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The Importance of Ecosystems for Future Growth

In the report “Cornerstone of Future Growth,” Accenture starts off with the following statement in ginormous bold letters: WHILE EXECUTIVES BELIEVE ECOSYSTEMS ARE IMPORTANT, MOST COMPANIES HAVE YET TO SEIZE THEIR FULL POTENTIAL.

We have been helping our customers seize the full potential of their ecosystems for over 17 years. Our digital business technology platform, dpEngine, is the easiest way to launch, automate, and grow digital ecosystems.

If you are unsure of exactly what an ecosystem is or assume that it has to do with the biosphere, Accenture does a very good job defining it:

  • An ecosystem is the network of cross-industry players who work together to define, build and execute market-creating customer and consumer solutions. An ecosystem is defined by the depth and breadth of potential collaboration among a set of players: each can deliver a piece of the consumer solution, or contribute a necessary capability.
  • The power of the ecosystem is that no single player need own or operate all components of the solution and that the value the ecosystem generates is larger than the combined value each of the players could contribute individually.

That last part is extremely important so here is a quick translation: ecosystems are greater than the sum of their parts. This is because the power of an ecosystem ultimately comes from people. It is people, not software or technology, whose innovation will seed your ecosystem’s growth. The more developers that join your ecosystem, the more chances for innovation. The more partners you onboard, the more cross-pollination of customers and revenue you’ll enjoy. It's a virtuous cycle where everyone that contributes also benefits.

The next thing we’d like to highlight:

  • When asked what they would typically do to disrupt their industry, 60 percent of executives said, “build ecosystems.” Nearly half have already built or are currently building an ecosystem to respond to disruption. Why? Ecosystems are proving to be winning plays. Enabled by digital platforms - ecosystems could unlock $100 trillion of value for business and wider society over the next 10 years.

This comes as no surprise to us as we have seen companies like Jabra and Blue Prism quickly scale their developer, partner, and marketplace ecosystems using dpEngine. Jabra alone added $10-20 million in annual revenue thanks to the dpEngine powered Jabra Developer Zone. Blue Prism’s Digital Exchange 2.0 has brought them strategic partnerships with IBM, Microsoft, and Google. In under a year, their partner ecosystem registered 300 new companies and their marketplace contains had thousands of assets.

How does dpEngine do this?

dpEngine provides a platform that enables you to:

  • Publish technical documentation using continuous integration capabilities in a format that is easy to consume
  • Seamlessly deliver a positive developer experience through all phases of the developer lifecycle
  • Retain and expand your partners by delivering superior self-service capabilities
  • Monetize your offering by connecting developer and partner solutions to customers via a marketplace

However, dpEngine is more than just a developer or partner portal. It is more than just a catalog of assets. Simply giving developers a place to log in and get documentation or gain access to your API won’t foster a thriving ecosystem. You need to develop, manage, and automate a lifecycle that onboards developers and partners, educates them, and helps them submit applications for approval. You then need to test, approve, and publish those applications in a marketplace that showcases their work and adds value to your ecosystem. Without proper automation workflows, role-based access, and advanced reporting, none of this would be possible. Even things like contracts management can be a nightmare when it is not integrated into the process like it is with dpEngine.

There is no other single solution that handles all of these aspects. Your choice is to either use dpEngine or spend precious time and money building it all yourself. The final thing we would like to highlight is, “Ecosystems will fail when companies cannot deliver on one of the areas of customers, channels, developers, and management of consumer-supplier interests.”

You may have the resources to build a developer or partner portal in-house. You may even be able to create a marketplace catalog from scratch. But can you give developers and partners the seamless experience needed to keep them engaged? Retaining developers and partners is just as important as onboarding them. What use is a developer that never logs in after signing up? How does signing up a new partner help you if they never add any value? Our 17 years of experience has given us the insight needed to build an effortless user experience. Developers can easily access the documentation and support they need. Exceptional self-service capabilities allow partners to manage their relationship with you and publish their assets. If any part of the process is slow or difficult, you will begin losing the most important piece of your ecosystem.

An ecosystem derives its value from people. Recruit and retain them with dpEngine.

Then grow your thriving ecosystem.