Being Reminded We Are In A Zero Distance World

Visual taken from the paper “The Zero Distance World” through Ericsson.

I downloaded a paper, written by Geoff Hollingworth, Head of Ericsson Cloud Marketing, Ericsson Evangelist, in collaboration with Jason Hoffman, Head of Product Area Cloud Infrastructure, Ericsson last year called “The Zero Distance World”

I came across it again this week, as I was busy re-organizing my files and references and I wanted to share parts of it, in quotes that I feel are fairly powerful

On checking, I saw that Geoff Hollingsworth has left Ericsson and when I went in search of this paper I got the message back “Page Requested, Cannot Be Found“. Annoying but let me press on and draw out some things that held my attention and why I am posting some of the points made.

Firstly we are often are told it is becoming a “zero-sum game” and so this “Zero Distance world” made me curious. So let me “pull out some points that I think resonate for me and hopefully for you.

Quote One:

“Everything exists for a reason. But most of the time we have forgotten what that reason is. To re-invent your business, you need to start with the “why” of what you do and only then consider the “how”. An opening quote from Garrett, R., (2015)
“The 10 Steps of Emotion Processing”

Quote Two:

“Distance and time are being destroyed, and we now have a total reach to both people and machines. Products (and people) that are not connected will be orphans of a cruel world if they aren’t already. Welcome to the zero distance world”

Quote Three:

“We need to start by understanding that change is moving from human to machine, from prescriptive to learning. And
then we need to understand the combined powers these enabling technologies (mobile, broadband, cloud) have on all existing systems. Yet these technologies are also not fixed. They are becoming ever more capable, at a fraction of the old price”. Quote from Desjardins, J., (2017) “Bitcoin was the best performing currency of both 2015 and 2016”, Business Insider

Quote Four:

“Preparing for a zero distance world and ever-accelerating change. This is what this paper is about – preparing for a world
of zero distance and ever-accelerating change. It primarily focuses on businesses and technology, but without forgetting individuals, societies, countries and the world at large”.

Quote Five:

“We have three main messages for people and companies that want to succeed:
1. Re-find who you are (soul)
2. Learn the new ways of winning (mind)
3. Become a digital machine (body)”

The 10 steps of emotional processing applied to digital- what really caught my attention

“The 10 Steps of Emotion Processing” [reference comes from Pair A Docks].
The 10 steps are as follows:
1. We consciously observe what we experience
2. On reflection, we notice what we did not consciously see
3. We recognize new patterns
4. We acknowledge their effects
5. We accept the consequences
6. We own what it means for us
7. We appreciate the impact to us
8. We understand what we need to understand
9. We build process to enable the adoption of the new future
10. We reframe our perspective going forward

Pair A Docks view of the different steps is:

1) Observe: Look at, watch, listen to; staying with it.

2) Notice: See, hear and sense; perceive.

3) Recognize … discern what it is in a known (previously identified) pattern.

4) Acknowledge: Be with its “is-ness,” “actual-ness,” “there-ness,” existence; synonyms: concede, grant, admit, confess.

5) Accept … that it is and align with it… noticing and rejecting any judgment or evaluation according to conscious or unconscious beliefs, ideals, rules, requirements, etc.

6) Own … what is happening in you; take responsibility for.

7) Appreciate: Be fully conscious of, aware of, detect; synonyms: esteem, prize, value; exercise wise judgment, delicate perception, keen insight.

8) Understand: Perceive the meaning of, grasp the idea of, comprehend; grasp the significance, implications, importance of, regard as firmly communicated.

9) Intercept: Feel the sensations in the body.

10) Digest: Process, metabolize, break down and discharge.

