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Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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Supporting the Business Ecosystem –
Internationalisation of Finnish Digital Learning B...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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Due to the small size of domestic markets, the success of internationalisation is crit...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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examines in particular the internationalisation paths described through the stakeholde...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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emphasizing cooperation and mutual benefits (e.g. Morgan & Hunt 1994, Duncan & Moriart...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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Figure 1 Matching your ecosystem strategy to your environment (Iansiti & Levian 2004)
...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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A more specific description of each of the categories and levels is presented in the f...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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OWNERS
PERSON-
NEL
CUSTO-
MERS
AUTHORITIES
TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS/COMPETITORS
PUBLIC ORGA...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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business-authority relationships, except regarding authorities in the field of educati...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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content partners, public and private support parties committed to the internationalisa...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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Customer’s local
contact persons
Participants/IT
personnel
Kansain-
välistyvän
yrityk...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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US. On the US market the effort was begun at the end of 2003 in the Global Software p...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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1. Product along the famous partner's side. The demand for the product will follow th...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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At the present the company has got already about 200.000 users to its products in Fin...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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HCI Produtions is a craftsman type of company relying heavily on the experience and c...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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• A large no. of small
companies (150-200)
• Traditional “big
players” implement
rela...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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LITERATURE
Culminatum 2005, Innovation Strategy, Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Helsinki...
Supporting the Business Ecosystem
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Massy Jane 2005, Study of the E-Learning Suppliers’ ”Market” in Europe, Danish Techno...
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Esa Matikainen & Kari Mikkelä: Supporting the Business Ecosystem – Internationalisation of Finnish Digital Learning Business Cluster

IASP 2006, Helsinki, Finland

Dr. Esa Matikainen, Fennia Consulting Oy (1)
Executive Producer Kari Mikkelä,Tomi Järvelin Desing Oy (2)

Digital learning business, eLearning, is in Finland, a fragmented industry cluster where
internationalisation is critical for companies due to the small size of domestic markets. This article describes the overall business ecosystem and stakeholder map of the emerging cluster of Finnish digital learning business, and uses them to examine companies’ internationalisation paths and enhancement of the internationalisation process. Variant internationalisation paths and strategies put emphasis on different stakeholders.

For science parks to be useful from entrepreneurial perspective, they need to understand the ecosystem where the entrepreneurial companies operate. Science parks need to determine their own role in the ecosystem and improve their ability to provide the crucial links that the companies need to succeed in both the regional and international marketplace. In practice this means moving from facility to service focus, from passive actor to proactive orchestrator, and from marketing the science parks to promoting the ecosystem development.

1 Esa Matikainen has a doctoral degree from Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration. He has over ten years of experience in consulting assignments
including strategic measurement, stakeholder management and growth strategies of technology companies. Matikainen acts as a partner and board member of selected
growth companies such as an eLearning company Apprix that focuses on edugaming, and a management consultancy Fennia Consulting that specializes in e.g. board
and management development. During 1994-2001 Matikainen acted e.g. as a partner and Chairman of the Board at Nedecon, an Internet company listed in the NM list of
Helsinki Exchanges in 1999.

2 Kari Mikkelä, M.Sc. (Tech), post-graduate studies at Helsinki University of Technology, acted during the study as the Executive Producer of the Centre of Expertise for
Digital Media, Content Production and Learning Services in Finland. He is responsible for business growth and internationalization support for the Finnish digital learning
services industry. He is engaged in several national and international initiatives related to the business development of ICT-enabled services. From the late 1980’s Kari
Mikkelä has been the responsible partner in many telematic R&D programmes of the European Commission and Finnish authorities. He is an active board member of
several Finnish associations such as the Finnish eLearning Association, ISOC Finland and Finnish Association of Distance Education (FADE).

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Esa Matikainen & Kari Mikkelä: Supporting the Business Ecosystem – Internationalisation of Finnish Digital Learning Business Cluster

  1. 1. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 1 Supporting the Business Ecosystem – Internationalisation of Finnish Digital Learning Business Cluster Dr. Esa Matikainen1 , Fennia Consulting Oy Executive Producer Kari Mikkelä2 ,Tomi Järvelin Desing Oy Digital learning business, eLearning, is in Finland, a fragmented industry cluster where internationalisation is critical for companies due to the small size of domestic markets. This article describes the overall business ecosystem and stakeholder map of the emerging cluster of Finnish digital learning business, and uses them to examine companies’ internationalisation paths and enhancement of the internationalisation process. Variant internationalisation paths and strategies put emphasis on different stakeholders. For science parks to be useful from entrepreneurial perspective, they need to understand the ecosystem where the entrepreneurial companies operate. Science parks need to determine their own role in the ecosystem and improve their ability to provide the crucial links that the companies need to succeed in both the regional and international marketplace. In practice this means moving from facility to service focus, from passive actor to proactive orchestrator, and from marketing the science parks to promoting the ecosystem development. BACKGROUND Digital learning business, eLearning, is an extremely fragmented industry cluster characterized by a large number of micro companies and diverse customer segments. Fragmentation characterizes the field also on the EU level (Massy 2005). According to a survey on Finnish learning business industry (Lith, 2005, www.learningbusiness.fi), around 150 studied Finnish companies had a total turnover of 139 MEUR in 2003. Approximately 70 % of the companies operate in the capital region. (Table 1). Company size, employees Number of companies Number of employees Turnover (MEUR) 50 - 7 1040 59,4 20 - 49 14 344 32,1 10 - 19 17 226 19,8 5 – 9 28 186 13,3 Under 5 98 143 14,3 Total 164 1939 139,0 Table 1: Finnish Learning Business Clusters companies 2003. 1 Esa Matikainen has a doctoral degree from Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration. He has over ten years of experience in consulting assignments including strategic measurement, stakeholder management and growth strategies of technology companies. Matikainen acts as a partner and board member of selected growth companies such as an eLearning company Apprix that focuses on edugaming, and a management consultancy Fennia Consulting that specializes in e.g. board and management development. During 1994-2001 Matikainen acted e.g. as a partner and Chairman of the Board at Nedecon, an Internet company listed in the NM list of Helsinki Exchanges in 1999. 2 Kari Mikkelä, M.Sc. (Tech), post-graduate studies at Helsinki University of Technology, acted during the study as the Executive Producer of the Centre of Expertise for Digital Media, Content Production and Learning Services in Finland. He is responsible for business growth and internationalization support for the Finnish digital learning services industry. He is engaged in several national and international initiatives related to the business development of ICT-enabled services. From the late 1980’s Kari Mikkelä has been the responsible partner in many telematic R&D programmes of the European Commission and Finnish authorities. He is an active board member of several Finnish associations such as the Finnish eLearning Association, ISOC Finland and Finnish Association of Distance Education (FADE).
