As most of the companies in the field of energy originate from technological backgrounds, their businesses are built to exploit innovative technologies. Entrepreneurs will not only need to adjust their business model. Training or developing complementary servicing skills or capabilities is a key success factor. Previous research found the following capabilities to be crucial when running a service-oriented business:
Sensing: the ability to continuously retrieve relevant insights from the end user and other stakeholders.
Conceptualising: the ability to translate relevant user insights into valuable propositions or adjustments in propositions.
Orchestration: the ability to provide a ‘seamless’ and valuable service: from the orientation phase, to purchase, use and renewal. This often also requires other forms of collaborating with partners.
Stretching / scaling: the ability to tap new niches and to be able to anticipate developments.
However, developing one’s own business model and the right capabilities is not enough. Both service- and product-oriented business models operate in a broader context: a system. This system consists of many stakeholders, like policy makers, lawmakers, researchers, financial institutions, competitors, end users and other stakeholders that are of influence. These stakeholders play an important, sometimes even decisive role, in the creation and uptake of energy services. However, their role might not always be supporting or stimulating of the success of new services. Our research has shown that funding, subsidy, rules and legislation, as well as other forms of support, have been developed to support the creation and uptake of single products and technologies, not services. Many instruments and measures need to be adjusted or rethought to become what they aim to be. Supporting the uptake of successful energy services and integrated product/technology systems. We are lacking a service-supporting energy system.
Task 25 focuses on this system:
A service-supporting system consists of players and instruments that are designed to support new user-friendly energy services: backed up with service-oriented business models, created by entrepreneurs equipped with proper service-oriented capabilities. Only then will new energy services flourish.