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The meaning of service – part 2

The ongoing discussion about the meaning of service….

Contributors: Stuart Rance, Andreas Weick, Paul Huppertz, Peter Bergmann,  Mathias Traugott, Michael Geyer,  Peter Brooks, Christian Nissan, Charles Betz,  Majid Iqbal

 

POST_2_1: By Paul Huppertz

The definitions below evoke the following questions:

How and/or by means of which criteria is a required and/or desired service type practically

  • identified?
  • specified?
  • priced?
  • catalogued?
  • offered?
  • contracted?
  • realised?
  • verified?
  • billed?

Furthermore

  • Who will commission service providing from whom by means of which  documents?
  • Which roles are involved in a service engagement?
  • How is ensured that each explicitly triggered, singular & unique service is seamlessly & reliably rendered?
  • Which service acts are performed in which combination & sequence?
  • Which outcome is achieved by means of such service acts?

Paul Huppertz

 

POST_2_2: By Paul Huppertz

A tool, more precisely: a physical good is a set of functions. These functions have been implemented into the tool so that they are immanent. A tool user can actuate these functions whenever he needs to and/or wants to without the maker of the tool being present or involved.

 

In contrast, service-specific benefits must be effectuated from scratch by the accountable service provider whenever an authorized service consumer explicitly triggers a service. Thus, service consumer and service provider are simultaneously involved in the course of each singular & unique service transaction. This is marked as “inseparability of service” in the acronym IHIP.

Paul Huppertz

 

POST_2_3: By Peter Brooks

On 17 December 2014 at 22:10, Majid Iqbal <mxiqbal@dhashc.com> wrote:
> My belief is that, based on the fundamentals of economics, there are only
> two kinds of products: goods and services.
>
> Therefore the term “production” applies to services, and the distinction
> between “products and services” is archaic and poorly founded. Services are
> products with a special form factor. Service management is product
> management, in the same way as botany and zoology are biology.
>
> If we can rid ourselves with the deeply ingrained habit of saying “products
> and services”, there is a whole new level of clarity and depth of
> understanding on how and why services are the preferred form factor in which
> we package and deliver value; or purchase and consume it.
>
I agree.

It’s a little like wave – particle duality. You can define goods so
that they’re very clearly not services, and visa-versa, but you find
it difficult to do it.

That’s because, in the real world, it’s very difficult to think of any
example of goods that are sold with absolutely no element of service
involved – or, contrariwise, of services that involve absolutely no
element of being ‘goods’.

It’s a false and misleading dichotomy – even if you do manage to find
something that is a ‘pure’ service or good, that misses the point.

Services is the more complete view, so to say that goods are a subset
of services and get on with defining services makes perfect sense.

Peter Brooks

 

POST_2_4: By Paul Huppertz

The proposed definition of the term ‘service’ is based on

 

 

The service terminology has been compiled in a glossary where further terms & definitions can be found (in German)

  1. Glossar Service-Terminologie

http://de.slideshare.net/PaulGHz/servicialisierung-glossar-serviceterminologie-v070000

Paul Huppertz

 

 

POST_2_5: By Peter Brooks

I agree with the general tenor of the discussion – very strongly!

I think it would be a mistake, though, to dodge the term ‘service’ altogether. Yes, a service is made up of these components, and it might be more even than that (or less), but we’d be doing a disservice (please excuse the pun) not to provide some definition of ‘service’.
Would it, perhaps, help, just at this stage, to have another looks at the diagram:
It is an accident of design – all I did was to take the Archi diagram and work it so that the connections all were clear and the crossing of lines was minimised. It is, though, the ASM we agreed at in Birmingham, along with the agreed changes. I think it’s instructive that the diagram shows ‘Service’ at the right hand side, with all the rest contributing to it.
I’d only just noticed this now – I was absorbed with Archi and making the lines work – but I think it is saying something significant. It’s an odd thing, for me, but the diagram says more to me now, after that quite mechanical re-ordering, than it did before. I think that isn’t a coincidence – the structure follows directly from the discussions, even though it wasn’t evident at the time.
Do you agree?
Might it make sense to talk in terms of the diagram and how it relates to our views, rather than talk of the minutiae?

Peter Brooks <peter.h.m.brooks@gmail.com>

 

POST_2_6: By Charles Betz

My primary concern is practical. What is a definition of “service” that I can operationalize across a large team of analysts and architects in an enterprise? Such that if a list or report is generated of examples purporting to fit the definition, the result is unambiguous and consistent? Every item clearly of a like type?
If services fundamentally are “acts” it becomes very difficult to do this. In an IT context, such “acts” are (in my reading) equivalent to transactions, which at their individual level are as numerous and transient as breaths. But I think you are probably leading us more to a discussion at the type level, which would necessarily be more about system and offering, or generalizations of expectation and outcome – i.e., reasonably persistent abstractions suitable for analysis.
One issue is that organizations big enough to care about this already have practices in enterprise architecture, which uses the concepts of capability, process, and function, and has seen “service” more as part of the SOA discussion. The latest manifestation of this being so-called “micro-services,” very topical of late.
“Charles T. Betz (char@erp4it.com)” <char@erp4it.com>

 

POST_2_7: By Christian Nissan

Hi Charlie,
I had decided not to contribute to this thread as I am actually too busy. But now I can’t resist the temptation anymore :-)
I like your practical approach and I think you touch upon the use of the term service in daily language. We use it for a service offer, for a specific service experience in time and space as well as for the quality of that experience: “Uber has two services, rideshare as well as private car” (i.e. service as an entity); “I used the Uber service to drive me to airport the other day” (i.e. service as an act) “Uber provides a good service” (i.e. service as a quality attribute). As you state, the architect or analyst may mostly be interested in the service entity.
I still think, that the thinking that Spohrer, Vargo and Lusch put forward naturally reflects daily experience. A service provider (a service system in their terminology) is a dynamic configuration of resources (operand as well as operant) that has the capability to offer a service. You can call this a ‘service offer’ or a ‘service potential’. That is the service entity your architects and analysts are talking about.
When the service provider applies this configuration of resources for the benefit of the service consumer (another service system) in a value co-creating act, the potential service becomes real in time and space. I.e. the service act is not the service in itself, but the application of the capabilities of the service systems in the service act is the service. That is why we have chosen in TSF to define the service as a composite term or a subject area as you call it.
I agree with Steven, that all definitions should be tested against a list of concepts that are normally considered as services as well as a list of concepts, that are normally not considered as services. I use this list myself for the first purpose:
1. A haircut
2. A hotel stay
3. A flight
4. An insurance service
5. A payroll service
6. Software as a service
7. A workstation management service
8. A SOA service/web service – eg. a web-service providing a name from a social security number
9. A church service
10. Prostitution
I think the definitions by Spohrer, Vargo, Lusch et. al. passes this test :-)
With regards to your other issue, both ‘micro-services’ and ‘macro-services’ are instances of generic services to me. It comes from the fact, that a service system may not only apply its resources in a service act but may also draw on other services. Whether these services are part of its resources or not is a discussion in itself, but in the end not really important. The important thing is, that the world consists of a dynamic and emerging network of services that are drawn upon in other service acts between service systems.
Best regards,

Christian F. Nissen

 

CFN People A/S

Linde allé 1

DK-2600 Glostrup

 

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(FSM, CGEIT, CISM, ITIL Master, TIPA Lead Assessor, ISO/IEC 20000 Consultant, TOGAF 9 Certified, COBIT 5 Certified, PRINCE2 Foundation, Certified Board member, Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (HD(O)), Datanom, Gold medal from the University of Copenhagen)

 

POST_2_8: By Paul Huppertz

Quite the contrary: Generally, there are several profound differences between manufacturing goods and rendering services. These differences are independent of the numbers:

 

Firstly,

  • the preconditions & the boundary conditions,
  • the locations & the environments,
  • the roles & the responsibilities
  • the activators & the addressees
  • the methods & the means
  • the processes & the results

of making goods (= production) are fundamentally different from these of rendering services (= servuction).

In particular, whilst the fabricant determines at which point in time are fabricated how many copies of a type of physical good, the authorized consumers determine at which points in time services of a certain service type must be instantaneously effectuated & reliably rendered to each of them who explicitly triggers one. In other words:

  • The service consumers are the single & sole activators of any service rendering.
  • An authorized service consumer explicitly triggers a singular service of a certain type when the status of his physical or logical service object must be changed in order that he can efficiently execute his upcoming activity creating value in so doing, either in business or in privateness.