  2. 2. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 2 Due to the small size of domestic markets, the success of internationalisation is critical for both the growth of companies and for the field to develop into a successful sub-cluster of the ICT field. The current status and future vision of the cluster shares considerable similarities with the software business as described in the Vision 2015 report of the software business, Ohjelmistoliiketoiminnan osaamiskeskus 2005). The strengths of the companies typically include product, technology and related competencies. Also Finland’s strengths in the ICT sector and in international competitiveness studies can be considered as strengths regarding internationalisation (see e.g. Tieke 2005). The commonly mentioned weaknesses include the lack of financial resources, business competencies and awareness of the target markets as well as low recognition of the companies (see e.g. Finpro 2005). In addition to traditional means of internationalisation like exports, establishment of sales and production units and product licensing, new forms of internationalisation are emerging, such as project cooperation, internationalisation through customers, as well as customer acquisition and learning through alliances and networks (see also Finnvera 2001). OBJECTIVES This paper aims to set the scene for understanding the overall business ecosystem and stakeholder map of the emerging cluster of the Finnish digital learning businesses, thus helping science parks to understand and find their role in the ecosystem of which they are part of. What can be done to enhance the growth and successful internationalisation of small companies? This article describes the stakeholder map of the emerging cluster of Finnish digital learning business, and uses it to examine companies’ internationalisation paths and enhancement of the internationalisation process. Obtaining access to customers in the target markets is a costly and time- consuming process. Taking into account the characteristics of the field, this study aims to answer the question: “What can nevertheless be done to enhance success of companies’ internationalisation?” An additional objective is to improve the holistic view of the field and provide some concrete thoughts for company management for business development and internationalisation planning. Also recommendations for industry development (see also Koskinen et al. 2004 and Ohjelmistoliike- toiminnan osaamiskeskus 2005) and public actions (see also Markkula 2004) are provided. RESEARCH METHOD The research was conducted in spring 2005, deepened through six case studies and 17 expert interviews. The research has been conducted as part of the GENRE program as a joint project by Culminatum and Fennia Consulting. The research was conducted as a case study, where preliminary conclusions drafted based on literature and researcher’s pre-understanding were modified, deepened and sharpened through case studies. The purpose was to produce as practicable conclusions tied to companies’ real-life situation as possible. In selecting the case studies it was considered important that the case companies differ in both the nature of business, and the degree and strategies of internationalisation. In that way, variant internationalisation paths could be described, hopefully resulting in increased awareness of companies regarding the means and opportunities for internationalisation. Due to the nature of the research method, the article cannot and does not intend to present statistically valid paths to success. Each company needs to make its own choices from its own starting points, but the study is expected to provide stimulus for internationalisation planning in the companies. Various forms of internationalisation such as joint ventures, exports, OEM manufacturing and franchising have been dealt with in e.g. Finnvera’s workbooks for internationalisation (Finnvera 2001). This article
  3. 3. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 3 examines in particular the internationalisation paths described through the stakeholder map, and the stakeholders, which have proved critical for case companies in the various phases of their internationalisation. The study is not intended to function as a guide to target market choices, which require first hand knowledge on the target markets conditions collected from each company’s starting points. The market areas of selected companies vary considerably, one generates most of the revenue from US and England, another operates mainly in the Arab Emirates, and yet another emphasizes EU projects and nearby territories in their international operations. Six case company representatives were interviewed in the study. In addition, the subjects were discussed with 17 other experts of the field. The interviews overhauled among others the following questions: Views on the stakeholder map: Is the preliminary division sound and practicable? Are essential or potentially useful stakeholders missing? The main objective of this was validation of the starting points of the study. Internationalisation strategy: What are the key success factors for the company in international operations? What is the current phase of internationalisation and how it has proceeded? What are the aims and goals of internationalisation? Internationalisation path and cooperation with stakeholders: Which stakeholders have been the most important ones in each of the internationalisation steps? What are the stakeholders with whom it is/would have been useful to cooperate more deeply with? What kind of problems has been observed in cooperation with stakeholders? Decision making: How is the decision making / planning process related to internationalisation or the start thereof? Which have been the key milestones? Competencies: What kind of competencies is required by internationalisation and how those should be developed? In each case, the questions were adapted in open format discussions with the case company representatives to the issues, which were considered important. The experience of the researcher, and an entrepreneur type of involvement in the industry helped in understanding the starting points and in concentrating on the essential matters. THEORETICAL APPROACH: BUSINESS ECOSYSTEMS AND RELATIONSHIP GOVERNANCE A business ecosystem means broadly the various actors, the companies’ stakeholders, and their interrelationships in the field. James Moore book “The Death of Competition, Leadership and Strategy in the Age of Business Ecosystems” (Moore 1996) can be considered as one corner stone of the business ecosystems perspective. The key concepts of the perspective have been borrowed from biology, where a large multitude of species lives in a balanced, symbiotic interaction. According to the ecosystem thinking, the success of one particular company depends on the development of the whole business ecosystem. Iansiti and Levian (2004) note in their Harvard Business Review article ”Strategy as Ecology”, that “stand-alone strategies don’t work when your company’s success depends on the collective health of the organisations that influence the creation and delivery of your product. Knowing what to do requires understanding the ecosystem and your organisation’s role in it.” The basis of ecosystems perspective is the relationships and networks of relationships between the stakeholder organisations. Interorganisational relationships have been intensively examined since the 1980’s (e.g. Jarillo 1988, Oliver 1990). The relationships between the company and its stakeholders can be examined as a continuum from short-term competitive relationships to long-term relationships
  4. 4. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 4 emphasizing cooperation and mutual benefits (e.g. Morgan & Hunt 1994, Duncan & Moriarty 1998). The relationships between the company and its stakeholders have also been examined from the perspective of economic theories such as transaction cost theory, agency theory, game theory and contract law. According to those, the key issue is to define an efficient governance mechanism for each relationships depending on the characteristics of that particular relationship (Matikainen 1998). Network approach is a similar perspective, and has been increasingly studied since the 1990’s (e.g. Håkansson & Snehota 1995, Möller & Wilson 1995). Network approach has also been adapted in several studies in the ICT sector (McGee & Bonnici 2002 among others), and several public actors such as Tekes and Culminatum see themselves as orchestrators of the network formed by the players in the Finnish innovation environment. From company management perspective it is important to notice that design and management of interorganisational relationships has become a strategic decision variable on its won right (e.g. Heide 1994). This kind of stakeholder management seeks for an optimal, “efficient” relationship with each stakeholder and fit between the different actors in the network of stakeholder relationships (e.g. Kankkunen et al. 1995). The company management needs to determine those stakeholders in the operating environment with whom it primarily wants to operate, and what kind of relationship it wants to have with each stakeholder at a given time. The selection is affected by the current and desired nature of the company, and the business context including the level of turbulence and the complexity of its relationships with others in the ecosystem (Iansiti & Levian 2004). Iansiti and Levian (2004) have also examined company’s choice of ecosystems strategy, which is governed primarily by the kind of company it is or aims to be, but also the general level of turbulence and the complexity of its relationships with others in the ecosystem. If your business faces rapid and constant change and, by leveraging the assets of other firms, can focus on a narrowly ad clearly defined business segment, a niche strategy developing your own specialized expertise may be most appropriate. If your business relies on a complex network of external assets but operates in a mature industry, you may choose a physical dominator strategy, moving to directly controlling the assets your company needs by acquiring your partners or otherwise taking over their functions. If your business is at the center of a complex network of asset-sharing relationships and operates in a turbulent environment, a keystone strategy may be the most effective. By carefully managing the widely distributed assets your company relies on – in part by sharing with your business partners the wealth generated by those assets – you can capitalize on the entire ecosystem’s ability to generate, because of its diversity, innovative responses to disruptions in the environment. If, however, your business chooses to extract maximum value from the network of assets, the value dominator strategy, you may end up starving and ultimately destroying the ecosystem of which you are a part. This makes the approach a fundamentally flawed strategy. The strategy choices are illustrated in the following figure.
