What is a Successful “aaS” (as-a-Service)?
Aug. 08, 2019
The term "as-a-Service," such as SaaS (Software as a Service) and MaaS (Mobility as a Service), has become a recent buzzword. Business models are shifting from providing goods to providing services, and these are collectively referred to as XaaS (Everything as a Service). At the NRI Dream Up the Future Forum 2018, we explained the shift towards aaS occurring in various industries. Here, Shohei Ishiwata, Yukio Shigeta, Hiroshige Muraoka, and Junichi Yoshida again come together to share their views on XaaS.
The difference between commuter passes and XaaS
One criterion for determining whether a service is XaaS is its regularity of contact with customers. For example, take the case of sightseeing tour tickets. After a customer purchases the ticket, he or she simply has to present it at the entrance gates to be able to freely ride trains and buses or get a discount on the admission fee for a tourist attraction. However, although the issuer knows how many passes have been sold, it is not possible to know how many people actually used the passes or on which routes and how often they were used. In the case of Whim, the app records the boarding/alighting location data each time it is used, so data can be obtained for every instance.
Of course, commuter passes are now digitized and usage history is available. However, aaS is not merely a question of adoption of IT. What is provided as a service is not only its "use" but also "value". The commuter pass only sells the service of “movement” (use) from one station to the other. On the other hand, MaaS can offer services such as suggesting routes with shorter walking time during bad weather or routes with cafes along the way when your appointment is after an hour. In fact, Whim is trying to sell the "utility" (value) of freely moving around the city.
What data is required to realize XaaS?
However, it is necessary to determine how much data to collect for a particular business. For instance, even if it is technically possible to obtain data once a minute, it may not be necessary to collect such detailed data for cases when the machinery or equipment we are handling comes with a service life of around ten years and a maintenance period of once every 3 to 6 months.
Rather than aiming for XaaS as the ultimate goal, it is important to identify the specific businesses to be transformed
Important to measure and increase value
Many Japanese companies have become accustomed to a pricing model that calculates profits on the basis of production costs. However, this may not necessarily be commensurate with the value that can be achieved with XaaS. To promote value and utility, it is essential to quantify and measure the value perceived by the customer. By combining conventional performance data such as CS (Customer Satisfaction) questionnaires with indicators such as analysis results of usage logs / usage patterns and NPS (Net Promoter Score), which measures customer loyalty and confidence in companies and brands, we will be able to measure the utility and value of services and implement measures to increase customer value. We believe that the transition to DX 2.0* will be further accelerated if we can better use technology to measure and enhance customers’ perceived value.
- *DX 2.0: DX that creates new business models using digitalization