The Business of Systems Integration

By Andrea Prencipe; Andrew Davies et al. | Go to book overview

have also developed the capability to integrate a competitor's equipment if this is requested by their customers. An involvement in technology development enables these firms to benefit from dynamic feedback loops so that knowledge of operational performance can be used to make technical improvements in current and future product generations.

On the other hand, starting from a base in services, WS Atkins and C&W have recently strengthened their systems integration capabilities to provide their customers with optimal solutions using equipment supplied by external manufacturers. Unlike Alstom and Ericsson, however, these service providers rely on external manufacturers to initiate improvements to products and technologies. Whereas C&W offers solutions to one customer segment—business users—within a single industry, WS Atkins is developing solutions for similar types of customers operating in many industries.

As the chapter is based on a limited sample of case study firms, it is not feasible to speculate on whether the trend towards integrated solutions is reflected in a wider change in CoPS industries. The misfortunes of firms moving into services and integrated solutions provision over the past couple of years raises some doubts about whether firms will continue to venture down this road. For example, recent accounts in the business press describe the problems integrated-solutions pioneers like IBM are currently experiencing with their service divisions and the difficulties service support firms like WS Atkins, Serco, and others are having in making money from PFI and PPP contracts. In response to this less favourable environment, firms that have recently moved into solutions provision may revise their strategies or even consider retreating back to their original centre-of-gravity positions in manufacturing or services.


Acknowledgement

Thanks to Mike Hobday, Andrea prencipe, Ammon Salter, David Gann, Paul Nightingale, and Willem Hulsink for useful comments.

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The Business of Systems Integration
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Business of Systems Integration iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Notes on Contributors xiii
  • List of Figures xix
  • List of Tables xxi
  • References 12
  • Part I the History of Systems Integration 14
  • 2 Inventing Systems Integration 15
  • References 32
  • 3 Systems Integration and the Social Solution of Technical Problems in Complex Systems 35
  • References 54
  • 4 Integrating Electrical Power Systems 56
  • Acknowledgements 74
  • 5 Specialization and Systems Integration 78
  • References 89
  • Part II Theoretical and Conceptual Perspectives on Systems Integration 93
  • References 110
  • 7 Corporate Strategy and Systems Integration Capabilities 114
  • References 130
  • 8 The Role of Technical Standards in Coordinating the Division of Labour in Complex System Industries 133
  • References 150
  • 9 The Cognitive Basis of Systems Integration 152
  • References 171
  • 10 Towards a Dynamics of Modularity 174
  • References 196
  • Part III Competitive Advantage and Systems Integration 199
  • 11 The Geography of Systems Integration 201
  • References 226
  • 12 Modularity and Outsourcing 229
  • Acknowledgement 251
  • Acknowledgement 275
  • References 276
  • 14 Systems Integration in the Us Defence Industry 279
  • Acknowledgement 302
  • References 304
  • 15 Changing Boundaries of Innovation Systems 307
  • References 330
  • 16 Integrated Solutions 333
  • Acknowledgement 365
  • References 367
  • Index 369
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