Some of the recent Emergic Freedom market ideas that have come in my various discussions are:
1. Target Assemblers
The computer assemblers are the weak link in the Intel-Microsoft chain. Selling Intel PCs now has become a commoditised business with little differentiation for them in fact, in most cases, the customer decides the price hes willing to pay for the specific configuration. Microsoft is after the assemblers because it sees them as the purveyors of pirated software. In short, assemblers are getting squeezed both by customers and the vendors. They need a different solution. This is where Emergic Freedom can come in. By cutting cost of computing, it can create more demand. It is an alternative to the new Intel PCs and Microsoft software platform. It gives the assemblers the capability to go to end-users with a differentiated offering.
From our viewpoint, assemblers can bridge the last mile by taking the solutions to organisations in their neighbourhood, building on the relationships they already have. One of the ideas is to get each of the assemblers to set up a Tech 7-11, which works both as an information, computing and communications centre, and as a showcase for the Emergic Freedom solution. Once people try out using the Linux desktop and the applications, theyll realise they are not much different from the Windows applications theyve been using.
2. Franchise Tech 7-11s
The Tech 7-11 needs to be at the heart of taking the solution to the mass-markets. The emphasis here is more on providing information and computing needs locally, rather than on just communications (as todays cybercafes do). By offering content and applications from the local thick server, it should be possible to provide a wide range of services which (a) bring a larger user base to interact with computers (b) show them the utility of computing so that they will want them in their organisations. Thus, the Tech 7-11s are key in opening up the next and new markets.
3. Target SME Verticals
Hospitals, Garment companies, small manufacturers, and other such SMEs all need business automation. How can we provide a solution for under Rs 125,000 (USD 2,500) which can provide them all the necessary hardware and software to make it happen? For this price, we can given them one thick server (Rs 50,000), 5 thin clients (Rs 40,000) and software (Rs 35,000) which can provide them the necessary basic software to manage their enterprise. For hospitals, wed provide a hospital management software. For SMEs, wed provide a basic CRM software for the services companies and an inventory management software for the manufacturers. Build them like Lego components using Web Services (on a Visual Biz-ic platform, like what Ive talked about in the past), so new modules can be integrated easily over time.
We need to show a clear business benefit at an attractive price point: SMEs want to automate repetitive processes. While our original e-Business suite idea will take time to do, we can aggregate a collection of small software applications which can simplify their life in the near-term, and them starting to use technology without the need for in-house IT staff.
What is needed here is to go in with a whole solution hardware, software, support and training (working with the assemblers). Even for the software, there are plenty of companies which probably have developed the software but are unable to sell it to more than a handful of companies marketing is the biggest problem for the small software product companies. This is where we need to act like a Tech Hub, providing distribution via the Assemblers and the Tech 7-11s.
Ill have some more ideas tomorrow.