Every enterprise, large or small, needs a software platform; they are the business enablers of the 21st Century. Without one you are at risk of your customer base being hijacked.
The power of the platform has been widely written about in recent years, so this should be no surprise. But, unlike previous generations of software and hardware platforms, today’s platforms allow companies to build multiple business models to run simultaneously and - even better - to interact. This means they share data to drive the knowledge-based, customer-centric enterprise.
Digital disruption from outside an industry is the paranoia haunting boardrooms everywhere. This was highlighted this week in two articles I saw about Amazon entering, in some form, the healthcare and financial services industries.
As for healthcare, an article in Forbes said: “Only Amazon brings particularly relevant technological prowess and disruptive innovation experience.”
In financial services: “Amazon, Google and Facebook own two critically important items when it comes to being successful at consumer payments and loans: 1) the data and 2) the relationship with the customer.”
And, of course, to both industries it brings deep experience of analyzing customer buying patterns and behavior. Deep customer relations based on deep knowledge of customers’ requirements are the fuel that drive a software platform – multiple businesses thriving on rich customer data – and the ability to be a disrupter in any business sector.
And remember, Amazon started out as an online bookshop. It was and is its software platform that turned Amazon into a disrupter par excellence. “Almost half of banks and credit unions consider large tech companies to be a ‘significant threat,’” according to an Infosys Finacle survey of 300 bankers.
And this week Francisco González, executive chairman of Spanish bank BBVA, has warned that groups such as Facebook and Amazon have the potential to “replace many banks. If I need capital [in order] to lend then let’s have the same rules for everyone — for the Internet giants too.”
The disruption is only starting. Banks are sitting on huge amounts of personal, financial and transactional data. Maybe they should look at their own software platform as a means of disrupting other sectors. Disrupt or be disrupted!
From Disruption to Continuity
I would like to finish on a different note – from disruption to continuity so to speak. We recently announced our 2017 financial results and I guess it is time for a State of the Company broadcast. We hit all our financial targets and the fourth quarter was the best ever in the company’s history. That is a serious statement because we have a lot of history - Software AG will be 50 years old next year.
But two other figures are worth mentioning and explain a lot about the sheer fun of working here if you have the title Chief Customer Officer. One is that we plan to double our Internet of Things revenue in 2018; this in a market segment that is customer-centric like no other. What a wild ride this will be!
The other is that our Adabas & Natural business had license growth of 37% in the last quarter. This business division is also nearly 50 years old, first launched during the platform boots (the shoes that is!) craze, may I add, and still powering customers around the world into the digital age. How cool is that? In fact, one of the launch customers for Adabas is still an Adabas customer today. That is cool enough to shatter the thermometer.
You have read here that Software AG has committed to supporting Adabas & Natural beyond 2050. At that point these products will be 80 years old – this is a breathtaking example of our commitment to the customer and this commitment is being reciprocated.
This should be the textbook example for the IT industry – Adabas & Natural is of course integrated with our Digital Business Platform. Enterprises that have been investing in these products for nearly 50 years can expand their digital business models and digitally disrupt where they will with Adabas & Natural. We give you the right tools to tackle disruption.