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Transforming into a platform provider: strategic options for industrial smart service providers

Daniel Beverungen (Department of Information Systems, Paderborn University, Paderborn, Germany)
Dennis Kundisch (Department of Information Systems, Paderborn University, Paderborn, Germany)
Nancy Wünderlich (Chair of Service Management and Technology Marketing, Paderborn University, Paderborn, Germany)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 7 September 2020

Issue publication date: 10 June 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify strategic options and challenges that arise when an industrial firm moves from providing smart service toward providing a platform.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual study takes on a multidisciplinary research perspective that integrates concepts, theories and insights from service management and marketing, information systems and platform economics.

Findings

The paper outlines three platform types – smart data platform, smart product platform and matching platform – as strategic options for firms that wish to evolve from smart service providers to platform providers.

Research limitations/implications

Investigating smart service platforms calls for launching interdisciplinary research initiatives. Promising research avenues are outlined to span boundaries that separate different research disciplines today.

Practical implications

Managing a successful transition from providing smart service toward providing a platform requires making significant investments in IT, platform-related capabilities and skills, as well as implement new approaches toward relationship management and brand-building.

Originality/value

The findings described in this paper are valuable to researchers in multiple disciplines seeking to develop and to justify theory related to platforms in industrial scenarios.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The research leading to these results received funding from the Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy, State of North Rhine-Westphalia, as part of the cluster of excellence it's OWL (project Digital Business, funding no. 005–1807-0106). This work was partially supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of the Collaborative Research Centre On-The-Fly Computing (GZ: SFB 901/3), project number 160364472.

Citation

Beverungen, D., Kundisch, D. and Wünderlich, N. (2021), "Transforming into a platform provider: strategic options for industrial smart service providers", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 507-532. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOSM-03-2020-0066

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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