It is all about Value!

At the 19th IEEE Conference on Business Informatics (in Thessaloniki, Greece, 24-26 July 2017), we were very excited to host a workshop on “Developing Multi-Sided Digital Platforms”. Prior to the workshop, we were aptly entertained by a thought-provoking Conference Opening Keynote by Odysseas Charalambous from CISCO—highlighting the categories of digital value: cost value, experience value, and platform value.


Certainly, our workshop was geared toward the platform value as the papers explored business models, value networks and ecosystems. We had four excellent papers that were presented in an interactive way, allowing ample time for in-depth discussions. The workshop participants came from Europe, US, Japan and Australia, which contributed to getting global insights.

The importance of data and data analytics for digital value was naturally addressed in this Business Informatics workshop including, for example, data-driven business models. Still, throughout the discussion, we kept coming back to the concept of value. Value proposition? Value-in-exchange? Value capture? Value-in-use? User-centric view of Value? As one participant put it: “there needs to be a win-win-win value distribution for all platform actors for the platform to survive and thrive”. Another one stated that “the technology part of platforms is easy”. We’d add further that “governing for overall platform value innovation is the challenge!” How to model and make sense of it? How to ‘design’ for it and/or facilitate for its ‘emergence’?

The result of the lively discussions was nicely summed up by one distinguished participant, with very little previous background in platform research, that what he learned from the workshop was: (1) platform ≠ ecosystem, and (b) business model ≠ value proposition. There were much more to those and highly interrelated! We wholeheartedly agreed!

The workshop group has now created a LinkedIn discussion group to continue the research collaboration between workshop participants. Platform researchers and scholars are welcome to join in.


Dr. Kaisa Still, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd

Prof. Eng Chew, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

We want to thank other workshop co-chairs (Martha Russell, mediaX, Stanford; Rahul Basole, Tennenbaum Institute, Georgia Tech; Wided Guedria, Luxemburg Institute of Science and Technology) and Program Committee members (Ross Farrelly, University of Technology Sydney; Hunter Hastings, UC Irvine; Yassi Modhaddam, ISSIP, USA; Erik Proper, Ivan Razo-Zapata and Philippe Valoggia, all from Luxemburg Institute of Science and Technology) for their support.