thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
The almighty Metaverse – its Rise and Fate

The almighty Metaverse – its Rise and Fate

This is the third part of my return of the undead series. The first two parts dealt with identifying what components or building blocks a metaverse ecosystem needs to consist of. These components basically define how metaverse can work and serve as a model for the identification of how/where participants in an ecosystem could earn their revenues. Figure 1: The metaverse ecosystem These building blocks are mainly independent of the notion of a(n open) metaverse, as described by Tony Parisi in his article The seven Rules of the Metaverse. They also apply to a more multiverse type world of a collection of closed metaverses – something that I really do not want to call metaverse. The openness, that is necessary for a “metaverse” to thrive can be achieved either by common consent or via regulation – or more likely by a combination thereof. In any case, I believe that some amount of regulation is necessary in order to create and maintain a level playing field and to avoid one or few companies hijacking the area – as this is a platform game and platform games prefer size and allow only few dominant players. Users and creators use front-end applications that enable them to create the and interact with the virtual worlds that are offered. It is here, where the experience happens.These applications run on devices that offer the necessary sensors and actuators.The front-end applications connect to one or more virtual worlds that are provided as a service and that themselves rely on technology platforms.All this gets connected by an infrastructure that includes servers, storage, networks, chips, etc, as well...
Metaverse – The Return of the Undead

Metaverse – The Return of the Undead

There. Is. No. Metaverse. I am sorry to be a party pooper but read me out. It doesn’t exist. At least not yet. And not for quite some years to come. I am talking of a decade or more. Perhaps not ever. And whence it comes, it probably looks different from what we see now, and we will likely call it by a different name. Does this statement surprise you? I mean, many people, companies and investors are looking at metaverse as being the next big thing. Crunchbase already in November 2021 reported more than $10.6bn being investedinto metaverse related startups. According to a Galaxy report quoted by Institutional Investor, crypto and blockchain startups alone collected more than $32bn in 2021. Microsoft just invested a whopping $70bn in Activision Blizzard, which is clearly a metaverse play. So much money cannot be wrong, right? Google trends also suggests that there is quite some interest in these topics that came up quite recently and quite suddenly, which means that the trend has reached the masses. Figure 1: Google Trends NFT (blue) & Metaverse (red) 01/01/20 – 02/07/22 Last, but not least, “Metaverse” is not a new concept, as it exists since at least 1998 – yes, I am talking about Half Life, the first person shooter game that is often credited with providing a highly immersive world as a first of kind. The first usage of the term itself is credited to Neal Stephenson, who used it in his novel “Snow Crash”.  Still: It. Does. Not. Exist. The biggest evidence for there not being a metaverse is that everyone (and their dog) is building one or even claiming...
Is Microsoft bringing the joy and community of gaming to everyone?

Is Microsoft bringing the joy and community of gaming to everyone?

The News On January 18, 2022, Microsoft announced the intention to acquire Activision Blizzard with the vision of bringing the joy and community of gaming to everyone, for $95 per share, which equals a transaction value of $68.7 bn. This is a bit more than eight times of the revenue that Activision Blizzards expect to have in the fiscal year 2022. With this acquisition, Microsoft can add 400 million monthly active users to the already existing 25 million Game Pass holders. Until the acquisition closes, the companies will run independently. After completion of the transaction, Activision Blizzard wil report to Phil Spencer, the newly appointed CEO of Microsoft Gaming. This acquisition makes Microsoft the third largest gaming company by revenue, after Tencent and Sony. The stock markets reacted with a sharp increase of Activision Blizzard shares to about $87, while Microsoft stock largely followed its pre-existing slight downward trajectory. Here my analysis in a brief video. The bigger Picture We have currently around 3 billion people and growing, who are actively gaming. Millennials and younger do not even know a world without social media and smart phones. They often play using mobile devices. Microsoft, on the other hand, is available on basically every device and offers quite some hardware, too, either directly or via partners. Additionally, Microsoft already before was a known entity in the gaming market, e.g. owning gaming platforms like Minecraft and Doom. Still, according to Shacknews, Microsoft seems to have missed the own growth targets, even though an increase of Game Pass holders from 18 million to 25 million in the year 2021 is quite significant.  Apart from the...
The Clash of Titans – The Great 2021 Players

The Clash of Titans – The Great 2021 Players

The year 2021 comes to an end. More than three years have gone by since the last look at the Clash of Titans, an analysis of how the then big 4.5: Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, and Adobe – along with some other players, are shaping the greater CRM and CX arena. A lot has changed since Thomas Wieberneit published his 2018 series that consisted of 4 articles: Platform PlayMicrosoft and SAP weigh inThe War Cry: Oracle and SalesforceThe IaaS Platform Providers It is obvious that the commoditization of the business application continues, and the vendors’ focus on the underlying platform has even increased since 2018. CRM, and enterprise software in general, has always been a platform play although this has not always been recognized and sometimes even negated. Two obvious reasons for it being a platform play is that the creation of positive customer and user experiences needs a consistent technical platform, or we end up with engagements that are fragmented across interactions. This results in inconsistent and poor experiences. The second reason is that it needs a technological platform to enable and grow a thriving ecosystem. Vinnie Mirchandani in January 2020 stated that Enterprise Software Platforms have so far underperformed. Mirchandani looked at Microsoft, SAP and Salesforce. He basically argues, without providing too many details, that the major enterprise software vendors’ platforms are all lacking ambitious goals and do not aim high enough. One of his major points is that none of these vendors has put enough emphasis in empowering, nurturing and growing their respective partner ecosystems to take advantage of the software platforms by augmenting the applications delivered by the platform vendor...
You are a platform player? How to not be doomed!

You are a platform player? How to not be doomed!

These days every significant software vendor and some others, too, is positioning itself as a CX- and/or a platform player. By now, it is well known, what it means to be a platform player, and this is also not the main topic of this post. Just as much: In order to be a significant CX player, one quite simply needs to be a platform player.  Also, regardless of whether one has a platform or not, if everyone is a CX and a platform player, then obviously this is nothing that differentiates one vendor from the other anymore. Customers meanwhile nearly expect a set of solutions by one vendor being built upon one platform – or at least to appear like they are built on one platform. This basically means that “platform” as a thing to emphasize on has reached its zenith. And then, there is an additional problem associated with the platform game. A platform market is a kind of a winner takes it all market. Following the analysis and argumentation of Ray Wang in his new book Everybody Wants to Rule the World, in a platform market there will be only two major players. All other players are becoming insignificant or will vanish. While this sounds somewhat dystopian the point that I want to make is that there will not be a great many successful and strong players in a platform market. To use a metaphor, at one point in time a few vendors will have created enough gravity to become the entity that customers are attracted to. It is also visible that the first vendors have understood this and are acting...