In 2016, Xerox Transportation Services, a division of Xerox Services, was the largest provider of proprietary transportation and mobility solutions for municipal governments worldwide (parking, public transit, tolling etc) supported by a back-office transaction processing and call centers. Its business was facing significant technology and business model disruption, as proprietary systems were being replaced by open systems and platforms. It was Xerox Corporation third wave of disruption, the first two being the shift from laser to low cost ink-jet printers, and a move from paper to digital. Facing these new platforms that helped individuals get from point A to point B such as Google Maps, representing digital map players on one side, Uber, representing the ride sharing companies such on the other, Xerox Transportation Services had to completely re-think on what basis it would compete and what its ecosystem would look like in the future.
Part of the challenge of established organizations facing disruption the failure of omission – or inability to see or the inability to act and commit based on the new dynamics of competition.
In order to highlight this learning objective, we put the participants into competing groups to determine how each player would beat each other in the world of getting from point A to point B – projecting out the consequences of the initial investments that they had made.
It becomes very clear once after all competitive moves are made, that the consequences of initial investments (for example, Google’s 7 year valuable, rare, hard to copy (or substitute), investment in mapping the world’s roads) has a significant impact on its future sustainability of competitive advantage.