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The Ecosystem Advantage: Navigating a New Model


Popular consensus is that within five years current business models will be upended by the drive to build and command what we might call the “ecosystem advantage.” The innovators among us already describe an ecosystem-driven, interconnected economy where customers demand from providers more integrated bundled solutions and far fewer standalone products. They would also point to McKinsey research showing that seven out of ten consumers value ecosystem offerings that simplify the purchase journey.

Those thriving in five years’ time, analysts say, will be the businesses that today grasp the value of an ecosystem-driven approach and that already have or are busy building that next-generation ecosystem. The most successful companies will be those that fully understand (and overcome) the obstacles to creating and managing an effective ecosystem. They will have the ability to recognize the absolute importance of a superb end-to-end digital experience that allows customers to access a wide range of products and services through a single access gateway.

Let’s take a look into that near future and the power of the ecosystem, what challenges lie ahead in orchestrating an ecosystem effectively and how CloudBlue can be invaluable in assisting you to achieve your ecosystem advantage.

The exponential value of the ecosystem

The power of the ecosystem-driven model lies in its ability to exponentially multiply the value and utility that your business has to offer to your customers without incurring the exponential costs of doing so. It adds this value principally in two ways.

First, it allows you to access customers across market segments and industries that would be otherwise out of reach. Second, at the very same time, ecosystems create value by vastly improving your customer journey with capabilities outside your core. As a result, you can capitalize on your partners’ capacity to enhance the customer experience. If you operate a commerce engine, for example, a partner with an artificial intelligence chat bot can significantly improve the pre-sale or post-sale experience for customers using your solution.

By effectively orchestrating your ecosystem, partnerships unlock distributed innovation and enable new revenue-generation streams for you and your entire network. Because a network of partners can offer products and services beyond that of a single company, a well-managed ecosystem can generate a sort of positive feedback loop. In short, you achieve a competitive advantage that would be unattainable alone.

It’s no wonder, then, that studies from McKinsey illustrate how at least a dozen sectors in both B2B and B2C, including mobility, travel and hospitality, health and housing, are already in the midst of reinventing themselves as vast ecosystems—as networks of networks that could by 2025 compose a $60 trillion dollar integrated network economy. And for those that are slow to build their own ecosystem, or form a part of another’s, it’s clear the relative size of their accessible market will soon get much smaller.

What stands in your way: Ecosystem challenges

The remarkable competitive advantage promised by the ecosystem model does, however, come with a caveat. Regardless of their potential synergies, the network of reusable modules and apps can only be leveraged by businesses if they’re locatable on an effectively orchestrated marketplace. And the marketplace a business manages will only generate exponential value if ecosystem players have the tools to tackle and overcome common challenges that may arise within marketplace sales.

There are five major challenges in navigating this hidden world of value within an ecosystem of marketplaces:

  1. Visibility – how the IP owner market the company’s product or service.
  2. Search – how to enable buyers to easily find what they need.
  3. Integration – how to bring together the technical, business and commercial sides, enabling publishers and customers to efficiently transact with one another. Peer-to-peer integration, a typical route, is both difficult and costly to build and maintain, and also slow to market from an IT and contractual perspective.
  4. Monetization model – how to identify the correct model geared towards generating revenue from resale or driving demand for a flagship offering.
  5. Enablement – how to ensure your customer is successful using your products and services, and tapping into your ecosystem.

Where CloudBlue comes in, streamlining distribution

CloudBlue came to life as an answer to these obstacles. In our mission to be the facilitator of infinite ecosystems, CloudBlue built a single platform for orchestrating ecosystems and managing the digital supply chains—both by aggregating the upstream (the suppliers) and the downstream (the channels).

On the upstream supply side, our platform supports efficient product onboarding, a self-service configuration for catalog management and supplier ecosystem orchestration. It facilitates contractual and legal enablement for members, products and offering definition, order management, fulfillment and provisioning, sales enablement and more.