 

Secondly, whilst a fabricant hands over the output of a fabrication, i.e. a physical good, to a buyer, each triggering service consumer hands over his physical or logical service object to the servuction environment and/or to the custody & control of the accountable service provider in order that the latter effectuates the service-specific benefit to his service object for purposefully changing its status so that its final status satisfies the current exigencies & expectations of the triggering service consumer. Not before the status of his service object has been changed, the triggering service consumer can efficiently execute his upcoming activity.

 

Thirdly, with his explicit service trigger the service consumer configures the triggered service by making pre-settings and/or input requirement for the rendering of this singular service. For instance, for each explicitly triggering e-mailing service, the sender (= service consumer) of the e-mail (= service object) will wright a certain text, select certain addresses, attach certain files, set the level of priority or confidentiality. All these configuration details make each triggered e-mailing service unique.

Thus, each explicitly triggered service of the same type is different from any other service of this type in several details. For instance, each taxi service, more precisely car-based people transporting service is different from any other because

  • the passenger is different
  • the passenger’s luggage is different
  • the date and/or weekday is different
  • the starting point is different
  • the starting time is different
  • the route is different and the traffic on the route, too
  • the taxi driver will be different in most of the cases
  • the taxi car will be different in most of the cases
  • the destination will be different in most the cases.

In other words: If 50 taxi services are rendered within one hour by one taxi service provider, each & every taxi service will be singular & unique, unrepeatable & irreversible.

Furthermore, there is only a certain time slot within which the explicitly triggered service can be conveniently rendered to the triggering service. For instance, when a taxi passenger wants to catch a flight, he must arrive at a certain point in time at the airport. If the taxi service is rendered too late and/or too slow because of traffic jam the passenger arrives too late at the airport so that he can’t catch his flight; in other word: he cannot efficiently execute his upcoming activity, in this case: flying to his destination.

 

Finally, the triggering service consumer definitively can check if the status has been reliably rendered by means of the final status of his service object, either at once & directly or later & indirectly. Mainly, this depends on the type of service object

  • if life & limb of the triggering service consumer is the service object, he will immediately experience & verify the respective change
  • if goods & chattels of the triggering consumer are the service objet(s), he will check the respective status when he gets it back, e.g. car from the garage
  • if rights & claims of the triggering service consumer are the service object, he will check the respective documents or statements
  • if data & documents of the triggering service consumer are the service object, he will check if they have been processed and/or changed according to his input requirements

Whilst the changed status of the service object is the service output that can be impartially verified by all parties involved, the service experience of the triggering service consumer only can be perceived by himself. This is about his feelings & perceptions in the course of service rendering as well as about his rating & his individual satisfaction. The service provider only can stimulate and/or moderate this, but never determine it. This significant difference between the impartial service output and the subjective service experience has been carved out & explained by Robert Johnston & Graham Clark in their book ‘Service Operations Management: Improving Service Delivery’.

http://www.amazon.com/Service-Operations-Management-Improving-Delivery/dp/0273740482/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418971739&sr=8-1&keywords=service+operations+management+improving+service+delivery

 

 

POST_2_9: By Paul Huppertz

“The journey to & through the feral Servicetan begins in the quagmire of the term ‘service’.”

[Servísophos]

 

In other words:

Most of the confusion & many misconceptions as well as dissatisfying & inefficient service providing (management) is caused by inadequate and/or misleading interpretations of the term ‘service’ and its meaning:

  • “Service = IT system(s)”, in the long version: “Service: One or more IT systems which/that enable a business process.” verbally reads the respective paraphrase in Appendix A.2 of the glossaries of the ITIL V2 books ‘Service Delivery’, ‘ICT Infrastructure Management (ICTIM)’, ‘Application Management’ and ‘Planning to Implement Service Management’.
  • Service: A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks” reads the respective paraphrase in the glossary of ITIL (V3 Edition) 2011. in this case, the “means” are the IT systems, as clearly phrased in ITIL V2.
  • “Service: A type of economic activity that is intangible, is not stored and does not result in ownership.”
  • “Services: Intangible products such as accounting, banking, cleaning, consultancy, education, insurance, expertise, medical treatment or transportation.”
  • “Service: The action of helping or doing work for someone.”
  • Services are guaranteed sets of outcomes and experiences, delivered across particular places, times, and platforms, by the processing or rendering of customer assets; or the provisioning of valued resources.”

 

As long as there is no consensus and no common understanding of the term ‘service’ and its meaning, dissatisfaction & complaints, confusion and inefficiency will stay in all areas. Astonishingly, this is the case although service providing is as aged as human culture. Whilst in nature it is all about functions and/or functional interdependencies, human beings are capable to prepare & perform service rendering, in other words: purposefully effectuating benefits for a beneficiary. In combination with the roots of the word ‘service’ – it derives from the Latin word ‘servire’ – ‘to attend some, to minister to someone, to be a slave’ – , this leads to the crisp & clear definition: “A service is a set of benefits.”. Allowing for the inevitable & unalterable service characteristics, mainly intangibility & immateriality, insubstantiality & perishability, the clear & complete, consistent & coherent definition of the term ‘service’ reads:

 

A service is a set of one-time consumable and perishable benefits.

 

  1. slide deck of the lecture ‘Service – Word & Term’

http://de.slideshare.net/PaulGHz/issip-service-word-and-term-20140827-v010000

 

From this definition can be derived and explained:

  • There must be a beneficiary, and that’s the service consumer.
  • A beneficiary must signal that he needs and/or wants being served, and he does it by explicitly triggering a service of the required service type.
  • The benefits must be effectuated for the triggering service consumer to a certain object, and that’s the service object.
  • Such a service object must be handed over, and that’s by an authorized service consumer with his explicit service trigger.
  • The benefits must be effectuated to the service object of the service consumer, and that’s by purposefully changing the status of the service object.
  • The triggering service consumer needs to and/or wants to benefit from service rendering, and that’s from the changed status of his service object.
  • The triggering service consumer had a reason for explicitly triggering a service, and that’s about efficiently executing one of his upcoming activities. Based on the conveniently changed status of his service object, he can do this.
  • One must clearly distinguish between
    • service output = changed status of the service object handed over by the service consumer with his service trigger
    • service outcome = service consumer can efficiently execute his upcoming activity creating value in so doing, either in business or in privateness
  • There are 4 main roles in the generic & complete service providing model (= servuction model)
    • service consumer who explicitly triggers & simultaneously consumes singular services for efficiently executing one of his upcoming activities
    • servuction customer who commissions service providing for service consumers in his realm & pays services consumed by these service consumers
    • service provider (organisation) that offers service rendering & ensures that each explicitly triggered service is reliably rendered to the triggering service consumer
    • service feeder (organisation) that effectuates & feeds certain service contributions

 

Analysing the paraphrases above brings to light:

 

All the methods & measures are based on the service terminology with conclusive & mutually consistent definitions of service terms & their synonyms.

  1. Glossar Service-Terminologie

http://de.slideshare.net/PaulGHz/servicialisierung-glossar-serviceterminologie-v070000

 

POST_2_10: By Paul Huppertz

Some contribution to  the essential debate

  • A service is a set of one-time consumable & perishable benefits.
  • On the explicit service trigger of an authorized service consumer the service-specific benefits are effectuated to the physical or logical service object handed over by the service consumer with his service trigger to the servuction environment and/or to the custody & control of the accountable service provider. The service-specific benefits are effectuated to the service-object by executing  service-relevant functions of service-relevant systems (= servuction automats) and/or by service actors performing service-relevant activities according to the implicit or explicit screenplay of the respective service type.
  • In the course of the respective singular & unique service transaction the status of the service object is purposefully changed so that its final status satisfies the current exigencies & expectations of the triggering service consumer. Based on the changed status of his service object, the triggering service consumer can efficiently execute his upcoming activity creating value in so doing, either in business or in privateness.
  • The changed status of the service object is the service output.
  • The fact that the service consumer can efficiently execute his upcoming activity is the service outcome.

POST_2_11: By Paul Huppertz

This evokes the following questions:

 

  • What is a “service act” in view of the fact that any & every service as such is intangible & immaterial, insubstantial & perishable?

