Today, the majority of companies cannot innovate on their own; they heavily rely on their ecosystems to create innovations. Since partners and customers are the main sources of innovation, relationships that companies build with them are highly important.
Customer relationship management integrates internal processes with external networks to deliver value to customers, while partner relationship management supports this process through the establishment of a network of collaborators and development of an ecosystem. They are based on customer- and partner-related data and are supported by information technology. The focus is on creating value for customers, partners, and the company in the long term.
Collaboration with customers, partners, and academia creates and maintains long-term relationships with stakeholders to create competitive advantage over rival firms and cut costs.