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Role of Platform Providers in Software Ecosystems

Kibae Kim (), Jörn Altmann () and Sodam Baek ()
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Kibae Kim: Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program; College of Engineering; Seoul National University
Sodam Baek: Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program; College of Engineering; Seoul National University

No 2015120, TEMEP Discussion Papers from Seoul National University; Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program (TEMEP)

Abstract: Through the advancement of information technology, a new type of innovation could emerge. This innovation type suggests a leading company to open up its software service platform to customers as well as competitors. Many innovation studies have been performed in the past, in order to understand the structure of this interaction among platform users from a network science perspective. By focusing on the internal mechanisms of software vendors only, these studies missed the role of platform providers in the innovation process though. In this paper, we fill this gap by investigating the impact of platform providers on the structure of a software service network. The empirical data about the software services network has been gathered from Salesforce.com AppExchange. It is used to identify the clusters in the network and the network position of each software service. Using the Kruskal-Wallis test, we infer from those results that the network position of the platform providers software services is different from the network position of software services of third party vendors. In particular, our results show that the software services released by the platform provider locate at hub positions, while those released by third party vendors locate at positions interconnecting clusters. These results imply a role division between platform providers and third party vendors in this innovation type. The former leads the overall innovation on the platform, while the third party vendors interconnect software services of different categories.

Keywords: Open Innovation; Software Ecosystem; Platform-as-a-Service; Software-as-a-Service; Salesforce.com; Platform Leadership; Network Analysis; Kruskal-Wallis Test. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A12 C12 D85 L86 M15 O32 O35 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 27 pages
Date: 2015-01, Revised 2015-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com, nep-ict, nep-ino and nep-net
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