IP Modularity in Software Ecosystems: How SugarCRM’s IP and Business Model Shape Its Product Architecture

  • Josef Waltl
  • Joachim Henkel
  • Carliss Y. Baldwin
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 114)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Intellectual Property Modularity Platforms Software Ecosystems 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Henkel, J., Baldwin, C.Y.: Modularity for Value Appropriation - How to Draw the Boundaries of Intellectual Property. Harvard Business School Finance Working Paper, No. 11-054 (2010), http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1340445
  2. 2.
    Baldwin, C.Y., Henkel, J.: The Impact of Modularity on Intellectual Property and Value Appropriation. Harvard Business School Finance Working Paper No. 12-040 (2011), http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1971203
  3. 3.
    Boudreau, K.: Open Platform Strategies and Innovation: Granting Access vs. Devolving Control. Management Science 56(10), 1849–1872 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gawer, A., Cusumano, M.A.: Platform leadership. How Intel, Microsoft, and Cisco drive industry innovation. Harvard Business School Press, Boston (2002)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    West, J.: How Open Is Open Enough? Melding Proprietary and Open Source Platform Strategies. Research Policy 32(7), 1259–1285 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gawer, A., Henderson, R.: Platform Owner Entry and Innovation in Complementary Markets: Evidence from Intel. Journal of Economics and Management Strategy 16(1), 1–34 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Baldwin, C.Y., Woodard, C.J.: The Architecture of Platforms: A Unified View. In: Gawer, A. (ed.) Platforms, Markets and Innovation, pp. 19–44. Elgar, Cheltenham, UK (2009)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cusumano, M.A.: Staying power. Six enduring principles for managing strategy and innovation in an uncertain world (lessons from Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Google, Toyota and more). Oxford University Press, Oxford (2010)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Eisenmann, T.R., Parker, G., van Alstyne, M.: Opening Platforms: How, When and Why? In: Gawer, A. (ed.) Platforms, Markets and Innovation, Cheltenham, U.K. and Northampton, pp. 131–162. Elgar, Mass (2009)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hecker, F.: Setting up shop: The business of open-source software. IEEE Software 16(1), 45–51 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Raymond, E.S.: The cathedral and the bazaar. Musings on Linux and Open Source by an accidental revolutionary, Rev. edn. O’Reilly, Beijing (2001)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bonaccorsi, A., Giannangeli, S., Rossi, C.: Entry Strategies Under Competing Standards: Hybrid Business Models in the Open Source Software Industry. Management Science 52(7), 1085–1098 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lindman, J., Rossi, M., Puustell, A.: Matching Open Source Software Licenses with Corresponding Business Models. IEEE Software 28(4), 31–35 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Riehle, D.: The single-vendor commercial open course business model. Information Systems and e-Business Management 10(1), 5–17 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Edmondson, A.C., McManus, S.E.: Methodological fit in management field research. Academy of Management Review 32(4), 1155–1179 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Eisenhardt, K.M.: Building Theories from Case Study Research. Academy of Management Review 14(4), 532–550 (1989)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Band, W.: The Forrester WaveTM: CRM Suites For Midsized Organizations. In: Q2 2010, Cambridge, Mass (2010)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Dow Jones Company Report - SugarCRM Inc. (2011) Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josef Waltl
    • 1
  • Joachim Henkel
    • 1
  • Carliss Y. Baldwin
    • 2
  1. 1.TUM School of ManagementTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  2. 2.Harvard Business SchoolBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations