Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


OSS Report Summary

Project ID: 673810

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - OSS (OpenSMESearch (OSS))

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2015-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

OSS (OpenSMEsearch) aims to provide a platform to a massive online visibility problem facing by millions of micro SMEs in Europe. Despite they are regarded as the backbone of the European economy, important source for jobs, SMEs are losing online visibility with massive explosion of big data in the Internet era. This phenomenon is caused by two main factors: 1) more than 40% do not have a website yet and 2) they are not transparently shown in web searches, as the order of results is influenced by optimized, sponsored and paid business results. Therefore, small local businesses are suffering clear erosion in their individual sales, taxable sales for government revenue, which is based on local consumers (B2C) and services to other business (B2B). This problem is of vital relevance for the EU.

OSS is our future flagship product based on pool of public and private data. OSS is a dedicated search ecosystem for European micro SMEs, will provide transparent, relevant and global online visibility, facilitating the matching of business to consumers (B2C) and business to businesses (B2B), eliminating any disintermediation’s. OSS is crowd sourcing, ads free search model coupled with semantic database technologies built on the combination of both open and our private data sources. This product also has potential to extract commercial value from open data and increase private data profitability.

The goal of our project is to make OSS a global success, able to revolutionize the on-line visibility and search for SMEs, while allows us penetrate into the BIG DATA market, which is skyrocketing at a 35% CAGR. OSS is for the people by the people and to the people to make European SME local knowledge globally available.

The objective of this Phase 1 project has been to carry out a Feasibility Study comprehending 5 main areas: 1) Market analysis, 2) Competition analysis, 3) IPR analysis 4) Prototype analysis and development plan, and 5) Financial Analysis.
During the execution of Phase 1 these 5 objectives were re-aligned and strengthened through the Coaching Plan provided by the coach provided by the EC services through the Enterprise Europe Network - EEN), addressing 4 main aspects:
1. Review of the company's business model with a strong emphasis on a highly specific web business perspective.
2. Analysis of road to market implementation alternatives and of potential growth constraints mapping current availability of resources with future needs, including human and financial capital.
3. Team leadership analysis, culture and key organizational issues. Analysis of requirements to develope an intense internet business project with big data and web engine blended capabilities.
4. Individual executive coaching and/or team coaching as required to top management; and follow up and review of overall planning and setting of priorities. Current state, visualization of future stage methodologies and required activities to achieve developmental goals

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The objectives of the feasibility study were 100% achieved during its 5 months of execution, as per the work description. We have carried out different studies addressed to proving the feasibility of OSS both as a product and as a highly profitable business. In order to do this, we have deeply assessed the main needs of our project, complementing intensive desk research with data collected through stakeholder interviews and on-field studies.
Specifically, during the execution of Phase 1 we have carried out a detailed assessment of OSS’s target markets; interviews with potential target groups of end-users and buyers; analysed the IP regime and legal frameworks in our priority target countries; identified and characterized key market players; technology watch and identification of currents trends in open (business) data applications, business listings and crowd sourcing; and built a clear and fully market-oriented technology development and innovation roadmap for Phase 2 and beyond.

The main conclusion of our Phase 1 report is that OSS has potential to positively disrupt the current visibility of SMEs in Europe whilst, at the same time, it creates a clear opportunity for high-growth for our company.
OSS provides us with a unique chance of rising significantly our revenues, international presence and number of employees and, as a consequence, becoming a Large Enterprise in 5-10 years’ time.

Finally, and as a matter of interest, within the different decisions made as result of Phase 1 we have decided to change the project tentative visual identity, name and acronym OSS - Open SME Search due mainly to the similarities with the widely known OSS – Open Source Software term. Thus, since the finalization of Phase 1 onwards we will refer to our project with a new acronym and full title: OBP - Open Business Place, together with a new visual identity.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Phase 2
Next phase will be addressed to carrying out the Business Innovation Plan result of Phase 1. It will be mainly addressed to paving the way to OBP in its route to market, providing final improvements to the OBP platform and creating the basis for a rapid and solid penetration in the targeted countries, shorting the needed time-to-market whilst facilitating for the commercialization of our business listing services. For Phase 2 we foresee an investment of 1,4M€ and a duration of 20 months.

We have ideated OSS as a dedicated global online platform to enhance European SME presence, able to cope with B2C and B2B expectations and requirements from the European and international markets. In addition, our product has a clear impact and contributes to the achievement of EU impacts in key areas:

- OSS contributes to accelerate the European up-take of ICTs by consumers, industry and public sector: Accelerate the up-take of digital solutions in the private and public sector, which includes private and public market research organizations, businesses and the general public. This has been identified as a key objective within the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) towards year 2020.
- OSS is part of the actors carrying out the implementation and wider deployment of interoperable and reusable Open Data in Europe, which has been identified as one of the highest priorities by the European Commission, as shown in the EU legislation on re-use of public sector information, such as the PSI Directive (Directive 2003/98/EC) and the EU strategy on data-driven economy (COM (2014)442 final).
- OSS as a specialized vertical search engine helps SMEs match relevant suppliers and consumers, producing valuable savings by eliminating vendors and connects buyers directly to suppliers and as a knowledge platform for networking in discovering new cross sector and cross border business opportunities.

Related information

Record Number: 186398 / Last updated on: 2016-07-11