A recent Economic Times story detailed IBM's new "spoken Web" technology, which will allow users to browse the Internet and access information by speaking in their local language without having to type or otherwise use the computer keyboard. An IBM India lab is currently developing the technology and performing real-world tests with rural dairy farmers in India. The idea is that if IBM can remove barriers to accessing its enterprise resource planning technology, Big Blue may be able to unlock a large market selling ERP software to companies that source dairy and other foodstuffs from rural Indian farmers.
This sounds like a technology problem. After all, using technology to create the opportunity to sell to nonconsumers — that is, people who have been totally shut out of a market — is a classic way to build substantial new growth. But in reality, this is a business challenge.
Is Your Company Brave Enough for Business Model Innovation? - Conversation Starter - HarvardBusiness.org