European Research Institute in Service Science (ERISS)

The European Research Institute in Service Science boasts a multi-disciplinary, internationally renowned innovative research and development team that operates all across Europe.

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Research

ERISS aims to focus on critical business process areas that span several Knowledge-Intensive Business Services within vertical industries. Some examples include member enrolment and benefits/eligibility for healthcare, service provisioning and service delivery for telecommunications and supply chain collaboration for industrial settings. The ERISS research themes have the following aim:
  • Understand the life-cycle, design and evolution of service value networks
  • Make service network productivity, quality, compliance, sustainability, and innovation rates more measurable and more predictable.

The core ERISS research activities are briefly described in the following:

Globalisation and Service Networks

Aim is to explore how service value is created in a network context, how the structure and dynamics of the value network as well as customer expectations influence the complexity of the services ecosystem, and what transformative role software services technology plays in coordinating and delivering value and managing this complexity.

In particular we aim to provide fundamentally new concepts regarding the development of mission-critical applications based on software services capable of creating and executing cross-enterprise collaborative business processes and business-aware transactions, so that organizations can deploy, monitor, and continuously update cross-enterprise functions within a mixed environment of people, content, and systems.

Evolution of Service Networks

Service value networks are complex market-facing systems that need to evolve continuously to respond to changing market conditions and generally involve economic exchange. Future service-based applications will require the capability to change dynamically the levels of quality of service they demand and to become truly responsive -- to move from reactive to predictive. The velocity of change in customer needs, market trends, compliance with regulations, policies and best practices, requires organisations to possess the ability to create unanticipated service constellations that span organizational and possibly vast geographic boundaries.

We plan to place the main thrust of our research work from inherently static business processes and relatively simple service compositions that evolve relatively slowly over time to global service networks that are complex and highly dynamic and which are actually evolving during execution to meet previously unknown requirements posed by users.

Compliance Management Services

The globalisation of value chains, which divides production processes up among different countries, is an important aspect of globalisation. Service interactions increasingly imply the use of global resources, and enhancing global sourcing and regulatory compliance. Business processes form the foundation for all organizations, and as such, are impacted by industry regulations. Without explicit business process definitions, flexible rules frameworks, and audit trails that provide for non-repudiation, organizations face litigation risks. This requires organizations to review their business processes and ensure that they meet the compliance standards set forth in legislation.

We plan to addresses a major shortcoming in today's approach to design of Service Oriented Enterprise Architectures: throughout the architecture various compliance concerns must be considered, but so far, conventional approaches do not provide any clear business and technological strategy or concept of how to realize, enforce, or validate business rules and compliance regulations.

Healthcare Services

The health care sector is a large and dynamic industry in many Western countries and is changing in several ways triggered by rigorous new privacy standards, electronic medical records and emerging medical technologies. Widespread mergers and acquisitions have resulted in a 'new health care economy' and local, regional, and national health care networks in which care providers, hospitals, care institutions, and insurance companies cooperate to deliver improved medical services. Patients are becoming clients and consumers of health care, assuming more responsibility for selecting health care plans, shopping competitively for medical services, and proactively managing their wellness.

New services include disease management programs, personal health management, telemedicine, web-based decision support for comparing and selecting health providers, and more. Hospitals and other care organizations are continuously developing these services, blending custom and standard care processes to deliver better care at a competitive price with technologies that promote a more flexible, service-oriented organization.

We plan to focus research work on the business and technological implications of continuous development and improvement of these health services that require dynamic and adaptive business networks (service value networks), and innovative service oriented architectures that enable secure and flexible business process management, based on linkages between internal and external applications, infrastructures and data.

Business Cases for Service Oriented Applications

To understand the specific business drivers and inhibitors for the adoption of the service oriented approach within firms the research should be focused on different case studies in different business/industry environments. Investment analyses, or business cases, will be conducted to provide answer to three key questions:
  • How is Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) related to the business and IS objectives of a firm?
  • What tangible and intangible benefits can a SOA achieve in the organization?
  • What are required investments, structural costs and risks of SOAs?

If the responses to these questions lead to the conclusion that the application of a SOA in the organization is desirable and rational from a cost-benefit perspective, then there is a positive business case for applying a SOA.

The most important consideration is the extent to which a contribution will be made to the organization's objectives. This consideration will often be decisive and forms the cornerstone of the business case analysis. If such a contribution is identified, the cost-benefit analysis can proceed. The key question is whether these contributions offset the costs involved. If no contribution or no sufficient contribution is made, the preparation of the business case can be stopped. Like in many investments, the benefits offered by a SOA will be quantitative or qualitative.