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Business ecosystems in response to the interplay of business relationships and processes


Collaborative business models represent a big strategic challenge for any business.

Relations with suppliers, subcontractors and freelancers, sales network, customers, followers on online social networks or even with external innovators are becoming very complex.

In recent years, internal and relatively independent business functions have become intertwined with the outside world deleting the boundaries between the internal and external environment of an organization and between individual business functions or areas of expertise. The more we interact with the outside world of the organization, the more competitive we are in comparison with those who have not yet introduced these collaborative models into their business practices. Of course, only if we are able to integrate such complex and diverse relationships into our business model and lead them in a way to contribute to the development of our business system in the long run. Companies and organizations which are aware of the potential of those intertwined and complex relationships, they have begun to develop the so-called business ecosystems, where individual internal and external relationships, business functions and processes are no longer separated but interconnected and interdependent.

Modern digital tools can help us to build and manage a business ecosystem much easier. However, questions on how to collaborate between a traditional sales network and digital sales channels, internal world of an organization and external innovators and freelancers, internal and external information sources, internal and external business software solutions etc. cannot be solved without a well planned partnership strategy and without very well managed collaborative relationships.

The importance and necessity of well managed collaborative relationships is proven also by the internationally adopted ISO 44001: 2017 standard, which is intended precisely for the management of collaborative business relationships.

At WOTRA, we have been developing training, guidance and counseling for a variety of collaborative business relationships and their management for many years. As an example, I would like to cite the relationships between the principal, agents and distributors, or the ecosystem building of a modern online store.

Contact the author of this article for more information and support during your process of dealing with collaborative relationships and your business ecosystem.



We provide the following professional services to our clients:

  • we help you to identify the most appropriate collaborative and partnership strategy or a combination of strategies based on the current status of your organization, your vision, strategy and objectives of the organization and the type of your products and services;
  • we analyze your existing collaborative business model and existing relationships with business partners or members of your network and prepare (1) recommendations for improvement and/or expansion of business partnerships and networks, (2) a possible new and innovative collaborative business model, and (3) recommendations for systematic collective intelligence building;
  • we offer assistance in finding partners, in the phase of preparing agreement proposals for potential partners as well as in the phase of final selection of partners;
  • the organization, development and management of your partner and/or membership network can be fully taken over by us;
  • we suggest appropriate methodologies and tools to effectively manage relationships with your partners and/or members of your network;
  • other related services.

For more information contact us by telephone or via the »Enquiry Form«.


Companies and individuals come across collaboration and partnership in all of their development phases and all sectors regardless of company size. Our trainings are aimed at adressing the issue of collaboration and partnership from various perspectives (e.g. organizational, managerial, IT, legal, financial, etc.) and for various development and business circumstances (e.g. for purposes of internationalization, for the purpose of developing a new product, for the purpose of sale, etc.).

Our training programmes related to the topic "Collaboration and Partnership" are modular. In addition to the introductory programme, several other individual modules have been developed which cover various types of partnerships and individual aspects of collaboration and partnership approaches.

Training can be undertaken internally to a closed group or in collaboration with partner organizations.

Please, check our training programmes descriptions under the separate sub-menu following this link.

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About the Author

Irena Rezec, M.Sc., MBA

IR 400x400Irena Rezec is an experienced expert with more than 30 years of experience both in the public as well as in the private sector in Slovenia and abroad. She has gained experience and knowledge in the field of information solutions development, entrepreneurship, European and global business ecosystems, business collaboration and partnership approaches as well as in internationalisation of companies, all by obtaining the University (information systems) and Master's (international management) degree, by managing the Euro Info Cenre in Ljubljana (currently titled Enterprise Europe Network), by cooperating in various working groups in Slovenia and abroad, and within last years in the role of the Owner and Director of two companies (WOTRA - Slovenia, WOTRA Universe - UK) also by implementing a big number of consulting projects and seminars in Slovenia and other countries in the world. For the past 16 years, she has also regularly evaluated EU project proposals (EU H2020, URBACT, and other EU funds) in the fields of ICT and industrial clusters development, and occassionally in the field of urban and rural economic development.

In addition, she was in-depth training in:

  • collaborative relationships and partnership management (Rhythm of Business, OECD, Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Flanders);
  • open and systematic innovation (CREAX, ECSB);
  • selling on amazon marketplaces (Amazing);
  • digital marketing and online sales channels (Amazing, Shaw Academy);
  • regional economic development (Flemish Government, OECD, InWEnt Germany, Assembly of European regions);
  • quantum techniques (Tadej Pretner);
  • systemic dynamics in organisations - systemic constellations in business (a licensed faciliator certified by the Institute for Systemic Constellations Slovenia in cooperation with Bert Hellinger Institute of the Netherlands).

Among others, she is a member of:

  • Advisory Board of the Cluster House – an umbrella organization of the Balkan and Black Sea Cluster Network;
  • TCI Network– The Competitiveness Institute Network;
  • Association of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Slovenia which is a member of the ICIE Congress – International Congress of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs;
  • ERENET – Entrepreneurhsip Research and Education Network of Central European Universities.

You can contact the author via phone, no. +386 40 790 000 or via e-mail: ir / @ / wotra.com.

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