Business Models for GeoPos: A Broker Service for Geographical Position Data
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Information about users' locations during a communication session opens up an area of service provision where applications can be developed to serve people according to where they are. The utility of such applications are high, which explains the increasing resources service providers are investing into this area. Development points in a direction where the Internet is becoming the preferred platform for communication, but current mechanisms for location determination in IP networks are not satisfying. GeoPos is a concept developed at NTNU aiming to address the inefficiencies associated with location data handling. Through agreements with network operators GeoPos can collect the location data of many operators into a centralized network entity, where they can be offered to customers through a single interface. Compared to the current situation where operators and providers are linked in a many to many relation based on individual agreements for each link, the GeoPos concept creates a system that is much better arranged. The result is a standardized marketplace for trading of location data. This paper is attempting to suggest and evaluate different business models hoping to reveal promising marketing strategies for GeoPos and derived services. A business model is a conceptual tool used to give an overview of how a company is trying to create profits. It brings a complex business situation down to a comprehensible level where the key elements of the money making logics are emphasized. Alexander Osterwalder's ontology is used to capture the models in a structured way enabling comparison and evaluation of how changes to the interdependent components affect each other and the model as a whole. For the GeoPos concept a basic model is outlined as a starting point. This model is then extended by widening the value proposition, increasing the distribution channels, and considering attractive customers and partners. A standard model is proposed based on the basic model and described thoroughly using the ontology. In contrast to the standard model, which is targeting a new market in a non-competing manner, a competing model and an external ad space model are provided as alternatives aiming to capture lucrative revenues from advertisers. In order to do so GeoPos needs a media where end users are exposed to advertisements, and launching an application on top of the location data service is the most obvious alternative to achieve this. The other possibility identified is to claim an ad space in customers' applications. In any case this would lead to a situation where GeoPos is competing with its own customers, either directly by product or indirectly for a specific customer group, which may open the door for harsh competition in the new found market as well.