September 19, 2014

Technology, Media & Telecoms

I was happy to come across “The Future of Technology, Media & Telecoms” report from CM Research in London.  This trend forecast report provides in-depth global thematic research in the Technology, Media and Telecoms sectors convergence.  It’s a fascinating read into the competitive battle among high-tech companies for global supremacy.

I thought this report can benefit from network analysis and proceeded to do so, using the ‘Build Network Graphs in Tableau’ guest post by Michael Martin as reference.   I didn’t make good progress so I consulted with Valdis Krebs, the leading expert in social network analysis at Orgnet, LLC, who informed me that Tableau is good for standard statistics (independent variables), but not designed for relational statistics (interdependent variables) on a large scale.  Instead, he graciously designed the Network Analysis graph and the Behavior graph using Orgnet’s proprietary application. 

The Network Analysis graph shows relationship among companies, with the node size indicates number of partnerships/alliances a company has formed with others.  The top 2 companies that have the most number of alliances are Microsoft and Samsung.  Surprisingly, Apple, the company with the biggest market value of $600 billion, doesn’t have as many alliances as its rival Samsung, maybe because Apple prefers to form a tight circle of trusted partnerships.  Large successful Internet companies such as Google and Amazon also don’t have as many alliances, perhaps because they’re still relatively young or because they’re pioneers in their own paths.  

For an even deeper analysis, we look into a behavior graph.  Accordingly to Valdis Krebs, “Two companies are connected if they have chosen a similar set of partners.  Now, since partners usually bring new knowledge, technology and ability to a situation, we don’t want to be linked to our competitors in this map -- we lose advantage because we are accessing the same resources and knowledge.  In fact in this behavior graph, we want to have as few links as possible -- we do not want to be following a similar strategy that many others are.  So, the companies that have a lot of connections to each other, especially if they are competitors, are all constraining each other's ability to innovate and compete -- you can not be different and better if all of you are competing on the same knowledge and abilities.  Notice key industry players like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, AT&T, and Amazon do not have many companies with similar partner patterns.  They each are planning a unique ecosystem to compete from.”

(Valdis Krebs/Orgnet)

In the ‘Stocks’ tab is the bar chart for the cumulative 5 ½ years stock price performance from January 2009 to June 2014.  This chart is similar to the one in the “The Future of Technology, Media & Telecoms” report, but now it has a filter for different categories (look at Netflix in Infrastructure Software & Cloud category!).

This visualization was created with the permission of Cyrus Mewawalla, Director of CM Research, and with the contribution of Valdis Krebs, Founder of Orgnet, LLC..  I’m grateful to both for their generosity.