SOL Mobility: walking the talk for a more sustainable Lisbon

SOL Mobility: walking the talk for a more sustainable Lisbon

Such a week! From 3rd to the 7th of February, the SOL Mobility bootcamp brought 25 startups from 13 different countries to present their solutions for urban mobility to the public and corporate partners of this Smart Open Lisboa (SOL) vertical edition. Urban mobility is a context where convergence is absolutely crucial to make change happen, so the collaborative innovation approach managed by Beta-i on this Open Innovation program just fits like a glove.

Led by Lisbon Municipality, SOL Mobility counts with the mobility partners ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal (airports), Brisa (automatic & integrated toll and services payments, amongst other businesses), Carris (urban mobility through bus, trams and more), CP – Comboios de Portugal (local, regional and national mobility), tb.lx by Daimler Trucks & Buses (big data for mobility), Emel (public mobility and parking management), Galp (energy) and Siemens – not to mention associated partners Axians, NOS, TOMI, Sharing Cities and Turismo de Portugal.

And after five days of intense collaboration between corporates and startups, always under Beta-i guidance and experts team support, 17 out of these 25 startups were invited to keep working with the companies, in order to develop the stunning number of 30+ pilots from now on. Check this quick video:

Such achievement was only possible because of the partner’s vision and commitment to tackle some of Lisbon’s biggest mobility challenges: from E-mobility to Digital & Personalized Mobility, from Smart Parking to Fleet, Asset and Traffic Management. They were able not only to select promising solutions from international startups but also to set up joint pilots – the best metric to translate the true collaborative innovation culture enforced by Beta-i on a daily basis.

“Our challenges are so big and diverse. That’s why this is a very good program since it enables us to work with different companies, partners and people to get different solutions“, points out the Head of the Municipal Mobility & Transport Directorate in Lisbon, Francisca Ramalhosa. She adds that “think and act like a startup” is also a huge cultural challenge – a common topic shared by some other partners, such as CP, which is currently implementing a strategic planning and innovation area. “It is crucial for us to be aware of the changes in our industry and stay open for a dialogue with a new generation of mobility solutions, so programs like this are really important”, adds CP Sectorial Supervisor, Teresa Sousa.

International and fully private companies also acknowledge the need for mutual collaboration to boost new models. “You can’t solve problems being isolated or alone. We must converge our efforts and combine solutions”, says Director for Connected Mobility at Siemens, Andy Gill. “So getting to know these high-quality startups during the program, and partnering with those who see us as a valuable partner to move forward is a fantastic model”. His thoughts also resonate on Galp, the Portuguese-based energy company that recently announced its shift as the biggest solar energy player in the Iberian Peninsula. “We’re diversifying our energy sources, and this shift must be accompanied by other strategic moves”, adds Galp Head of Innovation and Energy Efficiency, Nicolle Fernandes. “That’s what we understand SOL Mobility as a valuable program to help us see new ways of doing things and push for tangible innovation, perceived by our final clients”.

Lisbon has won the title of European Green Capital 2020, and one of the reasons is that Lisbon has a cohesive city-wide vision for sustainable urban mobility. This is achieved through measures to restrict car use and prioritise walking, cycling and public transport, and also by promoting programs like Smart Open Lisboa. This year the City Council also signed a Corporate Mobility Pact with several local partners (companies and institutions) with a set of commitments designed to make mobility in Lisbon more sustainable, through means such as creating conditions for employees to adopt new solutions and mobility behaviours.

So get ready for May, when all the pilot development impact results will be presented during SOL Mobility Demo Day: stay smart & open – oops, stay tuned 🙂


Think Like Your Customers: Beta-i helps Galp bring their customer-centricity into focus

Beta-i partnered up with Galp to help bring customer-centricity into the culture of Galp. This resulted in the project “Think Like Your Customers”, a training program focusing on human-centricity through design thinking.

According to an article on Harvard Business Review, the greatest barrier to customer centricity is the lack of a customer-centric organizational culture. Since most companies are product-centric, or customer-centricity is a concern only in marketing or customer care functions, to implement a customer-centric approach to business is necessary to have a culture that aligns with it — and leaders who deliberately cultivate the necessary mindset and values in their employees.

What is Customer Centricity?

A customer-centric approach adds value to a company by enabling it to create a unique user experience and differentiate itself from competitors who do not offer the same experience.

A customer-centric approach to business entails:

  • Thinking like a customer
  • Dealing with needs, not wants
  • Providing solutions, not just products/services
  • Focusing on Customer Lifetime Value
  • Being proactive instead of reactive

Getting out of the Building

In order to shift into this strategic centricity, it was important for Galp to lean in one its strategic pillars: to enable employees for a cultural shift and give them the tools and skills to problem solve.

To be client-centric you have to be employee-centric.

João Filipe Torneiro, Head of Marketing & Business Development at Galp

For João Torneiro, Head of Marketing and Business Development at Galp, it’s clear that to innovate in the energy sector it’s essential to transform the internal culture: “A company like Galp, a leader in the sector, cannot afford to not move into customer centricity, and in doing so, cannot afford to not take risks. Which is what our team is doing.”

To achieve this, Beta-i devised a training program for Galp’s collaborators focusing on human-centricity, using design thinking methodologies.

The program had 60 participants across different departments, from retail to marketing and tech.

The first phase of the training consisted of workshops in design thinking and the customer journey, customer interviews and prototyping.

Then, the employees put their new learnings to the test – by actually going into multiple Galp gas stations and convenience stores and interacting with real customers in order to identify their pain points and their unmet needs.

For the second phase of the training, they worked in groups to focus on a particular problem and, through ideation, find and prototype a customer-centric solution for the gas stations’ customer experience – actually becoming innovators the way startups do, with coaching from the Beta-i team.

The final show

The final results and proposal were showcased to the Galp collaborators on a small private event. The excitement in the room was palpable, as participants showcased and explained their innovation journey to other colleagues. These projects ranged in scope – from payment solutions and digital solutions to the reinvention of the space and purpose of gas stations.

Susana Quitério, from Business Intelligence, shared her experience in the project, noticing how the methodologies and first-hand experience can add and complement standard market research, and even how the research became even more relevant in the support of innovation.

Even for employees working directly with operations of the gas stations, the new methodologies allowed them to “take-off the operations manager hat” and find new approaches to the business and rethink what they can offer to consumers.

It was challenging to walk the customer’s journey and try to understand each phase and its pain points. It definitely made us more creative in regard to problem-solving.

As highlighted by João Torneiro, and also Joana Teixeira, Beta-i’s project manager, the experience achieved its important goal: changing the mindset towards customer-centricity and acquiring the skills to problem solve.

“This is a great outcome thanks to the joint effort of our team and Beta-i, who brought the added value of the knowledge in methodologies and innovation experience.”

João Torneiro

Head of Marketing & Business Development at Galp