 

  • What is a “service offering” in view of the fact that any & every service as such is intangible & immaterial, insubstantial & perishable?
  • What is the difference between a “service offering” and a service providing offering (= servuction offering) for a business process relevant and/or required service type that has been
    • clearly & precisely identified from the perspective & perception of addressed and/or (already) authorized service consumers in the realms of commissioning servuction customers and
    • completely & concisely specified according to the exigencies & expectations of addressed and/or (already) authorized service consumers as well as in their terms & wording?

 

 

  • What is the difference between „service outcomes“ and the outcome that a triggering service consumer can efficiently execute his upcoming activity by simultaneously consuming the singular & unique service that has been instantaneously effectuated exclusively for him & reliably rendered explicitly to him on his explicit service trigger?

 

POST_2_12: By Stuart Rance

Peter,

 

I don’t think we have “dodged” the definition of service at all. Our current definition reads…

 

A SERVICE is an aggregation of a service engagement with one or more service acts between two or more service systems creating service outcomes

 

Regards,

 

StuartR

 

POST_2_13 By Peter Huppertz

Any practical approach necessitates an appropriate perception of the terminology, foundations of acting, required outputs & outcomes.

 

  • The clear & complete, conclusive & consistent definition “A service is a set of one-time consumable & perishable benefits.” might be easy enough & catchy enough, explainable & convincing.

 

  • Only a few people must be able to prudently prepare & providently perform service providing management (= servuction management). Most people will manage service-relevant technical & organisational systems In accordance with the service screenplays of the business process relevant and/or required service types. There are some new roles required like service explorer, service catalogue manager, servuction composer, servuction orchestrator, servuction contractor, servuction conductor, servuction controller, … based on the illuminative & path-breaking thougt
    • “Production, c’est faire des choses. Servuction, c’est rendre des services.”
    • “Production is making goods. Servuction is rendering services.”
    • “Produktion ist Fertigen von Sachgütern. Servuktion ist Erbringen von Services.”
    • [Pierre Eiglier & Eric Langeard]
    • article ‘Le service et sa servuction’ from Pierre Eiglier, IAE (Institut d’Administration des Entreprises, Marseille & Aix-en-Provence)
    • http://de.slideshare.net/PaulGHz/artikel-le-service-et-sa-servuction-von-pierre-eiglier

 

  • A service has no architecture as any service as such is intangible & immaterial, insubstantial & perishable. Architects must learn to design appropriate service-relevant systems in appropriate servuction environments based on the requirements derived from the service concepts for the business process relevant and/or required service types.

 

  • Services are no acts, but sets of one-time consumable & perishable benefits. Each explicitly triggered service must be effectuated & rendered according to the service concept for the respective service type, more precisely: according to the servuction composing. Thus, service rendering is very similar to conducting, i.e. servuction conducting. That’s fundamentally different form system management, more precisely: from managing service-relevant systems, either technical or organisational. In other words: An IT system management department must evolve into the truly & truthfully accountable ICTility service provider of its enterprise by
    • taking center stage the ICTility service consumers (= employees in the business units)
    • clearly & precisely identifying business process relevant ICTility service types from the perspective & perception of addressed ICTility service consumers
    • completely & concisely specifying the identified ICTility service types according to the exigencies & expectations of addressed ICTility service consumers
    • think & act as composer & conductor of service providing for business process relevant ICTility service types

 

 

POST_2_14 By Mathias Traugott

Dear all

Since years I use this simple definition – and it works through all businesses, including my own:

A service is a set of benefits.

Merry Christmas & happy new year.

Mathias

_____________________________________

Mathias Traugott

CEO

 

IT unlimited Schweiz AG

Bleichemattstrasse 42

CH-5000 Aarau

 

Fon +41 43 277 09 00

Fax +41 43 277 09 01

Mobile  +41 79 459 90 51

eMail: mathias.traugott@itunlimited.ch

www.itunlimited.ch

 

 

POST_2_15: By Peter Bergmann

Thanks Mathias – that’s is also the definition that I using successfully last years.

Have a good Christmas Time for all. And a happy new year.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen / best Regards / Distinti Saluti

Peter  Bergmann

 

POST_2_16 By Paul Huppertz

The paraphrase below evokes the question how a term can be defined by using the term itself, and that 4 times?

This is a logical deadlock and doesn’t help in any way, in particular not as a foundation for any method or measure of service providing management.

 

Nobody would define a physical good by means of the physical good itself:

A table is a an aggregation of a table agreement with one or more table acts between two or more table systems creating table outcomes. ?-| &-|

Even describing in detail how a table is made by which party with which tools is no definition of a table itself. Instead, the function of a table is its essence and the foundation for defining the term ‘table’.

 

Please forgive me, but this reveals that neither the essence of services is considered or understood nor the service characteristics are appropriately allowed for.

It is no doubt that services are rather tricky phenomena, but this intricacy cannot be resolved my means of a self-referencing definition.

 

As another option we should try to falsify the following paraphrase and learn from this:

“A service is a set of one-time consumable and perishable benefits.”

 

  1. How can be demonstrably falsified that benefits are the essence any service?

 

  1. How can be demonstrably falsified that service-specific benefits are perishable?

 

  1. How can be demonstrably falsified that service-specific benefits are consumed once by the service consumer?

Paul

Paul G Huppertz <Paul.G.Huppertz@servicevolution.com>

 

POST_2_17: By Andreas Weick

To my mind there are several issues due to those terms:

 

A SERVICE is an aggregation of a service engagement with one or more service acts between two or more service systems creating service outcomes

This term describes more or less the act of accomplishing the benefits including the participants but not the “Service” itself

 

A set of benefits

A tool used by myself provides me a set of benefits, but does this really mean the tool “delivers a service” to me?

 

Kind regards

Andreas

Andreas WEICK <andreas.weick@steria-mummert.de>

 

POST_2_18: By Stuart Rance

Andreas,

 

It may help if people consider the set of related definitions together…

 

A SERVICE OFFER is a proposal from a service provider (service system) to a service consumer (service system) for a potential future service engagement
EXAMPLE Outside the airport is a sign saying “TAXI” that tells you, that one or more taxi companies offer transportation services from here. In the windows of the taxis in line you can see the standard rates that you would have to pay.

A SERVICE ENGAGEMENT (collaboration) is a formal or informal specification of agreed expectations, rights, obligations and interfaces of two or more service systems
EXAMPLE You enter the front taxi in the line and ask if the driver accepts credit cards. The driver confirms that he accepts credit cards so you tell him where you want to go and he confirms that he knows where that is.

A SERVICE ACT (the “moment of truth”) is an interaction that achieves value co-creation between service systems
EXAMPLE The driver takes you to your destination, you talk together on the way, you ask him to turn the air-conditioning down a bit and he draws your attention to a few tourist attractions along the route. At the destination you pay by credit card, get the receipt and give a good tip because you were pleased with the service.

SERVICE OUTCOME is the consequences for the stakeholders involved in a specific service act between one or more service systems
EXAMPLE
For you: You get to your destination safely and in time, so you manage to close an important deal for your company. You learn about some tourist attractions that you may want to visit.
For the driver: He gets his payment and the tip. He is placed at a new location for his next passenger
For the taxi company: They get revenue, and they get an enhanced reputation (because you feel positive about this taxi company and recommend them to your friends)

A SERVICE SYSTEM (provider, consumer, integrator etc.) is a dynamic configuration of intents, capabilities and resources that can create value with other service systems through co-creation.
EXAMPLE There are three service systems in this example. Each has its own intents, resources and capabilities.
You are one service system, acting as the service consumer.
The taxi driver is another service system, acting as the service provider.
The taxi company is a third service system, acting as a service broker or service integrator.

A SERVICE is an aggregation of a service engagement with one or more service acts between two or more service systems creating service outcomes
EXAMPLE The service is the combination of the service offer, the service engagement, and the service acts between the service systems, which create the service outcomes.

 

Regards,

 

StuartR

Stuart Rance <StuartR@rances.net>

 

POST_2_19: By Peter Bergmann

Hi Andreas,

 

I aggree with your statements.

„A SERVICE is an aggregation of a service engagement with one or more service acts between two or more service systems creating service outcomes”

Is not usable and “gibberish“ – in my opinion. The Service is a set of benefits…

 

 

 

Mit freundlichen Grüßen / best Regards / Distinti Saluti

 

Peter  Bergmann

Geschäftsführer

 

Tel.: +49 89 6655 0862 | Mobil: +49 171 868 48 09 | e-mail: peter.bergmann@elleta.net

 

elleta München GmbH

Alte Landstrasse 23 | 85521 Ottobrunn | Deutschland | www.elleta.net

IT-Consulting | IT-Management | IT-Business Development | Transformation-2-IT

 

Peter Bergmann <Peter.Bergmann@elleta.net>

 

POST_2_20: By Michael Geyer

Hi,

 

I am glad that the discussion has been shifting into this direction. Coming from the “sales-side of life”, I think that a customer/consumer is the main party that decides whether or not it would like to consider something as a service. Thus, I think that a service definition should be about benefits.

