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Insight | Business model innovation for digital twins in the construction sector

last modified May 19, 2020 03:54 PM
At the Cambridge Service Alliance's most recent Community of Interest, Dr Erika Pärn considered the development of digital twins in the construction sector: the challenges it faces and whether android operating systems could provide a useful roadmap for business model innovation.

Digitalising the construction sector is an urgent but difficult task. The potential benefits of developing digital twins of buildings and infrastructure are huge which also means that a lot of technology firms are vying for market share, whether that’s sector specialists like Autodesk or the tech giants like Google and Microsoft on the hunt for new opportunities.

In order to get a better understanding of how digital twin technology is likely to affect the sector, Pärn set about characterising the business model innovation displayed by android operating systems and comparing those with characteristics displayed by the construction sector.

For Pärn, innovations around android have three key aspects:

1) A move from separation to fusion: by creating a single open-source platform, android fused separate and competing technology developments into one concerted effort.

2) This had the effect of creating a community of developers capable of innovating at speed, or moving from efficiency to agility.

3) These developments enabled android to become more than a product, providing its infrastructure as a service.

Pärn sees similar patterns emerging with the business models of major technology providers such as Autodesk, with partially open platforms appearing and communities of developers seizing the opportunity to innovate on them. Pärn overlays these trends with three characteristics essential to the successful deployment of digital twins:

  • fidelity - how faithful a representation is the digital of the physical?
  • autonomy – can it operate without human intervention?
  • insight – what does it tell us about how we can optimise the physical?

Much of the research published to date makes the case for digital twins as a way of optimising existing processes in order to increase productivity. But, asks Pärn, shouldn’t we be wondering if they can do more than that. If, in fact, they can help firms reimagine their business models?

But this is the construction industry where product margins are low – typically between 1.5 and 2% - and regulation is high, creating conditions which are not conducive to innovation. Even before the pandemic, construction was trailing a long way behind sectors such as manufacturing where digital twins are already deployed. According to Pärn, the construction industry is lagging years behind: without government intervention we are unlikely to see digital twins playing a meaningful role in it until 2040. 

Using her six dimensions, Pärn has created a framework for further investigating the state of the UK construction sector and how ready (or not) it is to take advantage of digital twin technologies.

The findings will be important for the future of the sector: digital twins have a transformative role to play in creating a connected ecosystem that would overcome the current problems of industry fragmentation, improve design not just through visualisation but by providing insights into how a building is used throughout its life, support modularisation and pre-fabrication and revolutionise the services specialists can provide.

Generate revenue from digital platforms

last modified May 12, 2020 03:24 PM
According to Shep Hyken: "Customers are smarter than ever because they're experiencing great service from certain brands, and those rock-star brands are setting the bar higher for everyone else." In this white paper we explore the 'customer experience paradox' and how firms can use digital platforms to overcome it.

Firms are finding that in spite of their increasing investment in the different realms of the customer experience they are unable to reap the potential rewards.

We look at how firms can use digital platforms to manage the customer experience and develop new business models and revenue streams.

Read the white paper Generate revenue from digital platforms by managing the customer experience.

Unlocking the secrets of customer loyalty

last modified May 12, 2020 03:09 PM
Customer retention plays a critical role in a firm's long-term sustainability. Until recently, however, firms have tended to rely on one-dimensional survey techniques to measure their customers' loyalty. This white paper shows how machine learning can help overcome these limitations.

We know from previous research that relying on satisfaction ratings to measure customer loyalty is problematic. It often masks underlying dissatisfaction with a company's products and services and that a significant proportion of its customers are at risk of churn. With better insights, these customers could be prevented from seeking alternative providers.

This research applied a more nuanced approach to understanding customer loyalty, looking at what customers think, feel and do in order to arrive at a more accurate prediction of their future behaviour. By combining this framework with advanced machine learning techniques and applying them to attitudinal,
emotional and transactional customer datasets in a B2B context, we have developed an approach which was 93% reliable in its prediction of churn.

 

Read the white paper Unlocking the secrets of customer loyalty

Driving business model transformation

last modified May 07, 2020 06:00 PM
A new white paper from the Cambridge Service Alliance and HCL Technologies considers how the development of a digital thread is vital for business model transformation.

But the authors also recognise that designing and implementing a digital thread is not easy. And these days, it's the cultural and organisational issues that are more challenging than the technical. To help firms overcome these barriers, Cambridge researchers have developed a structured approach that will help firms assess whether they have the knowledge and capabilities they need to succeed.

