New Consortium Aims to Fund Research on IT Services

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2007-06-01 Print this article Print

The SRII creates an online community and symposiums to provide a forum for research, discussion and shared ideas around services innovation.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—A new IT consortium dedicated to raising public awareness of the need for service innovation and increasing the level of funding for services research was launched here May 30, and it immediately introduced a strategic supporter at the federal government level to help find some funding sources. The Services Research and Innovation Initiative, or SRII, is a Los Gatos, Calif.-based consortium of technology companies—including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, EMC and a number of others—and universities dedicated to funding and promoting advancements in service research. Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., was on hand for the SRIIs first symposium here at the Santa Clara Convention Center—a gathering of about 200 IT professionals—and promised, as a member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, to do what he can from Washington, D.C. to help the organization get federal funding.
"Im a schoolteacher by trade," Honda told the symposium audience, "and I believe that whatever progress we make as a nation with regards to improving our business culture rests with us now—along with our future generations. Its up to us to find and supply the tools and support necessary to keep improving our services businesses in all sectors."
Honda was joined by several other speakers at the symposium, including author Geoffrey Moore ("Crossing the Chasm," "Dealing with Darwin"); Sophie Vandebroek, president of Xerox Innovation; John Seely Brown, author of "The Only Sustainable Edge"; and Irving Wladawsky-Berger, vice president of Technical Strategy and Innovation for IBM. Key issue: keep improving services Over the last eight years, the U.S. IT sector has become significantly more service-oriented, rather than product-oriented, said J.B. Wood, president and CEO of the Technology Professional Services Association, one of the key sponsors of SRII. "It could be that this year, in the 50 largest [U.S.] enterprise technology companies, services becomes 51 percent of their total revenues," Wood told the symposium audience. "Thats a startling fact in an industry that has been 100 percent product-focused for decades and decades." IT services-related revenue now entails about $200 billion per year, Wood said. "Thats a very, very significant total in revenue. Its also a very important management challenge to these companies," Wood said. "We understand the product business; we understand how to invest in it; we understand how to manage development. But the services business is a somewhat new discipline to a lot of senior management inside the industry." Click here to read about new services from IBM. The United States faces long-term competition from Far East countries such as China and India, which are determined to change their IT economies from those of manufacturing products designed elsewhere to a sector that is more creative and innovative. New online forum established The organization also launched an online forum for discussion and collaboration on service research topics and plans to raise awareness of service research issues through regular meetings, symposiums and a community-based Web site called SRIINet. SRIINet can be accessed by going to the RSII Web site and clicking on "Join the Community." "As the convergence of technologies takes place, complexities increase at both the consumer and enterprise levels," said Tom Pridham, executive director of the SRII. "It is time now for the technology industry to invest R&D dollars into services that will make these technologies easier for consumers and enterprises, or we risk losing the opportunities these technologies afford. The SRIINet provides a community for companies, universities, research institutes and governments to use their collective brainpower to address concerns and opportunities around technology services." The SRIINet provides interested parties with a forum to explore community interests. In addition, members can work together to pool funding and resources for joint research projects as well as share discoveries. Participants can also collaborate through blogs and special topic forums, an SRII spokesperson said. Communities of interest include: Customers, Service Markets and Marketing; Technology, Automation and Supportability; Management of Service Innovation; Service Strategy; Operations; People, Organizations and Sourcing; and Governance and Financial Accountability. In the future, the SRII Web site will include a listing of published research relevant to services innovation as well as a directory of conferences, publications and universities with programs covering services and service innovation. The powers behind it SRII was jointly founded in March 2007 by IBM, Oracle, TPSA and the Service & Support Professionals Association and comprises a number of technology companies, government agencies and universities dedicated to fostering advancements in service research. Members include the Association For Services Management International, Cisco, EMC, HP, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Unisys and Xerox. Academic participants include top researchers from UCLA, the Cranfield School of Management, the Indian Institute of Management, the Wharton School of Business, Arizona State University, University of Maryland and University of California Silicon Valley Center at Santa Cruz. Government and research institutions include the European Commission and the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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