A value offering models what an actor offers to (an out-going offering) or requests from (an in-going offering) its environment, and closely relates to the value interface concept (see below). Anticipating the explanation of the value interface construct, a value interface models an offering of an actor to its environment, and the offering that such an actor requests in return from its environment, and thus models economic reciprocity. In contrast, an offering is a set of equally directed value ports exchanging value objects, and implies that all ports in that offering should transfer value objects, or none at all. It can be used to model various kinds of bundling.
A value offering is of use for representing a number of situations. First, some objects may only be of value for an actor if they are obtained in combination. For example, in the case of electricity supply, a customer wants to obtain both the electricity power, and the transportation of the electricity power to its premises. In-ports exchanging such objects then form an in-going offering. Second, actors may decide to offer objects only in combination to their environment. Ports offering such objects then form an outgoing offering. An example of an out-going offering is the case of bundling. For example, Microsoft Office is a bundle of various software packages that equally well can be obtained individually. However, the pricing of Microsoft Office is such that the purchase of the whole bundle is encouraged, rather than a few software packages.
A value offering is not visualized explicitly. However, value offerings can be easily seen by grouping all outgoing value ports in a value interface (the out-going offering), or by grouping all in-going value ports in a value interfaces (the ingoing offering).
The figure below shows for the ‘traveler’ two offerings: one offering contains ‘train trip’ and ‘food’; the other offerings contains twice a ‘fee’.