SRII Conference: Rapid Evolution of Service Capabilities

The SRII Global Conference took place in San Jose, California last week. Below I provide a summary of the conference flow over five days of events, and then some summary comments about the accelerating evolution of service capabilities enabled by the cloud and smart phones.

On Tuesday, the SRII SIG and Chapter meetings took place. SIG (Special Interest Groups) include Cloud Services, Service Innovation/Engineering/Quality, Health Care IT Services, Intelligent Services, University Research and New Curriculum, Service Innovation for Emerging Economies, Telco/Mobile Services, and Cross Enterprise Collaboration. The Chapters include India, Thailand, Vietnam, Germany, Spain, Japan, Australia, Taiwan. Also, on the agenda were presentations from HP Labs (Future Mobile and Immersive Technology and the Future of Service) and IBM Research (Nanotechnology & Future of Service)

On Wednesday, Kris Singh, SRII President, provided a brief introduction to SRII, and its mission of improving the science and engineering of IT-enabled service to make a better world. Next, Robert Morris, VP Services Research & Global Labs, IBM Research, shared IBM’s perspective on the future of service, including smart services based on Watson supercomputer technology that recently out-scored the top human players in the quiz show Jeopardy! He also positioned service research at IBM in the context of IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative, including examples from transportation, health, and other areas. Then Prith Banerjee, Sr. VP Research, HP Labs, presented on “service as everything” from IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) to PaaS (Platform as a Service) to SaaS (Software as a Service) with examples from energy and sustainability to health and government service. After these two large IT company research perspective, Tim Draper, Founder and a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, presented a view on why the venture capital community was funding more and more IT-enabled service start-ups, as well as providing a lot of insights into regional investments in China and India – and why most things fail, but failing fast for the right reasons and trying again is OK from a venture capital perspective. The talks and audience participation went long, and schedules began shifting around, as a lot of ground was covered in presentations and discussion with the audience members. Later, Jamie Erbes, HP Fellow, Head of Services Research, HP Labs moderated a discussion with Mahmoud Naghsheineh, VP, Service Innovation Lab, IBM Research, Ana Pinczuk, VP, Global Technical Services, Cisco, Fumihiro Maruyama, Managing Director, Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe, Tung Bui, Chair/Professor of Technology Management, Univ. of Hawaii on a wide range of topics including: IT Enabled Services– Life Cycle Management , Business Innovation, Process Innovation, Technology Innovation , Service Models/Methods/Tools , Service System Architecture/ Computer Aided Service Design, B2B and B2C Services, Service Quality–Customer requirements/ Solution development/ Service Delivery, Cross Enterprise Collaboration– Enterprise to Enterprise & Inside an Enterprise. The “call to action” from the panelists was for the SRII community to help with standards that make more experimentation and more sharing of best practices by service entities (large, medium, and small business, government agencies and non-profits, as well as academic institutions) possible. The participants broke into two groups, and went to research paper tracks – one on Service Innovation, Engineering, and Quality (SIEQ) lead by Session Chair Freimut Bodendorf (German University), and the other on Intelligent Services, Murray Campbell (IBM Research). The next main session was the Healthcare IT-enabled Service Inovation panel, moderated by Dr. Yan Chow, Director, Innovation and Advanced Technology, Kaiser Permanente Information Technology (Moderator), and including Dr. Dan Riskin, CEO, VMT, Consulting Assistant Professor, Stanford, Dr. Elise Singer, Chief Medical Office, California Health Information Partnership & Services, Dr. Shusaku Tsumoto, Professor of Medical Informatics, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, Dan Gonos, HP Fellow/ Chief Technologist-Healthcare, IT, HP Enterprise Services, Aya Soffer, Director,Information Management Analytics, IBM Research, Haifa. The panelists discussed the topic of “Meaningful Use” of IT in Healthcare, including Definition and Direction, Elise S., Provider Perspective – Dan R., Data Collection – Dan G., Analytics – Aya, International Perspective – Shusaku.

