In 2008, traditional radio was turned on its head when Sirius and XM radio merged to create an unprecedented user experience. Subscribers could access their favorite programs whenever and from wherever they were. And host Howard Stern was signed on to sweeten the deal with uninterrupted access to his provocative, star-studded show.
At the time, Sirius XM recognized something critical to thriving in this phase of the digital era: the next-generation user experience is king. And in business it’s the optimized cloud experience that delivers the true royal treatment.
In the global market, this is where we find SD-WAN, a corporate solution that’s quickly becoming the keystone to modern networking. A next-generation networking technology, SD-WAN is propelling cloud adoption, serving as a lynchpin to the infinite enterprise. It enables the scale and mobility required for anytime, anywhere access, and is auguring the age of cloud.
If you’re reading this, we don’t have to tell you how disruptive cloud networking has been. It was the cloud that bankrupted long-time video-rental enterprise Blockbuster — and this isn’t the only impacted market, or the only cautionary tale to tell.
But instead of reflecting on how Amazon played a crucial role in vanquishing brick-and-mortar retailers like Borders, Lord & Taylor, or Alex & Ani, let’s check in with other cloud success stories where companies embraced the infinitely distributed, at-scale, mobile nature of the cloud.
I’d be willing to wager a fair sum that you have a ridesharing app on your smartphone. Whether you’re at the airport or the auditorium, a ride is a few clicks away, with your GPS display offering confidence in watching the driver draw near.
The biggest reasons people choose Uber, Lyft, or other ridesharing apps over traditional taxis include, but are not limited to, predictability, ease of use, upfront pricing, trust and safety, accessibility options, and reliability. It’s oddly similar to why the enterprise is embracing cloud. Coincidence? I think not.
Let’s put the cloud transportation disruption into perspective. Founded in March 2009, by July 2010 Uber achieved $1 billion in annualized gross bookings. In 2020, the ridesharing app processed more than $26 billion in gross bookings. Today, Uber service is available in 10,000 cities spanning 71 countries, with 3.5 million drivers supporting a seemingly infinitely distributed 93 million-customer user base with anytime, anywhere access.
Imagine renting out an inflated air mattress to strangers for a few extra bucks. This was how Airbed & Breakfast (aka Airbnb) sowed its seeds in 2007. Today Airbnb boasts 150 million users (up from just 6 million in 2012), booking over half a billion guests annually. As of October 2020, Airbnb hosts have earned more than $100 billion, each on average earning $9,600 in profits per year.
Airbnb is able to deliver a true customer-centric experience via ease of use, personalized experience, pocket-friendly pricing, and flexibility. In fact, the hotel industry approximates loss in direct revenue per year to Airbnb at $450 million. Travelers even leverage Airbnb as a means to extend trips or address last-minute plan changes. Several swipes later and accommodations are set, this mobile-friendly, anytime, anywhere approach is a big reason for its $18 billion valuation in 2020.
Cloud carries the power of choice—unlimited possibility, from dare I say again, anywhere, any time, with ease. Sirius XM today boasts a number of branded stations. For a nominal fee, subscribers gain access to commercial-free entertainment from a device of their choosing.
This format of radio makes it easy to take your favorite podcast or play-by broadcast with you on the go. In September 2018, SiriusXM purchased Pandora, and by April 2021 touted nearly 35 million subscribers as one of the largest audio entertainment companies in North America. Bloomberg reports 2021 revenue of $8.7 billion for SiriusXM.
If we can take anything from these examples, it’s that the roadmap for transformation is already here. Simplicity and ease of use, predictable performance from anywhere at any time, in a secure way serve as baseline benefits. The cloud doesn’t have to be complex; SD-WAN showcases infinitely distributed, at-scale, consumer-centric experiences simply with the right partner.
It’s not too late. Start your SD-WAN journey here.