TechnologyCatalogue.com versus the competition | Q&A Blog #3

17-04-2024

 

Welcome to our weekly Q&A blog series with CEO and Co-founder, Erik Nijveld. Last week, Erik shared his views on creating strong links between technology scouting and technology deployment. Erik articulated the importance of having a clear technology strategy, and how the strategy drives the tech scouting activities, together with the business needs.

There are many companies that offer products and services for technology scouting. In this blog, Erik will explain where TechnologyCatalogue.com fits in, and what distinguishes the platform from the competition.

Ready? So are we!

Erik, there are many ways for companies to find out about proven technologies. What makes you different?

Thanks for the question. 
There are indeed different ways for companies to find out about technologies, such as: attending exhibitions, talking to peers at industry events, talking to existing suppliers, reading industry magazines. The main problem with all those channels: they are very labour-intensive and therefore also costly and time-consuming.  Of course, the internet helps to an extent, but in order to find anything using Google, you have to be very specific to find what you’re looking for.

I experienced the above firsthand in my last role at Shell, when I was responsible for a global task force to find & select proven 3rd party technologies, and to get technologies deployed and replicated across the company.

It triggered the question: "Why is there no platform that can help, similar to platforms we use in our daily life to find hotels and restaurants?”

That resulted in the launch of TechnologyCatalogue.com. We’re the only two-sided B2B technology platform in the Energy industry, connecting suppliers of technologies to users. And we also haven’t seen a similar platform in other industries. We thereby give our customers the data & tools to get the right tech deployed today. This way adding significant value to the bottom line. 

Do you see AI as a threat or an opportunity for TechnologyCatalogue.com?

For us, AI is a major opportunity. With AI, we can rapidly increase the number of technology pages on the platform, whereby we then give suppliers the opportunity to ‘claim the page’.
Of course, people might make use of AI tools to find out about technologies. But it’s important to note that key data insights that we make available to our customers - such as deployment data - are typically not data that is publicly available, hence not accessible to open AI algorithms.

Also, another key reason why users prefer the platform instead of using AI tools directly is the same as why people prefer to use sites like Booking.com, instead of asking an Open AI Algorithm to find a hotel. By using TechnologyCatalogue.com, technologies are presented in consistent templates, such that people can quickly assess whether a technology is the right one for them.

There are many companies that scout technologies that are still under development, hence at lower TRL levels. Such as technologies developed by start-ups. How do you differ from those companies?

One main difference is that our platform contains proven technologies as well as technologies that are still under development. As a result, and that’s another key difference, we don’t just support “Open Innovation Managers” - or people with similar job titles - but also people in assets and projects looking for solutions that can solve today’s problems. When you have a challenge today, you’re simply not interested in spending time talking about solutions that still take 5-15 years to mature.

Another key difference is the way we gather the information. We don’t rely on API links with sources such as Crunchbase, or on our in-house research. TechnologyCatalogue.com is a two-sided platform consisting of suppliers, independent tech experts, and end-users. It’s a platform powered by a global community.

Does this mean that you can support your customers cost-effectively?

Spot on. The platform approach allows us to deliver the services to our clients with a small core team. Our global community contributes with content, data, and insights.

We are not dependent on a large group of in-house experts to deliver valuable insights to our clients. 

The key thing: it works! I can just say that I wished I had such a platform available during the years that I was leading technology deployment activities in Shell.

Do you see synergies between your platform and other types of companies?

For sure. As an example, we see potential synergies with exhibitions.

In the future, many exhibitions will cease to exist and likely be replaced by platforms. Similar to the way that platforms have changed the way we book hotels, connecting supply and demand.

Certain types of exhibitions will continue to exist though, particularly those that come with a high-quality conference organised by an established industry association. By combining an exhibition with our platform, suppliers can continue to generate leads following the event, and users continue to have access to the content after the exhibition. Our platform will also streamline the prep work for an exhibition. It makes it way easier to target the suppliers you want to meet, supported by the data insights that we offer.

Of course, most exhibitions have apps, but those apps have different purposes, such as finding a company on the exhibition floor. That is different from what TechnologyCatalogue.com can offer exhibition participants.

There are also synergies with other types of companies. Management consultancy firms value our platform, as the data insights that we deliver enhance the value of consultancy services. Additionally, Business Intelligence firms appreciate what we do, as the insights that we generate complement the type of insights that they have.

Hence many (potential) win-wins!

That’s it for this week.
If there is a specific topic you would like Erik to focus on, let us know by sending your suggestions to [email protected].

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