Pervasive Innovation

By Abid Mohammed on December 14, 2010

As the world gets flatter and flatter with technological advancements, economies are increasingly embracing the collaborative mode of working. ‘When the world starts to move from a primarily vertical (command and control) value-creation model to an increasingly horizontal (connect and collaborate) creation model, it doesn’t affect just how business gets done.  It affects everything’ –The World is Flat, Thomas L. Friedman.

Not very long ago firms were happy reaping profits by just focusing on local markets, competing with local players, or enjoying the status of monopoly. Massive regulatory, geographical and technological barriers ensured longevity of such a regime. But recently, we have seen these barriers crumble, changing the rules of the game. As the world gets flatter and flatter with technological advancements, economies are increasingly embracing the collaborative mode of working. To summarize, there has been an unprecedented strategic shift.

Collaboration will inevitably lead to learning and unlearning. Multinational presence of firms is pushing this trend further. To improve the bottom line, subsidiary firms have no option but to emulate global practices. This forms the basis of my discussion – Pervasive Innovation. Firms from BRIC group (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and other emerging economies in APAC are looking for innovative solutions to gain a competitive edge. ERP has been one such innovation which companies are finding irresistible especially for tighter integration in the supply chain. For major ERP vendors, APAC-Japan have become the most sought after markets. One reason for this change could be that western markets have started to mature, but primarily it is because of increased trading and an emphasis on increasing efficiencies in new markets. This trend is not limited to developed and now developing economies. Within each of these, the major propellant has been the SME (small and medium enterprise) segment. Close to 55-60% of SAP’s worldwide revenues come from SME segment. The desire to innovate is just ubiquitous!

In any organization cost-benefit analysis is an indispensable tool to evaluate any solution. However, in the case of developing economies and the SME segment, it becomes extremely critical. In my next write up, I will discuss my experiences with firms from these regions and how ERP vendors, enterprise solutions like Winshuttle care to play a Samaritan’s role.


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