It must be the season for analyst days, for the second week in a row I attended an event specifically for industry analysts, the media and financial analysts. These events are a great way to get a quick update, spend some quality time with executives and see old friends. Plus this one was a few blocks away in Boston! Software AG rolled out their executives to provide a recap on where they came from in 2014 and more importantly where they see the future for the German software giant.
Software AG stressed their transition to helping their customers’ transition to a digital business. Where does digital disruption come from? From Dr John Bates presentation, Software AG pointed out three areas they are seeing disruption come from:
- Connected customer: This is nothing new, but we are all aware that the consumers’ voice is growing in importance. Digital aspects such as social media, mobile, big data to name a few, force companies to seek a 360-degree view of their customers.
- IoT – the Internet of Things: In a way IoT is making machines and devices as connected as the customer. Having this level of connectivity brings great opportunity as well as potential additional IT strain to companies.
- Proactive risk compliance: This is particularly true in such industries as finance, but also in other verticals such as life sciences and even food and beverage.
In order to address these disruptors and empower their customers they are focusing on providing a digital business platform. An agnostic middleware that will allow developers to create applications that can be created “as needed.” All interesting ideas and make sense. The main question moving forward is how will Software AG balance their desire to remain neutral and agnostic, while trying to create the suite and ecosystem that can propel the software vendor in to a leadership position. Their belief is that the software industry has changed and that the old style that package application vendors went about developing solutions cannot meet the needs of today’s businesses.
There is some merit to this point of view. The fact software has “eaten” the world is the reality of the business environment we live in. Companies will look to have the flexibility and tools available to quickly spin up necessary applications. Solutions that are crucial for these companies to respond to their business needs. For example companies such as Turkcell can ensure they have the proper solutions in place to respond to their
customer needs. Being capable of flexibly creating solutions that address demand creation and shaping are vital to drive their retail practice. Turkcell is dealing with the connected customer, where demands and needs are constantly evolving. The ability for Turkcell to have the flexibility to create solutions to address these ever changing needs is crucial. Taking advantage of this flexibility has offered Turkcell the ability to offer their customers the right promotion at a precise time, yielding $15m of additional revenue.
Software AG is heading in the right direction and is providing relevant case studies when it comes to creating a true digital business platform. The question is can they continue to be Switzerland (with regards to their neutrality) of the solution providers or will they eventually have to commit themselves to an ecosystem?