Stage 3: Actors involved in the value chain, with the resources to deliver the value are: the satellite operator, the Digital Video Broadcastplatform provider, the software licensor, the educational content provider, the professional tutor provider and the end-customer (Figure 4). It is more a value network instead of the traditional value chain of the industry. Nevertheless, the positioning in the value network is not predefined and various positions could be chosen. An issue that affects the power of each stakeholder of the value chain is that the Digital Video Broadcast platform provider can dominate the entire chain. Also, a third party provider could provide the service by integrating the various activities of each traditional stakeholder. Stage 4: The competition is defined by the convenience, the easiness and the cost of the real (traditional) learning models. But in the traditional model the teacher has to be present every day in its classroom, so the educational classes for a teacher should be in the afternoon, very near the isolated areas the teacher works. In this sense the e-learning approach is a necessity versus the traditional learning seminars or workshops which could be considered as a substitute. Stage 5: The economic model is defined by the strategic price. The strategic price for this service is comparable to the price of a seminar or a workshop. The applicable economic models, according to our preliminary research could be flat- rate model and pay per volume of data exchanged. Further research is still in progress in this stage. Stage 6: Relations among actors are defined by their contractual obligations that reflect their capabilities to achieve the value proposition to the customer. A detailed analysis is in progress.
Business model is a concept fundamental to business performance, particularly for the numerous telecommunication and business application services of the new digital economy. For this reason, the concept of ‘business model’ has become quite popular, especially today, in the dawn of the new networked economy. However, despite the extensive use of the business model concept, only limited scientific research has been conducted in this area. In this paper we present a literature review on the definitions, the components and the theoretical foundations of business model. Then we focus on the emerging business models concerning telecommunication and business application services. Finally, we review the research that has been conducted so far, concerning methodologies for designing new business models, and we propose a new framework for ‘digital’ business model design. We present business case where the new framework has been used. The important outcome of the validation of the proposed framework methodology in a real-life scenario, is that all aspects of this innovative business idea have been taken into consideration under a unified and methodological way. Several shortcomings were identified in the evaluation of the industry stakeholders, in the definition of the capabilities needed to achieve the value proposition. So far, the business model of DIAS has been presented to stakeholders with success, although has not been commercialized yet. Further research is in progress towards elaborating the above framework into a detailed methodology.