Posts Tagged ‘e3value’

Dynamically Serving Long Tail Needs in the Global Digital (Education) Market

June 21, 2011

Mass connectivity between customers and suppliers on the Web transforms business from a transaction-based (or product-oriented) practice to a long-term relationship-based (or service-oriented) practice.

An example. Before we bought a car as a product: once the transaction (Car for money) was made, the car becomes your possession and you are responsible to take care of all services (like tax and insurance) you need to get the car on the road. Value was created at the point of transaction. Today, like with leasing, a car becomes never really you property: you rather consider it as a service that enables you to “move around freely”. Value is created of a much longer time: as long as you use the “car service” you evaluate the added value and feed back to the supplier so it can be improved.

When implementing technologies to support service-based market places, we must take into account economic relationships rather than work flow properties; and rethink the whole concept of value to start with. Indeed the business model of these new market places are centered around the notion of value; hence it is relevant to semantically codify “who is offering what of value to whom” and what is expected of value in return. Where before value was a simple “price”, it now includes a lot of dimensions (fed by social Web data like reputation, ratings, etc.) along the life cycle of a service. Another problem is that most interesting needs, those along the long tail, can usually not be immediately served because (i) no single supplier offers it by default; and (ii) as it is too niche, multiple suppliers have to assess ROI first and co-create accordingly.

Needs in the head (red part) of the tail are usually offered by vertically integrated service providers. Needs in the long tail are typically more complex requiring niche offerings offered by a combination of suppliers (picture by Bart Van De Casteel) .

Determining needs and offerings is not a one-pass exercise. To match them up they have to grow towards each other through compromise and sacrifice of all parties.  Therefore, we propose an interactive dialogue system to express customer needs based on marketing theory (see e.g. Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller. Marketing Management. Prentice Hall, 2006). In addition, we also provide capabilities to publish service offerings by means of an ontology-based catalog. Moreover, since mass configuration of products is playing an important role, dynamic composition of SVNs has been also supported. Finally, our long-term ultimate goal is to automatically compose a SVN, including the required business processes and Information Technology (IT) support in the form of web services. Such IT is then aligned with the business, since both are designed in an integrated way.

Razo-Zapata, I.; De Leenheer, P.; Gordijn, J.; Akkermans, H. (2011) Service Value Networks for Competency-driven Educational Services: a Case Study. In Proceedings of the 6th international Workshop on Business / IT alignment and Interoperability (CAiSE 2011), Springer LNBIP

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Social Semantics, Hybrid Ontologies and the Tri-Sortal Internet

June 2, 2010

During the Semantic Data Management workshop at the European Semantic Web Conference 2010 in Crete, my former supervisor and lab director Robert Meersman gave a talk with a fresh vision on how we should tackle the mass of (meta)data about communities (enterprises, business webs), people, and systems (incl. documents and media) and the links in between them with real-world (business) semantics. This vision is also perfectly in line with the principles of IT democracy implemented by Collibra.

Here are the slides: MeersmanSemDataESWC.pdf

Business Semantics (a.k.a. ontologies) are indeed crucial to make sense out of this tri-sortal relationship. The Linked Open Data (LOD) initiative is an important first step to set free hidden data, and make access to it scalable. SPRQL endpoints however do not bring much human-driven sense to it. First visual analysis of the linked data cloud reveals the same non-linear graph structure as found in social networks. Hence there is indeed a tri-sortal dynamics.

Mash-ups  and other kinds of services based on LOD should not happen ad-hoc, but should serve the needs and goals of a community/business (Web). These include needs to interact socially between people (beyond Web 2.0), and computationally between information systems. Moreover, these services should not be only computationally consistent, trustworthy, and scalable (topics on which a large deal of the SemWeb is focusing), but also economically feasibly and profitable (an underestimated topic uniquely covered in our e3value research programme in our Business, Web and Media group at VU).

Generating Viable Business Models from Industry Patterns

April 22, 2010
This paper presents a novel approach to automatically generate value instance models, based on skeletal design techniques. The approach has three phases. While the first two phases are related to the generation of a value activity network based on a given value skeleton, the third phase matches the elements of the value network with the capabilities of service providers. The main objective of our approach is to re-use a set of value skeletons for covering an industry sector from which more business cases may be generated. Finally, we validated our approach in a realistic case study in the domain of clearing intellectual property rights for music in cooperation with SENA, the Dutch Foundation for Exploitation of Neighboring Rights.

Full text:

Razo-Zapata, I.; Chmielowiec, A.; Gordijn, J.; van Steen, M.; De Leenheer, P. (2010) Generating Value Models using Skeletal Design Techniques. In Proceedings of the 5th international CAiSE Workshop on Business / IT alignment and Interoperability, Springer LNCS