Read the white paper here

 

Partner blog: Pandemic-proof: Building a crisis-resistant organizational culture and technology core

last modified May 01, 2020 03:34 PM
Sachin Bajaj, Senior Vice President, Digital & Analytics at HCL Technologies, explains why coronavirus - by forcing organisations to create a remote working environment at speed - could turn out to be the spur they need to realise the benefits of digitalisation.

But to succeed they will need to overcome cultural barriers, according to research carried out by the Cambridge Service Alliance, in conjunction with HCL. Businesses "need to understand the importance of fostering and incorporating trust, patience, and mutual support backed by a strong technological core to ensure stability and progress in trying times." 

Those that are able to do so will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever.

Read the blog here.

Inside neural networks

last modified May 12, 2020 05:05 PM
Cambridge Service Alliance doctoral student, Tim Pearce, explains how his work is contributing to advances in neural networks and how they are starting to help organisations make better decisions.

While our understanding and application of neural networks are progressing at speed, there is still much work to be done. One of their drawbacks is that while they are very good at giving you an answer, they aren't so good at telling you how sure they are about that answer. By using advanced mathematical tools (specifically, a Bayesian framework) we are helping them to get better at recognising and quantifying their uncertainty.

In this article, we explain the theory and show how it is being applied to a very real-world problem: helping an aircraft manufacturer manage its inventory more efficiently.

Read Inside neural networks: and how they are helping organisations make better decisions

Do you know what your customers really think about you?

last modified May 12, 2020 05:06 PM
Research carried out by the Cambridge Service Alliance has shown that widely used methods for gauging customer satisfaction – such as ratings surveys and Net Promotor Scores – do not really tell you what your customers are thinking.

Dr Mohamed Zaki and Professor Janet McColl-Kennedy, worked with CSA partners to devise a more nuanced way of understanding the customer experience using machine learning. 

Read the article here.

Blockchain: driving productivity, traceability and customer experience in supply chains

last modified May 12, 2020 05:06 PM
Dr Veronica Martinez, Lecturer at the University of Cambridge and Senior Researcher at the Cambridge Service Alliance, working with colleagues at Caterpillar, shows how blockchain can deliver significant supply chain benefits.

Find out how they were able to implement this transformation technology in-house at a small scale and manage its growth in a way which has started to produce quantifiable benefits but without introducing massive disruption and cost. 

Read the article here.

 

 

New Thinking about the Future of Services

last modified Apr 23, 2019 10:03 PM
Connecting the Digital, Physical and Social

 

New technologies and new business models have already changed the way organisations interact with their customers. In the not too distant future, developments such as AI, robots and virtual reality will be a completely normal part of the customer experience. However, these new ways of engaging with customers will not replace face-to-face encounters but will work alongside them, making already complex service systems even more so. In this world, managers will need to understand customer experiences across the digital, physical and social ‘spaces’. Until now service research has looked at these three distinct service environments separately but organisations increasingly need to understand how they come together to create satisfying customer experiences and to design their services accordingly. The purpose of this report is to explore innovations in customer experience at the intersection of the digital, physical and social realms. 

[Report]

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Managing customer experience through a systematic approach to data analytics

Jul 24, 2020

We all know what a positive – or negative – customer experience feels like: a rush of pleasure or teeth-grinding frustration. Firms are acutely aware of the importance of how we feel – and how that translates into long-term loyalty – but feelings are a difficult and complicated thing to measure at scale.

Blog | Has COVID-19 Invented the 10X Supply Chain?

Jul 06, 2020

Surendra Kancherla, Principal Architect - Digital Technologies, at CSA partner, HCL, says that COVID-19 is forcing firms to look afresh at their supply chain capabilities.

Insight | Business model innovation for digital twins in the construction sector

May 19, 2020

At the Cambridge Service Alliance's most recent Community of Interest, Dr Erika Pärn considered the development of digital twins in the construction sector: the challenges it faces and whether android operating systems could provide a useful roadmap for business model innovation.

Generate revenue from digital platforms

May 12, 2020

According to Shep Hyken: "Customers are smarter than ever because they're experiencing great service from certain brands, and those rock-star brands are setting the bar higher for everyone else." In this white paper we explore the 'customer experience paradox' and how firms can use digital platforms to overcome it.

Unlocking the secrets of customer loyalty

May 12, 2020

Customer retention plays a critical role in a firm's long-term sustainability. Until recently, however, firms have tended to rely on one-dimensional survey techniques to measure their customers' loyalty. This white paper shows how machine learning can help overcome these limitations.

View all news