Services and the Humans

Services and the Humans

Adamantios Koumpis (ALTEC Information & Communication Systems S.A., Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-683-9.ch004
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The author examines the various aspects of influence and impact that services have on the humans and vice versa. How an interactive space is created to link both entities – and most importantly – how humans interact with each other through services of all kinds. He examines the starting points of a real world service design and implementation case that is representative of the difficulties that one faces when trying to make practice out of theory. Designing a service that would help people offer and get a better service in the European technology transfer domain is the starting point. He continues examining the users and their particular needs, then looking inside the service mediation process and the various user service scenarios. And concludes with a description of system deployment issues.
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Target Users Of Dilemma Service And Their Information Needs

The Dilemma system targets two different classes of users:

  • A.

    The technology brokers and

  • B.

    The various types of end-users like individual or corporate users, professionals, students, etc.

More specifically the brokers are those who are able to design and operate a full intermediation (i.e. brokerage) service in the technology transfer and innovation exploitation domain, or who can effectively provide the life-cycle management of the service. Within the framework of DILEMMA, technology brokers are represented by IRCs which will act as operators of their system, as well as users (privileged) of remote IRCs or other kind of technology brokers (i.e. consultants). The end-users on the other hand are all other entities that wish to offer technology innovations, search for technology solutions, invest in technology ideas etc.

Recognizing the vital importance to Europe of innovation, technology transfer and Europe-wide collaboration, the European Community has provided extensive funding over many years to set up a strong co-operating network of IRCs to strengthen Europe’s performance in these critical areas. Europe’s future prosperity depends on how well it succeeds in this task. And yet, from the perspective of most end-users, this huge investment has under-performed – for a number of reasons not totally within the control of the IRCs themselves. The Dilemma project was set up principally as a response to the main weaknesses in the system by providing a major tool based on the IRC’s own knowledge of the weak points and how these could be addressed. It ensures effective access to data, information and knowledge and supports easy, secure collaboration work across the entire network. The consortium’s aim is to have, at the end of the project, a really effective tool that will be in demand by the majority or all of the IRCs due to its powerful and easy access to resources and its strong support for inter-IRC networking. The end result of the Dilemma project is therefore to secure and underpin the existing enormous Community investment in the IRC system and, equally important, to ensure that investment achieves its original aims.

For the Dilemma project the end users are divided into two categories: the core users and the other users. The core end-users are individuals and companies that either offer or request technology information. All other potential (types of) users are considered to be other end-users that provide or search for enabling services, like funding, statistical information on technology directions, technology events, such as:

  • Consulting agencies and companies may use the Dilemma as a source of knowledge in the implementation of their clients’ projects as they can find information on the recent trends in a given technological area;

  • Entrepreneurs, the system will help them disseminate and collect information on new technologies and technology trends. Using the system they can find suitable financial resources in order to implement their ideas for new products and technologies or to acquire such technologies in their production;

  • Researchers will use the Dilemma to search for partners for joint projects, for opportunities to finance the pilot stage of new products and processes, or for companies where they can introducee new technologies, etc.

  • Financial institutions will find broad information on different investment opportunities in existing enterprises or in development of new perspective technologies. The Dilemma will be be of use for the venture capitalists (VCs), since these kind of companies are interested in investing in new technology based firms, or innovators are usually seeking for them for funding.

The above can be public organizations and funding agents; public organizations might for example monitor the evolution of the technology in the country/region and propose actions accordingly (encouragement laws, creation of specialized parks, new education directions etc). Investor agents, be they private persons, private organizations (e.g. banks) or even public organizations (e.g. central or regional development authorities or ministries) might look for information for possible investment in new ideas.

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