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Paper info: Marketing challenges in the software component business


Marketing challenges in the software component business


Nina M. Helander and Pauliina K. Ulkuniemi

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 21st IMP-conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2005.


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This paper discusses marketing challenges in the special context of software component business.Commercial software components have received a lot of attention in current research on softwareengineering and software business. Technical aspects of developing and using this kind of softwarehave been discussed rather extensively in the literature. In addition to these, also the managementrelated aspects have received a growing attention. However, these management studies have so farmainly been concentrated on the buyer’s point of view, leaving the supplier perspective and thequestion how to market and sell the developed software components out of foci of the currentliterature, yet the marketing issues represent big challenges for these companies.The idea of software component business is to have competitive markets where software componentscan be sold and bought as standard components and exchanges can be conducted without much jointdevelopment work between the software seller and buyer. However, this kind of ideal for singleexchanges in an industry where close co-operation has traditionally been needed in exchangescreates many marketing challenges especially in terms of customer interface. Thus, in this specificcontext, we are dealing with very interesting marketing questions.The purpose of this research is to contribute to our knowledge on marketing management issuesrelated to commercial software component business from the software component supplier point ofview. This empirically driven paper aims at increasing our knowledge about the challenges related tocommercial software component business and proposes answers how to overcome these challenges.As the pre-existing literature about marketing commercial software components is still rather nonexisting,the present study is methodologically emphasizing inductive research methods as it aims atlocal theory development through an empirical analysis.