RIT’s Saunders College Hosts Service Innovation Workshop April 14

Forum for academics and industry practitioners to discuss trends for a competitive advantage




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Mitzi Montoya

Apple successfully did it with the iPod, iTunes and iPad—tapping customers with a new set of services related to their product devices called apps.

It’s become a fact of life: Most company revenues come from services, not from products.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s E. Philip Saunders College of Business is leading an initiative to discuss how academics and industry practitioners can shift their focus to service innovation and the enablers that drive innovation.

The Saunders College is sponsoring a Service Innovation Workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 14 at the RIT Inn & Conference Center, 5257 West Henrietta Road. Keynote speakers for the event are Mitzi Montoya, executive dean of the College of Technology & Innovation at Arizona State University, and Jim Spohrer, director of the Almaden Services Research at IBM’s Almaden Research Center.

“Mitzi Montoya is one of the leading thinkers and researchers in the field of technological innovation and its impact on services,” says Saunders dean Ashok Rao. “And Jim is the point person for IBM on service science. Today more than 50 percent of IBM’s revenues are derived from services. He has worked extensively defining attributes of leaders who can implement the strategic service-oriented vision of companies as they change and adapt to a new customer-centric market.”

James Baroody, distinguished lecturer at Saunders College, is organizing the event with J. Fernando Naveda, director of the academic calendar conversion at RIT.

“The service sector is two-thirds of the U.S. economy and it’s continuing to grow as companies enhance their product offerings through service,” Baroody notes. “IBM has transformed itself; it is no longer a hardware company. A large part of its revenue now comes from selling software and from providing a service—a concept it calls Service Science, Management and Engineering.

“Service is like having someone or something, like a computer system, do something for us that either we don’t want to or don’t have the skill to do ourselves.”

But how does an individual or company find a service in today’s environment?

“In the past you’d find a service through the Yellow Pages; now it’s information technology-based,” Naveda explains. “Service science connects needs with service providers in ways that may not be obvious or known to either party.

“What RIT brings to the table is the variety of academic disciplines, specifically information sciences and service innovation, to target and improve business productivity and the more rapid development of new service offerings.”

The cost is to attend the Service Innovation Workshop is $185 for industry participants, $95 for academic participants, $25 for RIT faculty and staff, and $10 for students. Online registration is available at www.rit.edu/cob/serviceinnovation. For more information, contact Dana Pierce at 585-475-2199 or dpierce@saunders.rit.edu.

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Mitzi Montoya