On the other end of the digital supply chain, on the downstream side, CloudBlue powers the aggregation of the go-to-market ecosystem. Using our platform, your cloud platform becomes a single point of entry into your entire go-to-market network, carrying all offerings from your portfolio to your customers regardless of your channel structure. In one place, and through one gateway, CloudBlue allows you to manage your direct sales to both B2B and B2C customers, as well as your resellers, distributors, system integrators, agents and affiliates.

The culmination of years of accumulated expertise and millions invested in cutting-edge tools for navigating evolving avenues of growth, CloudBlue brings customers an unparalleled set of tools to keep them at the forefront of ecosystem orchestration. At a time when older business models are quickly becoming obsolete, it’s a platform that enables you to take every advantage of what’s coming.

To learn more, check out CloudBlue Executive Director Darek Tasak’s recent session, Delivering the Digitally Connected Ecosystem, from this year’s CloudBlue Innovators Virtual Forum event.

Mike Jennett, Director of CloudBlue Platform Strategy, is an accomplished business and technology executive. With a deep focus on product development and go-to-market strategy, he plays a pivotal role driving strategic growth and market expansion. Mike’s career is characterized by his adeptness in driving technological advancements and his commitment to leading digital transformations with experience including IDC where he was VP of the Mobility and Digital Transformation IEP practices, and HP where he held numerous leadership roles. Mike’s expertise is also reflected in his published works and contributions to multiple tech publications. Mike holds a B.A. from California Polytechnic University.
Having previously to strategic product management, agile transformations, and user experience in CloudBlue, Taylor Giddens heads the Services & Solutions team where he ensures smooth delivery, operations and solution growth for our partners and customers.

The team includes technical account management, managed services, support, custom solution development, and customer enablement.

Prior to CloudBlue, his resume boasts leadership of some of the world’s largest companies during their digital transformations and marketplace launches. Taylor is a practitioner of servitude leadership when it comes to enabling his team to drive positive outcomes on the road to operational excellence.
Laurens van Alphen, a visionary entrepreneur with over 29 years of internet technology expertise, serves as Director of Technical Managed Services at CloudBlue, responsible for Operations and Delivery of CloudBlue SaaS.

As a Dutch racing champion and car enthusiast, he brings the same drive to the tech realm, steering Keenondots from a managed hosting firm to a global cloud enablement leader. Laurens is celebrated for his outcome-driven leadership, deep industry insight, and passion for balancing business innovation with client engagement.
Lincoln Lincoln is CloudBlue’s Head of Global Sales; having been with the company since November 2017. Leading CloudBlue’s global go-to-market organization, he’s responsible for driving accelerated and sustained mutual growth with CloudBlue’s customers and partners, as well as forming new customer partnerships across the Vendor and Provider ecosystem. As part of CloudBlue’s leadership team he is responsible the organisation’s revenue and continued market leadership by delivering and supporting products, services and solutions to organizations in established and new markets around the world.

Before joining CloudBlue, Lincoln was AppDirect’s Regional Director, Asia Pacific & Japan, responsible for forming, building and leading AppDirect’s business and operations across the APJ geography. He built and led AppDirect’s fastest growing and highest performing region globally within 3yrs.

Before joining AppDirect, Lincoln was EMC’s Practice Manager, Cloud Service Providers, APJ, working with the leading Service Providers to maximise their Cloud Business presence & market success. Lincoln joined EMC in 2007, and has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, having been based out of Singapore, Australia and the UK. Prior to EMC, he was in range of sales and channel positions at Symantec and VERITAS.

Lincoln has an Honours degree in Business Administration from Kingston University in the United Kingdom.
Brent Clooney is the Executive Director and Associate General Counsel for Ingram Micro Inc., and lead counsel for CloudBlue.

Brent is a Canadian based corporate lawyer with more than 20 years of experience as a strategic legal advisor both in private practice and as in-house counsel to large multi-national companies. Prior to joining Ingram Micro in 2008, he worked at a well-respected corporate law firm in Toronto, Canada and later served as general counsel for Toshiba Canada. During his 15-year tenure at Ingram Micro, he has held positions of increasing complexity and responsibility, and since being promoted to his current role in 2022, Brent is the legal lead for both Ingram Micro’s Canadian and global cloud businesses, as well as CloudBlue.

