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Cambridge Service Alliance

At the forefront of service transformation in the digital era

Disrupting the service experience through digital technologies

Indeed, new digital technologies are changing how firms design and deliver their service experience. The coming years might be challenging for firms (e.g., climate change policies, energy prices, economic challenges, and others), and how their ambitions for digital transformation can deal with these tensions. In many cases, plans for digitalisation have been accelerated to support seamless operations, maintain - or improve - customer service and, ultimately, guarantee economic survival. Agility, flexibility and digital acceleration are becoming more critical, presenting plenty of challenges and opportunities for firms.

At this virtual event, we invited keynote speakers to discuss digital technologies' paramount role in the new service experience ecosystem. Keynote speakers provided instructive examples of how companies can address some of the critical challenges they face and presented their digital transformation programs that help their businesses withstand the new uncertainties.

Speakers included:


Aurélie Marais Machurat, UK Transformation, Digital/IT and Innovation Director, Bouygues Construction

Peter Chow, Public Sector for Innovation, Fujitsu

Digital twins: past, present and future

Dr Peter Chow, Public Sector for Innovation at Fujitsu described how Fujitsu is changing direction and moving from being a ICT company to a digital transformation company, committed to making the world more sustainable by building trust through innovation. It aims to play an important role in shaping our future, addressing the societal issues we are facing in both the physical and virtual worlds. It sees digital twins as a key technology in this regard, supported by Fujitsu five key technology areas: computing (including quantum), 5G and 6G networks, AI, data and security and converging technologies. However, Peter also pointed to the need to address the ethical questions raised by these technologies to ensure they are inclusive, explainable and fair.

Dr Peter Chow’s top 10 takeways

  1. Digital twins are not new: one of the first applications was CAD back in 1959, digital model.
  2. Digital twins and augmented reality are key elements to realise an industrial metaverse.
  3. Data is a challenge when building end-to-end digital twins: the solution is to keep data siloed but connect using APIs.
  4. Digital twins are driving continuous improvement in industries such as Formula 1.
  5. But they can also be used to drive societal change by, for example, helping to develop smart cities in which interactions between buildings, utilities and people are better understood.
  6. They can help address societal problems such as how to provide social care to an ageing population where a human healthcare worker can be supervise robots to look after more people.
  7. They can help reduce energy usage by giving commuters information about the best times and methods of travel.
  8. Digital twins are not a single technology but a convergence of multiple technologies supporting continuous digital transformation: in the future, we will have individual digital twins (containing our health and employment records), city digital twins and national digital twins, otherwise known as a metaverse.  
  9. But we will need a clear ethical framework, one that is inclusive and explainable.
  10. Choose the right partner: you can’t do everything yourself.

Ashraf Gameel, CEO, Spectro

Industrial IoT: Unlocking a new world of opportunities
Ashraf Gameel, CEO of Spectro Systems, explained how Industry 4.0 is changing the way we do business. His firm works in a wide range of sectors to help firms harness the potential of one of the Industry 4.0 flagship technologies: the Internet of Things. Industrial IoT uses sensors (and other devices) to monitor the performance of assets and changes to their environments. The continuous flow of data it provides is analysed either in the cloud or, increasingly, in the sensors themselves, helping firms to improve their decision-making, achieve operational excellence and address some of the world’s most intractable problems.

Ashraf Gameel’s top 10 takeaways

  1. Climate change, food security, global health, clean water: the world’s biggest problems can be addressed by new technologies such as IoT.
  2. IoT is the merging of the operational and digital worlds to deliver better decision-making.
  3. In 2019 there were 8.6 billion connected devices in the world: estimates suggest that number will have tripled by 2030.
  4. Top sectors adopting IoT are manufacturing/industry (22%) and transport/mobility (15%)
  5. The economic impact is not confined to developed countries: in 2025 nearly 40% of the expected impact will benefit developing countries.
  6. The three financial benefits of IoT: increased revenues, reduction in costs, better utilisation of assets.
  7. IoT is helping firms to manage their energy use: 80% of manufacturers investing in energy management, report a return on investment in two years or less.
  8. Firms selling or leasing heavy machinery can use IoT to optimise usage, cut costs through predictive maintenance and prevent fuel theft.
  9. IoT is also delivering better performance and lower costs in a wide range of other setting from cold chain management, to fish farming and date harvesting.
  10. Industry 4.0 is on its way, promising a bright future for those firms able to harness its potential.



Cambridge Service Alliance

Welcome to the Cambridge Service Alliance…

  • A unique global alliance between the University of Cambridge and some of the world’s leading businesses.

  • Help organisations to address the challenges they will face in the next three to five years, through rigorous research, practical tools, insights and education programmes.

  • Learn how other innovative organisations are developing new services through our events

  • Since its inception in 2010 industrial partners have included CEMEX, GEA, IBM, Pearson, Zoetis, HCLTech, Bouygues UK among others.