Why The Last Digital Mile Will Be Most Disruptive

Why The Last Digital Mile Will Be Most Disruptive

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Disruption might be a wanky buzzword, but the GM of cloud software company SAP says it's transforming the digital world.

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Some of the most foundational and meaningful digital transformation happening around us are in fact disruptive according to Sameer Patel, Genral Manager at cloud software company, SAP.

And every of those disruptive instances are predicated on owning and designing the experience around the last mile, first.

Search: When my 14-year-old nephew wants to search the web, he says, “Let me Google it”. When my 8-year-old son who was born in the iPad era wants to search he says, “Let me check Safari”. My son could care less about what search engine is behind Safari. The last mile gets all the glory.

Networks: In 2006, Cisco rebranded itself as “The Human Network” attempting to own both the hardware that routes the data as well as the software that generates the content with Cisco Quad – its social networking platform for work. But coming from the router end of this equation proved challenging. Now Facebook is doing the same by coming at this opportunity from the other end. It’s teaming up with Juniper to ensure that the best networking gear needed to connect people is open. And with over a billion patrons locked in at the final mile, they can affect this change.

Commerce: Amazon is now offering Elements, its own branded Diapers to ring fence new parents – a lucrative segment of buyers. Because, as the gatekeeper of the last mile, it can offer an alternative to every other player in that supply chain, instantly.

Media: Netflix built its business on the backs of the movie studios by renting their products in a way that was more convenient to the consumer. With a huge customer base in its back pocket and 7 Emmys to boast about just in 2014, Netflix threatens to dis-intermediate the movie studio altogether. The last mile is at it again.

Mobile Payments: And finally, the most revolutionary and most ruthless win by the last mile, described in this post by Rick Oglesby of Mobile Payments Today: After valiant attempts to control digital payments by Telcos / MNOs (by storing payment information in its SIM card), or by payment processors such as Paypal or Starbucks (by storing information in the cloud), and even the Banks who have carried the float, Apple jumped the gun and is embedding the digital wallet into the bowels of the operating system thereby threatening to remove any intimate connection you might have with any single 2nd, 3rd, 4th mile vendor in the current payment supply chain. Ironically, the term the “last mile” was coined by the Telco industry. It’s just that Apple altered the definition of what the last mile is in the world of mobile. And showed us who’s boss.

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