  5. 5. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 5 Figure 1 Matching your ecosystem strategy to your environment (Iansiti & Levian 2004) Trust and reputation are essential factors in development and management of relationships (e.g. Ganesan 1994, Matikainen 1998). Building of trust in customer-supplier relationships is a process, where trust and reputation are built based on several interactions and deliveries. Especially gaining access to a foreign target market is a costly and time-consuming process. The process can be accelerated by creating trust/credibility links through cooperation with parties, who already have (directly or through one or several links) good connections with the customers in the target market. Norms and common values guiding the cooperation have already developed in ongoing long-term relationships. Those guarantee the continuation of the relationship and gaining long-term benefits (Husted 1994, Heide 1994), thus providing the other party with the trust required to recommend cooperation to be build with other parties as well. Sawhney and Parikh (2001) state the in a networked world, value is created at the ends of the networks which are closest to the customer, shared infrastructure enabling flow of information, modular competencies and operations, which fit well to as many value chains as possible, and by orchestration, that is the ability to coordinate and connect the parts of the value chain. They even state, that: ”in a networked world, more money can be made in managing interactions than in performing actions (p. 82)”. According to the perspectives presented, this study examines specifically the cooperative interorganisational relationships, and links through which a Finnish eLearning company can gain access to the customers in the target market. THE FINNISH ELEARNING ECOSYSTEM The Finnish eLearning ecosystem is founded on four faster than GNP growing business clusters ostensibly developing separately: i) The ICT cluster (15 Billion Euro), ii) the content production cluster (5 Billion Euro) and iii) the KIBS (Knowledge Intensive Business Services) cluster (9 Billion Euro). The fourth ”cluster” contains the customer organizations. One of their role is to act as buyers: consuming services provided by other clusters (i, ii, iii) developing knowledge, competences and the productivity of knowledge work; another one of their roles is to produce these solutions also internally. Several surveys estimate that approximately a half of the added value of the field is created expressly within the customer organizations. The customer cluster is therefore a significant creator of value within the eLearning field, even though it is difficult to measure its exact volume by using existing economic measures. The eLearning ”field” has grown interwoven into the clusters mentioned above. It is the glue tying the value of the various clusters into solutions meeting the needs of the customers. The vendors operating within the eLearning field can either be focused solely on eLearning, or they offer eLearning as an alternative service or product within their product portfolio, or then they are companies, which deliver other solutions which have externality value when used for competence development purposes by the customers. The companies working within the eLearning field possess different competences separating them from other actors. From a more granular view the Finnish eLearning ecosystem consists of a large number of different actors, which have been classified as illustrated in the following Figure 2. The actors have been divided into 12 categories, which are customers, training organizations, public organizations, authorities, financers, owners, personnel, content partners/competitors, technology partners/competitors, support services, media, and traditional distributors. In addition, the ecosystem has been divided into five levels (circles) according to the degree of involvement in the day-to-day operations of the companies in the field.
  6. 6. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 6 A more specific description of each of the categories and levels is presented in the following. It should be noticed, that the borders between the categories and the levels are fluctuant and change from one company and situation to another. The purpose is to illustrate the ecosystem and the stakeholders therein, and the division should not be read in absolute terms. The division is described in the following. The board or management of the internationalising company being the key decision maker when it comes to strategy and internationalisation within the limits of shareholders’ vision and risk-taking capability, has been placed in the core of the map. • 1st level: A partnering level actively involving in a company’s operations, mainly its own personnel, active owners, (hopefully) customers’ internal teams and strategic partners. Main challenge on this level: creating sustainable customer-vendor mini-clusters. • 2nd level: The traditional industry level, including among others a customer’s personnel participating in decision making, other eLearning companies, and public organisations with continuous involvement in the field such as Culminatum and Association of Finnish eLearning Center. Main challenge on this level: developing industry-specific core competences. • 3rd level: A cluster level including actors with strong relationships with each other. The cluster includes several industries such as publishers and IT system integrators, KIBS companies as well as direct support services, TE-Centres and media services companies. Main challenge on this level: positioning the industry among other clusters and developing viable business models. • 4th level: Finnish ecosystem level, which forms the general operating environment, the reality without which the system is not functional. The ecosystem level includes, among others, the general financers and authorities who have no active role in the field or direct impact on the companies, but which are there when needed. The actors in the ecosystem often have a strong indirect impact on the companies. Main challenge on this level: embedding the eLearning ecosystem into the national innovation environment. • 5th level: International level, which often operates as a link to the similar ecosystems on the foreign target markets. Main challenge on this level: using existing domestic strengths when leveraging growth internationally. Strategic choice as to whether intensive growth is to rely on content, technology, service or customer-intimacy.
