IP Commerce Platform

As I alluded to in a recent post, we have spent a fair amount of time internally prepping information for a press release.  As of Monday morning, the IP Commerce Platform has been officially, publicly announced.  You can read the full release here.  The release itself has been covered in a number of news outlets and we expect additional coverage over the next few weeks.

What is the IP Commerce Platform?

I will begin with a quote from the release.

The IP Commerce Platform unites software companies, service providers and distributions channels in a new, dynamic environment that negates the need for proprietary, one-to-one connections. Ultimately, these partners use the Platform to become more nimble and responsive to customer needs in today’s competitive commerce marketplace, and acquire new customers more quickly and at less cost.

I have spoken, in the past, about the Commerce Toolkit for Applications.  This toolkit, or SDK, is what software companies leverage to develop new, highly integrated software solutions to allow their customers to more quickly and simply process payments.

The toolkit, however, has negligible (or no) value without a platform.  The Platform itself is what performs the qualification, routing, provisioning, compensation and incentive facilitation, etc that is necessary to support an ecosystem made up of disparate participants.

So how does it work?

I tend to simply think of IP Commerce as having a base principle of "write once and provide to many".  The platform is based upon the principles of service-orientation and applying those principles to commerce services.  This is, specifically, in an effort to address the current issues that plague the financial services (and specifically payments) industry.

It, in essence, provides for the business process management (BPM) capabilities that are necessary to meet the rigors required by the financial service industry.  In a sense, you can think of the Platform as the "custodian" of the IP Commerce Network.  This network is created by the interaction of service providers, software companies, and distribution channels and, as you can imagine, requires proper BPM capabilities to model business arrangements and to "normalize" these arrangements as appropriate.  As such, the Platform enables a complex interaction of web services, business rules, workflow, governance, etc to allow these businesses to collaborate in a simple and effective fashion.

Does it work?

I, personally, am a strong proponent of letting experience speak for itself.  To that end, I recommend visiting the web site of POS Prophet Systems.  Again, to quote from the release:

By developing once to the IP Commerce Platform, we have simplified our development efforts and can now focus on what we do best, providing end-to-end business software solutions," said Rick Robshaw, CEO, POS Prophet Systems. "We now have access to leading service providers like Chase Paymentech, and greater channel opportunities."

How can I learn more?

Actually, it is fairly simple.  Reach out to me directly, or through the comments, and I will be happy to discuss in great detail.  Later this week, I will be announcing an exciting opportunity to not only learn about the platform…but to see its capabilities in action.

Interestingly, I realized during the process of writing this post that the information above has a fair amount of content that can be somewhat confusing.  Perhaps chief among these issues is the concept of a "platform"…the term carries a unique weight based upon audience (technical vs. business).  In an effort to address this, I will spend the next several days discussing this in greater detail.  If there is anything you wish to see addressed in specific, the comment form is below. . .

What’s your perspective? Agree? Disagree? Anything to add? Critiques?

March 19, 2008

2 responses to IP Commerce Platform

  1. Paul Haley said:

    I’d love to hear more about how your business rules address governance or workflow issues that span time and extended enterprise issues (e.g., if requested X and haven’t heard for Y long and …. then …).

    Your scenario seems to be at the edge of CEP and BPM and your mention of governance seems to imply logic that spans more than point decisions. This is another advanced application of rules that you may be anticipating.

    Any examples?

  2. tyler hannan said:

    Paul,

    Apologies for the delay in reply. That is what I get for sending updates in comments to the wrong e-mail address and only using WLW to post.

    I believe the question you pose is derived from my use of BPM in the context of the platform and the normalization of business models.

    One way that can be interpreted is to assume that we have solved the issue of matching business models against business models, by normalizing the interfaces between the two and figuring out context as it relates to “out of band” processes.

    One of the most interesting problems in the space of BPM right now dealing with Complex Event Processing. CEP is the process of handling multiple events from an event cloud and being able to identify what is meaningful, using causation, hierarchies and correlation detection algorithms.

    Depending on your point of view, IPC is not really doing that (at present). What we’ve done is say “Here’s the protocol to talk with each other.” Thus we’ve provided a streamlined normalization point. In practice this means that we’ve done the CEP work by hand and have come up with a model that represents that work.

    The platform, and associated technology is capable of doing async comm, but that the first step along that path is to normalize the protocol. We’ve added facilities to deal with workflow / BPM related issues but only within the domain of the platform’s communication protocol.

    In addition, the Platform provides for the ability to do complex definition of compensation and incentive schemes which can support a CEP-like feel (heavily nested scenarios of compensation).

    If you would like to discuss further, reach out to me through this comment or the “contact” link above.

    Again, apologies for the delay. . .I have resolved the notification issue.

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