PD Dr. Daniel Beverungen

Location: Brisbane

Arrival: Jun 30th 2011

Departure: Aug 18th 2011

Daniel Beverungen

Mission statement

  • Coordination: To network with researchers from QUT to further shape the research directions of the NSS project: Currently, the topics investigated in the area of the Networked Service Society are clustered into 5 general topics. During my stay, we will identify more detailed propects for our joint research to keep the work of the NSS project focused.
  • Research: During my stay, I will cooperate with researchers from QUT on Service Bundling issues. In the recent years I was involved in the research project ServPay in which we dealt with marketing service/goods offerings. Our team investigated issues of modeling, configuring, pricing, cost calculation, and total cost of ownership of services, all of which are topics that are closely related to service bundling. Since Service Bundling is one of the focal areas of service research at QUT, joining forces in this area seems particularly beneficial.
  • Teaching: I accepted the invitation of QUT to participate as an External Panel Member at the Doctoral Consortium to be held by the BPM group at QUT on July 12th. The purpose of the consortium is to advice PhD students on the current progress and future directions of their theses. Besides, it is an ideal setting for exchanging thoughts with the entire team.
  • Conference: I will participate in the Pacific Asian Conference of Information Systems (PACIS) which will be held at QUT in Brisbane from July 7th to July 11th. PACIS is the major IS conference in the AIS Region 3.
  • Joint research with Australian companies: We have established ties with AFSMI Germany and Australia as well as with Service Managers Asia Pacific in order to perform joint research with the cutting edge of manufacturing-oriented service companies in Australia. I intend to further establish these ties by presenting our research to companies interested in further cooperation.
  • Student Exchange programs: I will work towards the mutual acceptance of courses that a student enrols in at WWU and QUT. The idea behind this is to further increase the mobility of our students and PhD students.

Research results

With the increasing role of services in the economy and organizations, service offerings gain more and more prominence. A good enough core solution (a physical product, a service, or a combination of goods and services) is necessary to compete in the marketplace, but is not sufficient for a competitive advantage. This requires an enhanced offering consisting of physical product components, service components, information, personal attention and other elements of customer relationships. It is labeled a service offering, even when the core solution is based on a physical product, because all elements of the offering are combined to provide a value-generating service for customers.

Bundling services with other services or with products provides a way to create new service offerings or to enhance exiting service offerings. Generally, a bundle represents a package that contains at least two elements and presents some kind of value-add to potential consumers. The benefits of bundling for business have long been recognised in literature, for example the opportunity to increase competitive advantages for an organisation over rivals in the market or to create entry barriers for potential market penetrators. The advances in information and communication technology, in particular the internet has made service bundling even more prominent. More and more (new) services become electronically available and there are new opportunities to bundle services, for example, via one-stop portals. Moreover, this opportunity is not only recognized by the private companies, also government is looking more and more for new ways of service its citizens in a more effective and efficient way.

While a considerable amount of literature addressing the process of service design or new service development can be found today, much less is known about approaches that facilitate the creation of adequate service bundles. Despite the fact that companies across all industry sectors with increased market pressures are challenged by the issue of service bundling, only little guidance has been provided so far for the identification of potential bundle candidates and for the actual process of bundling, whereas much has been written about strategic objectives and pricing strategies for bundling decisions.

In order to identify and systematise approaches for service bundling, a common understanding is needed about the influencing factors of the scenario, into which the process of service bundling is embedded. In other words, our leading research question can be stated as: What are the contextual factors that influence the act of service bundling? The theoretical contribution of this research is twofold. First, we differentiate bundling scenarios conceptually by presenting a layered model of the service bundling task. Second, we offer a morphological box that contains a set of contextual factors relevant for describing any given service bundling scenario. This morphological box can guide analysts and designers of bundling scenarios in setting up a field description of the environment in which the bundling task takes place. Designers can then use this field description to inform the design processes of IT artefacts to perform or support the bundling task.

Additionally, our future work will be focused on identifying methods that can support the service bundling task in different scenarios in the first place, in order to reason about which methods are applicable contingent on the properties encountered in different service bundling scenarios. For instance, we expect recommendation approaches such as collaborate filtering to be applicable for informing the bundling in government scenarios and in B2C scenarios, whereas these approaches have shortcomings in the B2B areas due to the uniqueness of customer needs, the complexity of the solutions, and a lack of mass transaction data. On the other hand, other techniques that are frequently used in the B2B realm might not be applicable or economically justifiable when having to deal with hundreds or even thousands of services simultaneously in B2C or G2C ecosystems. In our future work we will investigate this issue in more depth by identifying which of the contextual factors contained in the morphological box influence the applicability and selection of methods for service bundling.

