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We often hear the advice of analysts that all companies need to rethink, reshape or even completely change their business models.

But what exactly does it mean? And is this relevant for all types of products, even my own, which never have been sold differently than just being sold to customers?


There are many good examples of changed business models everybody knows, like

  • Streaming music instead of buying physical compact disks (do your kids even know compact discs or vinyl records?)

  • Streaming videos (in my town there are no movie rental stores anymore). And in the meantime, the streaming services even supersede traditional TV. Choice is king!

  • More cars are being leased or car-shared, especially from the younger generation. Flexibility counts, rent a larger car on the weekend when you need it.

  • Software is often not sold anymore but subscription based, even in private environments. You can always enjoy the newest version with newest capabilities, bundled with cloud space to store your documents safely and share it with your friends (was there ever another way of consuming software?)

And while some of these “new business models” not only replaced “traditional business models”, but some also came with new market players. Unknown startups which silently attacked the well-known brands to bring them in a defensive position.

And the young history shows that these consumption models are well accepted by the customers. It’s not only the quality of products which counts anymore, but also the way of consumption, the service and the reliability it comes with.

It’s definitely a good idea to think about a change, to think in a completely new and different direction of offering and test it. It’s about innovating not only the physical products and its features, but to shape something new, a new product with an extended perspective and more value to customers – before others do.

But there is one hurdle you’ll have to solve – such a changed business model not only changes the life of customers. - It is changing your business as well:

  • the way you interact with your customers (direct and much closer)

  • the increased number of customers and how you need to directly interact with them

  • your billing processes (regularly instead of one-off)

  • new pricing models (monthly, usage-based, etc.…) in your system and how to automatically execute and process them

  • managing subscriptions and customer satisfaction

  • Increased process automation (billing, dunning, invoice matching….)

  • and many more

It’s really a business model change!

The good news is that we, at SAP, have not only the expertise to help you, but we also have standardized solutions and processes. We have many customers who successfully transformed their businesses and protected themselves against new players. They have proven - it works - and managed to stay ahead of the curve of business model innovation.


Subscription processes are different to traditional Order-to-Cash processes


The other good news is that customers who supplemented their traditional business with modern business models are stronger and more resilient against any crisis. That’s not the only driver but a good trigger to rethink and start now.


Want to hear from our customers and our experts?

I’m excited to invite you to join our BRIM-Show at the SAP Finance and Risk Virtual Summit and learn from our customers, our executives and our experts who discuss their experiences and ideas of Billing Revenue Innovation Management.

We are looking forward to seeing you on March 16th