  7. 7. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 7 OWNERS PERSON- NEL CUSTO- MERS AUTHORITIES TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS/COMPETITORS PUBLIC ORGANISATIONS SUPPORT SERVICES FINANCERS TRAINING ORGANISATIONS CONTENT PARTNERS/ COMPETITORS MEDIA Customer’s contact persons Participants/IT personnelBoard/mgmt of the intl company Internet ecommerce sties IT system integrators Suppliers of programming services Research institutes Professional organizations and unions Suppliers of news services Software suppliers Part-timers and freelancers Continuous work as subcontracting Own employees Other ministries Culminatum Ltd. Tax authorities Ministry of Trade and Industry Participating venture capitalists Partners/o wners Potential new shareholding partners Decision makers/ Purchasers Book stores TEKES Passive owners Occational work as subcontracting Work for hire companies Potential employees Media companies Citizens TE-Centres Finnvera Universities Polytechnics and vocational institutions Intl media Industry’s media Courts of law Law firms Management consulting PR, communications and advertising Business angels Current financiers Chambers of Commerce Company-specific content partners Media services companies Import companies in specific industries Internet companies Stock exhanges Banks/financial institutions End users Parent and/or subsidiaries EU structural funds Industry associations Recruiting services Alumni Schools Other personnel in customer organizations National media Other SME eLearning companies Head hunters Finpro Intl venture capitalists Other intl financial markets Itnl locations of customer organizations Intl parents of customer organizations Related industries and networks of customer organizations Foreign research institutes and organizations Foreign universities Multinational content producers Related intl organizations and networks Foreign locations and networks of support services organizations IT equipment and software stores Company’s personnel abroad EU and Nordic financial institutes Incubators Foundations Sitra Finnish Industry Investment Association of Finnish eLearning center Potential managers Multinational technology companies Publishers eLearning units of large companies EU projects and networks Private training organizations. Teleoperators Potential board members Organizers of export rings TRADI- TIONAL DISTRI- BUTORS Figure 2 The Finnish eLearning ecosystem A brief description of the 12 categories and their main interests is presented in the following.Customers: Customers’ main interest is to implement and exploit learning solutions that benefit their operations. Several parties are involved in the purchasing process including customer’s contact person (e.g. HR Manager or eLearning Manager), purchaser, and IT personnel. The key issues are purchasing competence and the ability to implement and gain wide acceptance in their organisations. Training organisations: Training organisations’ main interest is to support their own training activities with eLearning solutions. The field of training organisations is also fragmented ranging from schools to higher education and to private training organisations. Some eLearning companies consider training organisation or a particular sub-segment thereof as the key customer base. Public organisations: The main interest of these organisations is to promote national prosperity and competitiveness through innovations, commercialisation and international success of industry clusters. eLearning is one interesting field for these organisations as a sub-cluster of the ICT sector. Owners: Basically the main interest of the owners is to increase the value of the company. Owners’ risk taking ability and willingness, as well as the desired future regarding realisation of the value gained, vary to a large extent. Venture capitalists’ interest towards the field has decreased due to slower than expected development and losses occurred over the first years. Financers: Financers’ interest is to invest capital either with strictly commercial terms or with various forms of subsidies. Unlike venture capitalists, the financers operating on commercial terms seek for relatively low risk companies and demand guarantees for their investment. eLearning companies’ debt ratios are typically low compared to traditional industries due to small investment need when setting up a company. Authorities: The main interest of authorities is to control the legitimacy and improving the conditions of business in general. There are no special regulations in the field and the relationships are normal
  8. 8. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 8 business-authority relationships, except regarding authorities in the field of education, which have special interests towards the eLearning field. Personnel: Personnel’s main interests are typical work related factors such as work motivation, work atmosphere, salary and other incentives. Deviating from traditional business operations, e.g. free- lancers and part time employees are used to a large extent. There the division between subcontracting and employment relation is often a line drawn in the water. Content partners/competitors: The main interest of these organisations is profitable growth of their own business. eLearning companies, their products and services may at the same time be both partners and competitors. The precise line between competition and cooperation is hard to define. Technology partners/competitors: The organisations in question may serve as one distribution channel to the eLearning companies although the established practices have not developed to such for the present. Some of the big technology suppliers have their own units, which have specialised in eLearning solutions and are often relatively large compared to the micro companies of the field. Support services: The main interest of these companies operating on commercial basis is sales of own know-how and services. The eLearning companies do not form a major customer group even to any provider of support services but on these there is valuable know-how, which helps companies forward better than doing all the matters themselves. Media: The main interest of the media is to offer its target group information, story or another message, which sells. The possibility offered by the media is especially in expanding recognition, which has been identified as one the central obstacles of the internationalisation. The entrance to the medium requires attention value. Traditional distributors: The traditional distributors' interest is to get an own margin by bringing the principals' products and services within the reach of the customers. Certain type of products such as teaching material packed on the CDs are suitable to be distributed through traditional distribution channels such as bookshops (or the online stores), but there are no established distribution channels to a large part of the products/services of eLearning companies. The Ecosystem as a forum of cooperation Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2004) presented a model according to which the role of the markets changes from a forum of exchange to a link in a creative process (value network) and a customer forum. Interaction between the provider and the customer must be improved (Harju et al., 2004). The customer-driven approach requires closer cooperation with the customer networks, allowing intensified dialogue and integration of customer organisations into industrial value networks. Necessitating interaction is the only way to enhance mutual understanding of the benefits of digital learning solutions between the provider and the customer. The Centre for Digital Media, Contents Production and Learning Services aims at supporting interaction between the customer and the provider, and at forming customer communities sharing best practices. As a facilitator it provides fora and channels for support services and monitors the industry in cooperation with R&D organisations and other players within the Finnish innovation environment. The question is how could science parks support interaction between the customer and the provider, and linking the customer communities to providers. INTERNATIONALISATION OF CASE COMPANIES Each target market has its corresponding ecosystem. Paths of the internationalisation of companies are defined from the way and from those stakeholders with which the company gets access to the customers in the target market. Sometimes this path goes through traditional distribution channels to the end customers, but often the paths are found in a different combination of technology and/or
  9. 9. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 9 content partners, public and private support parties committed to the internationalisation project, as well as other stakeholders. Figure 3 Summary of the internationalisation of the examined case companies Each case company has been examined through the aims, stages and paths of the internationalisation. Furthermore it has been identified, which stakeholders are central from the point of view of the internationalisation path, which are the key factors connected to the decision-making, and which capabilities are needed. In the following these matters have been described separately from the point of view of each case company. The summary is shown in Figure 3. Fountain Park Fountain Park is a 25 person company established in 2000 whose turnover is approximately 2,5 million euros. The staff owns 87 % of the company and 10 outside investors own 13 %. The business of the company is divided into two parts, into the web-aided change consultancy services on the domestic market and into an expansive software product business on the international market. The company has utilised an external experience in its board of directors already from the outset in, and aims to grow on the selected target markets. The company has a strong desire on the US and Sweden's market. The ways of internationalisation vary depending on the market area. The internationalisation is not carried out with venture capital but organically with a small risk, in which case cost-efficient solutions are necessary. The desire, or vision, is important so that the right possibilities can be identified. There must also be space for utilising emerging opportunities. As capabilities and properties, which are central from the point of view of internationalisation the company mentions, among others, healthy self-esteem, the knowledge of the culture (negotiation culture, the rules of the business, jurisprudence etc.) and unyieldingness. The homework must be made and proceeding must be step by step.
