The goal of Services Research at IBM Research-India is to scientifically characterize all aspects of services with the intention of improving the efficiency, agility, and resiliency of service design and delivery.
You may be wondering - what exactly are services and what exactly is Services Research? Let me use an example. Say, a patient went to a hospital with a severe stomach ache. The receptionist has the patient complete the paper-work related logistics; a physician sees the patient and prescribes some tests. Each recommended test is obtained by visiting individual Departments in the hospital; the results are shared with the physician through a document archiving and retrieval system. The physician studies the results and arrives at a diagnosis and prescribes some medication. The patient buys the medication and goes home. The hospital has just delivered a service to the patient through a complex interaction between the hospital staff (people), sophisticated machinery, software, and complex processes.
The purchase of a simple mobile SIM card invokes a complex series of processes before the subscriber can make the first call, a loan application invokes a complex series of processes across multiple organizations before the loan is approved, a retailer selling fashion goods by managing the distribution of the entire life-cycle from conception of the design to manufacturing to distribution and sales, business processes that are delivered on behalf of a client by a partner organization, software delivered as services, are all examples of complex services eco-systems.
Several questions come to mind - What is service quality? Is it observable? Is it controllable? How complex is it to deliver a particular service and are there methods of estimating it? How do we use virtualization to minimize the risk when services are delivered by an organization on behalf of another organization? While there may be common sense approaches to answering these questions, our goal is to characterize and improve the efficiency, agility, and resiliency of services based on tools and approaches from Computer Science, Mathematics, and other areas.
I invite you to explore the exciting work that we are doing in defining this area and in utilizing the results to benefit our clients and society at large.
Helping make service delivery organizations more effective and efficient.
Focusing on creating tools and technologies for the next generation of service engineering.
Exploring and applying the science of human languages expressed in various modalities.