Digitalisation of Service, speed up solution design with service solution blueprints

Digitalisation of Service, speed up solution design with service solution blueprints

One of the results from our Drivers for Growth in Service research has shown that companies are struggling to design and implement an integrated digital platform to support their services business.

In this series of ‘Digitalisation of Service‘ blog posts we discuss the challenges that service organisations may have to get started with the design of such a digital service platform, and provide suggestions how to address those challenges.

In the previous blog we discuss that designing a digital service platform is challenging, complex and can take years to obtain the knowledge and experience required for this. We also promised that service solution blueprint can accelerate this though.

In this blog René Boverhuis, Senior #SolutionArchitect at #Noventum, explains what a service solution blueprint is and how it speeds up the process of designing the solution architecture for a digital service platform.

In addition to reading this blog, we also encourage you to listed to the related podcast in which we also discuss this topic.

With all the IT architecture work and research Noventum has done with their clients and knowledge of the leading service management platform, we have seen recurring patterns of combinations of software solutions being used successfully.

A service solution blueprint is a template for a solution architecture of a digital service platform.

We have developed the blueprints that each describe the most common combinations and variations of software products and how these are used in an integrated manner.

Each Service Solution Blueprint consists of:

  • The Functional Blueprint, which defines the functionality that is provided by the solution and which capabilities and processes are supported by which application.
  • The Application Blueprint, which defines the applications and software components that are used to provide the required functionality and how they’ll work together in order to ensure end-to-end integrated support.
  • The Data Blueprint, which specifies the data structures used in the service solution, how the data is used and what the key integration points are.

If companies use the Service Industry best Practice models and Service Solution Blueprints, they should be able to design a fully digital IT infrastructure for the service business much faster than if they would try and figure out all of this themselves. By using the service solution blueprint, this process can be indeed significantly accelerated.

Examples of how service solution blueprints can be used

One of our clients who had decided to use the Salesforce platform for customer related processes. However, they wanted to understand to what extend Salesforce could satisfy their service business needs. We ran a workshop to identify the business capabilities that would be needed to create their operating model.

We organised another workshop involving business representatives and IT specialists to determine the functional requirements based on the selected business capabilities. We assessed the IT strategy and existing architecture and selected the service solution blueprint that best fits their situation. We then determined to what extend the Salesforce platform could meet their specific requirements and what gaps would still remain.

Normally this would take them several months of investigation and hiring external consultants for quite some time. They were now able to leverage best practices, the service solution blueprints , service business and IT knowledge that we have obtained through research and many other client projects. They did not have to re-invent the wheel and within weeks, they had a good definition of the business capabilities and requirements, valuable input for the implementation strategy and roadmap of the Salesforce platform. They now understood the need for additional software products and how they together can satisfy their specific service business need.

In the end they will have a higher level of success when implementing their digital service platform.

Another example of using the service solution blueprint to accelerate the selection of a service management solution is that of a manufacturer of medical equipment. They were a large SAP user and were looking to replace their custom developed service application.

Based on the service industry best practice model we defined the business capabilities and functional requirements. With the service solution blueprint we could quickly show the possible solution architectures. Within days we were able to recommend the software vendors for the shortlist using the service solution blueprint methodology. The chosen solution had to have real functioning and proven references so that the decision was not only based on nice looking demos.

Using this approach, they eliminated the need for going through a lengthy market consultation and reducing the number of vendors on the shortlist saved a lot of time and costs, as each RFP response requires a lot of work. The RFP process was also much more efficient, effective and thorough as we were able to challenge the vendors with more in-depth questions based on our knowledge of the requirements and their solutions.

We currently have blueprints that include the major platforms and service management products, for example Salesforce, IFS, ServiceMax and/or SAP and we are continuously adding more.

Naturally, we keep the research up to date and provide Service Solution Blueprints as a solution design tool in our Service Transformation Centre.

To conclude, managing a complex problem like designing a service platform is best done by splitting it up into smaller problems. The functional reference architecture helps to do this and the service solution blueprints already provide potential pre-defined solutions for the problem. By using these best practices, the design can be done much quicker and is better aligned with what the service business needs.

What’s next?

In this series of blogs we have mentioned the importance of data and integration.
In the next blog posts about the ‘Digitalisation of Service‘ we will explain why data can make or break the digital service platform.

Other blog posts in this series

Podcasts in this series

Start today! Discover your service transformation challenges and solutions in your own company by using the Digital Service Transformation Centre.

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