  10. 10. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 10 Customer’s local contact persons Participants/IT personnel Kansain- välistyvän yrityksen paikallinen toiminta IT system integrators Suppliers of programming services Research institutes Professional organizations and unions Suppliers of news services Software suppliers Part-timers and freelancers Continuous work as subcontracting Own employees Ministries Tax authorities Local shareholding partners Potential new owners Decision makers/ Purchasers Local TEKES etc. offices Passive shareholders Occational work as subcontracting Work for hire companies Potential employees Media companies Citizens Finnvera Universities Polytechnics and vocational institutions Intl media Industry’s media Courts of law Law firms Management consulting PR, communications and advertising Potential equity investors Current investors Chambers of Commerce Company- specific content partners Media services companies Internet companies Stock exchange Banks and other financial institutions End users Own parent/ subsidiaries EU projects Associations in related industries Recruiting services Alumni Schools Other personnel in customer org. National media Local eLearning companies Head hunters Finland Trade Centers Intl equity investors Intl financial markets Itnl locations of customer organizations Intl parents of customer organizations Related industries and networks of customer organizations Foreign research institutes and organizations Foreign universities eLearning organisations Related intl organizations and networks Foreign locations and networks of support services organizations Company’s personnel abroad Finnish associations, individuals Embassies Potential JV partners Internet ecommerce sties Book stores Import companies in specific industries IT equipment and software storesPotential managers Multinational content producers Multinational technology companies Publishers eLearning units of large companies EU institutions and networks Potential board members Development communities Equipment manufacturers OWNERS PERSON- NEL CUSTO- MERS AUTHORITIES TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS/COMPETITORS PUBLIC ORGANISATIONS SUPPORT SERVICES FINANCERS TRAINING ORGANISATIONS CONTENT PARTNERS/ COMPETITORS MEDIA Customer’s contact persons Participants/IT personnel Board/mgmt of the intl company Internet ecommerce sties IT system integrators Suppliers of programming services Research institutes Professional organizations and unions Suppliers of news services Software suppliers Part-timers and freelancers Continuous work as subcontracting Own employees Other ministries (Education, Labour etc.) Culminatum Tax authorities Ministry of Trade and Industry Participating venture capitalists Partners/ owners Potential new shareholding partners Decision makers/ Purchasers Book stores TEKES Passive owners Occational work as subcontracting Work for hire companies Potential employees Media companies Citizens TE-Centres Finnvera Universities Polytechnics and vocational institutions Intl media Industry’s media Courts of law Law firms Management consulting PR, communications and advertising Business angels Current financiers Chambers of Commerce Company-specific content partners Media services companies Import companies in specific industries Internet companies Stock exhanges Banks and other financial institutions End users Parent and/or subsidiaries Diges EU projects EU structural funds (e.g. ESR, EAKR) Technology Industries of Finland Recruiting services Alumni Schools Other personnel in customer organizations National media Other SME eLearning companies Head hunters Finpro Intl venture capitalists Other intl financial markets Itnl locations of customer organizations Intl parents of customer organizations Related industries and networks of customer organizations Foreign research institutes and organizations Foreign universities Multinational content producers SATU Related intl organizations and networks Foreign locations and networks of support services organizations IT equipment and software stores Company’s personnel abroad Nordic financiers (Nopef, NIB, NICe) EU financial institutes (e.g. EIP, EIF) Incubators Foundation for Finnish Inventions Sitra Finnish Industry Investment Association of Finnish eLearning center Potential managers Multinational technology companies Publishers eLearning units of large companies EU networks (EIfEL, ELIG etc.) TIEKE Private training organizations. Teleoperators Potential board members Organizers of export rings SME Foundation TRADI- TIONAL DISTRI- BUTORS Private training organizations. Teleoperators OWNERS PERSON- NEL CUSTO- MERS AUTHORITIES TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS/COMPETITORS PUBLIC ORGANISATIONS SUPPORT SERVICES FINANCERS TRAINING ORGANISATIONS CONTENT PARTNERS/ COMPETITORS MEDIA TRADI- TIONAL DISTRI- BUTORS CASE: Fountain Park USA Ruotsi Japani Suorat projektit GSW-ohjelma FINNISH ELEARNING ECOSYSTEM ELEARNING ECOSYSTEM OF THE TARGET MARKET Figure 4 Links between the company and the target market ecosystem, Fountain Park, USA
  11. 11. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 11 US. On the US market the effort was begun at the end of 2003 in the Global Software programme. The programme and network brought by it (among others, the new American member of the board who opens the door) are considered central in order to succeed, although more cost-efficient ways are looked for. In the US there is an office lead by one Finnish partner of the company in San Jose in Silicon Valley. The help is a half-day consultant and the new board member locally. Also the local process support of Tekes has been important. First the market was entered with one product. Now this approach has been seen too narrow and stated that one must go with a wider selection from which the customer can choose the ones which best respond to the need. It also is important to show that the technological base develops all the time. The first customer project started through a consultant company acting as a VAR (value-adding reseller). Proceeding via VARs is considered as a good possibility. The path of Fountain Park to the US market, the stakeholders and cooperation links, which are important from the point of view of the market in question, are illustrated by Figure 4. The corresponding descriptions have also been drawn up of other case companies and paths of their internationalisation. From two to four different paths were typically perceived with each case company varying depending on the target market and on the business models. Due to limited space available, is not possible to present all the descriptions in this article. HCI Productions HCI Productions is a small and innovative company specialising in the Internet based learning and performance solutions. The company offers solutions based on the customers' needs in following areas: eLearning, eHR solutions, electronic performance support systems, data collection, professional portals and project applications. The long time experience and network of the principal owner have a crucial effect from the point of view of the success of the company. The internationalisation takes place moderately with the operational cash flow. There are several forms of international operation. The company attempts actively to be a project supplier of the UN organisations and the World Bank, it seeks markets independently according to its strong areas, participates in the EU and neighbouring area projects with cooperation partners, and furthermore, has developed a product called Online International Project Management, which it is possible to utilise internationally. Good partnering skills, a strong knowledge of the clientele (public administration, EU and neighbouring areas) and monitoring and interpretation ability of the field are considered as key capabilities for internationalisation. Furthermore, the CVs and references must be in order and the product/service offering must be clear. Mediamaisteri Group Mediamaisteri Group is the expert company of the eLearning whose objective is to support the processes of web-based learning. The business of the company consists of training and consultation, content production and technology. The company has 18 workers and its growth is self-financed. The consultation and training take place in the domestic market. Internationalisation is seen necessary in order to grow the next level, to a few million euros of revenue. The internationalisation is carried out at the moment in two ways. In the content production an interactive web-based training package has been built for the training of the data terminal equipment of the TETRA authorities’ network, THR 880. For the technology the emphasis is on the Moodle open source learning platform and related services. The strategic objective of the company is to get to the international mass market on which there are big volumes. The price of the products must be competitive and the cost structure of the company must be correct. In the company it is seen that the quick development of the business requires a straightforward approach. The THR 880 training package combines from Mediamaisteri’s perspective in a promising way the following:
