Data is a new platform for your product development

The dream of all software companies (among others…) is to become a “platform”.  There is no surprise why this is so.  When you become a platform, your business starts to kicks-ass by providing services to all other applications, tools and service providers. That’s been the situation for years, since the mainframe days to the world of WinTel, to databases and their huge enterprise stacks. With regards to enterprise, engineering, and manufacturing software vendors, developing a “platform” has been the big goal.

Examples of well known platforms are SAP and Oracle in the ERP world. Alternatively, other platforms you may be familiar with are CAD and design platforms such as CATIA, AutoCAD and others. In short, a platform is a bunch of software pieces surrounded by some UX (and applications) that expose APIs anyone else can use and leverage.  That is in my view of “platform from the 2000s” as we know them. A piece of software I also consider a platform, created during the latter 2000s was Microsoft SharePoint; a bunch of data and file management infrastructure embedded into Windows.

However, I see an interesting trend that is happening now: data is becoming a platform.  In a nutshell the idea is quite simple.  Substantial pieces of data can become useful at the level that they start serving other applications. Navigate to the following interesting article, The next generation business: Data is the new platform. The article talks about the transformations to data platforms happening around us. Some interesting examples come from consumer space . Here is the quote I specially liked:

…the coming age of big data isn’t just about storing and analyzing lots of bits. It’s about extending the core business models to leverage IP stored-up in your data, and creating new partner ecosystems – and data supply chains – to create even more value for your enterprise. That’s just where the fun starts.

You may wonder how this is related to Inforbix. Here is the story. Manufacturing companies and their surrounding eco-system generate a substantial amount of design, engineering and production related product data. The value of this data is hidden behind proprietary file formats, applications, data bases, and infrastructure.  Inforbix is working on ways to make this data more valuable by

1- gathering of data from multiple places and sources;
2- indexing, analyzing, connecting semantically related pieces of data together; and
3- making data available in meaningful and helpful ways using our apps.

Inforbix open data architecture, leveraging W3C SemTech standards such as RDF and OWL, means it is not locking data inside proprietary software or databases.  The data Inforbix collects can be easy exposed, interlinked, and shared openly by anyone.  If you want to explore more of what inforbix does, consider trying our test-drive demo. Alternatively, you can start using Inforbix for free on your own data. If you have questions about Inforbix pricing and licensing, please visit our pricing page.

I look forward to listening, discussing, and learning from you what the next challenges with data as a platform are.

Best, Oleg

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net