The Development of a Thriving Digital Business Ecosystem (DBE) for Laboratory, Scientific & Health Industry Stakeholders

As we all know, the Internet has had an affect on every person, institution, industry and government in the world today.  The LIMS industry has changed rapidly over the years because of the Internet in that nearly every LIMS system that is purchased today was investigated and researched to one extent or another through the Internet and in many cases has been purchased by way of the Internet.  When it comes to learning about LIMS, trying them out, purchasing a LIMS, implementation and finally support, you are and will be forever using the Internet at every step in that process.  Basically, the Internet is a key Enabling Technology that is not only driving the Laboratory, Scientific and Health Informatics Ecosystem but in fact the entire world of Business Ecosystems.

Where Disruptive & Enabling Technologies are the same thing

The Internet has become the sort of Gold Standard of both Disruptive and Enabling Technologies.  Disruptive in the sense that it is changing the entire software and media publishing industries and Enabling in that it is creating a whole new bread of progressive software and media publishers.

This Disruptive Technology is thriving in both good and bad economic times and is quickly replacing the old business model of print media such as newspapers, scientific journals and B2B trade magazines with Open Access Journals, Blogs and Social Media sites where the community is delivering more comprehensive and diverse information than the old establishments.

Web based meetings and discussion forums are having a direct attendance impact on tradeshows such Pittcon by simply allowing users and vendors to meet and collaborate on-line without the need to travel.

Cloud Computing is the enabling technology behind Software as a Service (SaaS) and SaaS is the Disruptive Technology that is forcing changes to the traditional software company that relies upon license revenue and annual maintenance fees by the elimination of these costs to consumers of software and replacing it with web hosted applications that can be used on-demand and for a low monthly charge as opposed to a large up-front license fee with on-going maintenance fees.

There is now a new Disruptive/ Enabling convergence of technology and business models that over time will have a profound affect on the software industry and all of the users within that industry.  This new convergence will accelerate the adoption of Cloud Computing and SaaS within all industries and organizations because of the ability to seamlessly integrate individuals and organizations within the larger business ecosystem.

Enter the concept of the “Digital Business Ecosystem”

The Digital Business Ecosystem (DBE) is the natural evolution of Business on the Internet and the convergence of software applications (such as LIMS, ELN, LIS, ERP, EMR, EHR, ECM and many other enterprise class applications) with Social Media to create a highly connected and integrated community of stakeholders including: Customers, Vendors. Employees, Trading Partners, Media, Government and other regulatory bodies.

Today, LabLynx, inc. is evolving the release of its SaaS based LIMS (webLIMS.com) into a larger, more comprehensive DBE that will extend the reach of the laboratory, scientific and health organization to be part of a more global ecosystem that will expand those organizations capabilities and allow those organizations to be more competitive and efficient while expanding market reach.  This new DBE is currently primed with over 16,000 members of the laboratory, scientific and health community that come from the collection of applications and web services that LabLynx has in place to serve the industry.

This new DBE will connect organizations and individuals to software applications, information resources, customers, new employees, trading partners and suppliers like no other single system can provide today.  This new DBE from LabLynx will be known as sciCloud.net (currently under development) and it will be open freely to all DBE members.  Joining the DBE is free to everyone (without exception) and will be accessible through accounts most everyone already has in place with Social Media Networks such as Google, Yahoo, MS-Live, OpenID, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, myExperiment.org and a host of other Social Media sites that make use of Open Authentication (Oauth).

The following short video clip provides a simple explanation of the Business Ecosystem with real world examples:

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUtpF_gabLg]

 

So what is the DBE?

DBE (Digital Business Ecosystem) is a free, open source and distributed software platform that is based on Internet technologies. It is designed to enable small and medium enterprises (SMEs), specifically, to create, integrate and provide services (both real world and software) more efficiently and more effectively.

It has been conceived so that SMEs can, at a minimal cost, bridge the digital divide that many experience when trying to offer their goods and services on the Internet.

In practical terms, this means that you can use the software available on the DBE to advertise existing product or service offerings, create new services and combine your own services with those of other SMEs to create new offerings. You can also integrate your own software with that of other SMEs on the DBE to enhance your business processes.

With improved and extended products and services, you can broaden your market reach; increase your B2C competitiveness and equally your B2B edge.

Why is it called an Ecosystem?

It is called an ecosystem because we intend that both software and business models will develop varied forms as a result of adaptation to changing environments much like in nature’s ecosystem.

Why would SMEs participate in the DBE?

The DBE gives you unlimited access to software solutions that are designed to address the specific needs of SMEs. You can integrate existing applications with current business partners as well as find and combine applications and services with new partners. This enables you to extend your product and service offering, broaden your market reach, as well as find new and better suited business partners and suppliers.

If you do not have a web presence, the DBE can enable you to create an easy-to-use, flexible e-commerce environment.

How does it work?

You can access free web services that connects you to the DBE’s peer-to-peer 1 environment. From here, you can post your existing ‘real world’ products and services on the DBE. You can also connect with other SMEs to create new ‘DBE services’ (technical representations or ‘manifestations’ of real world services), combine your own product and service offerings with theirs and advertise all of these to other SMEs across the DBE. The DBE is built using Open Source principles, which means that there is no fee involved for software and anyone can develop or extend the system as they see fit.

What are the key technologies behind the sciCloud.net DBE?

The key technologies behind the sciCloud.net DBE are OpenSocial and Open Authentication (Oauth).  These technologies / standards are open and not proprietary.  Google has been one of the main drivers behind these open application programming interfaces (API) and below are few videos that give an in depth technical look at how these technologies work:

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juIko_o2ZWg]
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPY_kwqNsgs]

 

The European Union applies real world DBEs

The following link is an entire book you can download (http://www.digital-ecosystems.org/book/2006-4156_PROOF-DCS.pdf) that provides a very thorough study of how the EU applied DBEs in a number of niche markets within a number of diverse countries and economies giving the SME members of the DBE real competitive advantages.

This stuff is not just theory but is a real world application of the principals of DBEs to very old fashioned businesses that were at a competitive disadvantage to the larger enterprises.  Implementation of these DBE’s have made a fundamental market shift to the positive for the DBE members.

The Next Step…

If you are interested in participating in sciCloud.net when it is released, please contact LabLynx, Inc here.  Please describe your interests and and someone will contact you to get you setup with the free account and will discuss your particular needs and objectives.  Remember, there is no cost to join this DBE and it is open to everyone including laboratories, government, software vendors and developers, individuals, academics, etc.  We look forward to working with you in your organization to help you get the most out of this new DBE for the Laboratory, Scientific and Health Industry.