Chapter 2: Ecosystem Engineering
The ecosystem economy determines the new basis for competition, and technology is only one part of the more complex problem. The Platform owner operates the user and developer ecosystem through five components and two control points.
Traditionally, innovations in the telecom industry focus on technology. For decades, GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, HSPA, and LTE have determined the competitive landscape of mobile communication. When the basis of competition is scalability and stability, these technologies help operators use their limited wireless spectrum more effectively. In other words, the core competitiveness of mobile networks is determined by the empty port technology. The empty port technology increases the ever-increasing capacity of voice and data traffic in a limited wireless spectrum.
The ecosystem economy determines the new basis for competition, and technology is only one part of the more complex problem. HTML5 is a good example of how the ecosystem surpasses technology. Many operators place their bets on HTML5 as a chance to regain their position in the mobile ecosystem. In doing so, they do not realize that HTML5 is a technology that provides capabilities and is still a key factor in the lack of platforms.
Successful application platforms have five key factors:
1. Software basics: Manages fragmented APIs and creates a tool set for applications.
2. the developer community uses the same API set for writing, promoting innovation and meeting different application scenarios.
3. Publish (REACH) across mobile phones, carriers, and regions (released in multiple mobile phones, different carriers, and multiple regions)
4. monetization means, such as advertising and small payment
5. Content retail means (discovery, recommendation, search and social networking)
Describe in detail the five key factors of the ecosystem, the factors for product success, and the ability to cultivate various factors in the formula.
The Platform owner uses two control points to control the user and developer ecosystem. The two control points are located at both ends of the value chain. 1. The platform owner locks developers through private APIs to control content creation. 2. The platform owner manages which applications can be published to end users and is discovered by end users to control content publishing. By reducing the friction between developers and users in the ecosystem, the two control points allow the platform owner to enlarge the network benefits.
HTML5 is regarded as the killer of the wall garden platform. In fact, it takes a lot of work to become a complete and viable application platform from providing capabilities and competing with the Android and iOS ecosystems. HTML5 won't rely on technical advantages. It needs to provide a general solution for the three missing platform key factors, namely release, monetization and retail.
Currently, only two companies, Facebook and Google, are in a strong position to develop HTML5 into a fully functional platform. They all have a rich set of private APIs, an active developer ecosystem, and use the Facebook platform and Chrome Web Store to monetize, publish, and retail applications. Mozilla's Firefox OS (Boot2Gecko) is supported by carriers and may share the same platform factors.
Telecom operators need to shift the focus of innovation from technology (such as HTML5, NFC, IMS, VoLTE, M2M, or RCS-e) to the ecosystem, so they need to better understand how the ecosystem works, how to absorb and enlarge innovation. The ecosystem perspective not only helps operators identify promising innovation plans, but also helps avoid investment in the absence of successful ecosystem factors.
When evaluating innovation investment, operators need to ask the following key questions::
• Is your innovation proposition designed to create an ecosystem? If yes, what ecosystem factors are required for success?
• How to enable technology-led innovation to provide operators with competitive advantages over the existing ecosystem?
• Are your existing comprehensive innovation projects designed to be successful in the ecosystem?
Related Links: My articles on Industrial Ecosystem chain and Miscellaneous