 

… Service

  1. Has to be a combination of intangible and/or tangible goods. It can be professional services, it can be products, but it has to be a combination.
  2. Combination itself has to provide an additional benefit to the consumer.
  3. Benefit of the combination has to be bigger than consumers strive to do it by themselves.

 

In my opinion, the 5 I’s won’t help much as characteristics for a service. In addition I think, that it may be that hard to distinguish between products and services because services could become products at a point.

 

Merry Christmas from Eckental J,

Michael

 

Michael Geyer

Head of Partner Management

 

OMNINET GmbH, D-90542 Eckental

T.: +49 (0) 91 26 25 979 152

C.: +49 (0) 171 490 46 22

E.: michael.geyer@omninet.de

The meaning of service – a discussion

This blog post captures a discussion on the meaning of service from multiple perspectives.

Contributors: Paul Huppertz, Majid Iqbal, Peter Brooks, Steven Alter, Robert Falowitz,  Peter Bergmann,  Charles Betz, Stuart Rance

See below for POST_1 to Post_14

 

POST_1: by Paul Huppertz

Dear all,

inspired by the illuminative & path-breaking thought

I have worked out the 3 main elements of the generic business model for service providers

  1. Servuction promise: accountability for service providing
  2. Servuction concept: methodology of service providing
  3. Servuction earning model: cost-effectiveness of service providing

 

This is illustrated in the slide deck of seminar ES20 ‘Service Provider – Service-Trilemma & Geschäftsmodell’

http://de.slideshare.net/PaulGHz/seminar-es20-service-provider-2015-v010000

This seminar is one out of the training series ‘ServicEducation – Methodik der Service-Erbringung’ as explained in the document below

http://de.slideshare.net/PaulGHz/ausbildungsreihe-serviceducation-methodik-der-serviceerbringung-2015-v010200

Furthermore, I given a lecture about the foundations & methods of reliable & cost-efficient service providing management

  1. slide deck of lecture 01 ‘Einführung – Von Vorlesungsorganisation bis Service-Konsument‘
    http://de.slideshare.net/PaulGHz/vorlesung-it-service-management-blockvorlesung-01-v010300
  2. slide deck of lecture 02 ‚Service-Typen – Von Service-Identifizierung bis Service-Fakturierung‘

http://de.slideshare.net/PaulGHz/vorlesung-it-servicemanagement-blockvorlesung-02-v010000

  1. slide deck of lecture 03 ‘Service-Kommittierung – Von Service-Katalog bis Service Level Agreements

http://de.slideshare.net/PaulGHz/vorlesung-itservice-management-blockvorlesung-06-v010100

Altogether, it might be the right point in time to prepare & establish the Serviciology, i.e. the science & the teaching about the service as such.

  1. XING forum ‘Serviciologie – Klärung des Fachbegriffs’

https://www.xing.com/communities/posts/serviciologie-klaerung-des-fachbegriffs-1005385005

 

What do you think about all this?

Kind regards & a satisfying end of the year

Paul

Paul G. Huppertz

Servicing Consultant & Service Composer

servicEvolution
Schöne Aussicht 41
65396 Walluf

Deutschland/Germany/Герма́ния

E-Mail          Paul.G.Huppertz@servicEvolution.com

Mobilnetz    +49-15 20-9 84 59 62

Festnetz       +49-61 23-74 04 16

XING                                    https://www.xing.com/profile/PaulG_Huppertz

Einladung zu XING   https://www.xing.com/go/invite/5916793

LinkedIn                           http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulghuppertz

SlideShare                       http://www.slideshare.net/PaulGHz

 

POST_2: by Jim Spohrer

Hi Paul,
Thanks for your note.

You may want to post it as a discussion thread here:

https://www.linkedin.com/groups/International-Society-Service-Innovation-Professionals-4720974

I am still working on getting volunteers lined up to do some concept maps of the many theories of service out there.

Happy Holidays And Best Wishes For New Year 2015!
-Jim

Dr. James (“Jim”) C. Spohrer
Director, IBM University Programs (IBM UP) and Cognitive Systems Institute
IBM Research – Almaden, 650 Harry Road, San Jose, CA 95120 USA
spohrer@us.ibm.com 408-927-1928 (o) 408-829-3112 (c)
Innovation Champion
@JimSpohrer
slideshare.net/spohrer
linkedin.com/in/spohrer

 

POST_3: by Paul Huppertz

Dear all,

 

I wonder why we are not talking about servistries in the tertiary sector of the economy, i.e. about enterprises rendering services of different service types, e.g.

  • utility services
  • transporting services
  • maintaining services
  • repairing services
  • teaching services
  • insuring services
  1. Wikipedia entry ‘Tertiary sector of the economy’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tertiary_sector_of_the_economy

This would be a clear conceptual distinction from the industries in the secondary sector of economy with all the enterprises making physical goods and/or systems of different types.

  1. Wikipedia entry ‘Secondary sector of the economy’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondary_sector_of_the_economy

 

Furthermore, this would implicitly promote the clear distinction according to the illuminative & path-breaking thought:

  • “Production, c’est faire des choses. Servuction, c’est rendre des services.”
  • “Production is making goods. Servuction is rendering services.”
  • [Pierre Eiglier & Eric Langeard]
  1. article ‚Le service et sa servuction‘ from Pierre Eiglier, IAE (Institut d’Administration des Entreprises, Marseille & Aix-en-Provence)

http://de.slideshare.net/PaulGHz/artikel-le-service-et-sa-servuction-von-pierre-eiglier

 

Kind regards

Paul

 

POST_4: by Majid Iqbal

Dear all,

 

My belief is that, based on the fundamentals of economics, there are only two kinds of products: goods and services.

 

Therefore the term “production” applies to services, and the distinction between “products and services” is archaic and poorly founded. Services are products with a special form factor. Service management is product management, in the same way as botany and zoology are biology.

 

If we can rid ourselves with the deeply ingrained habit of saying “products and services”, there is a whole new level of clarity and depth of understanding on how and why services are the preferred form factor in which we package and deliver value; or purchase and consume it.

 

Best wishes for the New Year!

 

Regards,

Majid Iqbal <mxiqbal@dhashc.com>

 

POST_5: by Paul Huppertz

Majid,

 

even if goods and services are two kinds of products, their characteristics are fundamentally different

  • goods are tangible & material, substantial & persistent; a good can be handed over & taken over, lost & found, maintained & repaired, transported & stored, given back & taken back
  • services are intangible & immaterial, insubstantial & perishable; a service neither can be handed over nor can be taken over, neither can be lost nor can be found, neither can be maintained nor can be repaired, neither can be transported nor be stored, neither can be given back nor can be taken back

 

Nevertheless, the respective characteristics only are the accident, i.e. the ‘how it is’ (in Latin ‘qualitas’), but not the essence, the ‘what it is’ (in Latin ‘quidditas’)

  1. Wikipedia entry ‘Accident’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accident_(philosophy)

  1. Wikipedia entry ‘Essence’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essence

 

Regarding the essence, the following definitions and explanations are suggested:

 

  • On the most abstract level, a product is (defined as) a precisely identified & concisely specified output that is frequently effectuated by an accountable organisation(al unit) for certain (groups of) addressees.

