Electrolux Aims to Accelerate Product Development

Home appliances manufacturer licenses Sopheon solution to improve and manage innovation processes

Home appliances manufacturer licenses Sopheon solution to improve and manage innovation processes

Minneapolis — April 24, 2006 — Appliance manufacturer Electrolux is set to deploy a solution from software company Sopheon as its innovation process and product portfolio management solution to help improve and manage the company's product development process.

Electrolux will deploy the Sopheon system, dubbed Accolade, under an enterprise-wide agreement that covers company locations throughout Europe, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region, encompassing all product areas including major, floor care and small appliances.

Access to the system will initially be provided to approximately 1400 users. Sopheon said that the licenses and services order is among the most financially substantial in its history. Specific terms were not disclosed.

Electrolux is the world's leading producer of home appliances for kitchen and cleaning use. Its products are sold in more than 150 countries under such well-known brands as AEG-Electrolux, Electrolux, Frigidaire and Eureka. The company has stated publicly in recent months that product development is one of its core processes and that innovation is key to its ability to sustain its position of market leadership. Since 2000 Electrolux has almost doubled its investments in product research and development.

Electrolux's adoption of Accolade is part of a broad initiative by the company to change the way it develops new products. Electrolux will use Accolade's capabilities to help it more effectively prioritize investments in new product ideas and to guide its resource support for enhancements to existing products.

The company is looking for Accolade to help strengthen the alignment between innovation strategies and day-to-day development activity, and to enable improved global collaboration among cross-functional teams responsible for conception and development of new products.

Sopheon said that Electrolux also will benefit from Accolade's capacity to integrate with Microsoft technology, allowing the company to extend the use and value of the Microsoft systems deployed throughout the company's worldwide operations.

Sopheon partnered with Arthur D. Little, the global management consulting firm, in pursuing the Electrolux opportunity. Electrolux, Sopheon and Arthur D. Little will be working together to implement the new system.

"We chose Sopheon's solution because it will help us make the right front-end decisions on which product ideas to invest in and enable us to increase the speed, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the processes we use to move those product ideas from the drafting table to the marketplace," said Johan Hjertonsson, director of Electrolux's consumer innovation program. "Accolade is the most complete tool we've found for supporting the business of innovation."

"Accolade's capabilities are perfectly matched with Electrolux's requirements for increasing the visibility and coordination of its global product development efforts," said Mike Connolly, European director for Sopheon.

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