Are all apps really equal?

It’s strange how my wife’s misfortune offered me such a practical and clear vision of the fundamental differences between old style legacy software systems and how things should actually work.

It all started on Saturday morning, with my wife running around getting ready for a girls’ lunch and, of course, being somewhat behind schedule. “Get me a cab!” she cried out – at some point considerably later than was ideal in order to leave on time. Given the business I’m in, I have many different taxi apps on my phone which I test – or insist my wife tests – every time we go out.

This seemed like a good opportunity to try out a new taxi-booking app and see what the service was like. Ten minutes, the app said, so of course I booked the job straight away. Five minutes later my phone rang; it was the cab company saying they didn’t have a car available.

So, apparently, all apps are not equal. What was really interesting for me about this experience was it’s one I’ve had often, and I’m sure you have too. The issue is caused by old legacy based systems that use fixed delays as a cornerstone of how the system manages incoming jobs. Yes, they know where their drivers are and they know where their cars are, but everything related to traffic is just a guess based on their perceived experience. No wonder the delays are so rubbish!!

Therefore it’s not surprising that Uber is the dominant force it is. At least you know that when you get an arrival time from the Uber app, it’s pretty accurate. In fact it’s embarrassing that so many cab companies still rely on an archaic style of technology when there are much better options available.

The Echo app will never renege on a cab arrival time because it runs dynamic delays, so that when a customer asks for a time by phone, web or app, it’s going to be bang on – every time. It’s unfortunate that my wife’s late cab was the cause of frustration for her, but it reminded me just how far ahead of the competition Echo actually is.

Torsten Brose
Echo Business Development Director

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