Nouamane Cherkaoui started his career in Capital Venture and e-Payment Systems. He created his Start-up in 2001. Nouamane is an experienced Chief Information, Transformation & Data Officer with a demonstrated history of working in international financial services. He led strategic IT transformation and innovation projects at Caisse d’Epargne, Natixis, Postal Bank & Société Générale. He joined BPCE Group in 2021 to lead The Transformation Office at BPCE-SI. Nouamane is an author and member of Data & IA Think Tank. Also, he has given talks and presentations on various Digital Transformation matters (Data, API, AI & open banking) and collaboration with Tech start-ups).
Globalization, the merge of digital services, the explosion of data and the need for ATAWAD mobility connection (means – the offered technological capacity to users in order to access information anytime, from anywhere and on any device) as well as the latest Covid crisis have profoundly upset the traditional patterns of many companies and their strategies.
New competition in an open and innovative world
For many years, we have been witnessing the emergence of new business models like big tech which are transforming many industries with new rules. So big tech like as GAFA, NATU and BATX are changing the landscape with AI, machine learning, blockchain and are driving drastically new business models. All these changes require a drastic rethinking of B-To-B and B-To-C relationship around what we call Platforms nowadays.
The platform economy is a current and future trend. It offers challenges and opportunities as well for enterprises, or industries, markets, and public organisations but also for the society, the customers, our daily lives, and regulations. It is a new digital revolution driven by technological innovations, online connectivity, and data. Platforms, hybrid players between companies and markets.
The success of the platforms now seems exponential and their growth illimited. Facebook connects billions of individuals among themselves daily. The three pluses large global market capitalizations (Apple, Alphabet-Google, Microsoft) and seven of ten most important start-ups are platforms.
Companies like Amazon, Uber, Airbnb and Booking.com or Deliveroo are disrupting the functioning of entire sectors (retail, urban mobility, hotels, restaurants) and compete or even outgrow historical leaders formerly well established.
What is Platformization and Platform?
Platformization is a phenomenon by which organizations modify, evolve their structures, and uses to adapt, change, and pursue their missions in a very dynamic context.
A platform is a business model based on both technologies and an organization that allows companies and administrations to be able to offer new services and interact more and more with their employees, their customers, their suppliers and with all of the economic ecosystem.
Platform is not an integrated suite of software products, startup services and technological innovations. It’s a holistic business model that creates value by bringing and connecting consumers and producers.
Nevertheless, Platforms are not focused on working without physical assets. This is a common misconception. In fact, some of the most successful platforms use physical assets as a strong control point. This in turn increases uses and leads to even more transactions when creating a developer ecosystem strategy always consider which partner applications can be interoperable to increase consumer choice and which partners must be dedicated to creating sustainable competitive advantage.
Platforms are one of the answers to the digital transformation.
The actors of the era that have been able to take advantage of this external growth model with successes include Alibaba, Ping An or Airbnb. These players offer hundreds of services and products in partnership with companies in sectors close to or complementary to theirs by taking advantage of the capabilities of their platforms.
Digital has given this the opportunity to redefine the relationship between companies and their customers. Everyone has become aware of the need to put the customer back into the center. These new challenges lead to emphasize as much as the customer experience, the product, or the service. Technology makes it possible to offer these services, to collect data and to better exploit them to promote commercial innovation and the personalization of services.
Differentiating layers to be a platform
The most important elements to be a platform are network effect, user experience, data and technology. They are all key to ensuring that efforts to develop such an ecosystem are sustainable and bring value both for the enterprises and the customers.
A network effect occurs when new users subscribing to a product or service increase its value and usefulness to current and future users. If a product or service has a network effect, its value and usefulness increase along with the number of users. Social media platforms for example: The more the number of users of a social network increases, the more it becomes necessary for communication and its value increases for current and future users while that of the alternatives increases.
A successful user experience (UX) is the engine of growth. The connection between several objects in a platform leads to design a more than a product or service, which allows to focus on customer needs, on the relationship between the brand and the human, to create strong ties, more solid, long-term…
Data plays an essential role in this integration and is the feedstock for platforms. I believe that the platform economy is a way of creating value and organizing layered activities enabled by digital platforms, information and data. Based on the data, platforms typically can offer personalized, timely and optimized services for their users, and better service offerings for the service producers.
Network orchestrators’ core competencies include data and analytics naturally. They often collect customer and merchant demographic data (age, sex, geography) in a profile. Miking demographic data with financial and behavioral from transactions enables enterprises to better understand both parties and even to predict their future sales and purchase forecasts Customer and Merchant. Those Profiles, enable data and analytic-driven decision making or push recommendations.
Platforms also can leverage the power of data- to create community positive feedbacks and interactions. The mature platforms, become better at ‘matchmaking’, connecting consumers to the most relevant value units.
At the end, technology capacities as support for connections and cross-services. Platforms are the back-end technology capabilities, whether provided by individual systems or by assemblies of multiple systems, that power products, as well as the enterprise more broadly. Many companies launch their digital efforts with a focus on creating and improving products through a stand-alone organization that is separate or siloted from company IT. These separately funded digital units deliver user-experience innovations quickly by employing a mix of design and engineering talent, using cloud technologies, following agile delivery practices like as agile framework, and, often, fostering a different working culture and approach.
In the digital platform ecosystem, technology mediates connections between actors – such as people, organizations, and resources – making it easy and efficient for participants to connect and exchange value, incorporate new technologies, integration between digital and traditional technology solutions requires more extensive cooperation with the market tech providers or small startup.
“Technology alone is not enough” Steve Jobs
Whether for oneself or to seek in the market, the technology as the data have become the engines of this transformation of platforms. Platforms requiring more openness, innovation, and collaboration. Steve Jobs said, “Convenience is cheaper than free.” Building a platform that has a frictionless user experience, one that wows the customers, and personalizes customer demand management is key to a successful platform strategy.
Each one could with platform strategy and collaboration with the ecosystem, bolt on products and services, getting into markets and growing top-line revenues as they understand the customer demand and build upon customer trust but also with other actors to have a global, quality, and adapted offer.