As Blockchain technology is getting into the mainstream of large enterprises, I have been contemplating on how micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME aka SMBs) can benefit from Blockchain. Let me explain below what I mean from this.
I looked into the data on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in United States at International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) website (http://www.ifc.org ). As per IFC consideration Micro enterprise has <10 employees, small enterprise has 10 to 100 employees and medium enterprise has 100 to 500 employees. The latest data from IFC totals to more than 6 million MSMEs in United States. Based on the scale and size, the technology adoption in MSMEs is driven by three factors – lower costs, ease of usability of technology and more importantly demand and advantage from new-age technology to their consumers/users. I would like to describe few scenarios before landing on to Blockchain advantage for MSMEs.
- Scenario I: Chat bots have made a progression to successful use cases at large enterprises. Look at examples of Allstate Business Insurance Expert (ABIe), Capital One Financial’s Eno, Domino’s pizza chat bot, a real estate bot like Apartment Ocean and list goes on. But I never come across a chat bot in interacting with a local restaurant, a childcare center, a mom and pop shops to state few examples from MSMEs. The reason being an initial capital cost and annual maintenance costs difficult to break-even with MSME financial models. Adding new-age advancements in AI, NLP and Machine Learning further enriches the power of chat bots. There exists a real opportunity in bringing efficiency of chat bot to MSMEs by taking over tasks for which humans are not essential
- Scenario II: Mobile Apps and monetization opportunities. Both Google’s android and Apple’s mobile apps got exploded in recent times (7+ Million total apps as Aug 2017). According to the Small Business Mobile Apps: 2017 Survey by Clutch, 85% of micro enterprises with fewer than 10 employees do not have a mobile app and whereas for SMEs in lowers fifties. There exists a significant business opportunity enabling MSMEs access to mobile apps.
- Scenarios III, IV, & V: SMS/USSD messaging, ecommerce/direct-to-consumer websites, and instant messengers are other scenarios that would enhance MSMEs capability in addressing gig economy consumers. The technology is available to MSMEs in these scenarios, but development & customization needs, and costs are slowing down the adaptability.
Blockchain backed Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) offer real opportunities enabling multiple channels like chat bots, mobile apps, SMS/USSD messaging, ecommerce/direct-to-consumer websites, and instant messaging to MSMEs and as well enable Omni channel capabilities. Blockchain decentralized autonomous platform (BDAP) can connect MSMEs, technology providers, developers, marketers, crypto ecosystem, and market place offering minimal transaction fees, competitive prices in open and transparent marketplace, ensuring secure transactions, easing the channel access and simultaneously create Omni-channel customer experience.
- First, Blockchain (BDAP) platform takes-out the initial capital investments to access new-age technologies enabling multi-channel capabilities, establish a distributed ledger technology offering peer-to-peer financial system, smart contract to execute secure transactions and an exchange for MSME tokens, and platform that enhances exceptional customer experience.
- There is an opportunity for sellers (tech providers/developers/marketing firms/startups) to play Business Integrator role creating MSME tokens and made available in the marketplace for MSMEs, Developers, Marketing & Content Firms, and Technology Providers.
- MSMEs buy tokens for fiat and crypto currency. Developers, Marketing & Content Firms, and Technology Platforms decide the price of channels and determine token equivalents. This gives an opportunity for sellers to form a partner syndicate for creating Omni-channel AI Agent experience as an additional value add.
- Once tokens are received sellers of various forms (developers, marketers, media firms, technology partners etc.), MSME channels (chat bots, mobile apps, ecommerce/direct-to-consumer websites, instant messengers etc.) gets launched per purchased token volumes.
What MSMEs get out of BDAP is an asynchronous participation of ecosystem players offering decentralized platform to access channel capabilities otherwise tied to higher capital and ongoing costs. Another key advantage to MSMEs from Blockchain enabled decentralized ledger is while MSMEs ensures their product quality building a trust/brand evaluation system, BDAP helps MSMEs scale to reputation evaluation system leveraging the platform.
You can reach me @ email@example.com for a deeper mindshare on this topic.