Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Enterprise Mobility and Changing Business Models

Have you read about the on-demand, smartphone oriented car service called Uber?  They are turning the taxi and car service industry on their heads.  Why?  They allow you to use a free mobile app to hail an available car service or taxi with the push of a button.  You can see the location of available cars.  You can review the passenger ratings of drivers.  Payment is integrated with the application so you don't need cash.  You can call the driver with the push of the button.

The user experience is wonderful, according to a patient colleague of mine that I questioned over dinner last night.  You can see the distance an available car is from you, and then watch the car's progress as it drives to pick you up.  When it nears, you receive a text message, and when it arrives you receive a text message.

Probably one of the coolest features is the receipt you receive upon completion of the ride.  It includes pick-up location on a map, route taken, drop-off location, distance traveled, a photo of your driver and the amount paid.

I want to hail a taxi or car service right now!  This is a great example of how a simple mobile application, GPS tracking technologies, integrated payment systems, etc., can change an entire industry.  I was told that Uber is being sued by taxi companies all over, because they are changing the industry.  They are introducing efficiencies where they never before existed.  They are removing the middleman.  They are removing friction from the system and improving market visibility.

Enterprise mobility is like that.  It will change industries and competitive landscapes.  You can be the Uber, out front and achieving competitive advantages with mobile solutions, or be the litigating taxi companies.  Your pick.

Kevin Benedict, Mobile Industry Analyst and Mobile Strategy Consultant
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Full Disclosure: I am a mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.