 

  • On the next level, there are two fundamentally different categories of output
    • physical good = set of repeatedly executable & persistent functions.
      • Functions are the essence, the ‘what it is’, of any (type of) physical good.
      • The specific functions of a type of physical good are engineered once and implemented into each copy of this type, so that they become immanent to this copy.
      • A future user of a physical is neither present nor involved when his copy is fabricated.
      • A user can actuate the functions of his physical good at will without the maker being present and/or involved.
      • As soon as a copy of a physical good loses its constitutive function(s), it becomes useless and scrap.
    • service = set of one-time consumable & perishable benefits
      • Benefits are the essence, the ‘what it is’, of any (type of) service.
      • Its specific benefit is only ascribed to a type of service.
      • On the explicit service trigger of an authorized service consumer, the service-specific benefit must be effectuated from scratch to the physical or logical service object handed over for this purpose by the service consumer with his service trigger to the servuction environment and/or to the custody & control of the accountable service provider.
      • There are 4 categories of service objects
        • life & limb of the triggering service consumer
        • goods & chattels of the triggering service consumer
        • rights & claims of the triggering service consumer
        • data & documents of the triggering service consumer
        • The triggering service consumer is present for explicitly triggering a service and for handing over his service object to the servuction environment. Furthermore, he is involved by simultaneously consuming the explicitly triggered singular & unique service whilst it is effectuated by the service provider exclusively for him & rendered explicitly to him. Thus, service consumer and service provider as well as service rendering & service consuming are inseparable.
  1. LinkedIn Post ‘Service – Definition & Identification’

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140915154117-3487767-service-definition-identification?trk=mp-reader-card

  1. slide deck of the lecture ‘Service – Word & Term’

http://de.slideshare.net/PaulGHz/issip-service-word-and-term-20140827-v010000

 

Thus, a service is not a special form factor of a product. Instead, it is a separate & self-contained category of output that is fundamentally different from the other category of output.

This distinction between physical good and service is well-founded and traceable. Furthermore, it reveals that the

  • preconditions & boundary conditions,
  • locations & environments,
  • roles & responsibilities,
  • activators & addressees,
  • methods & means,
  • processes & results

of fabricating goods (= production) are fundamentally different from these of rendering services (= servuction).

 

Finally, a service per se neither can have nor has any value because any & every service as such is intangible & immaterial, insubstantial & perishable.

Even reliably rendering an explicitly triggered, singular & unique service has no value, Instead, reliably rendering a service has a service providing price whilst a service as such cannot have a price as it is intangible & immaterial, insubstantial & perishable. Rendering a service, i.e. factually effectuating the service-specific benefit to the service object of the triggering service consumer, is fundamentally different from the triggered service, i.e. from the set of one-time consumable & perishable benefits.

 

Only a service consumer can create value by simultaneously consuming an explicitly triggered & reliably rendered, singular & unique service for efficiently executing his upcoming activity. That’s why he has explicitly triggered a service of this type.

  1. slide deck of the keynote ‘Servicialisation – Service Consumers Center Stage!’

http://de.slideshare.net/PaulGHz/9th-russian-it-management-congress-2012-0524-servicialisation-service-consumers-center-stage-v010100

 

Conclusion:

  • Mixing up these two fundamentally different categories of output is going astray and generating lots of confusion.

“The logic that services are lust like goods resembles the logic that apples are like oranges except for their ‘appleness’” [G. Lynn Shostack]

  1. Article ‘Breaking Free From Product Marketing’ in ‘Journal of Marketing’, April 1977

http://www.scribd.com/doc/23720084/Breaking-From-Product-Marketing

  • Trying to prepare & perform service rendering with the same approaches and methods as making goods entails bad service quality, many service denials as well as inefficiencies & loss of efforts.

 

All these arguments & explanations are open for further scrutinizing & falsifying according to the guiding principle:

“Only falsifying yields new insights.”

[Karl Raimund Popper]

 

I’m looking forward for any further discussion about these foundations for reliable & cost-efficient service providing management (= servuction management) for any service type in any servistry. Furthermore, this is about the serviciology, i.e. the science of the service as such and about the generic service providing theory (= servuction theory).

  1. XING-Forum ‘Serviciologie – Klärung des Fachbegriffs’

https://www.xing.com/communities/posts/serviciologie-klaerung-des-fachbegriffs-1005385005

 

Best regards & best wishes for a prosperous New Year

Paul

 

POST_6, POST_7, POST_8 by Paul Huppertz, Peter Brooks, Majid Iqbal

Dear all,

from my perspective the appropriate rule in the context reads:
“An explicit dissent is yielding more than a diffuse consensus.”

Obviously, we have an explicit dissent regarding the definitions and the meanings of the terms ‘product’, ‘physical good’ and ‘service’.
We should try to exploit it in the best possible manner for resolving the relevant questions and issues.

Marked with [PGH] … [/PGH], I will insert my comments and arguments into the message below so that we can piecemeal discuss further details
As we all are explicitly triggering & simultaneously consuming many tens of services every day, we all can double check all these arguments & explanations as versed service consumers.

Kind regards
Paul

Paul G. Huppertz
Servicing Consultant & Service Composer
servicEvolution
Schöne Aussicht 41
65396 Walluf
Deutschland/Germany/Герма́ния

E-Mail                            Paul.G.Huppertz@servicEvolution.com
Mobilnetz                      +49-15 20-9 84 59 62
Festnetz                         +49-61 23-74 04 16
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—–Ursprüngliche Nachricht—–
Von: Peter Brooks [mailto:peter.h.m.brooks@gmail.com]
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 18. Dezember 2014 04:50
An: Majid Iqbal

On 17 December 2014 at 22:10, Majid Iqbal <mxiqbal@dhashc.com> wrote:
> My belief is that, based on the fundamentals of economics, there are only two kinds of products: goods and services.
[PGH]
Obviously, the roots of the words must be highlighted:

– The word ‘product’ is derived from the Latin word ‘productum’ – ‘manufactured item, merchandise, article, goods, ware’. There is no indication about service.
s. entry ‘productum’ on the web portal ‘frag-caesar.de’ for Latin language

http://www.frag-caesar.de/lateinwoerterbuch/productum-uebersetzung-2.html

– The word ‘service’ is derived from the Latin word ‘servire’ – ‘to attend someone, to minister to someone, to be a slave’, more precisely: from the past participle ‘servitum’ – ‘served’
There is no indication about product or physical good.
s. entry ‘service’ on the web portal ‘frag-caesar.de’ for Latin language

http://www.frag-caesar.de/lateinwoerterbuch/servire-uebersetzung.html

Conclusion:
In the roots of the words ‘product’ and ‘service’ there is no link between these words or their meanings.
This evokes the question how such a link can come about for the terms ‘product’ and ‘service’.
[/PGH]

> Therefore the term “production” applies to services, and the distinction between “products and services” is archaic and poorly founded.
[PGH]
Regarding the roots of the words, the distinction between product and service is classic and well-founded.
[/PGH]

> Services are products with a special form factor.
[PGH]
This evokes the question how a service can be formed, even from an abstract perspective, in view of the fact that any & every service as such is intangible & immaterial, insubstantial & perishable.
[/PGH]

> Service management is product management, in the same way as botany and zoology are biology.
[PGH]
In fact, the term “service management” is an oxymoron like ‘black sun’ as a service per se cannot be managed in any way because any & every service as such is intangible & immaterial, insubstantial & perishable. Only service providing can be managed, i.e. effectuating an explicitly triggered, singular & unique service and rendering it explicitly to the triggering service consumer. Thus, service providing management (= servuction management) is the appropriate term.

Product management is an organizational lifecycle function within a company dealing with the planning, forecasting, and production, or marketing of a product or products at all stages of the product lifecycle.
s. Wikipedia entry ‘Product management’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_management

In this case, a product is
– either a type of a precisely identified & concisely specified physical good and its lifecycle is about designing, planning, engineering, fabricating, introducing, selling, retiring
– or a copy of a certain type of physical good the lifecycle of which starts as soon as it is fabricated and ends as soon as it loses its constitutive functions and/or is destroyed.

In both cases, a product lifecycle is fundamentally different from a service lifecycle, because a service is a set of one-time consumable & perishable benefits:
– A service lifecycle, more precisely: the lifecycle of a singular & unique service starts with an explicit service trigger of an authorized service consumer
– The triggering service consumer hands over his physical or logical service object and configures this singular service according to his current exigencies & expectations.
– In the course of the respective singular & unique service transaction the status of the service object is safely & securely changed by effectuating the service-specific benefit to this service object.
– As soon as the service-specific benefit has been completely & terminatorily effectuated to the service object of the triggering service consumer, this explicitly triggered service has been exclusively effectuated for & reliably rendered explicitly to the triggering service consumer. At his point in time, the lifecycle of this singular & unique, unrepeatable & irreversible service definitively ends.
[/PGH]

> If we can rid ourselves with the deeply ingrained habit of saying “products and services”, there is a whole new level of clarity and
> depth of understanding on how and why services are the preferred form factor in which we package and deliver value; or purchase and consume it.
[PGH]
This deeply ingrained habit is rooted in the evolutionary history of the two words as well as in the sociocultural traditions. Ignoring this generates vagueness and far-reaching misconeptions.

