a necessary customer segmentation. With pricing enjoying the most presentations customer relationship and segmentation combined with strong pricing analysis and systems were covered exceptionally well.

Conference chair
Phil Allen, the president of GEMS Europe, demonstrated utmost excellence in chairing the event with informative introductions of the speakers, well balanced comments and solid Q&A sessions he lead.

Expert panel discussions in between the presentations made for very interesting and lively exchanges focusing on more practical detail with the speakers offering more insights.

Competitive Intelligence session
With competitive intelligence being subject to Jacob Fleming’s chemicals conference series for the first time I decided to approach the audience in a little bit more general fashion. The session named “Centralization of Market & Competitive Intelligence: Challenges, Obstacles, Path to success” was received very well as post conference evaluation metrics show.

Serving as a panelist in the following expert panel discussion I enjoyed the lively exchange surrounding topics such as CRM systems, sales challenges in a globalized world, Asia/China and some other topics side-by-side with Professor Dr. Kaj Storbacka of the Business University Nyenrode, the CEO of Dow Corning Xiameter Shelley Bausch, Ubald Kragten of DSM, Klaus Hoffmann of Dynea and Lionel Breuilly of Huntsman.

Although I had to reject another invitation to speak at Jacob Fleming’s conference equivalent in Florida for timing constraints I would be glad to be part of this fine event in the future.