  12. 12. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 12 1. Product along the famous partner's side. The demand for the product will follow the demand for the authorities’ network directly and the partnership with the famous player enables success when the authorities’ networks are sold with extensive resources. 2.Precise selling. The company knows precisely who have acquired authorities’ network, in which case the sales are not shots in the dark but the sales efforts can be targeted very carefully. The company tries to tie distribution partnerships with the same parties, which sell data terminal equipment as Telering in Finland. 3. Mass market. Mediamaisteri estimates that there are tens of millions of authorities in the world, who are potential customers to the training package. 4. Showing of the value. It is a question of a very specific training need. In any case the introduction of the authorities’ network and of the related data terminal equipment requires training. The advantages of the web-based training package for the cost and time savings as well as accessibility can be more easily shown than in many other eLearning solutions. Prewise Group OyPrewise is the expert company of information marketing offering its customers the consultancy, content and technology solutions to the area of eLearning and ePublishing. In the company there are 35 employees. Prewise began its operations through an MBO 1.4.2004 when the technology functions and part of the team of the digital communication of Evia Helsinki withdrew to be its own company. In June 2004 an eLearning company Knowledge Capital Communications with a few employees was connected Prewise with an acquisition. The functions of Prewise Group are divided into three affiliated companies for which Prewise Finland is responsible for Finland's business activities. UAB Prewise in Vilnius (Lithuania) and Prewise Middle East Oy in Abu Dhabi (the United Arab Emirates) are responsible for business activities in their own market areas. The international operation is relatively large-scale project deliveries in the eLearning scale. In each market area it is important to find a so-called core revenue stream, with which a cash flow maintaining the business is guaranteed. The internationalisation is conducted with self-financing and it is often challenging to arrange guarantees and project financing. Capabilities which are important for internationalisation include, among others, language skills, understanding of the international frame of reference and basis for business as well as negotiation skills. In the board of directors the outside members of the company are used as sparring help. Promentor Solutions Promentor Solutions has been established in 1987 and is thus one of the oldest companies of the eLearning field in Finland. The company has 11 employees at the moment. It is a family business in which the decision making power has concentrated to the owner entrepreneur. The product of the company is a Promentor training solution and related language course modules, and other tailored educational materials. The ready language products fit into company use, into educational institution use and for home users. Promentor has gained hundreds of companies and educational institutions as its customer in Finland. The support parties and EU projects in which the company has been actively involved also have had strong significance in operations. The company attempted entry to German market in the early 1990's but withdrew in 1995. The company decided to try possibilities in 2000 on Norway's market at very limited costs. Norway was approached in a similar way as Germany earlier. As the activator of Norway's operation a Finn who moved to Norway was found. His task was sales to the local client organisations. Norway's operation was organised with an own sales office instead of a subsidiary. The company withdrew from the market after an experiment period of 6 months. The sales efforts were seen as a cost-efficient market research.
  13. 13. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 13 At the present the company has got already about 200.000 users to its products in Finland and sees internationalisation as a possibility if the right methods and resources are found. The possible methods for the internationalisation are, among others, the utilising of Internet online stores. The product is sold to the companies partly as tailored parcels, but it is saleable also as packages sold directly to the users. It also is important to get wider access to the customers' through their Intranets and other similar solutions. As capabilities, which are central for the internationalisation, the company mentions, among others, language skills, understanding of the local market and partnership know-how. Furthermore, the product must be made a marketable product up to the end (the brochures etc.). SANAKO Corporation Sanako is one the biggest companies of the eLearning field in Finland with its turnover of 11 million euros. The company develops and implements technological solutions of language teaching and is the world's leading supplier of high level language laboratories. The company has delivered its systems to altogether 16.000 different universities, schools or to another educational institutions in nearly 100 countries. The company began its business in 1961 when a Norwegian technology company Tandberg implemented the first language laboratory. In the mid 1980's Finnish Teleste bought the teaching unit of Tandberg and produced in 1991 the worlds' first language laboratory with a PC based graphic user interface as well as other innovations during the 1990's. The Norwegian root broke but left the global distribution channel and the brand stayed. In 2001 an MBO was carried out in this unit of Teleste with support of capital investors. As a consequence of which an independent company Divace was born, which in the autumn of 2003 was named again as SANAKO. The business of the company has changed strongly in the course of the years from traditional instruments of language teaching to the progressive technologies such as virtual language laboratories. For example the share of hardware in the deliveries has fallen from more than 80 % to about 10 %. The unit prices have fallen and the competence requirements have grown. The sales cycles are long and the building of the customer portfolio on a target market takes 2-3 years typically. The company has its own sales offices in Bradford in UK in New York in US and Shanghai in China. US and England both establish about a third of company’s turnover. Furthermore the company has roughly 80 distributors in different parts of the world. The company sees that it is relatively easy to tie distribution partnerships but the real challenge is how it would make the channels do the active selling. It is difficult to find the surplus value for the distributors when the unit price falls, and when Sanako’s share in the deliveries can be even only a few thousands. For the creation of the demand important are connections to the opinion influencers and press as well as participation in the events of the field. Also World Bank and development banks such as IDB and ADB are important, because they govern projects in which there are considerable amounts of money. Correspondingly reaching to the school level e.g. Foreign Ministry’s and development aid projects are significant. Sanako also cooperates worldwide with the significant technology suppliers (e.g. VoIP) and contents partners such as BBC and Prentice Hall regarding product development. The case companies represent a variety of different business models, and thus have different challenges in the process of internationalization. The key challenges for the case companies are summarized in the following. Fountain Park could be considered mainly as a service company. Its main challenge in internationalisation is that instead of just the software product it should be able to copy the whole business network to a foreign business ecosystem in order to gain clients and credibility. This is a time-consuming process.
