Thursday, December 15, 2011

Healthcare Data Analytics: Verisk Health

The promise of Healthcare Transformation through digital technology is exciting but full of uncertainty. I predict that analytics will be most valued by the companies that pay for healthcare costs, rather than by the individuals who stand to benefit.

Verisk sells analytics products and services to companies to help these insurance payers and buyers minimize uncertainty, understand risks, and reduce costs. This focus allows Verisk Health to enjoy many strategic advantages but they face a threat of new entrants from start-ups who could pool and aggregate EMRs based on customers’ opt-in. Another threat is that when EMRs become ubiquitous, positive demand-side network effects could disrupt Verisk’s position.

Verisk should push the edge to the consumer to deepen lock-in with current customers and create value for new customers. Rather than marketing their product to consumers, Verisk would offer added B2C functionality through B2B clients. By adding this new value, Verisk’s clients’ patients and employees would demand continued service with Verisk.

Click here to download:

VRSK_Health_Capabilities.pptx (329 KB)


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Siemens: Taking Old Business to New Business

One of Siemens core capabilities is energy automation innovation across the entire energy conversion chain which makes it possible to adapt power grids to future demands. In the future, Siemens needs to leverage these relationships to expand past the conversion chain to reach the end user. Through mergers, acquisitions and partnerships, Siemens can expand further into data analytics and consumer-facing services.

Read more about Siemens here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Final Insights on the Payment Processing Industry


The payment processing industry has slowly adapted available technology to combat fraud and streamline the experience for consumers. If the incumbents wish to remain so they must accelerate the implementation of new technologies or face the loss of marketshare and revenue to the likes of Google. As Paypal transformed the industry a few years ago Google is poised to repeat. Discover and American Express are in a unique position in the industry as not just network providers but also issuing banks. For Discover to continue to compete it must leverage customer data, like purchase and credit history to reduce bad debt and to increase revenues through savings and loan products.


Digital technologies have greatly impacted the payment processing industry, digital and mobile technologies have changed the way in which the industry works and will continue to do so in the future. The industry´s main players, like Visa and Mastercard, have had to develop digital capabilities most of them by acquisitions and partnering with companies that specialized in this areas. These technologies have opened up the industry to new players like Google which has led to a highly fragmented industry. It will be interesting to see how the industry consolidates and which players manage to gain leadership in the industry based on the development of their capabilities.


The credit card companies dominant positions in the payment industry is extremely vulnerable to the latest advances in digital technology. What’s to stop an Apple or Google from moving to the edge of payment processing and relegating a Visa or MasterCard to simply a back-end credit house? Paypal is also threatened by a new player called Dwolla, which provides an easy electronic payment solution at much cheaper rates. Dwolla is sure to spark imitators, and the whole industry could soon become commoditized.

Verifone is in good position with it’s industry-leading payment encryption technology, but the rest of their value-drivers (hardware, consulting, support) is really just complimentary. Verifone would be wise to week out strategic partnerships to ensure it’s place at the head of payment security providers.


I see there are three distinct trends regarding payments.

One is the most obvious and very visible now - digital wallet, a now-common concept but used interchangeably with, but is different from, mobile payment. NFC is the enabling technology of this capability. Person-to-Person payment is an additional value driver.

Second, payment in virtual currency is a rapidly increasing trend. Coupons and reward points are familiar to us but with the advent of Facebook, Zynga, Groupon is really pushing this trend forward because you can now buy things with FB credit or use a virtual currency to make in-app purchase. This transaction does not require credit card networks and thus is taking significant value out of payment processing ecosystem. In my opinion, this is a big emerging threat to this industry which may be fundamentally disrupted by entities like Facebook.

Third, the concepts of network effects and platform strategy is so commonplace now that almost every single initiative taken by any player, big or small, has a kind of platform story to it. Google Wallet, American Express Serve, or Visa’s - all these products blur the distinction between product, services and platform.The race to win the network effect is truly on among big players and it will take 3-4 years to know the winner. With ecommerce growing across the globe, the credit card networks may see a big change depending on who wins the global race of digital payment platform.
Excellent report about the Video Games industry

Monday, December 12, 2011

Education Sector Final Deliverables

Click on the word cloud to travel to the IS714 "Education Sector" Google Site, containing both our group and individual project work including:

  • Final industry network diagram: As well analysis and insights on how technology is shaping how industry participants interact in this sector
  • Expanded individual company analysis: Assessment of core capabilities, strategies for future growth, and key partnerships moving forward.

Comcast Network and Capability Analysis

Comcast: To Xfinity and Beyond!

IBM Capabilities

IBM Capabilities and Key Relationships

Discover Capabilities

PG&E Capabilities

PG&E needs to embrace digital technology as a way to engage their customers. This is important because it solves two problems.

First, demand for electricity is increasing and customers don't want more transmission lines to be built near their homes. PG&E can use the technology that SmartMeters provide in order to implement time of use programs that will incentivize customers to use less energy during periods of high demand.

Second, customers often have inefficient behavior that is causing an unstable grid. By partnering with Nest Learning Thermostat, PG&E can use technology to influence consumer behavior.

More details can be found in these slides.