Nowadays, platform companies can be found in all type of industries, from the automotive and logistics to retail and travel industry. In particular, in the B2C context, many platform companies have disrupted established industries and have become more successful than the traditional, product-focused companies in the respective industry. Most prominent examples are Apple, Amazon, Facebook or Microsoft dominating the list of most valuable companies.
In contrast, platforms in the B2B context are not yet as developed and are still on the rise in many industries. Nevertheless, the potential of B2B platforms is quite significant. For instance, Geoffrey G Parker underlines that: “What we’re likely to see on B2B platforms is smaller numbers, but the transactions that they’re likely to do will be much more valuable.”
Scope of the thesis
Your task would be to identify and analyse business models of leading B2B platform companies in a specific area (type of platform/ type of industry), ideally in the area of IoT, for instance:
- Agriculture: John Deere Connect, 365 FarmNet, Bosch Nevonex, …
- Industrial: Trumpf Axoom, Voith OnCumulus, Honeywell Forge, Bosch IoT Cloud, …
- Logistics: InstaFreight, FreightHub, …
- B2B-Marketplace: Caruso, Terbine, The DX Network, …
Concrete you will answer the following questions based on a literature review and case-examples: (1) What are leading platforms in the given industry and what business models do they pursue? (2) How do these platforms differ from each other in their underlying business model/platform model? (3) How did the organizations grow their platforms and cultivate essential network effects?
- Strong interest in case-based research
- Strong interest in technology and strategy topics at the interface of theory and practice
- Organized, conscientious and result-oriented working attitude
- Very good communication and writing skills in English
- Ambition to finish the thesis in Spring 2020
Whom to contact?
If you find the topic interesting, please do not hesitate to contact Sven Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please attach your CV and current grade transcript to your e-mail.