  14. 14. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 14 HCI Produtions is a craftsman type of company relying heavily on the experience and contact network of the owner-entrepreneur. The main challenge in order to gain larger international presence is to develop HCI Production as a company gaining value independent of the ownership. Mediamaisteri Group relies on a partnership approach both regarding its TETRA training package and partnering with the Moodle development community. The main challenge is to manage the partnerships at different levels of own and partners’ organization with the aim of establishing a position as a serious and equal partner to the large companies. Prewise Group is mainly a project business. The main challenges in internationalisation and business in general is the competence perspective, how to recruit, maintain and develop highly skilled people for the projects, as well as access to large customer projects. Promentor Solutions represents a product business. Among the companies examined its success is most purely dependent on success in the pure product/market competition. It has gained a strong foothold in the Finnish market but can it build competitive advantage in the heavily competed foreign target markets. SANAKO Corporation a product concept, language laboratories. Of the companies examined it has longest roots in history and has been transforming its business along with the technological development. It operates in a partly matured client industry and most clearly faces the challenge of being able to expand the size of its current markets. From the ecosystem perspective the remaining question is, what the Finnish companies could do together in order to gain international presence. For example could Sanako’s existing sales channels be capitalized by selling other companies’ solutions to already existing customer base. Referring to Iansiti’s and Levian’s (2004) ecosystem strategy, all the companies are clearly in a niche category. The question is, could one of them or some of them jointly become a keystone player and gain international credibility by closer collaboration, sharing information, aligned decision making and focused efforts based on a common interest and vision. CONCLUSIONS Conclusions for Company Management, Industry Development and Public Actions The management has to identify the whole stakeholder environment and to define an optimal relationship with each separate type of actors. The best ways for the internationalisation are still being searched for. The company can accelerate access to the customers of the target market by creating cooperation links through stakeholders, which already have credibility on the market. Companies should form strong and wide support networks of different actors such as science parks who know the aims of the company and from whom the company acquires help at the separate stages of the internationalisation process. The possibilities of the internationalisation along with the customers have not been sufficiently utilised at present. Lack of focus hinders cooperation between companies in the field where the companies' day-to-day operations are quite overlapping. In the joint cooperation projects it is possible to distribute costs and to get a bigger attention value on the target market. In the digital learning markets there is room for support services enhancing the linking of demand and supply. The development of the industry is likely to follow the change model (see HBR 2004) in which the fragmented or emerging industry is followed by expansive convergence and “shake-out” stage, in which the best ways for the internationalisation are found. Science parks need to able to adjust their role and services along with the industry change phases. The different phases of development are illustrated in Figure 5.
  15. 15. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 15 • A large no. of small companies (150-200) • Traditional “big players” implement related solutions Fragmentation/ Emergence Shake-out/ Convergence Maturity/ Coexistence Decline/ Dominance Financial perspective Customer perspective Operations and processes Organisation, learning and development Emerging Industry Established Industry ? • Small companies growing to a few million euros • Core business profitable but growth ties up resources • Succeeding compa- nies grow and some qualify for IPOs • Coexistence with large consulting, content and IT companies • Field’s total revenue in Finland a few billion euros • Sub markets, niches, formed with blurred boundaries • Search of reference customers • Customers mainly “early adopters” • Intl. customers increasingly important • Consciousness about the benefits increases • Large global customers • Almost all companies have planned solutions in the field • “e”-solutions impro- ving performance embedded in day-to- day operations orchestrators in key roles within organisations • SME’s business and operational models emerging • Large companies’ operating models based on their core business • Viable business models stand out, growth management critical • eL. increasingly important among large players • Consolidation becomes significant • Continuous improvement of processes and value chains • Reorganisation and consolidation • Management of intl operations common- place • Competent, innovative and entrepreneurial persons • Versatile employment relations • Sales and business skills needed • No. of personnel grows from a few to some tens in small companies • Management competence, middle management is built • Utilisation of competences • Organisational challenges due to increased company size • Strategic renewal to sustain competitiveness Figure 5: Industrial development model in the eLearning field in Finland. The public actions must be compatible with the phase of development of the field. At this development stage the present support and service forms enable experimentation, meaning among other things small input into the numerous different targets. At the second phase of development the focus moves to the collaborative mini-cluster and customer network projects. In addition to domestic networking, the public bodies such as science parks could serve more effectively as link builders in the business ecosystems of the target markets. At later phases of the development the requirements continue to change and the renewal demands of the field tighten. The embedding of the ecosystem to the national innovation environment should be considered carefully. Reflections for Science Parks Also the science parks need to plan the their actions to promote the ecosystem so that they are compatible with the phase of development of the field. For science parks to be useful from entrepreneurial perspective, they need to understand the ecosystem where the entrepreneurial companies operate. Science parks need to determine their own role in the ecosystem and improve their ability to provide the crucial links that the companies need to succeed in both the regional and international marketplace. Science parks must also improve their expertise as an organizer providing enabling structures and services. In practice this means moving from facility to service focus, from passive actor to proactive orchestrator, and from marketing the science parks to promoting the ecosystem development.
