Service Science (subdiscipline) - overview

Service Science has been a strategic area of scientific study at IBM Research over the last decade. Historically, IBM has been a leader in applying mathematics, statistics, and operations research to traditional manufacturing problems such as supply chain management, transportation optimization and logistics management. While these concerns continue to be of importance to manufacturing companies, the shift towards service-based economies in certain parts of the world are bringing new business concerns to focus. Industry leaders need guidance on how to innovate, manage, evaluate and optimize their service businesses.

IBM Research is actively working with the world-wide research and academic communities to help define research directions for Service Science. These activities include new academic initiatives such as Service Science Management and Engineering (SSME) and sponsoring several conferences in this area to stimulate research and cross-disciplinary collaboration. The mission of the Service Science Professional Interest Community (PIC) is to stimulate this cross-disciplinary research and provide a forum within the IBM Research community in the study of theory, methods and application of service science, management, engineering and practice. In doing so, the PIC intends to positively influence and impact the external research community, collaborate with top researchers in the mission areas and attract top graduate student talent as potential hires.Service Science Research tackles difficult problems using the following approaches:

  • Service Analytics---Exploring the use and application of advanced analytic technologies to address the information service and business analytic challenges faced by enterprises.

  • Business Architecture and Process Innovation---Designing and implementing a holistic approach to improving the foundations and practice of transforming global enterprises.

  • Complex Service Systems Modeling, Engineering and Simulation---Modeling, engineering and simulating complex real-world service systems, and delivering complex IT Services.

  • Service Quality and Experience---Creating and building advanced technologies intended to make workers more effective and processes more robust.

Service Science Research Areas

  • Service Design and Strategy
    Value proposition and measurement
    Complex system modeling, optimization, simulation
    Business models, services value modeling
    Industrialization of service
  • Service Analyics
    Applying Analytics and Cognitive Techniques applied various stages of Service Lifecycle
  • Service Modeling, Monitoring & Management
    Modeling service systems, policies, formal representations, languages
  • Service Quality, Excellence
    Compliance, effectiveness, sustainability
    New measures & regulations
  • Service Delivery and Operations
    Productivity and versatility
    Service operations management
    Service delivery models, channels
  • Business aspects of Service Components and Composition
    Human capability augmentation, self service
    Pricing of services
  • People in Services
    Customer behavior in networked environment, service social network and models
    Organizational relationship, alignment, and culture
  • Service Innovation, Marketing and Management
    Service Management, Service Marketing, and Service Economics, Competitiveness Analysis

Community Highlights

IBM's T. J. Watson Research Center and IBM Almaden run yearly Services Research Symposium 

In these symposiums, faculty and students doing research in the topic areas listed above are invited to submit an abstract for participation in the symposium. More details can be found at:


2013 Symposium: 2013 Yorktown's Services Research Smposium.

2014 Symposium: 2014 Almaden's Services Research Symposium.

2015 Symposium: 2015 Yorktown's Services Research Symposium 

Service Science PIC Targeted Conferences