October 4, 2023

Monitor Live+: Demystifying As-A-Service Models Webinar


Unlock valuable insights from our webinar: top As-A-Service learnings to keep top of mind.

In an electrifying event last September, Black Winch took part in the highly anticipated webinar on Demystifying As-A-Service Models, sponsored by Odessa. This thrilling webinar, hosted by the Monitor Daily, brought together a stellar lineup of industry experts from Odessa, Capgemini and Johnson Controls Capital. This fire chat discussion unraveled the mysteries behind As-A-Service models. We compiled the key takeaways below for you. 

The team of experts who debunked myths about As-A-Service models:

➡️ Michael Donnary Senior Director, Banking and Diversified Financials, Capgemini

➡️ Ben Speed, Vice President, Private Credit & Global Structured Finance, Johnson Controls Capital

➡️ Yann Toutant, CEO & Co-Founder, Black Winch

➡️ John Pearce, Senior Vice President of Product for XaaS, Odessa

From financing to As-A-Service

The term "As-A-Service" may sound like jargon to some, but it's actually a game-changer in the industry. Yann gave us a history lesson, tracing its roots back to the 80s when Equipment Finance was all the rage. Back then, it was all about managing risks - solvency, technological, and performance risks. But as time went on, customers requested more and craved for flexibility. Flexibility is what really sets the As-A-Service model apart. Ben pointed out that there are many definitions out there, but they all involve combining physical assets and services in new and exciting ways. Michael sees it as a digital transformation that's revolutionizing traditional finance and leasing. It's all about bundling more and measuring usage to create valuable offerings.

Key obstacles to transition to As-A-Service models

Moving towards an "As-A-Service" model can be a daunting task for companies. Michael has discovered that the biggest hurdles are outdated technology and a reluctance to embrace change within the organization. Simply making small changes won't cut it; you need to take a giant leap forward to succeed. The most successful cases involve starting from scratch, leaving behind old data and processes, and embracing new possibilities. But once you have a vision, it's crucial to put it into action. Creating a flexible technology and infrastructure is key to expanding your services and minimizing risk. The most successful companies start by integrating As-A-Service to their entire strategy and defining a new vision and clear roadmap for it to happen. 

Customer readiness for As-A-Service 

In order to determine if customers are ready for the As-A-Service model, it is important for firms to actively engage with their existing customers. By doing so, they can gauge market interest and understand what their customers truly desire. Testing the concept with loyal customers can help create proof of concepts and allow for collaborative design of the offer. However, it is important to note that flexibility in the service may require data exchange between the provider and the user, which necessitates a level of trust due to data access.

Initial trial and error with loyal customers can lay a solid foundation for success. Yann emphasized the importance of effective communication with customers, as their needs may vary greatly, from procurement to finance or cash flow concerns. It is vital to truly understand the customer's problem before launching a solution.

While offering options such as "opt-in opt-out" or "cancel any time" can provide flexibility to customers, it also introduces additional risks, such as solvency, technological maturity, and performance. Yann stressed that increased flexibility should ultimately lead to higher rewards, aligning with the customer's core business success.

The primary challenge in launching or scaling an As-A-Service business lies in addressing operational, technological, and business case uncertainties. Sales enablement becomes a bottleneck, which requires the identification and training of sales champions who can guide their colleagues in transitioning to the new sales model. It is crucial to offer a well-defined and framed service, providing guidance for the sales team to understand the boundaries. Customer onboarding and contract renewal practices also undergo significant changes. Simplifying the messaging for customers and avoiding over-complication is highly recommended. Creating numerous unique offerings can hinder scalability, so it is best to focus on two or three standardized options to streamline operations and improve automation.

The importance of Billing & invoicing, Asset Management and Data Exchange & Integration: 

To truly unlock the potential of "As-A-Service" models, key elements are absolutely essential. 

First and foremost, agile billing and invoicing capabilities are a must. This means being able to effortlessly consolidate charges from various systems into a single, streamlined invoice, while also seamlessly applying payments back to those systems. Unfortunately, many companies still lack this level of agility. 

Secondly, asset management must be able to support frequent technology refreshes without causing any disruptions to the customer's experience. 

And lastly, integration is absolutely crucial. Taking an API-first approach with ecosystem partners ensures that everyone is on the same page technologically, which is vital for success. 

Additionally, data exchange and governance play a pivotal role in accurately billing customers based on their complex usage patterns. And let's not forget about adaptable technology integration, which is absolutely crucial when transitioning to service-based models.

Lessons learnt and pitfalls 

During the lively conversation, the experts delved into the valuable lessons they've learned and the potential pitfalls they've encountered.

They unanimously agreed that taking small steps and actively engaging in continuous customer conversations was absolutely crucial in determining the true worth of innovative services. It's not enough to solely rely on sales teams; actively seeking feedback and input from customers is key. 

When it comes to the proof of concept and minimum viable product phases, the primary focus should be on customer adoption rather than solely on the technological aspects. Businesses must adopt a holistic transformation approach, as piecemeal solutions simply won't cut it in the long run. 

And let's not forget the importance of aligning incentives, such as the pay plans of salespeople, with the services we offer. This alignment is vital for the overall As-A-Service success within organizations.

Let’s connect

Join us on an exciting journey of exploration and innovation.

We invite you to be a part of our vibrant discussion. If you're eager to delve deeper into the world of As-A-Service solutions, do reach out. 

Let's connect and book a 30-minute call, where we can ignite your inspiration and explore the endless possibilities of building or scaling up your very own As-A-Service solution. 

Click here to secure your spot: https://calendly.com/blackwinch/30min 

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