Platform thinking in the development of integrated solutions
Paper in proceedings, 2016
Integrated solutions combine products and services into a seamless offer. When developing such offerings, it is argued to be important to create repeatable solutions meanwhile allowing for adaptions to the customers. Platform thinking is commonly applied in development of physical products to handle this balance, meanwhile research on what such strategies could mean for development of integrated product-service offerings are still lacking. This paper acknowledges the on-going debate about customisation and standardisation regarding integrated solutions by linking it to platform strategies, and explore how platform thinking applies in development of integrated solutions. By conducting a case study, it is concluded that the role of knowledge and associated people and relationships platforms are increasingly important. Component platforms seem as a prerequisite to be able to develop repeatable integrated solutions, meanwhile a process platform for integration seems beneficial to be able to create a value surplus for the customer. Knowledge and relationship platforms seem closely aligned and could regard both the user and knowledge of solution usage, as well as technical knowledge and partnerships with external parties in order to be able to deliver an integrated solution corresponding to an overall need of the customer.