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Ray Wang on Disrupting Digital Business at OOW15

Ray Wang, Chairman of Constellation Research spoke at Oracle OpenWorld about “Inside The New Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy”.  Ray wrote a book called Disrupting Digital Business: Create an Authentic Experience in the Peer-to-Peer Economy.  The presentation covered many of the topics in his book.



52% of Fortune 500 firms since 2000 are gone. That is an amazing fact. The digital divide has created the condition for this disruption across the economy.  Digital has affected everything from marketing to sales to service to retention to everything at most companies. As Perficient has talked about a lot, digital transformation is making many companies digital predators while others are becoming digital prey.

Transformation innovation is breakthrough and disrupts markets. This is not incremental change. Think about the disruption that flashlight makers are going through – the iPhone has a very capable flashlight, so who needs to buy a separate flashlight?

Digital disruption is more than a technology shift. It’s about transforming business models. Tech convergence powers digital disruption, but without the shift in thinking and the changes in business processes, you will be left in the gap between predator and prey.  Uber is now  classic example of this disruption.  Not only do they have the mobile app to find a ride, they’ve incorporated traffic patterns, weather and rider ratings into the pricing of a car ride.

We move from selling to delivering a brand promise. Battles are over experiences and outcomes. Product companies give away products for service revenue.  Service based business sell experiences at varying price points.  Experience based businesses are selling business models.  Business model companies sell peace of mind.   For example, medical device companies don’t just sell imaging systems.  Now they sell you guaranteed uptime at varying price levels.  You can have 80% guaranteed uptime for X price. You want 95% uptime, it will cost this X amount more and if your machine breaks, we will drop a new in within 4 hours.

New unit cost pricing models enable disruptive business models.  Coke is moving from cases to cans to a single can to now a sip of Coke.  With the new Coke machines you can pay for a drink rather than having to purchase the whole can. All this requires us to use big data context to improve analytical insights to make better decisions and recommendations.

The future is big data business models built on insight.  Insight can

  • drive differentiation do drive demand, create new offerings, improve satisfaction
  • be brokered into raw informatoin, benchmarking or insights
  • lead to business platforms like marketplaces and advertising

You can be the content, network and the arms dealer.  Today’s winners vertically integrate all three.  Apple, Google, Amazon are all doing this. Data insights helped Amazon disrupt the retail business model. Amazon started with commerce, but now have:

  • content in videos
  • shipping distribution centers to bypass FedEx, UPS, etc,
  • cloud computing
  • news media
  • devices

Amazon combines all these pieces to outcompete the companies in each individual space.

Digital artisans emerge as organization with the best math. GE Power knows when a transmission line will go down 8-10 days before it does because they’ve tapped many digital artisans who have skills in computing, science, user experience, etc.

We serve 5 generations of digital workers & customers not by age, but by digital proficiency:

  • Digital Natives
  • Digital immigrants
  • Digital Voyeurs
  • Digital Holdouts
  • Digital Disengaged


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Mark Polly

Mark Polly is Perficient's Chief Strategist for Customer Experience Platforms. He works to create great customer, partner, and employee experiences. Mark specializes in web content management, portal, search, CRM, marketing automation, customer service, collaboration, social networks, and more.

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