On Thursday, the opening remarks came from Alan Kay, well-known pioneer of the personal computer and now leading Viewpoints Research Institute, about the need to address long-term grand research problems associated with service in order to build better futures – a key challenge being how do to systems negotiate and understanding of the service capabilities they can offer each other, if we are going to build systems that can scale well. The Panel on University Service Research and Education was moved up next in order,
Rich Friedrich, Director, Strategy & Innovation, HP Labs moderated a panel that included, Jim Spohrer, Director, Global University Programs, IBM, Paul Hofmann, V.P, Academic Programs, SAP Labs, Elizabeth Pate-Cornell, Chair, Management Science & Engineering, Stanford University, Theresa Maldonado, Division Director, National Science Foundation, Sorel Reisman, President, IEEE Computer Society, Mark Stockman, Chair, ACM SIG on IT Education. The panel focus topics included company specific investment overviews from Jim, Rich, and Paul. Also, Identify “mega topics” for IT Enabled Services Research in partnership with Academia & NSF from all, Funding Model for NSF/Industry/Academia on “mega research topics, New Curriculums: ACM/IEEE Plans — Sorel/ Mark. Next, Andy Bechtolsheim, Founder, Chief Development Officer and Chairman, Arista Networks, presented a compelling view of increasing computational capabilities and the need for more entrepreneurial innovation. Then Joe Macri, CTO, AMD, presented a roadmap for the multicore chips of the future that would be powering both the cloud data centers and the personal smart phones, and how they were being optimized for diverse service applications. The next panel on Cloud Computing & Services was moderated by Michael Rodeh, VP IBM Corporate Strategy,including, Andy Bechtolsheim: Founder/Chairman, Arista Networks, Jamie Erbes, HP Fellow & Head of Services Research, HP Labs, David Yen, Executive Vice President, Juniper Networks, Jason Waxman, Data Center GM, Intel, Ola Hubertsson, Head of Architecture & System, Ericsson, Wolfgang Gentzsch, Director: Open Grid and Cloud Forum, DEISA, Europe., Alexander Pasik, CIO, IEEE, and covered topics ranging from New Service/Business Models Enabled by Cloud to Cloud Architecture requirements, Regulatory/Compliance Requirements for Cloud Services, Support for Cloud Standards bodies – and a call to action for industry players to remove uncertainty and risk to help accelerate customers into the cloud. Next, the research paper sessions were done in parallell, one on Service Innovation, Engineering, and Quality (SIEQ) lead by Klaus-Peter Fahnrich and one on Cloud Service lead by Sharad Singhal. Later in the evening more poster presentations occurred as part of the research forum.

On Friday, The first keynote was Sanjay Poonen, President, SAP Global Solutions and lots about data. Paul Hofmann os SAP had presented the BigIron story the day before, and shown that processing of data was going from days to minutes for many applications. Next keynote, Kirk Skaugen, Vice President, General Manager, Data Center Group, Intel gave a look at Intel’s roadmap for the future of chips in data centers and smart phones. Next, Håkan Eriksson, Group CTO & President Ericsson Silicon Valley was on the agenda. Then a panel on Service Innovation for the Public Sector was moderated by Gerry Mooney, General Manager Global Government and Education, IBM Corporation, including Kai Zhang , Chief Technologist, Public Sector, HP; Ephraim Feig, IEEE Fellow and US Social Security (“time to start from scratch”), and Tim Chou, IT Entrepreneur/Lecturer, Stanford University (“Service is delivery of information personalized for you”). The panel topics included: IT opportunities for major public sectors, Cloud Services for Public Sectors, Government policies/regulations, Government-Industry-Academia partnership. Next the research paper tracks included a session on Healthcare IT Services, chaired by Dr. Shusaku Tsumoto, as well as a session on Intelligent Services, Service Marketing, chaired by Ram Akella. The next panel was Intelligent Services/ Information Management, chaired by Hemanth Puttaswamy, VP Technology & Architecture, IBM, inlcuding Kannan Govindarajan for Umesh Dayal, HP Fellow/Technologist Information Management, HP Labs, Sanjay Poonen: President, SAP Global Solutions, Daniel Russell: Research Scientist, Google , Dr. Shusaku Tsumoto, Professor of Medical Informatics, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, Japan, Jim McDonnell, Sr. Director, Smart Services Technology Group, Cisco, Hock-Hai Teo: Head of Dept. of Information Systems, School of Computing, National University of Singapore. The panel focus topics will include the following: Information Management Requirements for Major Services, Standards for Data Access, Acquisition, Processing & Retention, Standards & Tools for Consumability of Analytics , Information Analytics Ecosystem & New Business Model, Information Management in Cloud. Next Ann Winblad, Co-founder and a Managing Director Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, gave a tour of investment opportunities in next generation service start-ups – the ease of use of tools, the rapid ability to develop and delivery new service capabilities was emphasized. The key themes of social, mobile, and cloud came through again – loud and clear. At dinner, Daniel Russell, Research Scientist, Google, provided an thought provoking overview of next generation service capabilities, and again emphasized social, mobile, fast, deep, and local service capabilities evolving rapidly.

