Someone Just Pressed Pause

There is a wonderful German word EisenBahnScheinBewegung , EisenBahn means “railway” and ScheinBewegung means “false moves”. Together the word means that feeling of movement when you’re sat on a stationary train car seat, and the train next to you starts moving.

That feeling is prevalent in life today, we’re all in lockdown and in many ways feel like we’re standing still yet businesses are still finding ways to operate and we need our businesses to continue to compete, the world has to continue moving.

It is from desperate times that great innovation comes, and I am an optimist. Technologies like Zoom are grabbing the headlines for the way they’re connecting people, I can’t imagine facing this time without Zoom, WhatsApp, or Facetime or the myriad of other applications that allow me to connect to loved ones, colleagues, and my customers.

But this is a time that we have also slowed down, have time to reflect and reassess, it is a time to let go of complacency, reassess our past decisions, and make new ones. Traditional ideas and solutions grow at a linear rate and early on this outpaces the disruptive technologies, the linear progression far outpaces and outperforms the exponential one. This is a period of deception, and we’re (mostly) all deceived. But then this new technology catches on, and seemingly out of nowhere, it becomes the “new normal”.


We have technology that we have used for years, we all know how to use it, and it works so we’re happy, complacent, and deceived. In Solution Selling parlance this is the “Latent Pain” – you have a problem and you don’t even know it. You sell books, business is good, then Amazon, you’re gone.

I’ll probably date myself now, but remember when the phone company used to charge for text messaging, and they’d bundle so many a month for a fee? It was a cash cow for the phone company. Then in 2014, Mark Zuckerberg paid $19Bn for a 52-person company called ‘WhatsApp?’ and we all thought he was insane! But, by 2015 the number of messages on WhatsApp was twice the volume of all the SMS’s via all the mobile operators on the planet combined. The phone company stopped laughing, and the cash cow was never seen again.

So, what’s your point Jonathan?

Take this opportunity to assess your Field Service technology stack to see if it delivers everything you need, and everything it promised? When the world around you came to a screeching halt, was it agile enough for you to reinvent the way you do business, continue to serve your customers while keeping your employees and customers safe?

Or, did you have to abandon the technology and revert to doing things more manually and shoehorning data into different systems because the integration is difficult and this will all be over by the time you could modify your tech stack anyway? Maybe the cost to change is untenable?

If any of these challenges resonate, or somewhere on the continuum, then you can be sure your business has conformed to your technology, you are not agile enough to compete. The promise of technology is that you, the customer, are at the center – this has been a deception.

Abundance comes with technology that conforms to your business and adapts to the changes that come every day. It just takes a big change to notice!

So, as we come out of this unprecedented period, don’t get that feeling as the trains around you pull away. Twenty-year-old technology is old and it can slow you down! Computing power, storage, have grown exponentially, the software is in the cloud, you no longer have to endure duplicating data to different systems with all the inherent cost and risk to your business.

Find a solution that is flexible, that can align with your unique business needs, and most importantly can grow and evolve with your business’s future. The technology, the infrastructure to support it, and the simplicity in configuration are all factors to consider. These factors all contribute to agility, cost, and risk. This is why we created Turbo Systems.

So take this time as an opportunity, use the time to become stronger, more agile. Give your competitors that EisenBahnScheinBewegung feeling.

headshot of Jonathan
Written by Jonathan Skelding VP of Business Strategy & Ops at Appify. Jonathan has been in the software industry for 30 years in a variety of global roles from engineering to services, alliances and sales.