Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


OBP Report Summary

Project ID: 726940

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - OBP (One Business Place)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2017-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Over the last 20 years the growth of Internet has been explosive. Medium and large businesses have embraced this new technology. Fantastic new business models have been developed and the rate of change and growth among businesses is faster than ever. Local small business, however, has been slower to adopt new technologies and their products and services are more difficult to find online.

Finding services, products and business information via web search engines (SE) has become a part of our everyday lives, especially for local information: 4 in 5 users use search engines to find local data, special for local services provided by small local businesses (fewer than 10 employees) like photo studios, used book sellers, etc. However, as recently confirmed by the European Commission, it has become extremely difficult for potential customers to find SMEs, especially local small business. The smaller and newer the firm, the greater the problems with online visibility, both in business-to-consumers (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) markets. This is caused by two main problems:

- Nearly 40% of small businesses in Europe do not have a website . However, their traditional consumers are already online: 81% of consumers go online before heading out to the store .
- Operators of web Search Engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) give prioritized visibility to optimized, sponsored and paid business search.

OBP aims at providing a channel through which local products and services will be more easily discovered. New customers, both local and those from further away, will be able to enjoy the products and services from local businesses now more easily than ever before. OBP will become the platform for local businesses to be found easily. “The long tail” of businesses on the Internet, which has until now been invisible, will now be included and able to be found. OBP will revolutionize the way SMEs are found on-line as it provides the following features:

- Instant On-line presence to millions of EU SMEs: OBP aims at providing instant on-line presence to more than 11 million EU enterprises: publishing their trade names, main activity, location, and publicly available contact data (telephone, e-mail, website, etc). Furthermore, this automatically, provides a freely editable space on the Internet to all of the 40% of EU small businesses that do not have a web site presently and, importantly, indexation by Internet Search Engines, making possible to boost their on-line visibility, especially among local audiences.
- Transparent, easy, better B2B and B2C matching: OBP provides local consumers and businesses looking for suppliers or distributors in other regions, (EU or any other international locations) with a dedicated vertical search ecosystem, able to be transparent and easily identify and locate businesses by key filters (proximity, product, or market segment); accessible either via web browser or mobile App.
- Free and Open: OBP is advertising-free, free-to-use and open to all. Based on Wikiforms , users (common public to business owners) can add, edit or delete content.

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 main achievement in this period has been the release of the OBP website, the place where millions of business records will be made available, indexed and made publicly accesible on-line, improving the on-line visibility of millions of micro-enterprise in the whole Europe.
Following our workplan, we have initiated the deployment of OBP in the 3 pilots planned: Madrid, Lisbon and Germany, engaging with local stakeholders and identifying relevant data sources in each country. As of writing, the first version of the OBP website provides a complete database of local businesses for Spain, integrated with a search engine and registration form (so that any business owner can register and/or update the data of his business). This first release will be followed by the publication of the Portuguese and German databases in July and October, respectively.
A native mobile App of OBP will be released on July 2017, downloadable from the App stores in the pilot countries.

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)

Our initial estimations on the potential impact OBP can have for our enterprise are three folded:

- Impact on revenues: Based on the planned commercialisation strategy, initial analysis of the competitive landscape and general market growth forecasts we expect to grow revenue to 69M€ turnover in Y5 (2022).
- Impact on employment: Based on the sales projections and initial strategy for commercialisation, a total of 260 employees will be necessary at DataCentric by Y5 (2022). We expect that, as a minimum, 45% of these new jobs will be created in other EU countries, as result of DATACENTRIC internationalization.
- Impact on innovation capacity and competitiveness: 1) we expect to raise the company’s innovation capacity (new and better algorithms in form of regular expressions and data models for the OBP Data Ecosystem); 2) Internationalization and commercialisation experience can be leveraged by building on the success of the pilot countries first (and the rest of EU after), and 3)Improvement of financial results (as seen above).

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