Data as the new currency
We asked ourselves the question: what if we add the essential principles of social to our cloud platform. A platform with currenrtly more than 133.000 companies doing their accounting in the cloud with extended functionalities for wholesalers, manufacturers and professional services companies. A platform with hundreds thousands of users across 5 countries accessing the Exact Online cloud on a daily basis. What if we remove the barriers in between the people working in the cloud as well as the barriers in between the companies they work for? What if we are able to encourage them to share experiences, knowledge and data about themselves and the related companies in order to get something valuable in return? Today we are limiting ourselves still in using this data but in order to create value for the people and companies on the platform this might change in the future.What is the mechanism to encourage and what is the incentive for companies and people to do so? Many questions and we were able to answer all of them. We host data, lots of data implicit and explicit, about financials and behavior of the people using our systems. Today we are limiting ourselves still in using this data but in order to create value for the people and companies on the platform this might change in the future. In a world where we are all connected 24/7, where information and knowledge is for free you can see that slowly the value of companies is not derived from the value of products and services they sell but from the data they host. With ecosystems expanding rapidly like the app center partners connecting with our platform, more data is coming in.
You could think that this is a bit scary and yes, I can imagine. However think about Google and the amount of data they collect. I am a true Google adept and fan. So I give them access to all, all my life, my behavior my data. The reason why? Because I get lots of value for it in return. The way they manage and support my business and private life on a daily basis is amazing. Whether it is Maps, Keep, Gmail, Play, Music, Search, Wallet, Chrome, Gdrive and much more, they make my life so much easier. They make me excel, act smarter and quicker than the rest, they help me to build reputation in many areas. So I love to share all my data and behavior and the ways how to do are changing rapidly. So I love to share all my data and behavior and the ways how to do are changing rapidly.In a few days I will receive my own Google Glass which will add another input mechanism for Google to collect data. I am connected with many people and companies and in some way Google encourages me to engage and interact to learn, inspire and create. What if we are able to deploy these dynamics into the Exact Online platform. Will that create the sharing economy, the weconomy? Is this what we mean by social business?
Software for free
So what is the value that Exact Online will bring to entrepreneurs in 5 years from now and where do they pay for? I can imagine that all software that we currently offer through the cloud will be for free, just the way Google acts today. No subscription fees but other ways how we earn money so development of new features and functions will be added continuously. For free because the value that we deliver is not about the basic features and functions. The value is coming from the data that we gather and translate into valuable means that help entrepreneurs run their business better. Whether it is an accountant, a wholesaler or a manufacturer, I strongly believe that if we encourage sharing, we facility the serendipity principle that increases the chance of creating successes and growth for companies dramatically. This sounds quite vague isn’t it? Quite abstract, but the reason why I am so convinced is that we build some prototypes where I am sure of that if I show them to you now it will blow your mind.
Inception of sparks
So slowly each and every week we make some further steps in making our ideas more concrete. This week I don’t know what next week will look like. For many of us this could be frustrating but believing in the serendipity principle you have to trust how things move along. Earlier this week @MarketingFacts published an interview with @ThomasMarzano by @TristanLavender about social business. A very good article retweeted by many people like @RoosvanVugt. Reading the article and the tweets brought me to the idea to make a next step: share our concept with them in order to get some feedback from authorities who are in the middle of all what happens today. With the inception of this new concept an unusual and contemporary way of market introduction feels most natural. I am very excited to show these three people first and hear their opinion and I can’t wait to share with all of you. But things will happen for a certain reason as we move on. I am very curious what the near future has in mind for us.