Rick Kapani Rick Kapani Founder and CEO - Apptium

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The New Digital Marketplace

  • The New Digital marketplace reflects the truth of “Evolve or die”. Customers expect more and smart systems are the way to deliver.

    E-commerce was your grandfather's front-end.  I know that sounds like a bold statement but the world has moved on because E-commerce today doesn't serve the needs of

     bringing together product, software, partner ecosystems. It coexists with content, but doesn't do so in terms of supporting and feeding the customer life cycle.


    Today we live in the world of The New Digital Marketplace. An environment that understands the needs of the user, often before that user does, and has a portfolio of options to fill the gaps seamlessly. The old model was like taking a mail-order catalog adding an e-commerce engine and putting it on the web, and that was fine, for a time. 


    That portfolio has to support  Office 365, or G Suite and tools, capabilities, and products which are intuitive, and look at, usage.  Diving into and understanding better the customer life cycle means a system which understands your usage. And it’s polling as many sources as it can such as  feeding in IoT information and matching that to changing needs. 


    The new California Privacy Policy, CPP, is now impacting every large scale enterprise, from how they manage and maintain data. A New Digital Marketplace environment would understand  that you've got an Amazon instance, and in the light of the CPP look to see if there are tools to comply by interrogating your instance, then if it was needed, recommend a tool such as Data Guard, and provide an intuitive implementation.


    Similarly The New Digital Marketplaceenvironment may analyse your traffic and look at the balance between internet and intranet, and in the light of it’s findings recommend an SD-WAN solution.


    It is similar to recommendations, and upselling processes, but with the integration required to bring these new products and services. The service provider doesn't own these products and services. They have to integrate some third party logistics, or they have to integrate to a new cloud vendor, or new software as a service vendor. The complexity is, doing that, bringing that on, and setting up the price structure, which traditionally has taken anywhere from two weeks to two months. In the new digital marketplace offering, it's a matter of two minutes, because it's already pre-integrated. Not only are the services flexible the scale is too. It's on demand. Say you have a thousand seats, you downsize, you go to 800. It's elastic. Just as you look at all services today, whether it's bandwidth on demand, or utilities. You pay for as much as you use.


    Today, the biggest offering, or the biggest expansion in products and capabilities, are cloud stack products such as Microsoft Flow, Microsoft data protection, Microsoft alarming and other computing environments on Azure. Adding them to the platform is just a matter of a needs analysis in terms of what your customers have today, recommending what fits the customer need, and simply onboarding a product. The vendor selects the price to monetize that product as it becomes available. 


    The API integration that's required for it, and involved in it, and the billing structure, and the settlement is all pre-done. True marketplace vendors, such as ourselves, like Google, and others, have those products pre-built. We have those integration adopters pre-done. As a result the cost of our marketplace is a fraction of the cost than any other marketplace. The time to market of our marketplace is 99% faster than any other marketplace. Our digital disruption is a true differentiator in terms of go to market strategy, and it gives flexibility to offer bundles where each element isn’t necessarily the cheapest but there is a value in the aggregation. But aggregation doesn't mean you're locked in. Aggregation means that you actually have better buying power.


    That higher level of service makes you a more loyal customer, and the ability to reduce churn is huge today. If I can draw into your customer ecosystem, if I can provide you more than just connectivity services, and if I can be that value add provider on top of the current activity, that's what a true marketplace has to offer. 


    There is a virtuous circle of supplying the customer with more services providing more insight into the customer needs leading to an more intuitive customer life cycle understanding and so giving you the ability to market, to target market segments with a complete offering, not just the dumb pipe vendor anymore. The conversations can become more relevant and more tangible.


    Today’s market dynamics mean you're not selling to one business unit, or one organization. The CFO's office wants to know what you're doing. The IT and operations office wants to know what you're doing. Network security wants to know what you're doing. Marketing wants to know what you're doing. They all want to collaborate on strategic spend and strategic buy. Being able to address the needs of the ecosystem, and then life cycle, and doing so in an intuitive manner, allows you to address multiple business needs to an organization, and address the needs of everyone throughout the organization, whether it be the CFO, or network security, or anyone else. It's all value creation, and value interpretation.


    We started by saying that e-commerce is dead. E-commerce in the traditional sense of being part of a BSS stack, and correlating to an OSS stack, is dead. Gartner says the days of OSS, BSS are over. Multiple industry analysts say the same. It has to be platform driven, and a marketplace has to not only be the storefront, and be an orchestration to drive customer touchpoints, but it has to include fulfilment and rapid integration, and the business intelligence needed to support commerce to care. Today's technologies are watershed.


    To reflect this market change we've signed a partnership agreement with Google: Google's e-commerce storefront for SaaS products. A storefront for traditional telecom products and a joint go-to-market strategy, and a joint reseller agreement with Google selling Apptium products. It gets richer too as the move beyond telco products has already started. 


    The flexibility is of the New Digital Marketplace is essential to keep up with the progress of web, and web technology. From the connected part of e-health, to entertainment, to automation, and AI. These new digital marketplaces are the first step to aggregating asset light products and services, to advance those other industries and verticals.


    Those capabilities will grow as fast as they can be monetized. 


    What's the point of creating a capability if you can't sell it? 

    Rick Kapani
    About Rick Kapani Rick Kapani works as Founder and CEO at Apptium
    More information : apptium.com