Thesis Research Project Sophie Heim
The Role of Intermediaries in Innovation Ecosystems
on the Example of the Enterprise Software Education of the Next Generation
Abstract: For introducing students to enterprise software (ES) as the largest software market, several requirements such as necessary software licenses, suitable hosting services, and well-trained lecturers must be considered. Also, for instance ES product innovations need to reach students for them to apply ES in their future professional career. This raises the question on how to connect students and ES companies despite several other involved actors and the interactions between them. In this dissertation, we investigate the role of intermediaries in such innovation ecosystems. We focus our empirical research on the case of the SAP University Alliances ecosystem as concrete example. We examine the interaction forms, actors, and value flows in innovation ecosystems from a theoretical and practical standpoint to shed light on the role of intermediaries as enablers between other actors and not just as complementors adding value to an ecosystem. Further, we contribute to practice by developing a reference model to improve business models and ecosystems in the ES education sector.