Why Netflix Went From DVD Services To Internet Streaming

Ruud Willemsen

“You have got to shoot, otherwise you can’t score.” –Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff was a Dutch professional football player and coach whose many brilliant quotes prove he was football’s ultimate philosopher king. His quotes also apply our personal lives and business environments. Here is one example.

Netflix: Moving from the ground to the cloud

Netflix is leading the league of networked video streaming, and many business networks are doing the same in the business world.

Starting as an American DVD-by-mail service in 1998, Netflix began to stream content in the U.S. in 2007. The company expanded to Canada in 2010 and today serves 190 countries. In January 2016 it reported more than 75 million subscribers worldwide.

The company has shifted from disc rental services to an Internet video streaming service. In software terms, this equals a shift from on-premise to the cloud. Netflix has created its own new business model by leveraging the power of a digital consumer network to bring content to our homes in the most efficient way.

There are business networks that do the same for companies, enabling them to transact and collaborate on business processes. Some also provide content.

Orange is the new black

We all love the documentaries, movies, and series (such as Orange Is The New Black and House Of Cards) that Netflix offers. But this content is not the only reason for the company’s success. The fact that all this content can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, from any device makes Netflix one of the best new business models in the world. Increasingly, companies are successfully leveraging the same business model—companies like Spotify, Hulu, and even Apple, with Apple Music—these are examples of companies that are now tapping into this successful business model.

Platform is the new black

Spotify, Netflix, Hulu are all consumer-focused services that are easy to use, subscription-based, and provide continuous updates on content and functionalities. There is a similar trend in the business space as business networks bring value to companies by offering the same features. Connecting more than two million companies and facilitating trillions of dollars in commerce each year, SAP Ariba, for example, is even opening up this platform to allow customers and partners to develop extensions or customizations.

Netflix Originals: The Business Network

Is this the title of Netflix’s new top-rated series? Not yet, but someday we may see a documentary on Netflix that explains how consumer and business models came together to change everything we do, how we purchase things, and how we experience the process. Business networks provide many value drivers for companies, and one of these value drivers is an easy buying portal for companies. It is basically an Amazon.com-like experience that is controlled according to companies’ policies. Now, you can have all the controls applied, but if employees can’t find what they need, well, then it is just a useless system.

Content is key!

Content is key! And it should be accessible from anywhere, at any time, from any device. Business networks are the Netflix for companies. They are the content enabler. They can bring together different consumer marketplaces like Ebay, and make it easy for employees to find what they need, even from their mobile device.

Interested in learning more about Ariba and innovations such as Ariba SpotBuy?  Register here to join Ariba Live in Madrid on June 13-15th.


About Ruud Willemsen

Ruud is managing the go-to-market strategy & commercial success of supplier management and supplier risk solutions within the SAP Ariba portfolio, focussing on the European region.