Crowd Service Blog Series Part 5
The digital age has given rise to an interconnectivity never before possible. And this in turn is fulfilling an innate and age-old human desire: quick and easy access to everything we need. Companies hoping to keep up with these customer expectations are now turning to business ecosystems. And these ecosystems are breathing new life into how companies provide services. In this blog and the following two blog articles, we will discuss the challenges and benefits of ecosystems and how working together with partners and competitors creates added value for everyone.
What is an ecosystem?
"The world is entering an era in which ideas and insights come from everywhere, and crowds, clouds, collaborators, competitions, and co-creators can fundamentally help define our shared future. The business environment is being permanently altered as a result." Deloitte, Business ecosystems come of age
No company is able to meet the requirements of a demanding customer base all alone. Industries, business segments, companies have to combine their know-how, expertise, information to be able to offer a comprehensive all-round product or solution. This means that solutions come before competition. That is because competitors, suppliers, partners, and even end-consumers contribute to the ecosystem. In fact, even the autonomous vehicle has to set aside autonomy in the creation and development process. They rely on a complex ecosystem that is uniting digital technology, engineering, artificial intelligence and brains from all over the globe to produce a singular product capable of meeting myriad needs and desires.
A successful ecosystem is a flow: of ideas, talent, capital. And this fluidity is absolutely essential considering future predictions for ecosystems. According to senior partners at McKinsey, what we now experience to be 100 distinct value chains involved in the distribution of services could potentially "collapse into 12 large ecosystems". Rather than having mere industries, there would be industry groups. And the leaders at the helm, the so-called "orchestrators" stand to gain the most. And who exactly are these "orchestrators"? They're the ones with the data. So as always, data in the digital age is king!
Navigating the Roadblocks
When shifting an entire business model, there are bound to be significant challenges. This is especially the case for companies serving clients. They have to "reinvent" at breakneck speed to keep up with the constant production and flow of data in order to create a balanced and effective ecosystem. What exactly are the biggest challenges?
- Think different: Successful companies have been trained to look internally to solve problems and address customer needs. One of the biggest challenges will be rethinking how to respond to customer demands and improve services by looking within the ecosystem. An ecosystem offers a unique opportunity to access a solution - most likely from a company specialized in this area - without investing the time and financial resources into developing it. It is interdependence at its most effective!
- Technology-based ecosystems: Ecosystems demand a certain amount of give and take. Especially in the case of shared data. Coresystems' cooperation with MindSphere is a prime example of this kind of data exchange. By uploading and storing data collected across different devices in Siemens' open IoT cloud operating system, Coresystems has a reliable method for managing and analyzing this information. This is essential for reliable and effective field service management. And it also greatly facilitates the provision of a core service: crowd service, a network of qualified experts consisting of employees, partners, subcontractors and freelancers. Without a solution for consolidating machine data, customer data, crowd data, and more, it would be more time-consuming and cumbersome to provide the kind of fast response times that Coresystems software promises.
- Connect with end-customers: Another Coresystems product taking advantage of a valuable ecosystem is Coresystems Now: a self-service portal designed to maximize customer autonomy. By sharing valuable knowledge and tools with customers, Coresystems is able to help customers help themselves. With the aid of messaging services, customers can grapple with basic and even more complex problems. Coresystems Now also provides them with the option to schedule appointments, order replacement parts, and scan product history details. Sharing information with customers makes them an integral part of their business' success, and your business' as well!
- NON-autonomous mindset: The ecosystem is "about reinventing the business model and reinventing how the customer value proposition is being created". And that means the focus needs to be on creating partnerships and not simply acquiring businesses to become a bigger, stronger player in your industry. Remember, the days of industry are coming to an end. Becoming a key player in an industry group will be critical to holistic business success.
- Subscribe now to this blog series and read more about the benefits of an ecosystem in the upcoming articles.
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
Author: Manuel Grenacher, CEO Coresystems