Finally, we identify an intriguing prospect for future research in service bundling in moving from the company or dyad level of analysis to the network level. Since no company can own all the resources for satisfying their clients’ needs alone, we expect that companies will increasingly partner with other actors in order to supply their customers with even more comprehensive offerings. This trend has been discussed under the headwords of service ecosystems or service marketplaces. However, IT artefacts for bringing these concepts to life still seem to be in their infancy, which leaves plenty of research opportunities still to be investigated.


Presentation held as part of the BPM Seminar Series
published on 07/26/2011 - 04:56

I held a presentation in the course of the BPM Seminar Series which is a series of presentations that are related to current issues investigated in the area of Business Process Management. My presentation was focusing on some results of the research project "ServPay" that was carried out at WWU Münster from 2007-2009. I picked this topic in order to inform the collegues from Brisbane about some asspects of Service Bundling that we have worked on at home, since this is a major topic to be addressed in the current CRC projects in Brisbane as well. Hopefully, we will be able to integrate these streams of research more tightly in the upcoming phases of the NSS project.

Abstract: Value bundles are compositions of physical goods and services that are put together to better fit the needs of customers. Configuring (bundling) and pricing value bundles constitutes a complex decision problem that needs to be supported by IT. In a mass customization strategy, the task of bundling is performed by putting together pre-defined service and physical goods modules based on functional criteria. Non-functional criteria to be considered comprise comparing the bundles’ total costs of ownership, which is a crucial factor in the high tech investment goods industries. Pricing value bundles requires considering three perspectives: From the point of view of the provider, the available price corridor is limited downward by the costs of engineering, selling, and delivering a value bundle. From the customer’s point of view, the upper limit of the price corridor is constrained by the value to be realized from the bundle. From a competitive perspective, the upper limit of the price corridor is marked by the price of a comparable competitor’s offer. To provide companies with sound decision support for dealing with these challenges, an integrated multi-perspective modelling language and tool support has been developed.

Paper handed in to ACIS conference 2011
published on 07/26/2011 - 04:42

The paper "The Morphology of Service Bundling Settings" that we have worked on during my stay in Brisbane has been handed in to the 22nd Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS) that will be held in Sydney (NSW) from November 3th to December 2nd. In the paper, a 4-layered framework of service bundling is presented by discussing some major streams of literature on service bundling. Based on this framework, a morphological box is proposed that features a set of contextual factors that can be used to analyze and design the organizational environment in which service bundling takes place. This research can be extended in multiple ways, one of which is to identify which methods for service bundling can be successfully applied in which environments. Another area for further research is service orchestration. These topics might be followed up in the further course of the NSS project.

QUT Doctoral Consortium
published on 07/26/2011 - 04:37

By invitation of Prof. Dr. Michael Rosemann and Prof. Dr. Jan Recker I joined the annual QUT Doctoral Consortium as an external panel member. The event is held frequently at QUT to provide PhD students with continuous feedback and suggestions for improvement throughout the entire process. The day started with a keynote talk given by Dr. Andrew Burton-Jones, who is considered as one of the "rising stars" in the IS discipline. After this initial debate, the group was split up into several smaller groups for conducting the actual doctoral consortium. Having joined the doctoral consortium of the Business Process Management (BPM) group, I find the idea of providing continuous feedback to doctoral students in a greater forum quite interesting.

NSS Paper accepted at ICIS conference
published on 07/26/2011 - 04:32

The paper "Mapping the Emerging Field of Service Science: Insights from a Citation and Cocitation Network Analysis" has been accepted for publication at the 32nd International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS). Taking place in Shanghai from December 4th-7th, the conference will be held in the Asian-Pacific region this year. ICIS is the world-leading IS conference and constitutes the world-wide number one forum for presenting and discussing IS research topics.

The pupose of the study handed in to the conference is to map the recent literature in the emerging research discipline of service science management and engineering (SSME). Previous research in this area has focused on descriptive literature reviews but has refrained from applying bibliographic analysis approaches. After designing the software tool Citebridge, we build a citation network and a cocitation network based on 3,783 articles and 6,775 citations. Subsequently, both networks are analyzed (a) to map the overall structure and interdependencies of recent contributions to the service science discipline, (b) to identify the most authoritative papers authored between January 2004 and March 2011, (c) to identify clusters of research in the discipline, and (d) to explore if the service dominant logic of marketing constitutes an overarching philosophical foundation for service research. The findings are intended to provide researchers with a sound orientation about the recent developments in the field and to further shape the evolution of service science as a research discipline

Brisbane River City
published on 07/26/2011 - 04:26

Brisbane – River City: One of the mayor tourist activities to be done in Brisbane is a boat cruise on Brisbane river, offering stunning views of the city center and its ever-growing central business district, as well as Queensland University of Technology. You can easily make your way around on one of the City Cats or Inner City Ferries that run on Brisbane River from 6am till midnight. Weather was quite supportive with no cloud spoiling the blue sky (just normal weather in Brisbane during winter). It’s not called River City for nothing!

