Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Facebook – Social Media or E-Commerce Strategy Required!!

Everyday facebook seems to be attracting millions eye balls across continents with average time spent on site increasing every month they soon needed a business model which evolves facebook from just being something dependent on Advertising to something which is recession proof or a transaction based business model which would lead to creation of biggest  marketplace platform which will have 10X  the valuation which it presently command and will be a true ebay or amazon competition.

There are already test runs being done for a payment system similar to paypal which will be available for developers to integrate with facebook apps being developed. With its availability it will open a new world for individual or mom&pop stores to come up on facebook giving competition to big stores due to power of community which empowered ebay.

Imagine coming up with a simple app of creating custom t-shirts with photos or coffee mugs with same for fan clubs to buy online and retail through community pages on facebook. Other hand even complex mico finance lending apps can become real time why facebook with money sharing and management throught online platform.

Over years online book stores like amazon have tried to invest in building products which help bring trust and confidence in people on search results via people reviews of product, community building etc which has helped in generating signifcant return by increase in ARPU(Average return per user) and increased order sizes, Now image with network of trust already established among people on facebook it will take right e-commerce strategy to get product results the way it would work on setting up store on internet.

Today when people talk about social media strategy they talk about blogging, community sites, apps on social networking sites and how brand/product can be positioned or communicate with their audience through such medium. All RoI metrics which are shared are similar media measurement metrics, they still dont map to e-commerce goals or sales goals for the product. I strongly believe its just due to the fact communication manager or marketing manager is defining direction for usage of platform instead of E-commerce manager who should be working on creating apps and strategy to sell products via an online catalog by understanding user behaviour with the platform.

Possible applications

i) Event Ticket Retailing – With so much convience to manage invites for events among peer networks. First feature which can start to reap benefits would be events ticket retailing via facebook and like google long tail theory would apply where even person is able to sell 10 tickets in his network still due to M-M fundamental of people using the platform facebook will make lot of money.

ii) Dell Laptop store – Dell could have a laptop store on which people can customize type of laptops or desktops built over dell series host them on their profiles for other people to see as their recommended PC to buy and earn comission through promoting Dell product ofcourse with their knowledge guarantee in their network

iii) Alternate to Itunes– People recommended music can sell via hosted service similar to i-tunes probably catalog app developed by music companies.

These are couple of opportunities which will come for businesses more than that today professionals need to start investing time in understanding the platform and start looking it as a marketplace platform instead of communication platform.

Open to other people adding their comments on way they see facebook evolve. Though bottom line is I see facebook as the next killer e-commerce app!! – Do we just need directions??

Couple of months ago when Delhi Police floated a tender requesting a GPS based police dispatch system what it was looking for is the first piece of puzzle which routeguru is providing. looks like a rule based engine which gives directions based on either latitude longitude position mapped of interest points or localities with major roads flowing in delhi taken into consideration or something more innovative based on GPS mapping of city.

The concept is good though with ability to map the route for me makes a better starting point when looking for direction.

I understand the problem with sites like routeguru its difficult to map it on map due to non availability  of digtal map companies like Teleatlas etc. Though google map will not be accurate they can surely give it a shot an act as an immediate product remedy to competition set in by

If these portals are able to get their routing engines right their is a bigger role to play in Location Based Services vertical especially with commonwealth games coming to delhi in 2010.

Social Networking Model – What opportunity they present to us?

Till now india has seen burst of new social networking portals coming in trying to vow users from each other trying to generate numbers.  But we have still not seen companies looking at developing business models which effectively use the strengths of existing social networks to gain traction.

For instance you could look at starting a product company which specializing in developing technology components for social networking sites which help them monoteize their customer base. Like AD serving products which work over google ad sense or other products on offering. Another idea which my friend came up with was creating an organization which provide digital currency to these social networking sites giving power to spend for micro payments on these platforms or generate services which e-commerce enable the social networking platforms. The opportunity are immense and would love to organize a meet with fellow like minded people who feel social networking is here to stay and digital economy can be developed around it.

Please leave a comment or contact me directly if you feel we could do something together in organizing such meet.

M-Commerce killing E-Commerce or supplementing the growth

Recently whenever we have visited a customer who is looking at e-commerce channel for customer acquisition talk of m-commerce and social networking comes in. The huge marketing and access potential these 2 buzz words offer is of interest to every b2c organization. Although they might be root to our problem but real case begins with lot of customer incorrectly budget their IT spend for e-commerce segment as advertising online.

This clearly spill out companies mind set and they are yet to show confidence in channel for generation of revenue due to the fact no stand alone success story is available to lead the chart. On the other hand m-commerce applications are not helping the case with  most of them targeting distribution of information at a cost. Most of the M-Commerce players can be easily terms as Mobile Marketing companies instead of pure commerce players.