On Saturday, the day begain with Alex Zelinsky, Group Executive, CSIRO, Australia presenting some remarkable examples of projects that combined sensor data and other streaming sources of data with simulations to enhance decision making from tracking cattle, monitoring floods, improving swimmers style, and much more. The growth of IT-enabled service is seen as key to the future of Australia as natural resources play out over the coming century. Next, Scott Weller, VP, Office of the Chief Technologist, HP, prior to the morning panel moderated by Richard Lundmark, , Head of Services Research, Ericsson (Moderator), Ammar Rayes, Smart Services Technology, Cisco, Jeff Edlund, Chief Technologist, HP, Craig Farrell, CTO of Telecom, IBM, Vilho Raisanen, Research, Nokia-Siemens Networks, Ian Oppermann, Director, CSIRO’s ICT Center, Australia. The panel focus included: Change from Voice to Data, Data explosion and its implications, Connectivity between Device and Cloud, Cloud based business models for Telco operator/Service provider, ICT Services delivered to the Telco Operator/ Service provider from ICT providers. Then a second panel on Service Innovation for Emerging Markets, moderate was by video Bruno Di Leo, IBM General Manager,
Growth Markets: Keynote (Video), Kris Gopalakrishnan, CEO Infosys, Technologies: Keynote (Video), Phan Minh Tân, Director of Science & Technology, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Scott Weller, VP, Office of Chief Technologist, HP, Jay Lee, Professor/Founding Director of NSF University/Industry Cooperative Research (IMS),
Univ. of Cincinnati, Manish Gupta, Director IBM Research-India (Moderator). Panel Session included topics: Major Service Sectors in Emerging Markets, Future of IT Enabled Services for Emerging Markets, and IT requirements: Developed Markets vs Emerging markets. After five days and one power outage at the hotel, Kris Singh provided the closing remarks and summary for the conference – reiterating the mission of SRII to improve the science and engineering of IT-enabled service for a better world.

While I was not able to attend all the sessions, my impression from attending most of the sessions is that more and more people and organizations see the growth of IT-enabled service capabilities as a central theme in the coming decade and going forward. Increasingly, the service capabilities will live in the cloud, starting and stopping thousands of virtual machine images as they work, but highly dependent on social networks of people with smart mobile devices in order to spread and evolve rapidly. The picture in my mind painted by nearly all the keynote speakers, panelists, and presenters of research papers was that service capabilities are evolving rapidly. So rapidly that no one can predict specifics, but everyone can see the impact will be in all aspects of life, from personal life to family life, from business to government, from academics to non-profits. Also, the evolution is happening from the nano-scale structure of new chips, up through the architecture of data centers that make up the cloud, out into societal-level structures and institutions. We are not just talking about information systems evolving, but truly service systems evolving – because at the end of the day it is the ability of new IT-enabled service capabilities to improve the value-cocreation between entities (individual people and societal institutions) that will determine winners and losers in the on-going evolution of service capabilities. Another theme was that “smart individuals and institutions” would be the ones that know about and can best apply these rapidly evolving service capabilities. In sum, the SRII conference painted a picture of “Accelerating Evolution of Service Capabilities” and tremendous opportunities at all levels for scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, leaders, managers, and professionals of all types to contribute to and benefit from this rapid evolution of service capabilities.


  1. Kris Singh noted…

    “The SRII (Service Research and Innovation Institute) Conference was a real eye opener to me and presented an exciting future in which we IT educators and professionals can be vitally important towards creating.  The overriding theme of SRII and this initiative is that IT can/should be a driver to the betterment of our society by creating efficiencies in delivery of services.

    Robert Morris (Vice President Services Research & Global Labs, IBM Research and Fortune Magazine’s “Smartest Scientist”) summed it up best for me in his keynote.  He described how while manufacturing and even agriculture have done a decent job at leveraging information technology for productivity, for the most part service industries (healthcare, education, energy, etc.) have not and thus continue to be wasteful in their business processes.  He went on to discuss that innovations like the IBM Watson project (from which the SIGITE 2011 keynote will come) are not simply fun exercises but in fact will be a driver in enhancing human-computer interactions.  The technology being developed for Watson will create a new mechanism for computing systems to learn from one another and be able to properly interpret human communication, describing one use of such a technology to dramatically improve healthcare in the world”

  2. Kris Singh comments more video of the conference will soon be available.

    Check for videos of presentations at

    You will find the above SRII Conference video/presentations from many senior leaders and experts from around the world very useful. If you are not yet SRII registered member, I would strongly urge you to become a SRII member. IBMers get 50% discount on the membership fee (only $49/yr)

  3. Kris Singh recommended Bruno Di Leo’s video..

    Growth Market Opportunities and recommendations to SRII Community

    1. Develop unique IT-enabled service offerings and solutions for growth markets
    2. Foster new business models with tools, methods, and standard
    3. Drive government policy and regulations that foster developing and deploying unique growth market solutions
    4. Foster skills and training to enable developing and deploying unique growth market solutions

  4. I invite others to post something they found interesting about the conference, or suggestions for future improvements.

    For example, I really found great insights in the comments about e-Government by the speaker from Singapore (Hock-Hai Teo: Head of Dept. of Information Systems, School of Computing, National University of Singapore).

    Especially the reference to the The 2011 Waseda University World e-Government Ranking.

Leave a Reply