skip to primary navigationskip to content

Cambridge Service Alliance

developing new understanding and approaches to complex service systems

Studying at Cambridge


Ecosystems Value Mapping and Analysis

Integrating Firms in Business Ecosystems

The research to be conducted in 2017 will revolve around how to design a firm or a part of the firm that allows the delivery of a solution to a customer that has changing needs over time. This is taking into consideration the integration to multiple partners of a business ecosystem. The problems firms are facing is that the orchestration of service delivery across firms, is often based on contracts. However the value delivery often needs to be flexible over time, this has an impact on execution, accountability, capability and capacity of firms as well as their customers. We understand well that customers’ needs to service and solution delivery needs change over time.

The work builds on the research done within the work stream in 2015 and 2016. We now aim to find an evidence base for working firm layouts, which are idealised for service delivery and involvement in designed business ecosystem.

Research Objectives

The layout of the year will be split into:

  • Third party data on how a set of firms (who are running successful ecosystems) are built internally.
  • Interviews and maps of the organisational setup of alliances and business ecosystems in which partners are included.

If you are interested in this research project or the content, please contact Dr Florian Urmetzer



Past Research: How are different types of value being created by an ecosystem and captured by its customer?

In today’s increasingly complex and interconnected world, customer needs for goods and services are better addressed by networks of interacting organisations (focal firms, suppliers, competitors, partners, complementors, and other stakeholders). Such networks act as business ecosystems in which companies’ business models are closely interdependent, competition goes hand in hand with cooperation, and no single firm can succeed without relying on resources and capabilities controlled by others. Thinking in terms of ecosystems is increasingly important for large corporations worldwide. The focus question of this year’s research is “How are different types of value being created by an ecosystem and captured by its customer?”

Research Objectives

The project has the following objectives:

  • Define values which are transferred between businesses in a B2B setting, coming from the state of the art in the value creation and value capture literature.
  • Provide a step-by-step guide to enable the structuring of conversations on ecosystem value mapping.
  • Develop a framework or tool to support the mapping and hence help visualisation and understanding of value creation and value capture in ecosystems. 


Building on previous Alliance studies, the Ecosystems Research 2015 will investigate how value is understood in the partner organisations; how mapping exercises are executed and how the conversations taking place can be supported and guided. The aim is that firms can use the output from the research to explore, interpret, and leverage ecosystems in which they participate and fully understand all types of value (e.g. direct and indirect) which are delivered to customers and partners within the ecosystem.

There are two in-depth case studies planned throughout the year. The researchers seek to answer questions like:

  • What are the core capabilities being delivered to the customer from the ecosystem?
  • Which capabilities are delivered which are not core, but are not charged for?
  • Who is delivering which value to the customer? 

2015 Activities

The activities planned for the year are split into six areas. Leading to a full research cycle

1. Assess the state of the art in the field and identify important academic publications.

2. Execute an exploratory study and assess the use of ecosystem mapping and value mapping within companies (needs assessment and understanding of use.

3. Execute case study one, which includes observing the work done on definition and understanding of ecosystems. The work done will lead into using a draft ecosystem value canvas and redefining it.

4. Execute case study two, in a similar design to the above.

5. Full data analysis and building of a step-by-step guide for practical use. 


  • A method giving practitioners a step-by-step guide to understand the values being exchanged on the point of contact between an ecosystem and its customer (in B2B settings).
  • A tool allowing to structure the conversation around value types.


2017 April Paper Business Ecosystems

Business Ecosystems Paper

The April 2017 Paper on 'Business Ecosystems: Towards a Classification Model', by Florian Urmetzer, Andy Neely and Veronica Martinez.


2016 December Paper Imagex250

Ecosystems Value Framework Paper

The December Paper on 'The Ecosystem Value Framework: Supporting Managers to Understand Value Exchange between Core Businesses in Service Ecosystems', by Florian Urmetzer, Veronica Martinez and Andy Neely.

2016 FLE Briefing Image

Feedback from the Frontline: Engaging front-line employees in service innovation

Latest executive briefing on engaging front-line employees in service innovation, by Florian Urmetzer, Stefan Titz, Veronica Martinez and Andy Neely


2016 April Paperx250Engineering Services - Unpacking Value Exchange

 April paper on 'Engineering Services: Unpacking Value Exchange', by Florian Urmetzer, Andy Neely, Veronica Martinez



Ecosystems Research 2016 Poster - from Cambridge Service Week

Ecosystems Research 2015 Poster - from Cambridge Service Week

Ecosystems Research 2014 Poster - from Cambridge Service Week 


Florian Urmetzer

RSS Feed Latest news

Webinar - Does Buyers' Dependence translate into Financial Performance?

Mar 12, 2018

12 March 2018 - Does buyers’ dependence translate into financial performance? An empirical analysis of manufacturer-service provider relationships - Ornella Benedettini

New Membership Model for the Alliance

Mar 07, 2018

New Membership Model launched for the Alliance.

March 2018 Newsletter

Mar 01, 2018

Find out about the new membership model and our new Alliance Partner as well as other news from the Service Alliance in this new edition of the newsletter.

CEMEX join the Alliance as a Gold Member

Feb 27, 2018

We are delighted to announce that CEMEX has joined the Cambridge Service Alliance as a Gold Member under the Alliance's new Membership Model.

High-Quality Prediction Intervals for Deep Learning: A Distribution-Free, Ensembled Approach

Feb 20, 2018

February Paper on High-Quality Prediction Intervals for Deep Learning: A Distribution-Free, Ensembled Approach by Tim Pearce, Mohamed Zaki, Alexandra Brintrup, Andy Neely

View all news

Upcoming events

Shift to Services Executive Education Programme

May 09, 2018

IfM, Cambridge, UK

Shift to Services Executive Education Programme

Nov 07, 2018

IfM, Cambridge, UK

Ecosystems Strategy One Day Course

Nov 15, 2018

IfM, Cambridge

Upcoming events