Discover how leading digital technologies group ABB uses the flexibility of the Wazoku Platform to innovate in different ways across its divisions

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ABB (Asea Brown Boveri) is a multinational technologies leader in robotics, machine automation, and digital technologies. The Group has business areas and divisions that cover a wide variety of technology in industry, transport, and infrastructure – each with its own goals and programs. The Wazoku platform is used in several of ABB’s divisions as a one-stop solution for innovation.

Employees across the group can use the platform to capture ideas, suggest process improvements, run awards, and co-create with customers in secure connected communities.

While divisions use the idea management platform in different ways, the overarching goals are to increase revenue, reduce cost and risk, improve sustainability, and extend ABB’s work with clients and the entire value chain. We’ll take a look at the group’s sustainability goals and the ABB Robotics division in detail.

Strategy 2030

The ABB Group’s Sustainability strategy 2030 positions ABB to address the world’s greatest challenges, in coordination with its customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. The Wazoku platform gives users access to these audiences, helping to achieve these plans by resourcing and embedding sustainability at a business, division, and team level.

Champions and cross-division workstreams are used to ensure alignment and share best practices across the organization as a whole – giving ABB a single view of activity, opportunities, and results in sustainability ideas – all on the Wazoku Platform.

In 2019, Wazoku began a partnership as an idea management platform for ABB IS, the Group’s central IT team. Following this initial inroad, Wazoku is now used in several divisions, including Robotics, R&D, Group, and Electrification. For any sustainability goals that a team wants to work on or research, they can use the platform’s idea management, supplier, and Challenge capabilities to achieve it.

ABB run the annual Sustainability Changemaker Award, powered by Wazoku, which recognizes outstanding ideas from staff who display a strong commitment to sustainable progress.

The award aims to promote and embed sustainability across the business – and Wazoku is giving ABB employees more opportunities to help the efforts to meet 2030 sustainability ambitions.

ABB Workflow

Using Wazoku for supplier innovation and awards

For the Robotics division, Wazoku enables the ABB European Value Provider Award process. The Award brings together value providers that share knowledge, experience, and insights regarding current and emerging robotics technologies, best practices, and industry trends.

Value Providers can nominate themselves and others across four awards: Outstanding Performance, Most Innovative Solution, Lifetime Achievement, and Special Awards. In 2021, this Award’s process was facilitated entirely on the Wazoku platform, creating a virtual environment for participation, collaboration, and evaluating. Senior leadership can progress suggested Value Providers to later stages of the award process, all in one site rather than 100+ disparate channels, in form submissions through email or a CRM.

The co-creation community where this Award took place will also serve as the portal where all Robotics Value Providers are registered and their services presented. This living library of suppliers will enable the Robotics team to run pressing Challenges to this community at any time. Having instant access to an entire supply chain of trusted providers will allow Robotics to quickly find solutions to sustainability-based problems and opportunities.

By familiarizing an audience with the platform through an engaging Award process, the Robotics team has set up for successful supplier innovation. The European Value Provider community will now use the Wazoku platform as the one-stop location for close collaboration with Robotics.


Employees saw the announcement for the winner of the Sustainability Change Maker Award


Value Providers Award uses a co-creation Community to collaborate with their supply chain


Ideas submitted in the Service Innovation Challenge

Idea management and continuous improvement capabilities

R&D teams in Robotics China use the Wazoku platform to capture problems and opportunities suggested by employees. A relatively small business unit for ABB, R&D Robotics China has 200 employees who were interested in using the platform for capturing problems and suggesting solutions.

The teams use two Challenges that are always-on: one for hearing from employees about their pain points and difficulties, and the other for collaborating and evaluating on potential solutions.

Continuous improvement is this team’s critical KPI – finding new ways to develop their offering for customers and extract more value from processes. Ideas for novel designs and products go to a separate area so the team can view, evaluate, and properly attend to new product development in its own space. This project is now in its third year, with the team planning on driving up engagement and scaling the program more: the Wazoku team is on hand to suggest rewards and recognition programs that can organically grow employee engagement.

“The support from Wazoku was exceptional, from the early stages through to launch and support. A global Challenge was set up and launched within an extremely short period of time: 2 weeks! Other than the usability and flexibility of the platform, the level of support we receive from the Wazoku team is a huge factor. When we need additional features, we regularly consult with the product development team and get it delivered in product updates. This is how a successful business relationship should look like.”

IS Manager

Celebrating sustainability ideas across the Group

The Group’s Sustainability Agenda 2030 has four key pillars around enabling a low-carbon society, preserving resources, pushing social progress, and acting with integrity and transparency. ABB global has 110,000 employees and ran a Sustainability Change Maker Award in 2021 to recognize outstanding ideas in these categories.

Using an all-in-one process on the Wazoku platform, ideas were submitted, evaluated, progressed, refined, and reviewed. The executive committee and CEO reviewed the finalists of the award, showing that ABB’s sustainability plans have buy-in from the very top. Public executive support and backing for innovation means that the ideas from this and other divisions’ programs have the best possible chance of implementation – and therefore long-term sustainability success.

An event in June 2022 was held where the successful employees were celebrated in front of their peers and media, with a trophy for the winners in each category. Across these awards, there were

223 ideas submitted for consideration and the entire process, end-to-end, took just over a month from first submission to the event.

The communications about the winners from the event were sent out on Yammer, with 70,000+ employees viewing the message. At ABB, sustainability and innovation are intertwined with the good ideas of their employees.

The role of Wazoku and future plans

Across all of ABB’s divisions and overarching sustainability agenda, employees are at the heart of making steps forward. ABB also is exploring more opportunities to go external: collaboration and conversation with suppliers, communities, and the entire value chain form a key part of the organization’s innovation goals.

Wazoku is proud to supercharge ABB’s Sustainability Strategy 2030, with our platform being used for innovation, continuous improvement, R&D, idea gathering, award programs, and as a living library of value provider capabilities.

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