The Future of the Car: Arvato Helps Make the ‘Connected Car’ a Reality
According to the latest forecasts, by 2016, 210 million vehicles worldwide will be “connected”. But what do these numbers mean for manufacturers? What exactly needs to be done to master the new digital processes? Jochen Ruland, Vice President and member of the management board at Arvato Corporate Information Management, explains the current ‘Connected Car’ trend and the challenges it raises for the automotive industry, and shows how Arvato, as an experienced provider of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services and longstanding partner to major manufacturers, can help.
Mr. Ruland what is a “Connected Car”?
A “Connected Car” is essentially a car equipped with Internet connectivity. For example, devices within the vehicle can be connected to the Internet using a hotspot. But that is only one facet, as a “Connected Car” is ultimately a device on wheels that offers additional benefits to the driver, passenger and other road users. One example is the automatic detection of accidents or speeding. Connected vehicles, especially electronic automobiles, increasingly use the benefits of rising smartphone usage, because available apps can interact with the car from any distance. Users can unlock their vehicles, check the status of their battery in electronic cars, locate the vehicle, or remotely activate the air conditioner. So there is connectivity between the vehicles and their infrastructure, but this also creates a direct channel from the manufacturer to the end customer.
What can Arvato contribute to the "Connected Car"?
In the future, the challenge will lie in managing software features and content, distributing them to the right target audiences and vehicles, and making it possible to evaluate and monetize the ever-increasing flood of data. This is exactly where we, as Arvato Corporate Information Management, can assist our clients – true to our slogan “Smart Information movers.” Our target customers are our current clients in the premium segment, who wish to address their own customers much more directly via the new services. The offers that manufacturers create for their end customers must be digitally managed, distributed and accounted for an international scale. The focus is on content management platforms, their global roll-out, the operation of international online shops and related services, such as any associated payment processing. However, the most important aspect is the integration of these new solutions into the existing sales processes of our automotive clients. We transfer our expertise from a variety of industries, such as high-tech industry or our broad spectrum of services, which includes CRM, SCM, IT and financial services. In this case, the result may well be a constellation in which Arvato handles all processes including the IT platform and our B2B client "merely" has the agreed revenue share transferred to their business account. We call this "Customer Interaction Business Processing Outsourcing" in its purest form, something we already perform for several major clients in the high-tech sector.
How does Arvato address a subject as innovative and complex as the "Connected Car" with its clients?
Whether we’re talking about a complete Business Process Outsourcing, BPO for short, or only a partial solution in the field of digital distribution – the important thing is always to work with the client to fully penetrate the business case. Both the B2B and the B2C view must be fully taken into account. Therefore, we will often initially agree to an initial consultation phase with our client, in which we get to know their business model and their requirements and the conditions they do business under, and analyze the demand. We can already bring in our expertise from other industries such as the high-tech industry during this phase. The "Connected Car" is a complex subject. It involves a lot of departments in addition to IT. Add to that a number of stakeholders that need to be included, such as dealer and importer companies, the worldwide country organizations of the OEMs, suppliers, network operators and repair shops. Only few one-stop service providers are able to take into account this many aspects on an international scale.
What is Arvato’s business model in the context of the "Connected Car"?
It starts with the realization that although the megatrend of "connectivity" exists, each manufacturer is pursuing their own unique strategy. So there is no single business model that fits all situations. Instead, the task is to find the right approach for each individual customer. We see ourselves as a partner in development, who advises our clients in creating a platform solution based on which they can continue to develop their business processes long-term. In the best case, we don’t just develop these platforms, but also operate them. Our solutions currently include Cloud-based solution scenarios that enable worldwide, scalable availability of software and content, under a usage-based, "pay per use" price model. Another service we offer is the realization of "Connected Car"-related web shops and the processing of the global payment processes arising from them. Here, our customers also benefit from our international network with branches in growth markets such as China, Brazil, South Africa and India.
Isn’t the "connected vehicle" a core business for OEMs?
Clearly the "connected vehicle" is a strategically important area for OEMs and holds many opportunities. But there are indications that the manufacturers don’t want to have to reinvent expertise in digital customer relationship management (CRM), that is, in the distribution of digital content and billing of digital services, but are relying on the expertise of partners who have proven themselves over many years. And that is precisely where we enter the picture.
About Arvato Corporate Information Management
The Arvato division Corporate Information Management specializes in producing and distributing physical and digital information and goods for companies. With more than 40 years of experience in a wide variety of industries, they ensure that business information and materials are available exactly where they are needed: worldwide, at the right time and place, in high quality, and in the amount needed. In addition to conventional information- and marketing-logistics services, their strength lies in the development of integrated and highly customised solutions that efficiently combine a wide range of services and information technologies. They provide solutions in the areas of marketing logistics, after-sales service, technical documentation, content services, business process outsourcing, CRM and Web2Print. Industry leaders, major companies, and international multi-brand enterprises from a wide range of industries rely on their services and ability to innovate. More information on www.arvato-services-cim.com