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Business Ecosystem vs. Business Ecosystem

Who wins? Companies with platforms that co-create with friends and foes in an adaptive, dynamic environment


Savvy channel executives look downstream to evolve collaborative partnerships beyond traditional alliances and channel relationships. They realize as their customers evolve to purchasing technology in an as-a-service, consumption-based model, they need to obsess with business outcomes and total solutions to redefine competitiveness. The change in perspective brings fundamental changes in how they define, design and orchestrate their business relationships.

Enter the business ecosystem.

It is the answer to the conundrum faced by 75 percent of chief sales officers, who target more than five percent revenue growth this year, even though almost half have concerns about how to achieve that growth.


Key Findings

Ecosystems embrace:

  • Co-creation. Your most valuable workforce is no longer yours; it is a mélange of talent from different ecosystem players coming together to redefine value based on customer desires.

  • Innovation. No longer an afterthought, but a process driver. Fifty-three percent of organizations indicate they are using an open innovation program with customers, suppliers or partners.

  • Interdependence and dynamic roles. A good ecosystem redefines the landscape within which new solutions are developed and consumed.

  • Adaptive environments. Allowing entities to respond more rapidly to disruption.

  • Governance. The rules of engagement for communication, collaboration and innovation.

To move to these defining elements, companies might sometimes appear to cannibalize their short-term solutions to move to an as-a-Service ecosystem model, but it is a necessary move.


Winning ecosystems will:

  • Master digital relationships with customers and partners to bring together talent – reassessing channel players and roles to foster collaboration.

  • Ease adoption. Smart players will reduce risks to enable starting small and scaling fast, creating successful programs within their platform.

  • Simplify the buying experience, obsessing over outcomes and solution benefits. Righting the ship means capitalizing on your indirect sales channel via an as-a-service platform you create, fueled by an ecosystem of rivals and friendlies.

Ecosystem as a service, done correctly, is the growth engine of the future and the battlefield on which all players now find themselves.

Ecosystem-based Platforms



Michael Heald

Michael Heald

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Communications, Media & Technology

Mike helps communications, media and technology companies focus on global growth and strategy. Coauthor of the book, “Selling Through Someone Else”, he brings deep expertise in agile selling capabilities, ecosystem growth models, both direct and indirect channel strategies and the impact of digital. Mike is based in San Jose, California.

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Ron Ref

Ron Ref

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Communications, Media & Technology

Ron helps high-tech companies better their channel management and enterprise transformation practices. He specializes in optimizing channel relationships and programs, enabling digital strategies, sales analytics, business processes and organizational change management. Ron is based in Phoenix, Arizona.


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