A service per se neither has any value nor can get any value because any & every service as such is intangible & immaterial, insubstantial & perishable.
Thus, a service neither can be sold nor can be bought nor can be conveyed nor can be owned nor can be lost nor can be (re)found.

Instead, a service (only) is effectuated from scratch on the explicit service trigger of an authorized service consumer.
– With his explicit service trigger the service consumer hands over his physical or logical service object to the servicescape (= servuction environment) and/or to the custody & control of the accountable service provider.
– Thereupon, the service provider must ensure that, in the course of the respective singular & unique service transaction, the status of this service object is purposefully changed so that its final status satisfies the current exigencies & expectations of the triggering service consumer.
– Based on the appropriately changed status of his service object, the triggering service consumer can efficiently execute his upcoming activity creating value in so doing, either in business or in privateness. The latter was the single & sole reason of the service consumer to trigger a service of this type.
s. Wikipedia entry ‘Servicescape’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Servicescape

[/PGH]
>
I agree.

It’s a little like wave – particle duality. You can define goods so that they’re very clearly not services, and visa-versa, but you find it difficult to do it.
[PGH]
Whilst the physicists still strive for a Grand Unified Theory (GUT), goods and services can be clearly & consistently separated & distinguished from each other.
– A service never can mutate into a physical good in any way or manner, e.g. a taxi service never can mutate into a taxi car.
– A physical good never can mutate into a service in any way or manner, e.g. a taxi car never can mutate into a taxi service, more precisely: into a car-based people transporting service
s. Wikipedia entry ‘Grand Unified Theory’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Unified_Theory

[/PGH]

That’s because, in the real world, it’s very difficult to think of any example of goods that are sold with absolutely no element of service involved – or, contrariwise, of services that involve absolutely no element of being ‘goods’.
[PGH]
A physical good is a set of repeatedly executable & persistent functions that are immanent to it. In contrast, the is neither a benefit nor a service in a physical good, even if many services may have been triggered & consumed for engineering & fabricating this copy of the physical good.
A service cannot be(come) immanent to anything because any & every service
– as such is intangible & immaterial, insubstantial & perishable
– is effectuated from scratch on the explicit service trigger of an authorized service consumer and rendered explicitly to the triggering service consumer
– is simultaneously consumed by the triggering service consumer for efficiently executing his upcoming activity creating value in so doing.
[/PGH]

It’s a false and misleading dichotomy – even if you do manage to find something that is a ‘pure’ service or good, that misses the point.
[PGH]
In fact, the clear & consistent distinction between goods and services is no dichotomy as they have never been a whole.
s. Wikipedia entry ‘Dichotomy’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dichotomy

Thus, there is no mixture between services and goods as suggested in the ‘service-commodity goods-continuum’
s. Wikipedia entry ‘Service-commodity goods continnum’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service_(economics)#Service-commodity_goods_continuum

Instead, a physical good and/or system
– either is service object, i.e. goods & chattels of the triggering service consumer, e.g. a house to be cleaned or a plumbing to be repaired
– or a service output, i.e. a freshly prepared meal as service output of an explicitly triggered & reliably rendered catering service in the restaurant (= servicescape/servuction environment).
[/PGH]

Services is the more complete view, so to say that goods are a subset of services and get on with defining services makes perfect sense.
[PGH]
Service is a completely separate & self-contained perception of a certain benefit that must be effectuated to a service object of an authorized service consumer on his explicit service trigger.
There may be certain goods and/or systems required the service-relevant functions of which must be executed for effectuating & rendering an explicitly triggered, singular & unique service, but a good and/or system never will be(come) a part of a service or vice-versa.
[/PGH]

POST_9 by Steven Alter

The definition of service has been debated for years, usually with no serious attempt to test the definitions against a wide range of examples. The following explains why many service definitions fail and suggests that service definitions should be tested against simple service situations.

Definitions that fail. Many definitions of service have been proposed. Many of them rely on specific characteristics that apply to varying degrees to most things that are considered services, but also, ironically, apply to varying degrees to most things that are considered products or goods. Examples of such characteristics include intangibility, heterogeneity, inseparability, perishability, coproduction, value co-creation, economic exchange, customer relationships, etc.    (Yes, products/goods also exhibit varying degrees of intangibility, heterogeneity, co-production, etc.)

 

Definitions of service that rely on such characteristics fail frequently because those concepts apply to varying degrees to both products and services, and therefore do not really distinguish between products and services.

 

That becomes obvious when definitions are confronted with simple examples of things that most people consider to be services. We should not have definitions of service that fail frequently. The discussion of how service should be defined requires testing of the definitions using simple, everyday examples.

 

Criteria for a definition of service. Here are some criteria for a definition of service:

1) easily understood by typical people, not just PhDs, philosophers, and lawyers.

2) makes sense in relation to almost all situations that most people consider to be services.

3) robust, in the sense that a minor change in an offering to a customer will not flip the offering from being a product to being a service.

 

I believe that almost any set of simple examples (i.e., not just one or two cherry-picked examples) will demonstrate that the only practical definition of service is somewhat similar to the types of definitions that are in dictionaries, i.e. in essence, doing something for someone else.  The definition of that type that I currently prefer is:

 

….  Services are acts or groups of acts performed with the intention of providing outcomes for the benefit of others.

 

Aside from satisfying the three criteria, a minor restatement of that definition applies to service computing:  ….  Services are acts or groups of acts performed by one entity (or group of entities) to produce outcomes that are received and used by other entities.

 

YES/NO distinction between product and service. The YES/NO distinction between product and service actually is of very little importance when analyzing or designing an offering to internal and/or external customers. Much more important is finding is an appropriate degree of intangibility, heterogeneity, coproduction, value co-creation etc. that achieves an appropriate compromise between provider interests and customer interests.

 

Seeing those characteristics as design dimensions rather than YES/NO distinctions does not trivialize the contribution of thinking in terms of services, however. A pure provider/producer viewpoint is often inadequate because it pays too little attention to the purpose of the provider’s activities. Thorough analysis and design requires consideration of how customers create value for themselves with the help of whatever the provider offers.  Customers may prefer greater involvement/ interaction with providers or may prefer less involvement/ interaction.

 

Examples. Below I provide several typical examples to test the proposed definition of service. In each case, I provide a series of different possible offerings that address a general need. In each case, some of the offerings are more intangible, more heterogeneous, rely more on coproduction, involve a greater extent of value co-creation, etc.  In each case, other offerings are less intangible, less heterogeneous, rely less on coproduction, involve a lower extent of co-creation, etc. Whether or not each possible offering is a product versus a service is unimportant. The important issue is resolving inherent conflicts between provider interests (e.g., profitability, efficiency, reputation, business sustainability, etc.) and customer interests (value, cost minimization, convenience, pleasure, etc.)

 

The set of offerings for each example starts with something that seems product-like (more about delivering something that the customer will use) and ends with something that seems more service-like (performing actions that the customer values).  In each case, PhDs and lawyers might be able to decide the point of transition between product versus service in the set of offerings. The more important issue for both providers and customers is finding an offering that represents the right balance along a series of design dimensions that include (among many others):

… tangible and intangible,
… standard and customized,

… produced and delivered versus coproduced,

… value through use of something delivered versus value through co-creation activities that involve providers directly, etc.

 

Example 1: food for dinner

Here are some possible offerings:

– sell food items that customers can use to cook their own dinners

– sell warm, pre-cooked dinners at a grocery store

– stock the customer’s refrigerator based on weekly orders

– deliver dinners to the customer’s home based on one time orders

– go to customer homes and cook dinner for them

 

Example 2: powering of jet aircraft

– sell jet engines that the customers own and maintain themselves

– sell jet engines that customers own and maintain themselves, with a contractual service-level agreement and cost model that is contingent on competent maintenance efforts by the customers

– sell jet engines the customers own and also provide maintenance for those jet engines as part of the purchase contract

-sell “power by the hour” thereby addressing the customer’s fundamental need (power for aircraft) without requiring capital expenditure for purchasing jets.

