Platform Providers need to think more about Ecosystems Principles and Design

In my opening post (here) I was thinking where platform providers seem to be, in their current value proposition. I cannot see their approaches as sustaining. Now, this is a personal opinion and observation but let me lay out an alternative view.

I believe we are at an inflection point where the design of IIoT platforms needs to be integrated into a new way of Ecosystem Design.

There is a real need for a more shared value, breaking through the old traditional boundaries of single companies working with ‘selected’ providers of service and highly selective platform providers.

Ecosystem design is about being open in all potentially valuable proposals and co-creation possibilities. It is using multiple platforms as being part of a very different future design. You go where the best collaborations can take place not get .locked into one.

We need to stop and start to think about Ecosystems and their design for platform providers. Platforms have been amazing in their design, recognition, and value in a very short time. They are changing the way we undertake business. We have passed through the early phase of their design. It is now time to bring platforms into there place within a greater Ecosystem design.

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The case for changing the IIoT platform providers value proposition

I have been reflecting recently on where we are in all the efforts, focus, and resources, that have been going into the building of our IIoT platforms. This has mainly been around the questioning of where they should fit within the needs of an ecosystem, the end outcome of our new industrial design in my opinion.

Let me offer up an initial case of why there is a need for a change in where we are in on IIoT platforms and their current emphasis and focus How we need to change the value equation out in the future in our solution designs and positioning of platforms, as a need to achieve. This is based on considering a greater ecosystem perspective.

Here I attempt to lay out the current position and suggest there is a case for change. The IIoT platform provider needs to change their value proposition urgently in my opinion, or move along a faster evolutionary curve certainly, to get clients seeing their own value-add endgame not just the IIoT providers race for dominating the platform space.

So let’s look at where IIoT platforms currently are and in my related post where we might consider some changes in how we are evolving the platform story. Continue reading

Being Reminded We Are In A Zero Distance World

Visual taken from the paper “The Zero Distance World” through Ericsson.

I downloaded a paper, written by Geoff Hollingworth, Head of Ericsson Cloud Marketing, Ericsson Evangelist, in collaboration with Jason Hoffman, Head of Product Area Cloud Infrastructure, Ericsson last year called “The Zero Distance World”

I came across it again this week, as I was busy re-organizing my files and references and I wanted to share parts of it, in quotes that I feel are fairly powerful

On checking, I saw that Geoff Hollingsworth has left Ericsson and when I went in search of this paper I got the message back “Page Requested, Cannot Be Found“. Annoying but let me press on and draw out some things that held my attention and why I am posting some of the points made.

Firstly we are often are told it is becoming a “zero-sum game” and so this “Zero Distance world” made me curious. So let me “pull out some points that I think resonate for me and hopefully for you. Continue reading

The dynamics within platform business models

Market dynamics have changed dramatically in the past few years. The concept of connected networks has been having an increasing impact on all industries and market sectors.

Specifically, the platform business model has been generating a significant dynamism that is hard to ignore in recent years. We are reading increasingly on our ability is to scale a business but I like the shift in emphasis to platform capacity.

Platforms require networks and the need to build ecosystems and the whole focus is on increasing engagement, or build this “capacity”.

I feel the way we presently view scale, it is presently linked far more to one single entity, one that is wanting to scale up their business model. I feel ‘capacity’ opens this up and takes us more to the open, collaborative platform business model, where real growth seems to reside for our business futures. Continue reading

Have you got your digital twin strategy sorted out yet?

Gosh, where do you start on thinking through “digital twins”. The manufacturing industry is exploding with their digital twins to mimic their physical operations,

We have companies like Dassault who have been focusing on digital for many years taking a  specific focus on the human being and commercially releasing their “Living Heart”.

This “living heart” digital twin is the first realistic model of a human organ that actually accounts for electricity, mechanics and blood flow in the heart into a personalized full-dimensional model of the heart. Then users can practice and manipulate it, to place pacemakers, reverse chambers, cut out cross sections and run all sorts of hypothetical scenarios before the physical heart needs to be touched.

Then we have the digital twin that will learn all about you and what you do, think and work upon to provide you a closer replica of your daily life to help you. No, the digital twin is alongside us in multiple ways, it is not just a shadow in a mirror, mimicking all we do, in life and real time but it is working on finding better solutions to improve the actions being undertaken. It helps to predict, suggest and improve on our current activities.

Now stop and absorb that, please. The digital twin takes intelligence to a new level to mimic and then also predicts performance, based on the real-world performance you are feeding back into it. Continue reading

When is a partner not a partner?

As I have been focusing on the Industrial platform providers like Bosch, Siemens, Schneider Electric and GE, you constantly see part of their partnership validation has been with Microsoft Azure, or Amazon and AWS or even both in some form or another. Comforting, reassuring perhaps, or is it?

Both Microsoft Azure and AWS are building their own platforms also. Where would you put your money or fee’s to join?

Now if you are offering solutions that are focused specifically on solving industry problems where do you go, sign up, pay significant fees into and learn?

Would these decisions to join a platform take you towards those within an industry, the industrial builder of platforms, that build the physical assets and increasingly defining their digital services, or the providers of the digital kit, in the form of cloud, applications, data storage and security and the base platforms? Both have value but are the offerings clear enough in value or are they still leaving many potential clients still ‘sitting on the fence,’ not sure, watching what ‘plays out’

I am not sure how those within Partnership arrangement on platforms presently separate their knowledge and contribution but with the recent “slew” of Microsft Azure announcements, I wonder who is working for whom in some of these relationships?  Is the one with the digital architecture just piggybacking on the industrialist back, so as to understand industrial problems and then bring out their own ‘stand alone’ solutions? Where does that leave the industrial platform providers like GE & Siemens if the likes of Microsoft and Amazon seperately offer their own platforms? Take a read here and let me know your thoughts, please? I want to understand the dynamics going on here a little better. Continue reading

So are clients resisting IIoT platforms- Why?

IIoT platforms-as-a-service are gaining ground. In my first part of a two-part post, I was raising a number of questions. That questioning continues here in part two, at a deeper level. I do recommend you read the first post to place this more into the context required.

IIoT Platform providers are building new digital solutions. There are constant daily gains. A new client win here, a new contract there.

Yet the battle is one of attrition, client by client. Do you win in this approach? To gain traction, all the IIoT platform providers seem to have pressing needs to overcome massive client resistance at this present time. Platform uptake is gradual, it needs a higher depth in resolution, in the value of platforms, in their momentum. What is its value proposition to the client, the one who buys that solution? Is it still too early in their own digital transformation journey? Actually, clients are having a hard time in this and many other digital decisions. Continue reading