China’s Technology Revolution: The 3rd Platform Is Here
The latest hot topic in China is regarding mobile apps that allow you to order a taxi. Nowadays, if I go anywhere by taxi, instead of standing in the street and waving, I will use the mobile app to report where I am and where I want to go before I leave home. In just a couple of minutes, a driver will accept the ticket and pick me up. The two taxi apps in China that are the most popular are Kuaidi and Didi (which are similar to Uber in the U.S.) Introduced in 2012, these two companies have over 160 million users, 98% of China’s market and anywhere from 12-15 million customer calls per day. I love the convenience of these apps, but they also make me wonder—why have mobile apps grown so much in popularity and what does this mean for the IT industry?
- Time Savings: These apps have changed the way people call taxis as they no longer have to wait on the street for the vehicle to arrive, even during the rush hour. It is reported that on average 14.3 minutes can be saved in waiting time.
- Simplified Payments: When the trip is over, people can pay directly through their app, which their bank account is linked to. This is not only convenient for customers, but also saves lots of time for drivers. I learned from speaking to local drivers that, without this mobile payment option, they spend lots of time dealing with the monetary transaction and are responsible for having extra cash on hand at all times.
- Unique Motivation: At the end of every trip, the driver and passenger will receive some compensation ($2 for the driver and $1 for the passenger) from the two app companies. These two companies invested almost $230 million in 80 days to provide these tangible and enticing incentives.
- Customer Service Impact: With these two apps, the traditional taxi call center service has been severely impacted. According to Eastday News, a typical call center with 100 employees can handle 50,000 calls per day at its peak, while the app is able to handle 600,000 calls per day.
It is incredible to see how two taxi apps have transformed the customer experience in China. And what is even more interesting is how mobile is changing our lives in other ways—we use apps to decide which restaurant to eat based on our mood and buy new furniture in a matter of a few clicks. I spoke with Ctrip (a leading China travel company) General Manager, Jason Shi, and he informed me that his company is definitely focused on mobile. This means that any new feature will be released on mobile apps first and then on the website. This is a significant shift in Ctrip’s strategy from just a year ago.
The mobile revolution that is taking place with China’s consumers is also impacting the B2B market. Technology solutions that center on social, mobile, cloud and big data are increasingly important to companies. As organizations embrace 3rd platform technologies, these companies are also interested to optimize their 2nd platform investments and save costs. EMC and its Federation partners understand customers’ evolving needs and are committed to delivering an industry-leading experience during these times of tremendous change.
EMC Chairman and CEO, Joe Tucci, highlighted the importance of the Federation (EMC II, VMware, Pivotal and RSA) and the deep commitment to customers in a Reflections blog post earlier this year. He wrote, “We are in the early days of the third platform and as such we believe second platform architectures will continue to be the foundation of the enterprise data center for many years to come… Our [federated] businesses are strategically aligned yet each is focused on its core mission—developing the best technology and building the right partner ecosystem to best serve customers. This federated model allows us to offer best-of-breed, integrated, technology while preserving customers’ ability to choose and deploy products from other IT companies”.
I am excited to see how EMC continues to evolve in the 3rd platform and proud to play a key role in how we innovate our Customer Service experience to align with this new technology era. I am confident that the combination of the unique Federation partnership, passionate employees who care deeply about our customers and EMC’s commitment to continuously improve will delight and provide real value to our customers just as two taxi apps have revolutionized the consumer experience in China.
The technology revolution is here—and EMC is leading the battle!