Everything as a Service
We have come a long way since the decades in which high-value assets such as photocopiers and aerospace engines were leased and offered as-a-service. In the current times, Digital has enabled democratization of A-A-S and potentially converts a product into a service.
It was an engaging session organized by CII, titled Everything as a Service: On-Premises, with panelists from India Post, SatSure, and HP Enterprise.
E-a-a-S is cutting across industries and there are few underlying drivers
- The need to understand end consumers better
More data and continuous data to analyse
- The thirst to enhance customer lifecycle and increase the lifetime value
As a result, moving from product enabled to service-led models
- Changing preferences from asset-ownership to outcome-based engagements
Relationships are changing from vendors to partners.
In our own homes, we get a water purifier as a service. In offices, coffee vending machines are offered as a service with a service promise that the most-preferred pre-mix flavor doesn’t have a stock out. Bike-sharing as a service potentially could reshape urban mobility and micro-mobility services are driving the delivery aggregator businesses.
We saw Michelin offer tyre-as-a-service enabled by sensors and IoT technologies. We recently read about CEAT deploying similar IoT & sensor technologies to make tyres cost-effective and increase the safety of drivers and vehicles. Tyres are the second-largest cost element for a fleet operator, right after fuel.
There are other examples across Automotive, consumer durables, and Electric vehicles. Saravanan, from India Post, calls it IT 2.0 at India Post. The 2.0 journey primarily consists of a shift from captive to Service, enabled by cloud, in search of agility. The procurement models are changing as a result and so are the digital architecture preferences — more Componentised and access to the latest tech.
A quick stakeholder analysis of Customers and X-a-a-S Providers
- Pay-as-you-go models
- Flexibility in the form of scale-up, scale-down, on-demand
- Mitigate tech obsolescence risk
- Capital expenditure to operational expenditure
- Increased onus on suppliers
- Rapid innovation cycles
- Focus on building skillsets to be able to sustain in the E-a-a-S model — The co-panelist, Prateep Basu, Founder of SatSure stressed the need for building more industry-specific skill-sets.
- Better customer understanding and potential data monetization models
The definitive trend of E-a-a-S can be felt in our work too. We are talking about Expertise-as-a-Service what with one being able to hire Virtual CMO/CTO/CFO on the tap!
Role of a Telco
The role of a telecom service provider is intrinsic to the X-a-a-S marketplace. Connectivity is the bedrock. Take the example of micro-mobility where you need to track the location of the asset (bike), charging levels, condition of the asset, being able to direct the end-user to the nearest charging swapping point or charging location. Mobile and IoT Connectivity is a critical component of product and service design.
As the customers focus more on their core competence, the procurement and engagement models are changing rapidly. We are seeing an increased preference for managed services. In a Smart Factory or a Smart utility requirement, customers are seeking an end-to-end solution as a service. We today offer it as Integrated IoT, aggregating the ecosystem across the IoT value chain. At Vi Business, the shift from being a Telco offering connectivity to being a Techco is surely catalyzing the X-a-a-S models– FAE bikes is a case in point. The ability to build and offer an industrialised solution for wider consumption by businesses and enterprises makes the role of telco a true enabler of X-a-a-S.
As technology enablers, IoT and Cloud, Edge Compute play a dominant role in enabling X-a-a-S marketplace. The emergence of 5G could give a new fillip to the XaaS marketplace.
Ranganath from HPE, who moderated the discussion, touched upon evolving market need such as workspace-as-a-service. I am sure this would be a more befitting model for the emerging hybrid working world.
In closing, ecosystem play is crucial for the delivery of X-a-a-S models. In the famous Burning Platform memo by the then Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, he refers to how Apple and Android are dominating the mobile phone market through a well-crafted ecosystem play. That surely is the need of the hour here too!
#Ecosystem #Everything-as-a-service #Telecom #5G #X-a-a-S