The Network Map That Reshaped Londoner’s View Of Their City
In Business Networks, businesses that are connected to more businesses are more valuable: if I am looking for a supplier, I am more likely to choose one with 50 connections rather than one. The reason for this valuation is slightly different: the well-connected supplier is validated by doing business with companies similar to mine. They act as a screening service for me, and I return the favour for them.
Networks Need to Be Able to Adapt to New Technologies
The original tube map of 1931 has expanded in geography but has also had to take in its stride new forms of transport such as Thames River Boats, a Cable Car and a Light Rail. It proved a highly adaptable system, with the new capabilities appearing on the network as yet more interchanges. Business Networks have to be engineered to adapt to new technologies and new “forms of transport” as new document types are sent across them.
Business Networks may not have yet come up with an iconic piece of graphic design to compete with Beck’s much-loved masterpiece. But it won’t be long until they support more annual “journeys”. The Tube currently runs at about 1 Billion journeys per year, large Business Networks are already approaching 1 Billion transactions per year, and have achieved this in about 15 years, rather than 150 years.
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About James Marland
James is responsible for defining and rolling out strategies for the Network with particular focus on Europe. He joined Ariba at the launch of the Ariba Network in 1998 after previously being a Solution Consultant at SAP America. In addition he has held the position of Director of Algorithms at Vendavo, an SAP Partner in the area of Pricing.
He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Southampton University.
Follow James's twitter feed at @JamesMarland