Use Case scenarios Use Case scenarios

This section presents and describes various instances of use case scenarios originating, mainly from two business partners, BWCON and MATHEMA. All scenarios are covered by the Business Model Canvas since it is able to indicate different cloud support for different business episodes which enables the identification of cloud technology in new and existing enterprises by describing their business models. Then, a business episode is laid out for each usage case scenario by emphasizing the key aspects of an enterprise's day-to-day business practices. As such, this will enable a company to annotate possible cases of applicable cloud offerings. 

In any case, every usage case scenario follows a Business Model Canvas template which answers a myriad of critical questions capable of pinpointing accurately a company's business requirements in terms of:

  • Key Partners
  • Key Activities/Key Resources
  • Value Proposition
  • Customer Relationships/Channels
  • Customer Segments
  • Cost Structure
  • Revenue Stream

and leveraging the power of the Cloud by identifying key points where traditional business practices are replaced by more modern, flexible and efficient ones using the CloudSocket platform.

Business Incubator

The Business Incubator (BI) scenario aims at bootstrapping start-up SMEs to help them realize their goals by offering them cloud solutions using business processes at each phase's lifecycle of their start-up company. For instance, the ecological agriculture scenario and the green energy scenario are in need of payment services, logistics support and billing management which can be envisioned by BPaaS. Moreover, in the latter use case, incorporating CloudSocket technology in an attempt to handle licensing partners for running rental facilities in different countries and implement the billing infrastructure will allow the start-up to thrive in the market.

Cluster Business Process Broker

The Cluster Business Process Broker (CBPB) scenario involves SMEs which act as a middleman that offer specialized services to customers through the CloudSocket platform. Typically, these services range from supplying Internet procurement services to DRM (Digital Rights Management) compliance in digital content and public print material distribution activities but may well involve other business use case scenarios.

The important key aspect here is the distinct separation between the Business Process Requirements and the Functional Requirements in each case, despite their tight relation  and the constant adaptation of functional requirements over the business ones since SMEs are constantly evolving and rapidly developing in new and emerging markets where new business processes are required.

Technological approach

In order to cope with the aforementioned challenges the CloudSocket platform utilizes a business process repository that allows storing variants of business process models with different levels of cloud support. This can guide the cloud broker in identifying the appropriate cloud support for an enterprise. The structure of the business process repository combines the APQC's process classification framework (PCF) with the Business Model Canvas. The PCF provides a general structure which allows categorizing any kind of business processes. The Business Model Canvas offers a second entry point to the repository from the point of view a concrete enterprise. In particular in the start-up phase, enterprises have to identify which business processes to focus on. Since there is little or no infrastructure available, the Business Model Canvas can guide them in determining appropriate business processes.

 

  sme_business_workflow_diagram  

 

In order to quickly demonstrate the possible benefits of using cloud offerings for different business process, we consider the demonstration of business processes as an appropriate form to communicate with business people. Although the following scenarios are based on estimations in that phase of the project, they depict how key arguments of CloudSocket will be displayed at the business manager level.

Scenario demonstration & analysis

Business Incubator paradigms

The Business Incubator from Baden Württemberg focuses on supporting the “Coaching and Finance” efforts of start-ups facilitating the design, analysis and simulation of individual business plans, and processes. These aspects also demand a high degree of adaptability of Cloud-based business Services for Start-ups, such as Customer Relationship Management, Order Management, and Human Resources Management. 

The main observation in this Business Incubator Use Case is that “supportive” business processes can be applied across several startups. As such, BPaaS addressing issues, like customer relationships, can be offered to a wide range of startups. The “Management” or “Core” business processes are not so obvious in this first phase of user requirements. Although, it is reasonable that management decisions in Startups and SMEs are typically not simulated with business processes, it is assumed that some “Core” business processes may be identified that can be exchanged between Startups or SMEs.

  • Ecological Agriculture

A 28 year old, biologist, has an idea to take biological waste from a restaurant and stimulate a biological decomposition process. Usually, such a process takes several years but the idea of the startup is to use worm to speed up this process.

Initial situation:

The biologist presented the ideas to the business incubators. After this the consultants have discussed with her about how to transform her business idea into a solid business model.

