Industry talking to customers What's this? The power of platforms Published: June 21st, 2017 By: Glenn Weir The age of digital disruption is here, and while not too long ago companies were unsure of how they were going to enter a brave new paperless world, most have gained their sight on the matter. They know through countless examples in business the power of being a first mover, and are now investing heavily in a digital future.Changed landscapeA recent Accenture study tells us that 62 per cent of businesses are planning to invest in digital technology. Gartner confirms that almost one in three businesses with $250 million or more in annual revenue that underwent a digital transformation can now be defined as digital businesses.Companies can no longer operate outside the context of the “big four” factors that drive digital: Cloud, Social, Mobile, and Big Data. The rise of these market forces has created in the customer not merely a desire for but an expectation of a custom-tailored experience, one that both engages and enriches them.Connected hotelsNowhere is the desire for engaging customer experiences more relevant than the hotel industry. Hoteliers can leverage the “big four” by embracing IoT to provide integrated services such as app-driven devices and automated triggers. These devices include hotel room amenities (thermostats, telephones, light switches, electric blinds, etc.) that are connected on a common network to enable the services that guests want. Guest can even use mobile apps before checking in, to ensure their room is set to their preferred temperature. Such facilities help hoteliers provide their guests with enhanced in-room experiences.Avaya’s integration of Arrow Connect with the Vantage Phone makes experiences like this possible by creating a cost-effective and efficient hub for all IoT devices and communications within hotel rooms. Among other things, the technology allows management to monitor devices like thermostats and televisions remotely from concierge desks while giving guests the freedom to control devices from a central, convenient hub through the Vantage phone. While the hotel saves on energy, guests can curate their unique hotel experience through streamlined technology.The factsThe facts of business, or more specifically the criteria for succeeding in business today, have evolved:Everything is now communicating with everything else.Refined data is pure gold — it is of great value, and people will pay handsomely for it.When you offer a rich user experience, potential customers become loyal customers.New trends in technology are on almost every customer’s radar.Businesses that commit to their future by connecting to the digital fabric are having remarkable success. Statistics show that customers’ standards and expectations are rising. More than six out of ten have stopped doing business with a company (brand) because the service experience it offered was lacking. It should come as no surprise that most companies today expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience.New approachPipe business models are as old as industry itself. In a nutshell: pipe companies make things, push them out, and sell them to customers. Pipes are all around us: we get TV and radio content via pipes; in school, we get facts and ideas from an informational pipe in the form of the teacher. There are also pipes online: we get blog content this way; we also experience ecommerce stores and pay-as-you-use software in a pipe context. The Internet, however, has given rise to a new animal: the platform business model.Platforms are not just about making stuff and pushing it out to customers; in a platform model, users both create and consume value. The difference between the “old” pipe and the “new” platform is seen most strikingly when you compare television to YouTube or any of the other user-driven content hubs. While the former is about making stuff to watch and pushing it out, the latter is about having the user make, share, and consume what others are making and sharing.Powerful platformsAvaya platforms enable companies’ pursuit of this business model and its underlying technology. As a software and services company, Avaya is driving the digital transformation of companies around the world by enabling rich “Generation Customer” digital experiences, driving customer and partner success, and delivering agile business outcomes.Businesses can no longer ignore the power of platforms. The experience is now king — how customers experience a business’ brand and whether they feel engaged and enriched has become a priority. Through platform business models however, organizations can increase agility, security and reliability providing a top-notch customer experience and positively impacting their bottom line.For more information on the power of platforms, visit the Avaya website.