By Phil Skipper, Head of M2M Business Development, Vodafone
My generation may be the last of the great asset owners. Many industries are now recognising that customers want the flexibility to rent rather than own things they use infrequently.
This is called servitisation – taking something that has traditionally been a product and making it a service instead.
Take cars for example. With DriveNow, the car sharing platform from BMW and Sixt, you can simply select a nearby BMW or Mini, book it with your smartphone, drive around then park it up for the next user anywhere within the DriveNow zone when you have finished.
DriveNow customers don’t have the purchase or maintenance costs of car owners, nor do they have to worry if their vehicle is parked securely on a city street. DriveNow is already available in 10 cities and is continuing to grow.
What makes DriveNow different to other car rental services is that each vehicle contains one of Vodafone’s Machine-to-Machine (M2M) SIMs. By connecting to our global M2M network, it is possible to create a truly personal experience for the customer. You simply sit in the car and the places you use the GPS to drive to are pre-programmed. In future the car might also pre-set your music, seat position and mirror preference. When you leave, the car reverts back and could be anyone’s again.
Vodafone’s global network and leading position in M2M doesn't just help DriveNow create an outstanding customer experience, it also enables the back office and field services required to keep these cars in tip top condition. From simple things like remote lock and unlock and vehicle location through to remote checking of tyre pressures and fuel levels, the Vodafone network allows field staff to maintain these vehicles to the highest standard anywhere using our global high speed mobile networks.
So Vodafone, which is the global leader in M2M technology and has the largest 4G network in Europe, is the ideal partner for companies wanting to servitise their assets.
For the first time, Vodafone’s connectivity technology gives you the ability to take something you don’t own, and make it yours for as long as you want it.
Because of this personalisation, servitisation can become the glue of the sharing economy. It is a truly tailored alternative to ownership.
In the future it is questionable whether people will need to carry computers to and from work, for example. A rented house could have your heating and air conditioning preferences set as you unlock the door and even your favourite shows ready on the TV.
To see servitisation in action, watch this video about DriveNow: https://youtu.be/ReUwCPSPPzI
If you have any ideas for industries ready to be servitised, tweet them to me @Vodafone_M2M.
Phil joined Vodafone in July 2013 and is fully responsible for developing M2M solutions and capabilities on a global basis. Immediately prior to joining Vodafone, he was responsible for Markets and Portfolio within the Siemens Infrastructure & Cities organisation. He has a wealth of experience in a broad range of industries working for well-known blue chip organisations including Landis + Gyr and Mars in the UK, USA and Switzerland.
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