Overall its been seen customer with established e-commerce channel benefit 70% more then one only relying on just m-commerce play. We all know M-commerce is here to stay but investment in e-commerce infrastructure is for long term as today we have mobile platform tomorrow we might have interaction happening with the refrigerators directly for placing grocery orders online. This means e-channel is scalable to service such other platforms but basic investment in e-commerce platform is something clients should not run away from.

With M-Commerce client sees immediate reach out and ability to reach out to more#’s is always more attractive. This means m-commerce is restricting clients investment as brand building efforts instead of providing  a channel for revenue generation. In order for successful growth of m-commerce or any kind of e-currency based commerce need for platform based adoption is requested with m-commerce or others also acting out channel for customer acquisition and retention., – Time to Re-invent?

When i sat down to do a post it was to be vs which is a better service portal for media professionals in India.  If you take notice regular blogs which people follow like or generally refer to these 2 sources on recent news announcements.

Business model wise both these sites sit on the same plane with basics principle of “content being the king” . But with changing landscape of digital media world and internet playing an important communication and management tool for media companies and individuals alike the need of the hour is for re-invention of the business model to make it more commercially viable rather than just being dependent on advertisement for newsletters etc. Few of the areas both the portals can grow

freelancer Marketplace – In India till date for free lancers their is no common marketplace available where media professionals talent could be attracted and common billing platform be provided. So that based on strict guidelines and process managed via software freelancers and agencies can interact with each other. With freelancers counting for a large contingent working in print & media industry it makes more sense for these portals to move forward from the job boards and integrate a full blown marketplace.

With so much news on agencies coming in its about time these portals try to organize information in terms of profiling of agencies including structuring of all news information on key people in agencies, campaign they run client maintained. As such information is useful for corporates researching which media company they would like to select. This can be based on subscription model for corporates. Currently agencyfaqs does sort the information based on product and agency wise. But still lack of ONE VIEW take the sheen out of such valuable content they have to offer.

I like the message board and advertisement/campaign ranking system especially Cirus used to be really good. But exchange4media scores on account of analysis figures needed on numbers from the industry.

Site design wise scores way above . But both the site need serious design restructuring . They need to give it a portal outlook for making it look more easy to use software as advertisement on pages it really making it difficult to find information in right corners.

Is India Ready for E-Banks

In an recent interview our finance minister talked about india’s plan to open up Indian Banking sector for foreign banks and reforming the sector to take advantage of international practices. Though this may sound good news for the Barclays, Citibank’s etc. Its also good news for indians who have higher rate of bank account usage against their other third world counterparts.

With  Virtual banks becoming established brand names in the west example ING this brings us to a new chapter of opportunities which may open up in financial sector. Though before we discuss the opportunity lets look at the market available. With increasing penetration of internet connectivity at work place we do see a increase in usage of net banking atleast to query account transaction details or to save cost associated in getting paper statements. With more options available people are now understanding difference between banks and charges imposed. Underlying statement is if bank has fully computerized its operations then most of the charges to be levied can be done away with.

Lets take an example what kind of product an Virtual Bank would offer and how optimal they can operate to reduce cost and offer quality service to customer.  One Bank per city. Account sign up via website to reduce paper application processing cost.  Zero minimum account keeping fees and higher interest earning savings account. Money deposit facility via inter bank net banking facility only. Tie up with other banks for letting own customers access their accounts via ATM.

All operations supported by 100% contact center operations. Keeping in mind current RBI regulations a cooperative bank can also enhance its operations and deposit base with such initiative.

Target Base : Existing account holders which need a saving account which does offer higher interest rate but charges high transaction fees for accessing the money which acts as a detterant. Second availability of money via any banks ATM will be added advantage as it increases reach .All account view is available via internet,phone banking and ATM.

As indian market has become mature enough to take full advantage of NET BANKING. Such products even if introduced b by existing banks would find takers with right branding and targeting.

Survival of travel portals without GDS

With more and more new travel portals coming online the first point of differentiation being looked at is the customer base they are trying to reach out to. Most of them are using same GDS technology at backend to pull fares for customers or are trying to rope in same hotels offerings. As a user then relying on a travel portal becomes specific on the user interface design they offer.

Hence the need for travel portals to evolve further by making investment in new technology initiatives other than one which allow them to be a better GDS deal aggregators or generating algorithm for fare construction.

