The primary objective of a service company should be to focus on the development a system solution that is uniquely suited to the idiosyncrasies of the client’s business without being tethered by particular product solution offerings. A big part of this is the ability to deploy technologies from appropriate sources using integration and engineering skills to achieve a superior result for the client. Service businesses need to have effective and refined project, personnel, and quality management systems. The growth and effectiveness of these businesses is directly related to adding and managing smart people and this is a unique business proficiency mastered by successful service organizations. Pure service businesses have an advantage of successfully maintaining alliances with a range of product vendors that cannot be logically achieved by product vendors who provide services. This separation positions a pure service business to use best of breed and get the most out of vendors. For comparison, consider you are a smartphone user and the only place to get apps was your phone hardware vendor.
The dynamics of a service business and innovative product business are dramatically different. Established product companies tend to emphasize the practices and culture they know best when they move into services. The tendency is to find synergies based on their products that become the recommended solutions for customers. Additionally, it can be more difficult for a product company who provides services to be the champion for the customer when there is a problem with the product being implemented.
Ideal Product Company Focus
I believe that product companies should always be striving to eliminate implementation and operations labor with improved and innovative automation technology. There is an inherent conflict by having a company that provides services and products.