Business Transformation Seminar @ QUT
published on 07/26/2011 - 04:25

By invitation from Prof. Michael Rosemann from QUT I joined the Business Transformation Seminar at QUT on July 7th. Details: The transformation of large-scale businesses is one of the most important, but also most complex managerial challenges. Despite its significance, the related body of professional and academic knowledge is still severely under-developed. Little is known about proven practices, advanced methodologies, governance structures and the role of technology in such long-term initiatives. This gap of consolidated expertise has motivated QUT’s Information System Discipline, recently ranked as the highest performing IS Research group in Australia, and SAP Business Transformation to join forces in establishing the first Asia-Pacific Hub for Business Transformation. Its vision is to become the most trusted source for experiences, case studies and methodologies in the field of Business Transformation. Its membership will be made up of selected and experienced senior executives from leading organisations in the region. This event will be the first of a series of seminars as part of this Business Transformation hub. Participating members, and their organisations, have the chance to establish an early involvement in this initiative.

Joint research on service bundling
published on 07/26/2011 - 04:24

In a meeting on discussing opportunities for joint publications on the Service Bundling topic we have identified four great topics that we feel worth publishing. Three conferences seem suited for handing in this research: (1) The Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS) which will be held in Sydney; (2) The European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) to be held in Barcelona 2012; (3) The Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering (CAISE). Follow up meeting will be on Thursday this week. We will work on the general outline of the first paper until then in order to be able to discuss our progress in the next meeting. Later on, I drive to our new appartement to sign the contract. It feels good to have some place to stay, after all.

First day @ QUT
published on 07/26/2011 - 04:23

Today is my first day in the office as a guest researcher in Brisbane. I’m looking forward to making contact with the other researchers and my new colleagues provide me with a warm welcome! Up front, we have decided to work on Service Bundling as a topic that is part of our research agendas. The guys from QUT are running a project on Service Bundling as part of their activities in the Smart Services Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) which is one of the prime Service Research initiatives sponsored by the Aussie government. In Münster, Service Bundling has been on the research agenda also, as part of our research project ServPay. So I figure that there is a great opportunity for us to advance research in this field. I spend the day working through the literature on Service Bundling.

Some place to stay - after all
published on 07/26/2011 - 04:23

I move to another Hotel and visit yet another apartment. This one looks fine, we’re going to move in next Thursday. From that day on, we will live "under the bridge" in Kangaroo Point. Hurray!

Smart Services CRC
published on 07/26/2011 - 04:21

QUT is one of the Australian universities involved in the Smart Services CRC which is one of the premier Service Science research initiatives in Australia. Information from the CRC Website on http://www.smartservicescrc.com.au/:

The Smart Services CRC is a $120m, commercially focused collaborative research initiative, developing innovation, foresight and productivity improvements for the services sector. Services is the largest sector of the economy representing approximately 80% of Australia’s GDP and 85% of employment. Within the services industries Smart Services’ initial programmes will be customer-focused with outcomes translatable across the whole services sector. Initial research outcomes and demonstrators will principally be associated with the digital media, finance and government sectors (including the health sector) to develop exciting new capabilities and demonstrate the breadth of the applicability of our work. Smart Services is a research and development partnership between 7 major industry players and six Australian universities, funded by the private sector and governments under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre program. Its aim is the creation of research-enabled commercial outcomes for its partners.  Major investors and partners include Fairfax Digital, Infosys, RACQ, Suncorp, AARNet, Austin Health, Sirca, the NSW and Queensland State Governments, Queensland University of Technology, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Swinburne University of Technology, University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, and University of Wollongong.

Getting started
published on 07/26/2011 - 04:20

I arrange for all the administrative details of my stay. I make contact with my new office at QUT and shake hands with the partner researchers. With my colleague Dominic Breuker I visit an apartment that is for rent. We still need some place to stay in Brisbane for the next couple of month.

Destination Down Under
published on 07/20/2011 - 05:47

I have started by trip on the NSS research project. The flight to Down Under is quite long (11 hours to Hongkong and another 9 to Brisbane) which leaves me much time to prepare for the QUT Doctoral Consortium that I have agreed to participate in. My task is to review the research proposals of two doctoral students and provide some feedback on how conduct further research on these issues. I arrive in Brisbane near midnight; I figure this is a good thing to do in order to get rid of the jetlag soon enough.