Software Ecosystems
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Software Ecosystems

Analyzing and Managing Business Networks in the Software Industry

Edited by Slinger Jansen, Sjaak Brinkkemper and Michael Cusumano

This book describes the state-of-the-art of software ecosystems. It constitutes a fundamental step towards an empirically based, nuanced understanding of the implications for management, governance, and control of software ecosystems.
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Chapter 14: The technological roadmap of Cisco’s business ecosystem

Yan-Ru Li


Business ecosystem is an emerging concept for scholars and managers. In line with this concept, firms’ focuses on making strategic choices to compete between and within ecosystems is now increasing. A business can create value through a healthy ecosystem in order to face the fierce competition beyond the issues of R & D-intensive, higher value-added, shortening life-cycle, and globalization. A firm that takes action without understanding the impact on the ecosystem as a whole is ignoring the reality of the network environment in which it operates (Iansiti and Levien, 2004). An ecosystem can also provide an emerging orientation to create novelty in business operations (Adner, 2006; Singer, 2006; Horn, 2005). Successful innovation usually depends on cooperation amongst firms and potential adopters, but describing a firm’s evolutionary path to an ecosystem is complicated. Only a few studies have paid attention to such complex analysis. Therefore, this chapter presents a case study on how Cisco Systems has been successful in utilizing the strategy of mergers and acquisitions (M & A), resulting in its impressive corporate growth. In recent years, companies with a primary focus on internal capabilities have pursued strategies that aggressively further interests, as well as promote ecosystem health – that is to say, networking capabilities enhance the creation and delivery of a company’s own offerings.

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