Crowd Service Blog Series Part 6
As rapidly developing technology starts finding its way into standard business practices, more and more longstanding and established companies are finding it difficult to adapt. With legacy processes firmly in place, a transition to digital systems is not only about upgrading technology. These companies need the valuable know-how and brain power to make the most of digitalization. Ecosystems are providing the solution.
Rather than rebuilding the wheel, companies integrated into ecosystems can benefit from the readily available knowledge of expert partners and even competitors. Though this might initially be deemed a risk from a traditional business perspective. In reality everyone stands to gain. Here's how:
- Experience new points of view: Sometimes the best way to look outside the box is to look at an issue with another set of eyes, ideas, approaches and knowledge. An ecosystem is alive with the inspiration of hundreds of innovating minds all working towards devising the best possible outcome. Not tapping into this dynamic insight would in fact be the far riskier choice.
- Sharing knowledge and learning from one another: This is exactly what big successful corporations are most concerned about. With years, decades, and sometimes even a century of accumulated expertise, they are hesitant to make available what they spent so long acquiring. However, these businesses must realize that smaller companies with less cumbersome business structures are moving much more quickly when it comes to digital innovations. Sharing knowledge with one another will result in increased gains for both. So… 1 + 1 does in fact = 3!
- Mutual challenge: Sharing knowledge with smaller companies and even direct competitors gives everyone a chance to push the button. One partner might have the missing puzzle piece to resolving a longstanding product issue. Another company might have a great idea that your product developers can hone with added expertise. And this cooperation in turn leads to even more innovation. For example, Coresystems field service management software is part of the IoT cloud-based MindSphere operating system. Siemens could have made MindSphere a closed operating system. However, by making it open source, the company has sparked other innovators to create novel new products and services.
- Sustainability: Ecosystems are constantly evolving and expanding and adapting to the times and needs of companies and customers. Being part of an ecosystem is akin to diversifying. It is way to consistently ensure access to the best tools, services, people, minds available. It is like insurance for long-term success!
And at the end of the day, it is the end-users who stand to gain the most. A holistic approach through business ecosystems guarantees a comprehensive product and service offer. That means: customers needs are satisfied quickly and efficiently.
What makes Crowd Service an Ecosystem?
The creation of ecosystems is about joining forces to accommodate a mutual aim. This can be anything from an improved product, to improved services, to expertise, to cost-efficient solutions. Crowd services are all this and more!
- Real-time service: With machine sensors transmitting regular updates to connected devices thanks to IoT, predictive maintenance is becoming commonplace. This technology is making real-time service more essential than ever. Customers no longer expect a problem to be solved once it has arisen. Now they want it to be solved before it becomes an issue. Customers measure service based on machine performance. Avoiding downtime is key. Having a crowd of specialist and expert service technicians on hand makes this possible.
- Crowd service means faster service: Having access to a crowd of experts means that there is always someone available for service visits. Customers expecting quick and efficient fixes can rely on an ecosystem of skilled and trained experts. With the right expertise, the work gets done faster.
- Crowd service means better service: Furthermore, having an expansive network of crowd experts means the best technician can be dispatched to tackle the task. Should a technician determine that he or she lacks the necessary skills, a more suitable technician can step in after proper assessment and analysis. In some cases, field service providers are even turning to augmented reality to offer remote support from offsite specialists.
In a crowd, everyone plays a part towards ensuring that processes are followed, tasks are completed, and customers are satisfied.
Just like a stand-alone business, an ecosystem relies on its current relevance, innovative input, business acumen, and core concept to thrive. Unlike a stand-alone business, it is not just one stakeholder responsible for ensuring survival. Ecosystems are not just about sharing information, tasks, expertise. They are about sharing responsibility for success. And in an age when things are moving so rapidly, it is not only useful, but also pivotal, to have as many players possible focused on being the best!
For more information and deep understanding of the Crowd Service concept we suggest to read the following white paper: Understanding Crowd Service Solutions: The Evolution Of Field Service
Crowd Service Blog Series by Manuel Grenacher:
1) Maximizing Your Business with Gig Workers
2) The Case to Millennials: A Career in Field Service
3) Is the Freelance Lifestyle for You?
4) The Future is in Freelance
5) Overcoming the Roadblocks to a Successful Ecosystem