Many markets rest on a platform. These platforms, such as: smartphone operating systems, or music streaming services, connect customers to a wide range of complementary products like apps, or songs.
In the same way, the WP Opera DXP ecosystem offers a great range of digital blockchain assets that are designed to attract more customers. So even though some components in the ecosystem are competing against each other, they also need each other.
Traditionally, production is organized through hierarchies or markets. WP Opera DXP platform ecosystem is a hybrid organizational form that is neither market nor hierarchy.
Platforms and components agree to co-specialization via exclusive smart contracts. These smart contracts bind the parties into stickier, longer-term relationships than regular market contracts, and the platform coordinates and governs the overall ecosystem in automation leveraging the Hyperledger Fabric private blockchain.
But how do we know when and where a platform ecosystem makes more sense compared to market contracts or hierarchical organization?
The answer lies in the tradeoffs of modularity - the degree to which a system’s components may be separated and recombined.
For example A Digital Agency might start out by only offering bespoke solutions, where software components are built from scratch, integration is not standardized and it is hard to add new features over time without refactoring the whole solution.
However, as different customers prefer different features, the Digital Agency may offer different basic product configurations.
Then, if customers want to be able to integrate with different APIs or applications developed by other producers, the Digital Agency Developer team may need to eventually “open” their systems up, creating a standard by which other developers can create compatible products.
Digital Agencies may even decide to uncouple their CMS, eCommerce, or CRM system from the frontend so that consumers can use the Headless CMS, eCommerce or CRM, integrating the API with Apps made by other developers in the marketplace.
In each of these stages, the product becomes increasingly modular.
Tightly integrated products and modular products have different kinds of advantages.
A tightly integrated product might have components that are customized to work together, enabling better performance.
With bespoke solutions, Digital Agencies have more control over their quality and reliability, but they are very expensive to scale, expand, maintain and upgrade.
Modular products, on the other hand, offer more choices of function, design, and scale, giving customers the ability to choose a product that more closely meets their needs.
It also enables producers to specialize in producing only those components they are best at.
Platform ecosystems provide a compromise: They give customers more choices and flexibility enabling shepherding and quality control by the platform, and foster innovation through co-specialization between the platform and its components.
WP Opera has made this platform a reality. Digital Agencies can sign up and start using modular components available to the DXP marketplace powered by Hyperledger Fabric private blockchain.