If we look at Indian market portals can actually survive without the GDS as major chunk of online sales are coming thanks to ever growing number of low cost airlines + big daddy of all airlines “INDIAN” airlines. All of these airlines are ready to provide white label access directly to their reservation engines hence bypassing the GDS completed and giving the same real time online reservation capabilities.  Earlier when was taking booking for Air deccan when they started it took them time to issue E-ticket after accepting payment online due to the same factor that air deccan online reservation engine was not e-integrated with their own engine. Though they could get the flight details and fare but to confirm seat it was a different process. Second reasons why travel portals can survive without GDS as biggest mode of transportation which would soon open up their reservation engine for travel portal is railway which will again increase the revenue volumes for such portals.

According to Sid things travel portal should do to maintain their ‘A’ Game strategy

–  create market specific travel platform driven by technology as they can grow if they also create market hence deriving value on fare construction to deal aggregation of Tier-II cities.

– Try to bring hotels online throw hotels free hotel reservation system with requirement to connect to internet for 2 hours every day to maintain current hotel availability status.

– Bring in room rate exchange system like airlines whereas room rates can go up and down based on availability. This would also help people plan holidays in advance.

Overall travel portals need to  get innovative in terms of business model on offer, they need to take advantage of bus,car and train ticket reservation before hotel content becomes more instant available like in western countries.

How to create better auction system than ebay in india an online platform for trading old/used CD’s has raised another 5.75 million dollars to keep them going. Lets try to analyze if similar model can be functional in indian scenario. We do have argument of ebay or craiglist performing well abroad but in india its been used more by small time traders to push goods instead of regular joe willing to get something for their old items.

Few of the pain points which effect this kind of model in indian scenario.

* Micropayments collection is very costly affair hence trade charge of 10 bucx is very hard to collect using credit card (reason why single music track retailing is yet to pickup in india)

* People are still not ready to let go of things they dont need anymore. As the local kabadi walla will pay more than what anyone else would value it. Unlike west where either things goto salvation army or recycling centre.  This has lead to shortfall of items for second hand item markets too which are replenishing their shelves with cheap copycats of original items to meets client demands.

So how can one really make it work.

* Try the social networking way to help them connect with people of common interest and enable internal barter.

* Another good way is to help value their items create a stock exchange of items which are based on quality parameters  like year old, condition maintained or software way to measure peoples quality based on their social background. So we lure people to list all their movable assets with the website and create profile valuations of their bookshelf, music collection etc.

On the other hand we do a reverse auction or demand management where people list items they would like to have on their shelf hence effecting valuation of assets in exchange. This way people may get tempted to put more items in the exchange for trade. Whats the model you earn per transaction.  If jaydaad can do National property exchange why cant their be a second hand goods exchange etc. The key is to regulate exchange by trading only items whose valuation could be managed by the software.

Would invite people to discuss this further and point out problems in the model. – can zero transaction fees attract vendors

Just came across link for which promises to offer online auction system with zero transaction fees.  Now site in terms of features have covered most of the things ebay may offer or atleast call the necessary features. But important thing to look for any ebay clone coming in market is to evolve the model further. Now when they are going in for zero transaction fees they could have also made store front zero. Now this may make you think how can the business model survive. Why not try something with google ads or white label with shopping portals coming up online. So if an vendor is offering cannon 7 Mega Pixel camera show an ad from google ads (-ebay ads) showing some other portal offering the product.This could be for the free store version and for paid version you could do without the google ads and offer from dynamic content creation example if someone host a cannon camera you help vendor select if they would like to put comparision products like Olympus or Kodak  with  further review pulled in from CNET  etc.

In era of web 2.0 its about taking advantage of free information and services people would like to offer and collabrate. The smart people build applications over other peoples effort and derive business model value instead of just offering things for free. Other things auction model people can think about is e-payments module and how transaction  fees earned on money transfered via portal could be used for sustaining the model.

Airdeccan goes for new Internet Reservation Engine

This is just in air deccan india’s leading low cost no frill airline has dumped interglobe technologies India   for Radixx International a US based travel technology software provider for their Online Internet Reservation Engine. Launch of Air deccan site marked Interglobe’s arrival in Travel technology vertical as an established player.

Using Radixx International’s hosted Air Enterprise suite which has also found taker earlier in Go Air . Go Air has much more simpler and efficent reservation engine instead of Air Deccan airlines. On Feb 27th 2007  till 2 PM air deccan reservation engine was still having trouble pulling out fares but after couple of attempts to run a query resulted in result format similar to Go Air.  The Corporate and Travel Agent login is also down due to changeover in system.

Possible Indian companies dont understand concept of effective changeover or Business Continuity planning keeping in mind Air deccan operations are 100% dependent on internet as sales channel.

This is second airlines in short span of 10 days to change their reservation engine and site format after jet airways first covered on Business India 2.0.

Contact Details Call Me :+91-9910444460
July 2020