Business Architecture – The Article Publishing Example

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Business architecture is about understanding the main characteristics of any business. The objective is to understand what makes this business special and valuable. This example is about the article publishing business.

Article publishing is relatively new and serves as a good case study.

In understanding article publishing it is helpful to switch to another area that we already know of. In this case the best parallel is offered in the physical world, like that of the logistics.

The article publishing process has three main activities:

  1. delivery of content – this is the supplier who uses its own car to bring in the package.
  2. the publisher who receives the package (content) and who defines (labels) the right category.
  3. the publisher delivers the content to the marketplace (category)
  4. the publisher partners with a advertiser who adds the right advertisement on each package (content)
  5. clients can freely retrieve packages of content. More content of more suppliers will increase the attention of potential readers.

The core characteristics of this business is that of the marketplace. Marketplaces have an inherent value due to the increasing return on users of the market. More users generate more advertisement.

The value for the individual supplier of content lies in the exposure of its content on the market. It can now be "purchased" by clients. On a normal marketplace this is a real buy, on a virtual article marketplace it offers only a part of the complete sales cycle; informing clients about the product.

But there is another hidden value in this process that is often neglected as well for traditional transporters.

Transport and trade are very closely related. A transporter who delivers a single package to another location know about the content (what product he is carrying) and about the market. The higher the volume of the transport, the more information and knowledge will be collected about the market. And this is valuable information. This is one of the reasons why transport and trade often formed a good business model.

Article publishing is like this. The publisher knows what is searched for and knows the supply. It is a hidden business value.

© 2007 Hans Bool

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