This was interpreted for this paper to bring these steps into the Business world

Observe –  New leaders are behind big changes, using new rules and winning
Notice –  The results are transformational, economically and disruptive
Recognize – Connected everything creates data to feed machines to augment human effectiveness and reach
Acknowledge –  This forces all companies to ask their “Why” question
Accept – And then accept the need to change
Own –  Where a new approach to digital is required
Appreciate – With next-generation digital economics
Understand– – New best practices are required
Process – And safe change requires discipline
10 Reframe – Finally accept the need to embrace, accept, and start observing again is reflected on the outside

Quote Six:

“The current transformation, the one of replacing physical with digital, is exceptionally powerful because it destroys distance rather than accommodating it. The zero distance world challenges all previous systems, even ones that have worked so well that we no longer question their existence”

Quote Seven:

“These companies (that) have operational models that capture an exponential capability increase but with linear costs and an exponential price decrease, all while maintaining value. They achieve such efficiency by removing what is not necessary and simplifying what must be there. By aggressively standardizing across all facilities, infrastructure, operations and business lines, high revenue per employee statistics become obvious rather than surprising.”

Quote Eight:

“The ones that can translate this tsunami of data into insight and action will have a massive advantage over those that cannot. And the ones that can do it the fastest will win outright. You have to ask: What will be the acceptable delay between request (need) and response (offer) in the future?”

Quote Nine:

“Building business models focused on new outcomes Next-generation digital requires the destruction of this existing entropy….From a business-model perspective, companies are moving from a focus on product to product and services, to pro-active customer support, to completely new outcomes”

Quote Ten:

“Future digital will require precision control from the edge to the core and from private to public. Can you imagine what your digital operations are going to look like? Probably not”.

Quote Eleven:

“The future requires a new kind of digital operation and infrastructure. This will be cloud-based since this is the most efficient and agile approach. However, cloud-based can mean a lot of different things. Today AWS public cloud has a very different economic performance from the results seen in the private domain. But this will change, as tomorrow both public and private cloud will be forced to deliver the same high performance economic in one seamless operation from edge to core”

Quote Twelve:

” Moving further out, it then becomes clear that – thanks to automation and developments in robotics – products will no longer need to be designed for use by humans, from the latches fastening servers in racks to all the safety features. The Ericsson and Intel “Future Digital Infrastructure” is an example of such a possible design [ref]. And if the designs are self-contained, perhaps they do not need dedicated real estate but can be integrated into existing infrastructure”

Finally, (for me), “In a zero distance world, precision control is a requirement enabled by real-time data-driven decisions. This need for precision control applies across the total business, including:

• Procurement
• Design
• Lifecycle management
• Operations to support
• Application deployment
• Application management
• Real-time TCO calculation.

This drives a continually improving industrialization cycle.

At Ericsson, this paper rightly informs me that they manage large-scale industry transformations with clients who cannot afford unknowns and/or failures and projecting way out into the future on what they are building and working on. I need to come back and focus on them for more digital and platform informing.

The paper comes to a view that has left me some thinking as my summary

“It is important, in this context, to adopt the new technology but never to value innovation over discipline. Cloud may be the most efficient and agile infrastructure and operating model to date. However, the cloud is a cost unless people, competence, process and automation tools exist to enable discipline. A diligent process must be followed that is not driven by technology, but by continuous business KPI’s and wanted customer experience.”

***I would differ on this point, discipline works up to a point, it is the ingenuity found when looking for value in innovation that trumps this but both need to be diligent and keeping alert to this essential customer need, not just experience.

So back to what this paper has as three main messages for businesses.

• Re-find who you are (soul)
• Learn the new ways of winning (mind)
• Become a digital machine (body)

“The first message touches the soul of a company. The second message drives home the need to understand the new rulebook for winning. And the third message is about building a next-generation business engine, a digital machine that delivers on the promise of the first two messages”.

It is somewhat annoying this paper does not seem to be readily available, it has some terrific messages of how digital is giving us this “the zero distance world” where we need to prepare for such major changes.

I just can’t find the paper on their site, so to provide a link to a direct PDF download Ericsson_Cloud_Zero-Distance-World paper, that is if you want to read it all.

The paper is a timely reminder to me to go back and spend more time on appreciating the contributions that Ericsson and their digital services bring besides a thought-provoking paper buried somewhere within their portal that offers some great quotes to reflect over.

BTW, I do not work or get paid for this, I just think the quotes extracted as stimulating and useful to share.




4 thoughts on “Being Reminded We Are In A Zero Distance World

    • Norris, thanks for the link. Yes that is the page that refers but the links into the paper itself come up as “page not found”. So that is why I have a direct link to the PDF set up if you care to read the paper.


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