Brent holds a law degree (LL.B.) from Queen’s University, a Psychology degree (B.A. Honours) from Lakehead University, and has been admitted to the bar in Ontario, Canada since 2002.
Anurag serves as the Head of Product Management for CloudBlue and is responsible for product direction and driving innovation. His leadership has been marked by a keen focus on customer needs, growing the ISV ecosystem, and ensuring the continual evolution of CloudBlue’s product portfolio.

Anurag joined Ingram Micro in 2017 and has been instrumental in, positioning CloudBlue as an industry leading monetization platform for MSP’s, Telco’s and Distributors. Previously Anurag worked at Oracle and Microsoft where he managed many technology projects and programs.
As VP of Engineering of CloudBlue, Rony oversees the development and engineering efforts of the company. He is a recognized leader with more than 25 years of experience in Technology and Product.

Prior to joining CloudBlue Rony lead the R&D efforts at Tripwire acquired by Thoma Bravo, and Cedexis acquired by Citrix. Rony is a leader with extensive experience in transforming both complex technology problems into products that customers love and disjointed organizations into agile high performing teams.
Coen is a distinguished leader and entrepreneur in the realm of cloud technology. Currently serving as CEO of Keenondots and the Global Director of CloudBlue SaaS. He is passionate about driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and leading high-performing teams to achieve transformative results.

With a background as Managing Director of INTO Cloud and a pivotal role as Director of Products of KPN, he brings a wealth of experience in steering organizations through the complexities of the digital landscape.

Beyond the boardroom, Coen is a marathon enthusiast, demonstrating endurance and discipline in pursuit of both professional and personal goals.
Alyson has over twenty years of experience in demand generation, marketing automation and data management. She is responsible for leading the strategy and direction of the company’s brand, performance, and digital marketing.

Prior to CloudBlue, Alyson served as Ingram Micro’s Director of Global Business Intelligence Marketing Automation driving channel partner campaigns. Her tenure in marketing leadership at prestigious companies such as Western Digital, Ocean Institute celebrates redefining marketing campaigns and building top performing teams based on trust, experimentation, and results.

Alyson resides with her husband and three children in Orange County and is an active volunteer and donor within her children’s sports and education programs.

Darek Tasak is leading Customer Success & Value Creation for CloudBlue. In his role, he looks after CloudBlue customers globally during the entire lifecycle of our relationship: from the initial on-boarding, through in-life account management, always ensuring they build successful businesses leveraging our technology. Additionally, he is also in charge of Partnership & Alliances, as well as Pricing Management for everything we commercialize.

Before CloudBlue, Darek managed Ingram Micro’s Services division for hi-tech customers in Europe & APAC. His prior experiences include also launching and leading pan-European services business for TDSynnex, as well as strategy consulting with Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

As President of CloudBlue, Uddhav Gupta is a distinguished leader and visionary with nearly two decades of platform-building experience. He is an industry leader in digital commerce, the subscription economy, and monetization platforms.

Notably, at SAP, he spearheaded the transformation of their platform business into a multi-cloud platform-as-a-service, offering enterprise and developer-friendly subscription models. At Pure Storage, he championed the efforts to successfully disrupt the storage industry by creating revolutionary Storage-as-a-service, AIOps-as-a-service, and Disaster Recovery-as-a-service offerings with cutting-edge features and establishing a sophisticated subscription commerce infrastructure that is channel-friendly.

At CloudBlue, Gupta guides and empowers businesses to rethink their monetization strategies by unlocking the power of digital ecosystems and marketplaces. CloudBlue provides enterprises with a mature multi-tier, multi-channel marketplace and monetization platform that enables usage-based subscription models and global delivery of Anything-as-a-Service solutions. Gupta has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of the subscription economy through his innovative thinking and impactful contributions.

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