BearingPoint Institute: companies need to go B2B2X to compete against “born digital” organizations

Amsterdam/London, October 20, 2014 – Businesses are facing a new “moment of truth” as more agile, digital-born competitors rapidly adopt new technologies to re-define expectations of customer experience, according to a new BearingPoint Institute paper. A digital revolution that started with online sale of products like books and games is now extending into services with Airbnb and Uber as only the tip of the iceberg. The typical corporate response hitherto has been to invest more in digital marketing and customer channels – an app or social media presence – but this falls short of the level of organizational change needed in order to deliver the speed and agility to meet customer expectations. It is about using digital to make deeper changes in the delivery chain from product and service development to fulfilment. In most cases, this starts with learning to work with an ecosystem of partners to co-create and enrich service offerings, then rapidly mass-personalize and recommend them to customers. The new model sees partnering causing convergence of B2B and B2C into business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2X). This requires new digital foundations to handle complexity and repeatability in bringing together ecosystem partners to develop new coherent service bundles.

B2B2X platforms are the ‘next frontier’ of the digital revolution. Organizations who see the ‘digital opportunity’ as purely marketing are missing a trick – they are only scratching at the surface for how digital needs to transform their business in order to compete in the future.

Angus Ward, BearingPoint Partner and co-author of the report

The paper argues that, whilst most companies may periodically add new offerings, it is very difficult to pick up the tempo to do it systematically across all customer needs. By effectively collaborating with partners who are expertly positioned both in complementary and contrasting fields, a business can recommend to customers new innovative services that have been suitably packaged, offering them convenience and price advantage. Partnering significantly reduces cost and risk whilst delivering a higher tempo relationship and more data from which to unlock insight into customer needs and behaviours.

Time is not on any organization’s side. In this world of instant gratification, businesses need to react faster or watch their opportunities disappear as their customers move on.

Eric Falque, BearingPoint Partner and co-author of the report

What is the B2B2X digital foundation?

By focusing on customer experience and using customer insight, a business needs to be able to handle an exponential increase in complexity in its service offering. If a company has traditionally only provided one service, but is now looking to promote a greater range of tailored services, then it needs to achieve a high degree of automation and integration in its back office as well as hand-offs to partner systems. Core services in the digital foundation layer are:

  • Aggregation – capabilities to enable collation of services and systems, for example, linking cloud-based analytics engines with both external data sources and customer data to deliver recommendations
  • Orchestration – the ability to on-board new partners and then execute multiple service requests as an ensemble, managing operational requirements, business rules and constraints as well as service delivery as a unified whole
  • Monetization – the automation of account management, service catalogues, transactions and usage monitoring (and subsequent billing) of any given service bundle.

You can order the full report on the BearingPoint website: or contact us to discuss this topic in more detail.

About the BearingPoint Institute

Founded in 2009, the BearingPoint Institute is an incisive, authoritative voice on business-critical topics, bringing together the finest minds from both within and outside the BearingPoint organisation. We strive to:

  • Advise business leaders to understand the evolution of the global economy at a deeper level
  • Explore new thinking, going beyond straightforward “Thought Leadership”
  • Propose new points of view about strategy and organisational change, and stimulate debate

This is achieved by offering practical, real-world advice from:

  • A leadership team composed of senior BearingPoint Partners, representing geographical diversity and a wealth of capabilities
  • An independent Advisory Board formed by recognised business leaders and academics
  • Studies made by experts illustrated with real-life examples
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BearingPoint consultants understand that the world of business changes constantly and that the resulting complexities demand intelligent and adaptive solutions. Our clients, whether in commercial or financial industries or in government, experience real results when they work with us. We combine industry, operational and technology skills with relevant proprietary and other assets in order to tailor solutions for each client’s individual challenges. This adaptive approach is at the heart of our culture and has led to long-standing relationships with many of the world’s leading companies and organizations. Our global consulting network of 9200 people serves clients in more than 70 countries and engages with them for measurable results and long-lasting success.

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