Utilizing an IP Asset Management Database to Enhance Your Marketing Efforts – Part II

Editor’s Note: This is the second and final post in a two-part series examining the best practices that we have captured from utilizing an IP Asset Management (IPAM) database system to support our IP marketing and commercialization initiatives.

As I noted in my previous post on this topic, our experience with an IPAM database system over the past decade has provided us with the following set of best practices:

1.    Establishing and following clear, concise, and consistent classification schemes;
2.    Incorporating full-featured search capabilities;
3.    Integrating workflow management capabilities;
4.    Including reporting tools for staff productivity and efficient project tracking;
5.    Investing in proper training and mentoring for your staff; and
6.    Adhering to your institution’s technology guidelines.

This posting will address the final three best practices in this area.

4.    Reporting and Project Management

Effective reporting capabilities assist your staff in increasing their personal productivity and should be a vital tool to assist your organization in achieving your specific goals and objectives. Well-designed reporting tools provide the ability to quickly and easily obtain status information on all aspects across your technology portfolio along with satisfying your management reporting requirements. Your reporting features should provide excellent visibility and transparency across your IPAM database solution to avoid a “black whole” scenario where you know the data is in there somewhere but you just cannot locate it no matter how hard you try.

A business analytics software tool can provide your organization with a strategic advantage when you use the tool to assist in identifying trends and mine additional opportunities for licensing and partnerships throughout your portfolio that is captured in your IPAM database. Powerful reporting tools should also provide you with the foundation for effective project management to ensure that you are maximizing your deal potential and minimizing the surprises that you have to react to.

5.    Staff Training and Mentoring

Implementing a world-class IPAM database solution without proper training and support for your team will only result in frustrated and dissatisfied staff, inaccurate or incomplete information in the database, and negative impact on your organization’s productivity. Effective training is planned and delivered at the right time, with the right amount, at the right level, and in the right place. High-tech web-based, multimedia tools can be very efficient and cost effective for training option for your staff and should be accompanied by a high-touch connection that includes mentoring from your senior staff members and system experts.

6.    Technology Guidelines

We encourage each organization to engage your information technology professionals in the planning and selection process to ensure compliance with your IT architecture, cyber security, technology, and product guidelines, standards, and procedures. Ideally, today your IPAM software solution should be web-based to facilitate access and should be supported by a standard commercial or open-source database along with development languages that are endorsed by your technology support organization. There are a number of installed (in-house) or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS or hosted) commercially available solutions today. If you are using or planning to use a commercial IPAM solution, you should request responses from your solution vendor to the following questions:

  • What is the support process and the depth and qualifications of your support organization?
  • What is the process to request enhancements and what is your track record for publishing new software releases?
  • Are you using a users’ group or steering committee that includes customers to prioritize new features?
  • Do you provide a forum with other IPAM system users to share best practices?

Successfully commercializing a vast and diverse portfolio of technologies is a fundamental and often daunting undertaking for all technology transfer offices. World-class organizations seek out and capitalize on best practices within their offices and across the industry. We firmly believe that properly utilizing your IPAM database solution – while having the discipline to adhere to your processes and procedures – will have a positive impact on the overall success of your organization’s technology commercialization initiatives.

—By Jack Spain

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