Motivation for Software industry and software ecosystems
The software industry is one of the most promising industries. Software companies make widespread use of partner business models like resell. Some software companies create and manage partner ecosystems around them. Each software ecosystem is created for a purpose and often you find network effects in an software ecosystem.
Today there are only a few sources in the literature on the forms of cooperation between software companies and on the objectives, structure and forms of cooperation in so-called software ecosystems (e.g. referral.). For software companies, this is a crucial problem, since the decision to join or to create a software ecosystem or to partner is not easy. All issues around business models, software ecosystem leverage and software partnerships are roughly summarized in the term "Software Economics".
Based on my experience with SAP and other software companies, my research interest is on the following topics: the software industry as such, ecosystems of software companies, business models of software companies in a software ecosystem and how a software vendor can leverage software ecosystems and partners for their advantage.
Just a few books on the software ecosystem topic have been published so far. Here is a selection:
One bright spot is the creation of the Software Economics Group, which investigates scientific issues such as pricing in the software industry, the size of companies in the software industry and related issues. There are important topics of basic research on the software industry and on a software ecosystem in the area of microeconomic issues.
New book on software ecosystems and partnerships in the software industry
What are the existing software ecosystems and forms of cooperation between partner companies in such a software ecosystem? This is the key question of a brand new book :
If you are interested, just buy this book at amazon. Here is an excerpt from this book on forms of cooperation in the software industry and on software ecosystem properties:
Ecosystems of software companies
A software vendor sells software to its customers. The companies in the ecosystem interact with the software vendor or its customers or partners in the following ways:
- they sell products or services to the software vendor´s customers.These products or services might be related to or integrated with the software vendor´s products or services,
- they sell the software vendor´s products, e.g. as Value Added Resellers (VAR) ,
- they sell services to the software vendor, to the customers or to the software vendor´s partners,
- they purchase or license the software vendor´s products,
- they sell or license software to the software vendor (suppliers),
- they align on standardswith the software vendor to create bigger markets based on standardized products or
- And last but not least, companies are potential candidates for acquisition by the software vendor.
Types of ecosystems of a software vendorLarge software vendors typically engage in a formal way with each of the following ecosystems: Supplier ecosystem, Partner ecosystem and customer ecosystem. In addition there are standards bodies and competitors.
More information in a new book
This new book investigates the forms of cooperation in the software industry and the goals and structures of software ecosystems. It is called "Profit from Software Ecosystems: Ecosystems, Business models and partnerships in the Software Industry" .
This is THE reference if you are a professional in the software industry and you are considering to leverage ecosystems and partnerships for your success.
In its no-nonsense approach it reveals hidden goals of large software vendors with their ecosystems, tells you how to create your own ecosysten or how you can be successful in another software vendor´s ecosystem. With examples from Microsoft´s and SAP´s ecosystem it is a great source of ecosystem knowledge.
For the SAP ecosystem, Ralf Meyer´s book is a perfect source of information. Here is the link to the SAP ecosystem book:
Partner models in the software industry
The forms of cooperation between software companies still cannot be found in the literature. From a pragmatic point of view, following forms can be found in an ecosystem: Resell, Revenue Share, Referral Program, OEM, Certified Solution, Development Cooperation.