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Service Week 2017

Cambridge Service Week is a series of events hosted by the Cambridge Service Alliance to bring together leading academics, industrialists and policy-makers to address the evolving challenges facing service education, research, practice and policy.

Cambridge Service Week 2017

Cambridge Service Week 2016 was held from 5-11 October 2017. It was a series of events hosted by the Cambridge Service Alliance to bring together leading academics, industrialists and policy-makers to address the evolving challenges facing service education, research, practice and policy. Details for individual events are below.

  • Academic Conference
  • Industry Conference Day
  • Partners Day
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Bridging to New Service Technology

10 October 2017

Industry programme final x 150

The theme for this year was 'Bridging to “new” service technology'. The speakers examined not only the technologies important for service delivery, but also what needs to be done in the short term to enable organisations to be ready for these technologies. They gave examples of digital service strategy and showed how they create value through technology today and plan to do so in the future. 

Digital transformation has gained global attention in various industries, due to the pervasive nature and proliferation of recent digital technologies. A new global world economy, characterized by dynamism, customization and intense competition, is developing and the cornerstones for succeeding in it is to embed knowledge, technology and innovation into products and services. However, the degree of complexity in digital transformations exceeds that of other previous transformations, such as IT-enabled transformation. Thus, we were delighted to invite our keynote speakers from Emirates airline, Alibaba, IBM and Thales to join us to discuss

Video Introduction to Industry Day:

Podcast Interview about Industry Day:

Dr Mohamed Zaki, discussed the importance of using digital technology to ensure manufacturing firms who make the shift to services know what to do when and how to embark on the challenge of transformation. While the keynote speakers from these global technology giants may be competitive by nature they will share some of their important industry experiences with members of the Alliance. In the podcast Dr Zaki says the speed of change maybe catching some unawares but that this special University of Cambridge academic alliance with leading industrialists has led to some fruitful findings on what the best way of going about creating strategies, new innovative management cultures and road maps to successful technology change are.


Christoph Mueller - 

EVP, Chief Digital & Innovation Officer

Christoph Mueller

The Emirates Group

‘The Digital Transformation of the Emirates Group’

Christoph Mueller spoke about the vision of Emirates Airline, which aims to re-invent its processes using digital technology to enable a delightful travel experience. They are examining new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Real-time Analytics and ideas to identify the opportunities they represent for both incremental improvement and disruptive change in their business model. 

Christoph Mueller joined Emirates Group in September 2016 as Chief Digital and Innovation Officer. Previously he has been Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines and CEO of Aer Lingus. Prior he held positions as Executive Aviation Director at Tui Travel plc. and was Group CFO of DHL worldwide and CEO of Sabena. He has also held senior management positions in Lufthansa, Daimler Benz Aerospace and Airbus. Christoph has been involved in large scale change management and turnaround projects throughout his entire career.

Dr Ye Meng - 
Senior Expert, 



‘The Dynamics of Digital Transformation Enabled by Alibaba and its Ecosystem Partners’ 

Dr Ye Meng spoke on China’s dynamics of digital transformation enabled by Alibaba and its ecosystem partners. He will also give an analytical framework and examples of digital transformation from the perspectives of new information infrastructure, new factors of production and new division of labour.

Dr. Ye Meng is the Director and Senior Expert of Research Institute at Alibaba Digital Media & Entertainment Group. He is also the member of Global Future Council at World Economic Forum. Formerly, he was the Senior Expert of AliResearch affiliated with Alibaba Group. Prior to joining Alibaba, he was the Associate Research Fellow and Deputy Director of Information and E-commerce Research Division at National Academy of Economic Strategy of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. His research interests include information economy, platform economy and governance, innovation and entrepreneurship and e-commerce service sector. He is the leading author of the following influential books, “China’s Information Economy Development Trends and Strategic Choices”, “The power of big data”, ”China’s E-commerce Services Development Book”, “ The coming Data Technology Era” and so on.

Martin Fleming - 

Chief Analytics Officer and Chief Economist 




'The Cognitive Enterprise: Improving the Power of Decision-Making'

Martin Fleming spoke about how using machine learning, artificial intelligence, and deep learning can not only systematically inform decisions, it can enable greater innovation and creativity. Learn how IBM tackles these challenges as its enterprise transforms for the Cognitive Era. IBM will share its perspective on the art and science of powerful decision-making with data.  

Martin Fleming is IBM’s Chief Analytics Officer and Chief Economist.

