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It’s all about Accelerate Next. The 3 kinds of “Next”


I was at DISCOVER 2015 in London where I video interviewed six customers.  What came thru very quickly and clearly was in talking about the projects that had done with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, they were all trying to “Accelerate Next”. The “Nexts” varied:

  • The Next mobile and server applications in order to compete in the parcel delivery business
  • The Next applications to make letter delivery, a falling revenue stream, more efficient
  • The Next media product to stay ahead of competition
  • The Next digital car control platform, and then, the next service in the car like self parking, self driving and micro-leasing
  • The Next set of automations for a Service Provider in order to make provisioning of their services more efficient
  • The Next mobile banking application


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The 3 types of “Next”

Once the interviews were over, I started thinking about all these “Nexts”. I wondered if there was a way of characterising them. I came to the conclusion that there were in fact three “Next characterisations”:

1. Remain ahead of the pack or Disrupt the existing. For example, the media companies’ constant quest to always be ahead of the rest of the market. Or the ad serving company’s need to always have the best algorithms, and to always be considering the next channel for advertising - is there a market for advertising in in-car systems, for example? 

2. Catch up with disruptors. For example, the postal service’s need to ensure that they match the other players in the parcel delivery market. The bank re-platforming its central banking application onto a virtual, managed private cloud so that it could provide mobile and “total life” customer relationship management.  The car tech supplier putting in place the digital car control platform so that they could offer digitally controlled car control solutions 

3. Becoming more efficient. For example, the postal service is doing this with letter delivery. The service provider is totally automating the provisioning of its services in order to become more efficient - it has worked out the services that customers like, and now it's optimizing those services.

After determining this categorisation, I was pleased with myself. Sadly, I was obviously retrieving something from my sub-conscious because in time I realised that this is actually Geoffrey Moore’s model for “return on innovation” (here and here). 

Oh well, the point remains that, from my six in-depth data points, Accelerate Next seems to be the common theme, and that the “Next” is either to 1/ remain ahead of the pack or disrupt; 2/ to catch up with a disruptor; or 3/ be more efficient and optimise.


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“Continuous Competitive Pressure”

So, my the first thought that hit me was Accelerate Next.

The next thing I realised is that these customers no longer see themselves doing an IT project and then “being done”. They realise that their businesses are under “Continuous Competitive Pressure”. 

  • The postal service may create great parcel delivery apps, but their competition is not staying still and may well jump ahead of them if they don’t constantly keep thinking “Accelerate Next”. 
  • The bank is not “done” when it brings out its mobile application. Banking is a tough market, and its competitors are all using applications to create differentiation. 
  • The Service Provider isn’t done when it has automated service provisioning because their competition are constantly looking for ways to reduce costs further. 
  • The ad serving market is full of very smart companies, all looking to use the latest in data science to take market share from their competitors - it is one “Accelerate Next” after another. 

So, it’s “Accelerate Next” and then it’s “Accelerate Next” and then it’s “Accelerate Next”. 


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Want more …

I have put all my blog posts on Digital Disruption onto a page.

I curate a page on digital disruption. Myself and my collegues tend to post a couple of times a week on the goings-on in the world of digital disruption. 

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Mike Shaw
Director Strategic Marketing

linkedin.gifMike Shaw

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About the Author


Mike has been with HPE for 30 years. Half of that time was in research and development, mainly as an architect. The other 15 years has been spent in product management, product marketing, and now, strategic marketing. .

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