In one of the cockpits of business disruption, Ian Cohen, Group Chief Product and Technology Officer for Addison Lee, is re-engineering the private hire taxi company to add the extra thrust of customer experience and passenger/driver engagement to what is already a highly efficient allocation and dispatch machine.
A huge company transformation is under way, part of a fundamental shift in emphasis from a ride and allocation model, focused on journey optimisation, to one obsessed with all things customer (passenger, driver, corporate client, travel management company). Cohen's goal is to deliver a premium, trusted mobility as a service solution for corporates, small businesses and individuals.
He is extending the company's prime position in the use of telematics and smart allocation technologies by exploiting advanced data analytics and insight solutions to optimise the fleet and move into the connected/autonomous vehicle space. The company's smart allocation and dispatch technologies are being shared with partners to develop mobility as a service solutions focused on hybrid transportation models.
All of the internal underpinning technology and product change is enabled through a strategy of legacy system decomposition to micro services, containers, API hub, service bus solution abstraction and the implementation of commodity cloud and hybrid solutions. By working with smaller providers and expert boutiques, Cohen has managed to accelerate every aspect of these initiatives.
To promote organisational innovation, he has introduced the "squads and tribes" approach associated with the likes of Spotify and Netflix. Small, self-sustaining feature teams with end-to-end accountability for their delivery are now part of an overall product tribe.