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Respect Network Architects Discuss VRM and Life Management Platforms

19 April 2012 — European Identity Conference, Munich: To mark the release of Doc Searls book The Intention Economy and the start of the Respect Network Founding Partner Program, five of the Respect Network Architects— Drummond Reed, Doc Searls, Phil Windley, Scott David, and Craig Burton—plus Qiy CEO Marcel van Galen gathered on a panel to discuss the next steps for VRM (Vendor Relationship Management). Questions discussed by the panel included:

  • How are customers actually going to become free and independent peers of vendors on the net?
  • How will trust management work on such a peer-to-peer network?
  • What will be the economic advantage for vendors?
  • What are the sustainable business models?
  • Is VRM limited to e-commerce?

The discussion was moderated by Kuppinger Cole Senior Analyst Sebastian Rohr. Key points made by the panelists:

  1. VRM requires that individuals have a personal data service (PDS) of some kind operating on the network. It is still an open question which service providers will offer what PDS services when. However venture-backed startups like Qiy in the Netherlands and Personal.com and Singly in the U.S. are already in the market.
  2. A PDS must be able to control the sharing of personal data stored anywhere on the net. In other words, it is not necessary for a PDS to actually store all the data­­­—only that it let the individual control where and how it is shared.
  3. On a VRM network such as the Respect Network, privacy is the default. This is the opposite of most social networks, where the default is for data to be widely shared.
  4. Trust and reputation are critical elements of a VRM network. Without a way to establish and maintain trust, such as the peer-to-peer socially-verified reputation system in the Respect Trust Framework, a globally scalable VRM network would not be possible.
  5. Both user-pays and vendor-pays business models will work—and are not mutually exclusive. Users will pay for PDS services that afford them significant new convenience and control, such as trip management, asset management, and health management. At the same time, vendors will pay for the communications and relationship management value of having a connection directly to a user’s PDS. Explained Respect Network Managing Director Drummond Reed, “This new ‘relationship fee’ business model is based on the same four-party business model as the global credit card networks. We believe it is the first scalable commercial model for personal data sharing that does not compromise privacy or user control.”
  6. VRM and PDS will have much more than just an economic impact. Said Kuppinger Cole Distinguished Analyst Craig Burton, “Life Management is about much more than just buying and selling. It’s about managing all types of interactions, relationships, and events in your life. This is why Kuppinger Cole calls this emerging market Life Management Platforms.”

Kuppinger Cole promised to publish more information about their new report on Life Management Platforms soon after the conference.

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