 

Example 3: knowledge of economics

–  Sell an economics textbook

–  Sell an economics textbook that includes computerized exercises

–  Sell an economics textbook that includes computerized exercises plus access to a student run learning group

– Sell an economics textbook that includes computerized exercises plus limited access to a tutor

– Provide an online course in the form of a MOOC attended by thousands of students and monitored by teaching assistants in a low-wage country

– Provide an online course augmented by direct tutoring

– Provide a university course taught by a professor in a small class setting

– Provide extensive one-on-one tutoring in economics

 

The proposed definition of service applies to all of the offerings for all three examples. Each offering can be modified slightly in the direction of having  characteristics that are more product-like (more tangible, more standardized, more produced and delivered, etc.) or characteristics that are more service-like (less tangible, less standardized, coproduced to a greater degree, etc.).  Thus, product vs. service is actually quite useful as a way to describe a set of design dimensions for improving or modifying whatever is being offered to customers.  Consistent with service-dominant logic, almost any economic activity can be viewed as a service.  Thinking of almost any economic activity as a services is useful because it encourages appropriate consideration of what customers want or need.

 

 

Steven Alter, Ph.D.

Steven Alter <alter@usfca.edu>

Professor of Information Systems

University of San Francisco
www.stevenalter.com

 

POST_10 by Robert Falkowitz 

There is far more in common between mass produced goods (for example, screws or even pins!) and mass produced services (for example, delivering email) than there is between mass produced goods and hand made goods, or between mass produced and bespoke services. And yet, even these sorts of distinctions are no more than poles in a continuum. The common person might consider, for example, that Toyota automobiles are mass produced goods. And yet, Ohno Taiichi saw a world of difference between the nature of production at General Motors and the nature of production with the TPS.

For example, the question of intangibility is largely irrelevant in most cases of mass production. If I go to the store to buy a box of 100 screws, I do not check a sample of the screws for meeting a specification, just as I cannot check a service act, such as email delivery, before it is performed. But, in both cases, I will have sufficient experience with key parts of the value network (the manufacturer, the vendor or the service provider, etc.) to make an informed judgement about whether or not to buy the goods or use the service. And this is true for even the most extreme forms of one-off services, such as commissioning a portrait or hiring an architect to build a new home.

I believe that how to rebuild a national economy when times are tough or how consumers go about the everyday task of choosing goods or services are examples of important issues that should be the foundations of our modeling and our ontologies. If we do not link analyses and syntheses to such questions, hoping instead to jump directly to universalities, then we are condemned to bickering ad infinitum.

-Robert Falkowitz <robert@3cs.ch>

 

POST_11 by Peter  Bergmann

There is far more in common between mass produced goods (for example, screws or even pins!) and mass produced services (for example, delivering email) than there is between mass produced goods and hand made goods, or between mass produced and bespoke services

 

Okay Robert – a aircraft and a flight are the same?

 

 

 

Mit freundlichen Grüßen / best Regards / Distinti Saluti

 

Peter  Bergmann

Peter Bergmann <Peter.Bergmann@elleta.net>

Geschäftsführer

 

Tel.: +49 89 6655 0862 | Mobil: +49 171 868 48 09 | e-mail: peter.bergmann@elleta.net

 

elleta München GmbH

Alte Landstrasse 23 | 85521 Ottobrunn | Deutschland | www.elleta.net

IT-Consulting | IT-Management | IT-Business Development | Transformation-2-IT

 

POST_12 by Majid Iqbal

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes – Marcel Proust
I agree with Steven about the value and purpose of definitions. Also, for practical consideration, service models need to be applied in practice to create something new or to solve hard and complex problems.
Here is an alternate and unorthodox definition:
 
Services are guaranteed sets of outcomes and experiences, delivered across particular places, times, and platforms, by the processing or rendering of customer assets; or the provisioning of valued resources.  
 
Outcomes are what customers pay for (“the economic good”) and experience is how those outcomes are packaged and delivered at a particular place, time, or platform in one of two ways:
(1) Processing or rendering a customer asset to a better condition or state; and (2) providing a valued resource at X.
This definition from design#code has evolved over 10 years. In its present form (as part of a system of design), it has worked in large and complex environments, as diverse as Boeing, UnitedHealthcare, Lowe’s (retail giant), the US Dept. of Defense, and several departments and agencies of the Dutch government.
It is important that a model be simple enough for people across functions and disciplines to communicate and collaborate. I recently ran a service design workshop that included sales professionals from Capgemini, enterprise architects from KPN, policy analysts from the Ministry of Economics affairs, and project managers from I-Interim Rijk. People with very different backgrounds and perspectives could work together with a single shared definition of a service.
Why?  
Because it uses a language high school students can understand, just as well as the general manager of a hotel, or the president of the World Bank. And that language is economics. Here is link to an article I recently wrote as part of that workshop.
It is published on Medium so it will be easy for you comment on specific paragraphs or sections.
I’ve also attached the slides from a series of workshops and talks I gave across the Netherlands and Sweden. (PDF)
Best wishes for the New Year!
Regards,
Majid Iqbal  <mxiqbal@dhashc.com>
———-
P.S. 
Back in 2004 when I was teaching 95-806: Managing Service Organizations, at Carnegie Mellon University, I subscribed to the line of thinking that Paul forcefully argues. During our class discussions (analyzing business models such as Netflix vs Blockbuster), we somehow felt the prevailing definitions simply didn’t make sense. It took Peter Hill (1977), Rathmell (1966), and Judd (1964) and to get some clarity. Based on those influences, and some valuable discussions during the IBM Research SSME conferences (2004-2006), I wrote a new definition of services in ITIL Service Strategy (2007) along with the concepts of utility and warranty. But somehow even that definition was lacking because it was too terse and abstract. Then, in 2010, just before I prepared to give the first guest lecture at the HP Services Research Lab in Palo Alto, I had an epiphany in the form of a cube. That cube defines the business logic of a service.

POST_13 by Charles Betz

The essential debate:
Services ARE Acts that RESULT IN Outcomes
-or-
Services ARE Outcomes, RESULTING FROM Acts.
The discussion amongst this group to date (and my reading of Service Dominant Logic) have tended to favor the 1st.
I note that System, Offering, Expectation, Act, and Outcome individually seem less controversial… hence my favoring the pragmatic that “Service” as a bare word is best understood as a subject area and is not precisely defined until qualified.
-ctb Charles Betz <char@erp4it.com>

POST_14 by Stuart Rance

Steven [Alter],

 

Thank you for this. I have learned a lot from your contributions to these discussions.

 

Charles, [Betz]

 

That is my preferred use too. Let’s avoid using the unqualified term “service” and refer instead to “service acts”, “service offerings”, “service agreements”, “service outcomes” etc.

 

Regards,

 

StuartR

 

Stuart Rance

Phone:   +44 20 8504 2002

Mobile:   +44 791 3344 143

Email:    StuartR@OptimalServiceManagement.com

Web:       www.optimalservicemanagement.com

Twitter:   @StuartRance

 

Optimal Service Management Ltd.

Registered No: 8791379 England

 

With smarter robots, come struggles and fear

This NYT article is worth a read:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/16/upshot/as-robots-grow-smarter-american-workers-struggle-to-keep-up.html

Fears being fueled by Bostrom’s book “Superintelligence” as well as Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking’s remarks.
http://www.amazon.com/Superintelligence-Dangers-Strategies-Nick-Bostrom/dp/0199678111
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/27/elon-musk-artificial-intelligence-ai-biggest-existential-threat
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/05/stephen-hawking-artificial-intelligence_n_5267481.html

Example, so-so attempt at rebuttal (a bit tongue in check in part, but with some more serious undertones)
http://www.wired.com/2014/12/armageddon-is-not-the-ai-problem/

Attempts to dispel the threat are hard because:
species and civilizations come and go, for many reasons
every technology can be used for good and bad
this time may be truly different, after the threshold where technology re-builds itself, on exponential change curves

The arguments to address the fear, so far have been one or combination of:
the threat is still far off, and short term benefits outweigh long-term risks – we can manage this
we can probably design friendly AIs – we can manage this (Bostrom’s plea/resolution at end of his book)
we will co-evolve with the new tools – augmented intelligence (“Advanced Chess” example of teams and tools)
we will merge with the new tools (Kurzweil – creepy augmented intelligence)
something else is more likely to kill us off first, and we need AI to work on those complex urgent problems

Cognitive Systems Institute Group Resources and Alignment Opportunities

It is easy to get involved in the Cognitive Systems Institute Group.

