2007/04/27 15:15 Panel on "Technology Issues in Creating and Delivering Knowledge Intensive Business Services"

2007/04/27 15:15 Panel on "Technology Issues in Creating and Delivering Knowledge Intensive Business Services", Innovation in Services Conference, Berkeley, California

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the Coevolving Innovations web site by David Ing.

Panel Chair:  Robert Glushko, Professor, Information School, UC Berkeley


  • Dennis Browne, Emerging Solutions Imagineering, SAP Labs
  • Lasse Mitronen, Vice President, Strategic Development, Kesko Oy, largest retailer in Finland

[Bob Glushko]

How customers and information service providers

School of information science

  • Used to be library science program
  • Now they get hired by Google

Knowledge intensive, buzzwords

  • Not constrained by physical world
  • Strategy: on demand, dynamic capabilities
  • Web services, software as a service, plug-and-play, composite applications, model-based applications, mash-up


  • Newt Gingrich, paper kills:  lobbying for automating paper-based prescriptions, because there's a lack of drug interactions checks
  • Merchant of Venice problem: tracking global shipping, bananas to Helsinki

Business architecture will coevolve with knowledge-intensive businesses

  • IT has changed the structure of firms
  • Business models shifting from forecast/schedule to demand/event-driven
  • Business relationships can be more flexible / promiscuous

Coevolution of business models and enabling technologies

  • Internet bubble: challenges and opportunities created for incumbent firms

Vertically-integrated hierarchy has been exploded into business components, networks

Information supply chain

  • Can flow information separate from the goods, thus can reroute shipments en route

Moving from forecast to event-driven business models

Service Oriented Architecture

  • Avoids locking
  • Lots of competing standards: web services stack, using rich set of applications, to quick-and-dirty mashup technologies that have a philosophy of treating loosely cooperating entities both inside and outside the enterprise
  • It's not enough to get the information to the application

[Dennis Browne, Emerging Solutions Imagineering, SAP Labs]


  • 35 years old
  • 40,000 employees

Big beast, moving slowly

  • Will see speed of innovation accelerating

Had been on cycles of 2 to 3 years, now customers want a faster cycle

SAP started as a consulting business

  • Automating processes
  • SAP was one-on-one

If you don't upgrade, then the customer expects maintenance

  • SAP has been late to the party, want to move to be fashionably late
  • 1 of every 2 transactions in the world today goes through SAP
  • 10 million users on an everyday basis
  • How do we to go from 10 million to 250 million within those enterprises?
  • Thinking of customers at platforms: how can you create a trading network across enterprises
  • This won't come easy or quick

Last June, came on board as entrepreneur in residence

  • Background in ASP, hosted services

SAP has done a good job of taking care of business, but how does it keep customers happy?

  • Looking at everything 2.0
  • Event driven architectures, networks across customers
  • Worried about tsunami wave of data rolling over everyone
  • Shovelled data in, forgot about roles

Focus on customers

Focus on SAP Developer Network

  • Opening up innovation process
  • Social networking in the enterprise

[Lasse Mitronen, Vice President, Strategic Development, Kesko Oy]

Kesko is a 65-year old Finnish company, but operates in other companies

  • Food
  • VW-Auto

25 brands, almost all market leaders

Strategic emphases:

  • Looking for cost-efficient business models, using information on customers

20,000 suppliers, of which 200-300 are most important

Service as interaction:

Customer most important

Secondly, person performing the service task

Finally, technology in the background

[David was distracted]


Words: customers, users, consumers

Customer as the platform

  • Dennis:  Across companies
  • Single firm might have a million profiles, but across SAP would have 100 million profiles


  • Dennis:  Walmart is big enough to make vendors comply, e.g. be on a particular platform


  • Dennis: SOA at core
  • When SOA exposes a service, it guarantees that interface for many years
  • You don't get these types of guarantees from other vendors today, e.g. Flickr

Compatibility with Software as a Service

  • Dennis: Will see hybrids

Different types of customers

  • You have to care about every single actor along the way

Focus on customer-provider interface