The Real Time Enterprise

real time enterprise human latencyThe on-demand revolution continues to grow. Uber and Airbnb being leading-lights that between them have created $100B in value in just a few years. Some projections show the US on-demand economy could reach $3.1T by 2030. With $18.5 billion being the revenue estimate for 2015. There are lots of analyst reports on on-demand out there, so you can always find the figure you want 😉 Many start-ups are now focused on the core principle of on-demand in connecting people together as soon as possible, in a closed loop transaction where trust, price, delivery, product/service expectations are clearly set. But this ignores an important category, the application of on-demand to the enterprise in creating the real time enterprise by reducing human latency.

I’ve discussed previously the importance telecoms plays in the emerging on-demand market, and how at TADHack we show applications of on-demand that become commercial services, such as Extrogene and TADSlack that was commercialized by OTTSpot.

The mobile-first crowd claim its an on-demand mobile revolution, but they have an agenda in narrowing the definition. Airbnb on a mobile is a crap experience for choosing a location, you need a laptop or tablet to see the pictures, review the location, and collate all the information necessary to make a decision on a property. While when you are traveling to your location the mobile experience is fine as its simply about communication. Mobile is just one of the many ways we interact with on demand services, its everything from your laptop, through mobile, to the good old fixed phone (yes they still exist).

Another trend in on-demand is the focus on local, see the discussion in the previous $3.1T projection. Local is important as telecoms has become democratized, so anyone can use these capabilities to create on-demand services, its not only the preserve of Bay Area start-ups.

However, there are some issues in this emerging on-demand economy. First, because on-demand companies generally try to keep their costs as low as possible, they will face difficulties training, managing and motivating their freelance workforce. Moreover, as the economy recovers, it may be harder for these companies to attract casual, low cost, high quality labor.

Another potential obstacle are the regulatory and political problems on-demand companies face as they get large. Scalability is the third potential issue. As we see with Uber, Airbnb and similar companies, there are network effects in the on-demand model. Yet barriers to entry are low, its hard to get workers to be loyal to just one middleman. A number of Uber drivers also work for Lyft, for local taxi apps, and for themselves. The last issue is really a problem for investors, for consumers it is good, as competition avoids “dominate and then milk the market”.

What’s currently receiving less attention is the application of on-demand by everyday businesses. This does not have the gloss of talking about the latest start-up that received a wacky round of funding. But it is happening and it is growing. I discussed this last year in this weblog on enterprises driving the bulk of telecoms innovation. This is the category I highlight in this weblog of the Real Time Enterprise, helping address the problem of human latency, as shown in the picture at the start of the weblog.

Real Time Enterprise is happening today, here are just a few of the hundred of examples:

  • Banque Casino is a leading consumer credit bank in France, part of the Casino group, one of the largest retail corporations in the world. Employing 329,600 worldwide, with revenues >50B Euro. It implements click to call cross its websites to drive huge volumes of traffic from its customers.
  • Redbeacon (owned by Home Depot) connects qualified pros with homeowners who are looking for a pro to help with their home projects. Using a cloud based telecoms platform meant they could meet their goal with minimal upfront cost and a month fee almost the same as the opex of traditional options.
  • Zanox is leading performance advertising network in Europe, part of the Axel Springer Group, with revenues >500M Euro. Zanox supports more than 4,300 international advertisers in the effective marketing of products and services on the internet. They created a new product “Zanox Call Tracking” enabling Zanox to differentiate its offer, and win major customers to increase revenue on existing product lines.
  • Extrogene came into being at TADHack 2014 where the concept of Offerhut was born. Offerhut is a pull advertising platform for various enterprises to advertise their offers and for consumers to query the nearest offers available for a particular category (Restaurant, Departmental Stores, Super markets, Book shops etc.). With the success of this service they’ve founded Extrogene, raised cash, and are building a company focus on local on-demand services.

Reducing human latency could address on average 35% of businesses’ operational costs. That’s tens of trillions of dollars of cost savings. And hundreds of billions for whoever can realize those savings. TADSummit is the event that brings the leaders in this space together. And TADHack is the practical demonstration of what is possible in telecom app development throughout the year.

We’ll likely see Real Time Enterprise emerge as a category in 2016 as the lagging indicators of analysts and marketeers jump on the band wagon and mash the term up with digital, IoT, virtualization, transformation and all the other vague weak-minded clap-trap. But the money is in applying on-demand services to the enterprise, reducing human latency, and creating the real time enterprise. Underlying this category is telecom app development. Keep an eye on TADHack and TADSummit to see many more practical demonstrations of the real time enterprise.