The metaverse is a word to describe a new mindset and approach to enterprise software that answered the question, “How should one build a modern customer relationship management (CRM) platform in today’s world, where every company is a digital company that needs more connection with its partners and ecosystem?”
Much of the world associates the metaverse with avatars and immersive VR experiences, which is key for consumers and some business applications, but this new computing paradigm offers a more foundational and transformative opportunity for the business world.
Innovation with B2B software-as-a-service
Let’s first step into the innovation we call B2B SaaS, business-to-business software-as-a-service. Companies subscribe to a SaaS application, get access to their instance, and then begin to automate some transactionally-oriented workflow internal to their company.
Business executives need more value from their technology and digital investments. “More” means more connection with trading partners, a focus on value instead of transactions, and external coordination across entire value chains and ecosystems.
Attention needs to shift to a new type of technology purpose-built for businesses to connect and work with each other. The metaverse brings a new mindset that will drive this needed innovation.
The metaverse defines the essence of business relationships
Executives instead are looking to capture why business relationships exist in the first place, and then measure how value flows across these relationships from suppliers to customers across their entire value chain.
To meet this goal of more connection and a focus on value, companies need to exist in ecosystem-wide environments where they connect in any combination. This is where the metaverse comes in.
The foundational idea of the metaverse means connecting a company’s physical identity with a digital identity, where the business exists once in the digital world just like it does in the physical world. Web3 technology enters the scene to implement this identity in a distributed, interoperable way.
Giving business enterprises a roadmap
The idea of the metaverse gives enterprise software developers a roadmap to build software based on a single digital identity where companies join a network to connect with other companies who have likewise joined. This is not a system that belongs to any one company, but an environment where all companies are equal. Why do businesses want to connect? Because that’s the nature of a business at its essence, connecting with customers, suppliers, and any stakeholder to establish an expectation of value from the relationship, and then measure the realization of this value over time.
Building the metaverse
The metaverse is something companies need to build. But by definition, one company cannot build the metaverse. There is only one metaverse, and enterprise software developers can only commit to building some part of it and to helping businesses navigate to it. Each of those individual environments must interoperate seamlessly.
We are obviously in the very early stages here, and it will take a decade-plus to realize this vision.