CloudSocket technology intervention:

The startup may require a range of cloud service offerings ranging from CRMs (customer relationship management systems) establishment to procurement, logistics and payment automation support of buying/selling processes.

Potential BPaaS solution:

Business Processes are a common instrument to explain how the 28 year old biologist prefers to perform the customer relationship and worm production management. Based on those requirements, a mapping exists to either:

  1. An already existing SaaS solutions that covers the whole business process.
  2. (or) Α combination of different SaaS and/or local installed applications.
  3. (or) No Cloud support can be performed.
  • Green Energy

This startup is a small-scale virtual power plant which connects to a grid infrastructure with power generation from wind, photovoltaic, and biogas. The company serves its customers with environmentally friendly energy for household and provides smart home functions through
its remote access capability for turning appliances on or off.

Initial situation:

The company intends to expand its services to include mobile energy sources for recharging electric cars and offer them for rental as range-extension for drivers, e.g., for a long weekend trip. The startup contacted the business incubator consultants to communicate to them its idea.

CloudSocket technology intervention:

The startup may require a range of different solutions including, but not limited to, membership and contract management, billing and payment automation processes to insurance and country-wide identity and license management.

Potential BPaaS solution:

Based on business process models, it is possible to define the expansion strategy and the required IT (Cloud) support. Depending on these requirements the different alternatives of Cloud support can be worked out.

Business Process Broker paradigms

The Business Process Broker use case identifies typical business episodes of potential SMEs in different application domains such as eHealth, Manufacturing, Photonics, Government, Security, e-Commerce and Retails which share a common set of business processes.

The main observation in these scenarios is that most of the potential end users of the CloudSocket have the potential need of generic business processes that may be individualized during the business process maturity growth. In essense, the flexible configuration of business processes, by hiding the complexity of the cloud infrastructure and by providing easy to use solutions, is a promising market segment.

As in the previous usage case scenarios analysis, the ICT/Robotics cluster of Tuscany selected ICT companies as potential candidates for early CloudSocket adoption with two representative potential cases being introduced below.

  • Internet Research and Procurement Process

An SME sells software and integrated appliances/electronic components that make devices “Internet ready” in a few seconds and employs 10 people.

Initial situation:

The SME continuously verifies prices of the electronic and mechanic components in the market and buys only products that match specific requirements in terms of customer needs and pricing. Monitoring the prices and the quality is a costly activity, which requires an ongoing analysis and trade-off between quality and price.

CloudSocket technology intervention:

The company needs a solution that reduces the costs for procurement activities by improving the effectiveness of the procurement process. Generic self-management infrastructure or special designed research processes including crawler and result databases have the potential to run in the Cloud and to raise the productivity of this SME.

Potential BPaaS solution:

This is a representative sample where the BPB (Business Process Broker) can offer consulting services which take the form of a business process aiming to optimize the way the SME conducts its business. Internet Research can be realized in many different business processes, ranging from pure manual to full automatic, from structured to non- structured or from ad-hoc to regularly triggered processes. Different business processes require different cloud support, ranging from no support, to SaaS support until personalized configuration of workflows.

  • Kiosk Distribution Process

A company with 180 employees aims at distributing newspapers and magazines to kiosks and, in general, points of sales in an Italian town. Every day, about 250 different Italian and foreign newspapers are delivered to 600 points of sales.

Initial situation:

Current customers are small kiosks with very limited IT infrastructure. Often the order is realised via Facebook comments. In order to improve the maturity of the ordering and interaction process with those kiosks, new but still light-weighted Web-applications can be provided.

CloudSocket technology intervention:

A new order process can be handled in the cloud, without IT installation on both – the supplier and consumer – sides. The scaling of the application with the expected peeks in ordering at the end of the working day or triggered by a special event indicates the use of cloud solutions.

Potential BPaaS solution:

The process of ordering can reflect a better understanding of the distribution process due to the transparent business process model and raise awareness on IT difficulties – e.g. peek handling – and hence improve the distribution process. Business processes can also be used for a collaborative improvement.

 
 
horizon2020
 

Copyright © 2016 BOC and other members of the CloudSocket Consortium.

The CloudSocket project receives research funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme

Coordination: BOC, Dr. Robert Woitsch, robert.woitsch@boc-eu.com