Voices of ecosystems – Ep. 2 with Global Lead SAP Next-Gen Ecosystem Deepa Gautam-Nigge

Written by Ecosystemizer

February 18, 2021

Welcome back to our new video format “Voices of Ecosystems” which will bring you closer to ecosystem topics and give real-life examples.

In our second episode, Julian talks with Global Lead SAP Next-Gen Ecosystem Deepa Gautam-Nigge about ecosystems in the software industry, the way SAP is developing the „Climate 2021“ program to support companies in sustainability issues with an ecosystem approach, and the role of startups within business ecosystems.

Deepa is responsible for SAP Next-Gen Ecosystem to connect startups and corporates for business ecosystem purposes. 20 years ago she established one of the first B2B platform business models in the German market. She was already involved in ecosystems when everybody else just talked about it. 

The software industry is already ahead of the curve when it comes to ecosystem innovations. Technologies are changing so fast that you need to think from the beginning in synergies and build on robust partner structures. 

Here are the most important take-aways from this talk:

1) There are much more examples of big B2C ecosystems compared to B2B ecosystems. This is due to the fact that scale factors and lock-in effects can be created more easily and quickly by final customer-facing companies. But B2B is on the rise.

2) The dominance of big players is less established in B2B settings because the topics and solutions that are addressed by ecosystem approaches are more complex and require more joint efforts on eye level. 

3) The software industry has been predestined for ecosystem approaches already for many years due to light assets, integrated service offerings, and the openness for innovation and cooperation. 

4) In general digital technologies (e.g., AI, blockchain, cloud) are the foundation for ecosystem activities and thus new business model opportunities beyond the obvious will continue to emerge. 

5) Global warming and corresponding sustainability issues will be probably the dominant area for prosperous ecosystems in the future because challenges can be successfully addressed only with a holistic perspective with partners. 

6) As a small company or a startup you can make a difference and be a valuable part of a bigger ecosystem when you have a good idea within your niche that can be integrated as a modular solution into an ecosystem setting. 

7) Especially early-stage startups have to focus first on their core products and core activities. Nevertheless, they should adapt the ecosystem mode when extending and scaling their business into new (life) areas. 

8) For all companies it is important to start with an ecosystem strategy first. It depends on the strategy what kind of partnerships and complementary skills you need to build compelling synergies with an ecosystem approach. 

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