IP Modularity in Software Ecosystems: How SugarCRM’s IP and Business Model Shape Its Product Architecture
- Cite this paper as:
- Waltl J., Henkel J., Baldwin C.Y. (2012) IP Modularity in Software Ecosystems: How SugarCRM’s IP and Business Model Shape Its Product Architecture. In: Cusumano M.A., Iyer B., Venkatraman N. (eds) Software Business. ICSOB 2012. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, vol 114. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
We provide a case study of the concept of “IP modularity,” analyzing the case of SugarCRM. The modular architecture of this platform software is aligned with its intellectual property structure in such a way that the firm can derive, from the same code tree, an open source community version and a proprietary version. The software’s IP modular structure also facilitates the development of complements by distributed and anonymous complementors and simplifies downstream customizations, thus enhancing the platform’s attractiveness. We find that SugarCRM implements IP modularity on three different levels of the architectural hierarchy, in some cases down to the source code level. Our study thus extends the concept of IP modularity to comprise the notion of hierarchy levels.
KeywordsIntellectual Property Modularity Platforms Software Ecosystems
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.