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Answer the Door…It’s the Digital Economy!

Even your doorbell will be digital

The massive shift in technology that enables the Digital Economy has already forever changed the world. In the last five years, there has been dramatic progress related to how digital technology has impacted our lives- and that sea change is already quite literally knocking at your front door. Recent advancements in home automation now even allow a doorbell to be wired to a digital system, resulting in a photo of the person at the door instantly sent to your phone.

As its name implies, the Digital Economy is located at the multi-sided intersection of social media, commerce and digital technology. It can mean the creation of something that never existed before, replacing a traditional business digitally, or simply enhancing the value proposition of an existing business.


Recently, I sat down with Yale professor and prominent digital economy thought leader Dr. Vineet Kumar. He will be a speaker at SAPPHIRE NOW where he will discuss the dramatic impact of the Digital Economy. Let’s look at a few companies that Dr. Kumar pointed out that are bringing convenience directly to your door:

  1. Task Rabbit – an errand company with an app that connects people that have errands they don’t want to do with people in their neighborhood that will do them. They charge a 20% service fee on each task and the entire payment process is handled securely online.  Additionally, every task is insured up to $1 million.
  2. Instacart – a grocery delivery service that delivers in as little as an hour. You can choose from a variety of stores including Whole Foods, Kroger and Costco.  They currently serve about 15 major metropolitan areas in the US with plans to expand. Their personal shoppers shop in supermarkets in the local area and the delivery fee for the first order is free. After that it’s $3.99 for a two hour delivery.
  3. Grub Hub – this app helps you find meals from participating area restaurants that deliver direct to the door. When an address is typed in they will tell you the restaurants that deliver to that locale, as well as showing the restaurants that solely offer pick-up service. They also provide coupons, reviews and a “Track your grub” feature. There is no charge to the consumer though a small fee is charged to the restaurant.

Acquiring a deeper understanding of how your business can better compete in this brave new networked world makes compelling sense – especially given the fact that entire industries are being transformed by it. It may be the perfect time to learn more about how to intelligently connect to the future of business.

SAP is leading the discussion on the convenience and opportunity offered by the Digital Economy. This includes providing a technology platform for future innovation, as well as immediate business solutions for cloud, In-memory computing, mobile apps and business networks.

Innovations that impact home life are at their best when they’re simple and unobtrusive. Rapid advancements in digital technology can now mean that a ring at the doorbell has the potential to be a harmonious chime that signals a better day.  And who knows, maybe the Task Rabbit, Grub Hub and Instacart person will all ring the doorbell at the same time? Be sure to take a group shot with your doorbell camera! 

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