Web and Internet Economics- Understanding and Shaping the Impact of Digital

The 13th Conference on Web and Internet Economics (WINE) event held at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in December 2017 threw up some interesting discussions around concepts ranging from the scale effects in Web Search, market and auction mechanism design to pricing of resources in the cloud. Keynote speakers at the conference included Vijay Krishna of PennState, Vijay Vazirani of University of California Irvine, Ariel Procaccia of Carnegie Mellon University and Tim Roughgarden of Stanford University.

WINE has emerged as one of the most prestigious conferences in the field of e-commerce and Internet economics over the past decade, not just due to the high quality of papers presented each year, but also because of the growing impact of Internet economics across all industries. Sonata was honoured to be associated with the event as a Gold Sponsor, along with Microsoft, Facebook and Accenture. The theme at WINE 2017 ties in closely with focus areas at Sonata, with the extraordinary growth of the Internet and technologies further enabled by it such as Cloud, mobile, IoT and Big Data, being important factors shaping our company’s solutions. Enabling digital transformation with next generation technology for business is an important objective of our Platformation approach. Digital platform businesses have created a non-linear growth structure, which allow for free participation of various stakeholders to enter this business model and create value for themselves; as opposed to traditional business models that start from the supply chain at one end and go through a particular flow of business processes to reach consumers. Issues related to massively connected, open, scalable and data driven systems that were addressed at the conference thus gain immediate relevance to emerging platform business paradigms in this context. 

As Sonata CEO, Srikar Reddy spoke at a panel at the event, transforming non-internet businesses into successful digital business is not easy, but highly rewarding. In his talk on the topic, ‘Platformation- the new business paradigm’ he said that while many organisations have now successfully evolved into digital businesses, the real challenge is to find ways for those businesses which still lag on digitization to accrue the many benefits of technology. At the same panel, Dr. Amiteshar Dayal Seth, Managing Director, Accenture shared his thoughts on the ‘AI Framework for Accurate Forecasting of Subscription Based Revenue.’ He spoke about the need for constant learning and challenges involved in accurately predicting lifetime value of a customer. He also spoke of the need for dynamic programming methodologies and social physics techniques to predict behaviour of customer groups. Dr. Amit Sharma, from Microsoft Research spoke about ‘designing for causal impact of online systems,’ where he discussed the challenges in measuring the impact of systems that are built.

The range and complexity of topics discussed at WINE made it abundantly clear that the future belongs to businesses that are able to understand the impact of digital platforms and use them to their advantage. We’re proud that Sonata had an opportunity to associate with the WINE event during its very first edition in India, as such events certainly play an important role in driving thought leadership around some of the most important topics of our time.