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Cambridge Service Alliance

At the forefront of service transformation in the digital era
 
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Associated Research

In addition to the core Alliance research there are ongoing related projects at Cambridge. Organisations joining the Alliance not only participate directly in the three research themes, but also have access to research conducted in the wider University. A sample of current service related research includes:

Ecosystem Evolution Enabled by Technology - An Example in Healthcare

Work is underway with IBM which studies the way in which technology can enable the evolution of ecosystems. An example with looks at the Healthcare industry shows that by increasing instrumentation and interconnection it can help to make Healthcare more intelligent.

Risks of Performance-Based Contracts - A Social Capital Perspective

This PhD research by Jingchen Hou studies the effects of social capital on risks in performance-based contracts, compared with risks in traditional contracts.

Transforming Public Services with 'Open' Service Platforms

Many public services have started to develop 'servitized' business models and government organisations are engaging in various 'transforming' programmes.  An Open Platforms and Public Services Working Group is being established within the Centre for Public Policy that will develop a white paper to further the debate on designing and delivering public services in the future, and the need to build component-based public service platforms that will allow service providers to assemble bespoke services from standard 'building blocks'.

Through-life Information for Service and Support Engineering

Work is underway to study the effect of contract types and agreed performance measures on the information that must be collected and used to deliver a complex service. Previous research on through-life information management (the '12 box model', identifying distinct information needs through the life of a service) is being developed in a form whereby it can be used by practitioners in industry and the public sector.

Reconfigurable Airport Operations

The University of Cambridge recently completed a project in collaboration with the Manchester Airports Group to study the reconfiguration of airport processes to develop a flexible response to medium-term (1 year plus) changes in circumstances. The research provided tools to identify different potential process configurations and their relative feasibility.

The Servitization Paradox

Despite the many advantages of combining products and services, evidence shows that manufacturers who servitize have lower profit rates and are more likely to go bankrupt. We have studied this paradox and concluded that substantial investment and a strong reputation amongst customers are key to successfully moving to service provision.

Service Revenues in Manufacturing

We are analysing the growth of services from an empirical point of view, namely the magnitude of the revenues that manufacturing companies generate from their service business. Based on the case histories of leading global companies, the analysis identifies different typical shares of service revenue to total revenue across industry sectors, and shows a main determinant for this in the types of service offered. In addition, the research reveals that high service revenue shares are typically achieved through a growth trend that takes several years, and that a long-term engagement to services is needed by manufacturing companies in order for their service business to outperform its product counterpart.

Service Innovation in Healthcare: Multidisciplinary Teams and Digitally Enabled Service Innovation

Clinical teams are increasingly working to deliver services in novel ways involving multidisciplinary working. Michael Barrett has been examining how knowledge and practice develop in multidisciplinary cancer teams, with a focus on the dynamic relationship between collaborative learning and effective teamwork and the role of IT in the process. Data was collected from multidisciplinary teams of surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, nurses and managers. Research findings concern mechanisms of learning across disciplinary groups, and the influence of power and identity in the development of knowledge. An extension of this project, undertaken in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Hawaii, examines the implementation of electronic patient records in an MDT clinical setting.

Robots and digital technology are increasingly pervasive in healthcare, and can fundamentally influence the way care is delivered and how clinicians work together. This point was reinforced by clinical colleagues in the Department of Surgery at Imperial College, who were seeking to implement new techniques (e.g. minimally invasive surgery) subsequent to technology innovation. Michael has been collaborating (with Eivor Oborn) on a project concerned with the adoption and use of robot technology and the implications for workplace boundaries. This CMI-BT funded project was set up to look at the future of RFID tagging technology in the supply-chain management of pharmaceuticals, with a particular focus on service delivery to patients as end consumers in hospitals. With collaborators from Sloan Management School, MIT, this work draws on a sociomaterial perspective and boundary theory, to examine digitally enabled innovation and changes in work practice.

Cambridge Service Alliance

Welcome to the Cambridge Service Alliance…

  • a unique global alliance between leading businesses and universities;
  • bringing together the world's leading firms and academics;
  • all of whom are devoted to delivering today the tools, education and insights needed for the complex service solutions of tomorrow.

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Latest news

The personal touch: using AI to help digital ‘agents’ deliver better customer service

16 January 2023

Successful customer service feels personal. As customers, we need to have our problems dealt with efficiently. But we also want our emotional response to those problems to be acknowledged, with empathy. But is this possible in a world in which customer services are becoming increasingly automated, and we find ourselves...

Mitsubishi Heavy Ltd Industries Visit - November 2022

15 November 2022

Prof Mohamed Zaki was invited by the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to run the Digital Service and Customer Experience workshop with the Research & Innovation Center team. Thanks for the invitation, hospitality and the great discussions about the future of the next generations of services in asset heavy Industry.

Bouygues Construction joins the Cambridge Service Alliance

27 May 2021

We are delighted to announce that Bouygues Construction has joined the Cambridge Service Alliance, Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), University of Cambridge as a new industry member alongside our existing partners HCL Technologies , Caterpillar Inc. , Perkins Engines Company Limited and CEMEX . Press release