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Infonova – Digital Marketplace Platforms

Infonova is a vendor that can be very powerfully aligned to the Platform Business Model. They quite specifically, and justifiably, position themselves as a solution provider of such an enabling Platform-based Digital Marketplace approach, that can be tailored for a number of industry scenarios such as a Telco Revenue and Customer Management System.

"How do you know when you're a Platform Business?" is the question asked by the TMF industry forum, one of the leading industry bodies for the sector, and who themselves have been quick to understand and relate the Platform model to their members, through insightful blogs and a full transformation body of knowledge, their 'Frameworx' assets and open innovation 'Catalyst' project framework.

Through their Milton Keynes case study and other exemplar implementations Infonova offers one of the flagship references of these ideals.

Ecosystem Enablement Platform

All of this is packaged under the headline theme that the technical architecture fundamentally represents, where Infonova define these as 'Multi-Tenant Business Models', and how their platform fast-tracks 'Multi-Tenant Concept-to-Cash' virtual business collaborations.

Or also as they name it, an 'EEP' - Ecosystem Enablement Platform:

An Ecosystem Enablement Platform (EEP) is an orchestration layer requiring significant abilities to interface with a CSP’s established OSS BSS environment and the systems of other industry suppliers and partners, as shown in Figure 3. It is not another add-on to the hundreds of systems that already address the internal business and operations needs of network operators worldwide. It is a horizontally-based business enablement tool designed to orchestrate the contributions from external suppliers and partners with CSP network-based functions, in order to address the needs of next-generation customer services.

In their web site literature Infonova offers a number of insights key to our goals here, particularly defining how to implement a Platform Business Model, such as described in the analyst briefing - Digital Ecosystem Management, where they get straight to the core mechanics of the model:

create a multi-partner collaborative ecosystem that enables service sharing between partners on the system and caters for sharing revenues and allocation of costs with all service providing partners on the platform.

the Digital Ecosystem becomes a platform business that allows businesses to collaborate as a digital economy in itself.

Virtual Business Platform

As we read further into their materials we can see Infonova approach the scenario with a goal of enabling 'Virtual Business' marketplaces.

In the analyst reports Partner Ecosystems and Platform Strategies and Global CSP Billing they describe a 'Virtual Business Ecosystem', a combination of their app functions that enables a marketplace of vendors to be populated in such away as to aggregate digital services.

Think of EBay and how each merchant operates as a virtual micro-business, with an online store and simple order processing abilities. A 'VBE' is a sophisticated version of this that enables a much wider range and depth of virtual business services. The platform enables multiple B2B2X supply chain business models, and provides the core functionality for common functions like cataloging, service provision and billing, the staples of the Telco OSS skill sets and existing legacy systems

This is such a powerful product platform that 451 Research describes it as 'weaponizing' your Cloud product strategy, in their case study report of BT, sponsored by Infonova the supplier of this platform, describing this architecture as a 'Cloud of Clouds' approach and capable of supporting 2,000 enterprise customers (5,000 tenants).

In this video Infonova CTO Andreas Polz describes how open standards are essential to the API features of their platform, and the role of the TMF API program in achieving this.

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