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Creating an Uber Customer Experience Multiverse

Last week Uber and Expensify inked a fascinating deal. The two services will seamlessly integrate so Expensify customers can now order Uber cars based on travel reservations submitted to Expensify. According to the joint announcement: “upon landing, an Uber can be automatically ordered to take the traveler straight to their destination, completing the “last mile” of a long journey in style.” The offering provides a worry-free travel experience for employees while simultaneously making it brain-dead simple to submit travel expenses. Oracle, IBM, Concur—you have been warned!

This online partnership is the “digital shot heard round the world.” It takes online partnerships beyond the traditional single sign-on integrations and introduces beautifully integrated offerings focused on one thing — transforming the customer experience for the better. Expensify and Uber understand that the future of their business is based on their ability to deliver transformative services that bridge the digital and physical worlds, a problem every CEO worldwide is facing. 

In fact, according to Gartner Research*, 64% of CEOs view growth as their number one priority and see digital as their route to achieving this goal. On the surface, this seems like the classic CIO challenge of delivering more online assets with less money. A “geocentric” model in which customers, prospects, and partners revolve around a relatively stationary digital strategy. However, this new approach to growth is different: it’s about transforming the customer experience rather than the technology. A “heliocentric” model in which digital and physical assets revolve around the customer.

To repeatedly deliver innovations like the Uber-Expensify partnership requires a transformation of identity technology. Organizations must instantaneously use customer data to deliver new digital and physical services based on constantly changing customer characteristics, like location, device, time of day, familiarity, etc. The ability to rapidly manage identity relationships across an ever-changing digital multi-verse is what we call Identity Relationship Management (IRM).

Organizations need to roll out offerings unencumbered by monolithic identity platforms designed for outdated employee-centric use cases.  Instead, CIOs must invest in IRM platforms that empower organizations to construct a single view of their customer and deliver useful information about that customer to any application, device, or thing. These platforms deliver identity services at unprecedented speed (months not years), and seamlessly integrate disparate business units. The organizations that place the customer at the center of the universe will achieve the most growth because, like Uber and Expensify, they will be primed to continuously transform a customer’s life experiences.

*2014 Gartner CEO and Senior Executive Survey

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Daniel Raskin

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