Analytics and platforms are becoming key differentiators in business information services based on a BIIA review of company announcements of acquisitions, new product introductions, partnerships, international expansion, new company launches and divestitures.

Within this context BIIA has noticed an increase in partnerships where unique data sets and software can create better decisions; data sharing leading to better insights or to provide more utility in vertical segments (automotive, health etc.).

Very appropriately BIIA’s Chairman David Worlock wrote recently in an Outsell report “We are all in This Together!”

One of the most important questions:  How does the network induce players in different places in the value chain or in the same place, but with complementary products and services, to work together when in the “real” world they have always acted competitively? The report focuses on some of the latest examples and strategies regarding content and workflow collaboration. The report can be obtained from the Outsell Store.

In this report Worlock offers valuable insights in how to overcome the strategic fears which haunt the thinking of players large and small:

  • Major players see their bigger clients getting ever more sophisticated in terms of content handling analytics and service development in a context where some of the most valuable content is created within the corporation itself. There is a growing temptation, unless the information industry comes up with something better, for large sector players to defray the cost of IT solutions by selling their development work to other industry players (populated with external but not internal data). In these circumstances content players become third parties in licensing agreements and are unable to see clearly how their content is being used and how requirements are changing.
  • Small players often feel the same about solutions generated by large information companies. While licensing content can produce valuable royalty flows, they can also create a false sense of security and create situations that end in those contributing content getting smaller shares from enlarging content pools, or in extreme circumstances seeing content dropped because it is “emulated” elsewhere or the brand values that were so important at service launch are no longer so critical to the established service. And again, the small player is rarely getting feedback on content usage.

This creates a more perilous world for mid-size players and makes the decisions around partnership and collaboration business-critical, not simply attempted growth expedients. In the world that emerges from the economic downturn of the past three years, the patterns set in the network that assist in increasing productivity, controlling the cost base, and enabling industry to cope with re-regulation will have created a new information industry. Collaboration is the key to being a part of it.

In his closing remarks titled “Essential Actions” Worlock hones in on the key elements which makes partnerships tick.  In dealing with the question ‘who is to lead’, the intended winner should always be the customer. Leadership is important, but so is partner compatibility.  The suggestions end with the statement: ‘Be Collaboration Friendly and start to collaborate …!

Source:  Outsell Inc., a co-founder of BIIA