Some resources and background to share with faculty who are looking for alignment opportunities:

General resources to share with faculty can be found at this website, and discussions on LinkedIn group:
Cognitive Systems Institute Group website: http://www.cognitive-science.info
Cognitive Systems Institute Group LinkedIn discussions: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Cognitive-Systems-Institute-6729452

More specifically regarding awards, which are more competitive, and go to the most aligned projects, our global university programs team is making small IBM awards to faculty who are submitting larger proposals for government/foundation funding that are aligned with IBM.

Criteria include:

(1) Focus: Here is what is being ramped up.   Awards to faculty working on building cognitive assistants for some occupation as part of a smart service systems, or the cognitive computing componentry underlying those cognitive assistants (i.e., focus)
See – http://cognitive-science.info/award-recipients/

(2) Leverage: Here is what the review board is weighting heavily, besides good people doing good work in good places, the dominant criterion is leverage. Restricting to faculty who are pursuing significant follow-on funding from government or foundation funding agencies (i.e., leverage).
See – http://cognitive-science.info/about-grants/where-to-apply/

(3) Ecosystem Outcomes:  Potential for increase in startups built on the Watson Bluemix platform, and university cognitive computing componentry that is accessible as part of Bluemix.  For example, see these cognitive computing componentry (Watson Services on Bluemix):
See – https://ace.ng.bluemix.net/#/solutions/solution=watson

(4) Research Outcomes: Similar to ecosystem outcomes (components on Bluemix), but also includes co-publications with IBM Researchers regarding progress on cognitive research grand challenge.
See – http://cognitive-science.info/research-challenges/debater/
http://cognitive-science.info/research-challenges/
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Cognitive-Systems-Institute-6729452
http://cognitive-science.info/

In sum, we are most interested in universities that are developing cognitive computing componentry and cognitive assistants that solve cognitive research grand challenges, grow the Watson Services on Bluemix ecosystem, leverage government/foundation funding sources, and can be seeded with small IBM awards in our focus area.  We are interested in other win-win’s as well, but this is our focus for university cognitive awards.

Journal of Service Theory and Practice (JSTP)

From Steve Kwan, this update:

 

As some of you already know, Managing Service Quality (MSQ) will be retitled, becoming the Journal of Service Theory and Practice (JSTP) from the next volume (2015). This is now reflected in some of the journal content, including the website portal via which manuscripts are submitted. Please continue to submit your papers intended for MSQ through ScholarOne as before, although you will now be doing so via the JSTP page. You will be automatically directed to this page. If not, please use the following URL: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jostp

We will provide you with more information regarding the change in the coming weeks. We will also fully explain the rationale for the change of title in the first issue of the next volume.

Thank you for your continued support for the journal.

Chatura Ranaweera and Marianna Sigala
Co-Editors, Journal of Service Theory and Practice JSTP (formerly MSQ)

 

IBM Research Service Science Professional Interest Group

For the upcoming Service Science PIC workshop at Almaden includes the full breadth of service science related themes:

Service Design & Industry Solutions
Service Delivery & IT as a Service (Cloud, Mobile, Social, Security)
Service Analytics & Big Data/Internet of Things (Web Services)
Smart Service Systems & Cognitive Computing
Service Science Foundations & Mathematical/Simulation Modeling of Service Systems/Sociotechnical Systems
Service Ecosystems, Platforms, Business Models, and Governance Systems
Human-Side of Service Systems Engineering and User/Customer Experience
Professional Associations for Service Researchers/Practitioners/Etc (ISSIP, INFORMS, IEEE, ACM, AIS, AMA, etc.)

Significant groups of faculty, students, and practitioners in professional associations do research on all the above topics.

INFORMS Service Science Journal reflects these diverse themes through the study of service systems.

NSF funding of Smart Service Systems reflects these themes as well.

The next NSF workshop will be at MIT and focus on smarter service systems and transdisciplinary research.

The last NSF workshop on service science focused on the research agenda for service innovation.

The umbrella professional association the links together other professional associations for service researchers is ISSIP = International Society of Service Innovation Professionals, and Jeff Welser (VP, IBM Research – Almaden) will be ISSIP President in 2015.  Charlie Bess (HP Fellow) is ISSIP President 2014.   Ammar Rayes (Cisco DE) was ISSIP Founding President in 2012-2013.

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Service Management and Science Forum

The 10th Annual Meeting of the

Service Management and Science Forum

June 11-13, 2015

Bentley University
Waltham, MA

Theme

Co-creating the Customer Service Experience with High Tech and High Touch

Meeting Announcement:

The Service Management and Science Forum is a truly transdisciplinary meeting involving academics and practitioners from all disciplines and organizations that focus on service delivery processes and the service systems that support them. The conference has attracted a number of established researchers across operations, marketing, information technology, design, engineering, and human resource management from domestic and international higher education institutions and businesses.

In today’s highly competitive environment, there is a growing emphasis to providing customers with a truly memorable experience as a way to increase both customer satisfaction and long term customer loyalty. The customer service experience resulting from the interaction with the service provider requires a combination of high tech and high touch, which depends on the type of service being provided and therefore is generally heterogeneous by its nature.  For instance, experience at Disneyland theme park is largely different from experience at Apple or Microsoft stores. Technology and service design have pushed customer experience management towards a new era.

Information for Contributors:

Individuals from academia, business and government are invited to submit refereed research papers, non-refereed research abstracts, and proposals for workshops, panels, and symposia. All submissions should have a clear focus on enhancing the customer’s experience and are encouraged to be transdisciplinary in nature; that is, they should involve more than a single traditional discipline.

Submission Deadlines:

The submission deadline for refereed research papers is February 15, 2015. The submission deadline for non-refereed research abstracts and proposals is March 15, 2015.

Additional details about the 2015 Forum will be forthcoming. In the interim, please mark the dates on your calendar and for more information please contact:
Program Chair:

David Xin Ding
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77004
Tel: 1-713-743-4095
Email:  xding@Central.UH.EDU

General Chair:
Mark M. Davis
Bentley University,
Waltham, MA 02154
Tel: 1-781-891-2739
Email: mdavis@bentley.edu

Some Institutes that Study Cognitive Systems

The Cognitive Systems Institute is a virtual institute to support global university, government, industry, and foundation collaborations in the area of next generation cognitive systems.   The vision is to augment and scale human expertise with cognitive assistants for all occupations in smart service systems.

A key question: How have researchers gone about augmenting themselves and their teams with powerful tools?

Moving up the abstraction tree one level beyond “custom analytics tools” to “general purpose cognitive assistants” for all occupations.  The vision is to augment and scale human expertise with cognitive assistants for all occupations in smart service systems, where all occupations is a moving target and O*NET OnLine is a first approximation of nearly a thousand occupations, many with task breakdowns, such as biochemical engineers. I have a short presentation to explain this a bit.  Cognitive assistants that have ingested all the literature in a field, and know the publications, talks, etc. of a person or team can be very useful for creativity and productivity boosts.  What architecture will allow industry and academia to collaborate and take on this grand challenge? How can we make rigorous and systematic the path to building and improving these systems, so that government, foundations, and industry can allocate more investment in these areas?

Some other institutes that study cognitive systems are:

Germany:

Institute for Cognitive Systems – TUM
www.ics.ei.tum.de/
Technische Universität München
The Institute for Cognitive Systems deals with the fundamental understanding and creation of cognitive systems. As our research interests fall in line with the …

Greece:

Cognitive Systems Research Institute (CSRI)
www.csri.gr/
The Cognitive Systems Research Institute (CSRI) is a research organisation, in Athens, Greece. The institute establishes highly interdisciplinary research teams …

Canada:

ICICS
www.icics.ubc.ca/
University of British Columbia
The Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS) is a multidisciplinary research institute that promotes collaborative research in advanced …

Building cognitive assistants is hard work

Building cognitive assistants is hard work.  How might we make it easier by working together?

1. Do the benefits of  building cognitive assistance for boosting creativity and productivity justify the costs?
http://www.slideshare.net/spohrer/cognitive-20140912-v3

2. What occupations might provide the best ROI?
http://www.onetonline.org/

3. Where can one join discussions about this topic?
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Cognitive-Systems-Institute-6729452

4. Where can documents and other information be shared?
http://www.cognitive-science.info

5. Can cognitive assistants contribute to smart service systems?
https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=5109582

6.  Given that some faculty are expert at creating textbooks (e.g., chapters introducing concepts and relationships, case studies illustrating concepts and relationships, problem sets with questions and answers, etc.), how can this existing faculty expertise be shifted or transformed with appropriate tools to make building cognitive assistants easier?