As the Chief Analytics Officer, Martin leads IBM’s initiative to become the world’s premier Cognitive Enterprise. A Cognitive Enterprise is a business model transformation that employs machine learning, artificial intelligence and cognitive systems to improve decision making and, as a result, financial performance. The Chief Analytics Office is a data science center of competency focused on improving IBM’s business performance and achieving IBM’s financial goals. As IBM’s Chief Economist, Martin provides regular macroeconomic insight and analysis to IBM’s senior leaders and engages with select IBM clients to provide a view of the global economic outlook. Martin also leads IBM’s data science profession with the mission to drive the growth and expertise of IBM’s skilled data science professionals whose expertise will ensure success in the cognitive era. Previously, within IBM Corporate Strategy, Martin led IBM’s Smarter Planet strategy development and execution with a focus on energy, climate change, transportation,water and Smarter Cities. Prior to joining IBM, Martin was a Principal Consultant with Abt Associates, Cambridge Massachusetts. He was also Vice President, Strategy for Reed-Elsevier, Inc., the Anglo-Dutch information company. Martin began his professional career at the System Dynamics Group, Alfred P. Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Martin’s work has been published in a number of professional journals and general interest publications such as The Economist, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Martin has testified to various US Congressional committees, including the Joint Economic Committee. Martin is an active member of a number of professional associations and is the current Vice Chair of the Conference of Business Economists. Martin holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Economics from Tufts University and a B.S. cumlaude in Mathematics from University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Sean Perry-Evans - 
UK Services Development Director



‘Digital Transformation Strategy within Thales’

Sean Perry-Evans spoke about the Thales’ digital transformation vision, which they believe will transform the markets they serve (aerospace, transport, defence and security) and improve the digital future for their customers, by solving the challenges they face. Sean will speak about digital transformation and the newly established digital factory in a company guided by product policy, and will illustrate with cases from the business portfolio.

Sean Perry-Evans joined Thales UK in June 2014 as the UK Services Development Director. He has responsibility to grow the Thales UK presence in managed services in the markets the organisation serves in the UK. Sean joined directly from Airbus Defence and Space where he had been the UK Head of Sales for what had been the Cassidian business. Previously, he was the Group Head of Sales at Babcock International Group and Sales Director of the Support Services Division which principally comprised the VT acquisition of 2010. During his time with the business, win rates improved across all value bands and sales targets were over-achieved. Sean spent over five years working with Serco Group initially on very large captures in UK and Middle East, and subsequently as the Group Head of Sales.  After Serco bought ITNET in 2007, Sean was part of a central team tasked with ensuring successful integration into the core business. He was then head-hunted into the Central Government business of Fujitsu Services before moving to Babcock in 2008. Prior to his current career, Sean was a Marine Engineer Officer in the Royal Navy for 24 years. One of his last jobs was on loan in Oman, where one of his daughters was born. Born and educated in Plymouth, he has an honours degree from the Royal Naval Engineering College and an MBA from the Open University.

Dr Mohamed Zaki - 
Deputy Director

Mohamed Zaki

Cambridge Service Alliance
University of Cambridge

Customer Experience Analytics’ 

Dr Mohamed Zaki spoke about his recent research on how machine learning can be applied to customer experience analytics. This enables organisations to design and manage unique experiences for its customers and analyse feedback in a timely manner. The toolkit introduced allows utilization of existing qualitative and quantitative data and can result into specific actions being taken to increase customer satisfaction and reduce friction in doing business.

Mohamed Zaki is the Deputy Director of the Cambridge Service Alliance. His research interests lie in the field of Big Data advanced modelling and its application on Digital Manufacturing and services. His research uses an interdisciplinary approach of data science techniques to address a range of real organisations’ problems. Mohamed is a research manager and co-investigator in many UK research councils projects (EPSRC/ESRC) and industrial research projects sponsored by big organisations such as IBM, BAE Systems, Caterpillar, Rolls-Royce, Zoetis, Pearson and GEA. His is also a core academic member in the Cambridge ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) and the EPSRC research network- Consumer Goods, Big Data, and Redistributed Manufacturing (RECODE). In addition he is a recipient of an international award from the Marketing Science Institute on customer experience analytics. Mohamed has many publications in highly ranked journals, including PloS ONE, Journal of Service Research, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Journal of Service Marketing as well as many conference articles.

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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.

Members of the Cambridge Service Alliance include BAE Systems, Caterpillar, IBM and the University of Cambridge.


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