October 6, 2022
For centuries human society has depended on the exchange of goods and services. At one time the distinction between a product and a service was simple. A product was a tangible item, such as food, tools, or animals. A service was an intangible amenity, such as protection or manual labor. Technological advances have blurred these lines. Now that products can also be intangible items such as software, the distinction between a product and a service is a little less cut and dry.
Ownership is one of the key differentiators between a product and a service. A service can be any kind of helpful activity. Therefore it is often provided when products are used by those who don’t own them in order to complete a task or meet a need. In the software space the software itself is a product but access to that product, typically via subscription, is a service. Today this kind of software access is called Software as a Service (SaaS) and is distinct from software service providers who build software for customers that the customer owns when finished.
Let’s look at an example. Microsoft Office is available in two ways: subscription and purchase. The first, subscription, is a service. The customer pays a recurring fee to use the product, there is no ownership involved, and thus what they are actually paying for is the service of using the product and the convenience of Microsoft managing the product for them with new features, security enhancements, and other updates that work on any device.
In the purchase transaction, the customer pays once and walks away with the product itself but also the responsibility of ensuring they have a compatible device, saving backups, and performing other ongoing software management functions. The ownership of the product entails more effort and resource investment by the customer compared to the subscription model. However, it typically comes at a lower financial cost when looking at usage over a long enough time frame.
Sibros offers access to our product, the Deep Connected Platform (DCP), which is a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for connected vehicles. DCP provides data logging, over-the-air (OTA) updates, and remote command capabilities in a single integrated solution that works with any electrical architecture found on any type of vehicle from motorcycles and cars to tractors, buses, and commercial vehicles.
Much like the Microsoft Office subscription discussed above, Sibros’ Deep Connected Platform makes it quick, simple, and easy for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to keep vehicles up to date and secure with the latest features. It also provides the data needed to improve their vehicles over time without having to build an in-house team of developers to maintain all software and data on their own.
Access to the DCP product happens in two distinct phases. The first phase includes a one-time rollout service where the customer is trained on various aspects of product usage such as vehicle modeling, user interface workflows, and API support. In phase two Sibros integrates the product onto the customer’s vehicles and gets it up and running. Since the customer is already familiar with the rollout process, they can easily expand DCP usage to other models in their showroom or fleet without undergoing phase one a second time.
One of the key pillars of DCP is the ability to update and improve vehicles over time via OTA updates. In alignment with that concept, Sibros has designed an integrated product to improve, adapt, and accommodate evolving vehicle architectures while supporting new use cases and features. Sibros is able to leverage knowledge and learning from each customer to improve our product for all our customers and ensure they have the best connected vehicle technology in the market. The Sibros team’s expertise in delivering DCP features and enhancements over time and across vehicle lines relieves a major burden from OEMs and frees up resources to invest in other areas such as new battery technology or manufacturing capabilities. Because Sibros is a product-based company, there are no surprise elements of cost. All our customers know upfront exactly what they are getting and what they are paying for.
As the supplier of an automotive data management product, one question comes up a lot: How do I know my customer’s data is safe? The interesting thing about this question is that with most other customer relationship management solutions, the customer doesn’t even question data protection. Think of contacting Salesforce or Microsoft to inquire about the cybersecurity measures included in their products…it’s just not done. Yet, both of those companies have access to sensitive data, including but not limited to personal information, bank details, and passwords.
Still, we want our customers to rest easy, knowing the proper security measures are in place. That’s why all products in the Deep Connected Platform are equipped with a comprehensive cybersecurity framework that includes data encryption, multi-level signature key access requirements, and an extensive series of validation and verification checks. To learn more about our automotive software products or to schedule a demo, contact us today.