The Concept of Postal Platform and Its Applications
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The Concept of Postal Platform and Its Applications

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The concept of platform was developed a few years ago to describe new economic models such as iTunes, ebay and others who bring the services of other private companies into their infrastructure as a ...

The concept of platform was developed a few years ago to describe new economic models such as iTunes, ebay and others who bring the services of other private companies into their infrastructure as a revenue multiplier. This webinar will present the concept and its applications to the postal world.

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The Concept of Postal Platform and Its Applications The Concept of Postal Platform and Its Applications Presentation Transcript

  • An Overview and Framework for Postal Platforms September 19, 2013
  • Outline ● The concept of platforms  What is a platform? Why are we talking about them today?  Examples of commercial platforms & ecosystems ● How to apply this concept to the Postal, Mailing & Shipping industry  Postal ecosystem and infrastructure  A postal platform: Why and How?  Next Steps 2
  • Concept of platform 3 View slide
  • Concept of Platforms ● Business model  Bringing revenue  Bringing innovation  Managing risk ● Infrastructure  Operating system, distribution system ● Applications that interact with users ● Rules of the game ● Network effects 4 View slide
  • Microsoft versus Apple 1981-1997 ● Apple launched the personal computer market but Microsoft licensed widely, building a huge developer ecosystem. By the time of the antitrust trial, Microsoft had more than 6 times the number of developers. 5 Developer Ecosystem
  • Apple versus Microsoft: Key Business Model Difference 6 Apple Mac Users Claris Mac OS • Charged ~$10,000 for SDKs(*). • Controlled OS & HW and dominant Apps. • Vertical integration choked network effects Apple Microsoft • Microsoft had 6-10X developers • Open APIs / Cheap SDKs • Controlled OS, licensed. • Strong network effects. Users Dvprs MS Windows Dell IBM … HPProviders Sponsor (*) Software Development Kit
  • Microsoft versus Apple 1998-2009 7 ● Using a platform strategy, Apple becomes the most valuable tech firm in the US, representing $310Bn to Microsoft’s $204Bn. Chart shows % growth. “I sell songs in order to sell phones” Network Effects
  • Network Effects Users (Demand) ● Consumers of the platform services; they can be individuals, businesses, organizations, etc. Users (Solution Developers) ● They provide product or services that attract users to the platform – information, services, answers, music, games, Providers ● The contact point for users and value-added providers. Providers offer common platform components and define rules to facilitate the services. Sponsors ● Responsible for the overall organizing structure for the platform: the rules and governance of the ecosystem. May control the underlying platform technology and IP rights. 8 Sponsor Provider Users (Demand) Users (Developers)
  • Microsoft & Apple 9 Today, Apple is a PlatformToday, Microsoft is a Platform
  • Other examples 10 • Evolved from a single purpose application • Android & Chrome operating systems, Docs, Gmail, Calendar, and Chrome browser, • Droid phone, Android tablets, Chromebook, and Music Store • Google Books, Product Search, Checkout, Wallet, and Cloud Computing. • Google+, Google Games, Groups, Orkut, Blogger, and Hangout. • 500 M users, over 50% log in every day, 200M using their mobiles. • Over 250 M interact with Facebook across 2 million other websites • 20 million applications are installed per day • 3 million messages are sent every 20 minutes. Giving people the power to shareOrganizing Internet Information
  • What is a platform? 11 Infrastructure • Physical • Information • Financial Applications Developers Planks Users
  • Platforms get enormous value from 3rd party developers Most firms can only concentrate on most valuable apps Profits increase when others add to platform’s “Long Tail” 12
  • In House or Third-Party? ● iTunes/Facebook applications developers are primarily “entrepreneurs”  Investing time, providing ideas and concepts,  Developing unique marketing strategies and campaigns  Risking capital, develop and commercialize products ● Platform sponsors have responsibilities too  Manage plank rules (IP, revenue sharing, appropriateness)  Run developer forums  May subsidize or promote certain projects 13
  • Lessons from today’s Platforms ● Winners in a platform market generally  Have the “best” platform strategy, not necessarily the “best” product  Follow their mission, leverage their strengths, study the market ● It’s better to maximize the value of their infrastructure and intellectual property, not the terms and conditions that maximize intellectual property protection Source: Shapiro, C. and H. Varian (1998). Information Rules (Harvard Business School Press). p5. 14
  • How Do We Apply This to the Postal, Mailing and Shipping Industry? 15
  • What do we have? What’s missing? Infrastructure  Ecosystem  Applications ? Business Model  Strategy  16
  • The Postal Infrastructure 17
  • The Postal, Mailing & Shipping Ecosystem ● The postal ecosystem  Consumers  Advertisers  Publishers and Printers  Consolidators, third-party logistics providers, and other transporters  Banks and financial services providers  Policy makers and Regulators  Postal operators and couriers  Technology suppliers and other service providers 18
  • The postal platform 19 Infrastructure • Physical • Information • Financial Planks Shipper S R Receiver eCommerce eGovernment New Logistics Market intelligence Innovation Private Capital
  • Example: Leveraging Communities 20 R Receiver
  • Example: The Moving Community 21 R Change of address records
  • Moving to a Platform Business… ● The platform business model can have a transformative effect on the postal ecosystem  Re-imagining the mail business with innovative applications  Extending the value of the mail and the value of the postal infrastructure  Creating two-sided network effects ● Moving to this new business model requires:  A strategic approach that aligns mission, corporate strengths and market needs  The identification of application “zones”  “Planking”: The definition and implementation of a platform program within the enterprise 22
  • Application Zones ● eCommerce ● Retail services ● Financial services ● New Logistics ● eGovernment & community informatics ● eMailboxes & electronic services ● Marketing, Affinity & Market Intelligence 23 Etc.…
  • Next Steps ● Charter document  Strategic analysis: Mission, strengths, market needs  Business case for a platform strategy  Application zones  Blueprint ● Establish planks  Platform organization  Communication plan and outreach  Business plan, rules, I/P, “give and take”  Implementation, new internal processes 24
  • In Summary ● A platform business model can have a transformative effect on the postal, mailing and shipping ecosystem  Bringing a continuous stream of innovation  Mitigating risks and conserving capital  Creating network effects  Extending the life of the mail ● A strategic focus is required  Mission, strengths, market needs ● A plan must follow  Outreach  Applications 25
  • 26 Thank You Questions, comments: bmarkowicz@decisionanalysis.net
  • 27 > insight > action > transformation