  16. 16. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 16 LITERATURE Culminatum 2005, Innovation Strategy, Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Helsinki Region Centre of Expertise Cusumano Michael 2004, The Business of Software – What Every Manager, Programmer, and Entrepreneur Must Know to Thrive and Survive in Good Times and Bad, Free Press, New York Deloitte 2004, Leading the Field, Technology Fast 500 EMEA Ranking & CEO Survey 2004, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Lontoo Duncan T. & Moriarty S.E. 1998, A Communication-based Marketing Model for Managing Relationships, Journal of Marketing, vol. 62, April, s. 1-13 Finnvera 2004, Hyvä hallitus – menestyvä yritys, Hallitustyöskentelyn työkirja Finnvera 2001, Kansainvälistyvä yritys 1: Kansainvälistymisen aloittaminen, työkirja, 2. painos Finnvera 2001, Kansainvälistyvä yritys 2: Kansainvälistymisen toimintamuodot, työkirja, 2. painos Finpro 2005, Kansainvälisen liiketoimintaosaamisen koulutus, Seminaariesitys, Muusa2 Ganesan S. 1994. Determinants of long-term orientation in buyer-seller relationships. Journal of Marketing, vol. 58, April. p. 1-19. Hallituksen politiikkaohjelmat 2005, Rahoitusselvitys, Selvitys julkisten rahoittajien tarjoamista tietoyhteiskuntahankkeiden rahoitusvaihtoehdoista, Tietoyhteiskunta Harju Minna, 2004, (work group: Kari Mikkelä, Kaisa Sibelius, Timo Ovaskainen, Venla Junttila and Milla Lewadowski). Aquisition and use of digital learning products and related services, Summary of survey. Publication 1/2004, The Centre of Expertise for Digital Media, Content Production and Learning Services. Heide J.B. 1994. Interorganisational governance in marketing channels. Journal of Marketing, vol 58, January. p. 71-85. Husted B.W. 1994. Transaction costs, norms, and social networks. Business & Society, vol. 33, no 1, April, p. 30-57. Håkansson H. & Snehota I. (eds.) 1995. Developing business relationships in business networks. London, Routledge. Iansiti M. & Levien R. 2004, Strategy as Ecology, Harvard Business Review, 82(3), s. 68-78 Jacobsen Kenneth, Paulin William L., Vurpillat Voctor V., Nukari Jussi, Peltola Eero & Saukkonen Juhani 2001, Launching Your Software Business in America, A Handbook for Finnish Entrepreneurs, TEKES Jarillo J.C. 1988. On strategic networks. Strategic Managemnet Journal, vol. 9. p. 31-41. Joint Venture 2005, Index of Silicon Valley 2005, Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network, San Jose, California Jokinen Jani-Pekka, Hietala Juhana, Mäkelä Markus, Huurinainen Petru, Maula Markku, Kontio Jyrki & Autio Erkko 2004, Finnish Software Product Business: Results from the National Software Industry Survey, Helsinki University of Technology, Software Business and Engineering Institute, Software Business Laboratory, Institute of Strategy and International Business. Kankkunen Kari, Kähäri Perttu, Matikainen Esa 1995, Strategiana yhteensopivuus, Sedecon Consulting Koskinen Tapio, Stergioulas Lampros & Denoual Yann 2004, Time2Learn, European Roadmap for Professional eTraining, TIME2LEARN Network Markkula Markku 2004, eLearning in Finland, Enhancing Knowledge-based Society Development, Report of the One-Man-Committee appointed by the Ministry of Education
  17. 17. Supporting the Business Ecosystem 17 Massy Jane 2005, Study of the E-Learning Suppliers’ ”Market” in Europe, Danish Technological Institute, Alphametrics Ltd, Heriot-Watt University Matikainen E. 1998. Efficient governance of interorganisational business relationships. A-141, Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration, Helsinki. McGahan Anita M. 2004, How Industries Change, Harvard Business Review, October, s. 86-99 McGee J. & Sammut Bonnici T.A. 2002, Network Industries in the New Economy, European Business Journal, 14(3), s. 116 Mikkelä Kari, E-oppimisen tilanne Suomessa keväällä 2002 - toimenpide-ehdotuksia e-oppimisen toimialan kehittämiseksi (2002), osaamiskeskustoiminnan esiselvitys, Tomi Järvelin Design Oy Mikkelä Kari, Karttaavi Tommi (2003) The Ecosystem of E-learning Companies in Finland. An inventory of companies operating in Finland. Compilation report 1/2003. Centre of Expertise for Digital Media, Content Production and Learning Services. Moore James F. 1996, The Death of Competition, Leadership and Strategy in the Age of Business Ecosystems, HarperCollins Publishers Morgan R.M. & Hunt S.D. 1994. The commitment-trust theory of relationship marketing. Journal of Marketing, vol. 58, July. p. 20-38. Möller K. & Wilson D.T. (eds.) 1995. Business marketing: an interaction and network perspective. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Massachusetts. Ohjelmistoliiketoiminnan osaamiskeskus 2005, Ohjelmistotuotannon visio 2015, Tutkimusraportti Oliver C. 1990. Determinants of interorganisational relationships: Integration and future directions. Academy of Management Review, vol. 15, no. 2. p. 241-265. Prahalad, C.K. & Ramaswamy, V. 2004. The Future of Competition. Co-Creating Unique Value with Customers Sawhney & Parikh 2001, Where Value Lives in a Networked World, Harvard Business Review, January, s. 79-90 Tieke 2005, ICT Cluster Finland Review 2005, TIEKE Finnish Information Society Development Centre Äijö Toivo, Kuivalainen Olli, Saarenketo Sami, Lindqvist Jani & Hanninen Hanna 2005, Internationalisation Handbook for Software Business, Lappeenranta University of Technology

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IASP 2006, Helsinki, Finland Dr. Esa Matikainen, Fennia Consulting Oy (1) Executive Producer Kari Mikkelä,Tomi Järvelin Desing Oy (2) Digital learning business, eLearning, is in Finland, a fragmented industry cluster where internationalisation is critical for companies due to the small size of domestic markets. This article describes the overall business ecosystem and stakeholder map of the emerging cluster of Finnish digital learning business, and uses them to examine companies’ internationalisation paths and enhancement of the internationalisation process. Variant internationalisation paths and strategies put emphasis on different stakeholders. For science parks to be useful from entrepreneurial perspective, they need to understand the ecosystem where the entrepreneurial companies operate. Science parks need to determine their own role in the ecosystem and improve their ability to provide the crucial links that the companies need to succeed in both the regional and international marketplace. In practice this means moving from facility to service focus, from passive actor to proactive orchestrator, and from marketing the science parks to promoting the ecosystem development. 1 Esa Matikainen has a doctoral degree from Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration. He has over ten years of experience in consulting assignments including strategic measurement, stakeholder management and growth strategies of technology companies. Matikainen acts as a partner and board member of selected growth companies such as an eLearning company Apprix that focuses on edugaming, and a management consultancy Fennia Consulting that specializes in e.g. board and management development. During 1994-2001 Matikainen acted e.g. as a partner and Chairman of the Board at Nedecon, an Internet company listed in the NM list of Helsinki Exchanges in 1999. 2 Kari Mikkelä, M.Sc. (Tech), post-graduate studies at Helsinki University of Technology, acted during the study as the Executive Producer of the Centre of Expertise for Digital Media, Content Production and Learning Services in Finland. He is responsible for business growth and internationalization support for the Finnish digital learning services industry. He is engaged in several national and international initiatives related to the business development of ICT-enabled services. From the late 1980’s Kari Mikkelä has been the responsible partner in many telematic R&D programmes of the European Commission and Finnish authorities. He is an active board member of several Finnish associations such as the Finnish eLearning Association, ISOC Finland and Finnish Association of Distance Education (FADE).

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