In this article prof. Federico Adrodegari, Mario Rapaccini, Nicola Saccani and I have for the first time introduced the concept of DPSS (Digital Product-Service System) as a new software category.

This is definitely a minor event to celebrate, but I am still very happy with it. My motto is always “let’s give things a name“. To be able to communicate better, and even “think” about them better. The definition of Digital Product-Service System is a great step forward for us.

But if you are interested in servitization, it matters to you too.

Looking for a name

Let’s take a step back. From day one in Servitly we have been convinced that we were working on a new software category. We started calling it “enterprise software for servitization”. However, we have never been totally satisfied with this definition. The term “software” was too generic and the term “servitization” too broad. Other software could also fall into this category. We tried to find a more suitable name (you can find our tries here), but no one was ever really convincing.

More recently we have been able to deepen our academic studies on servitization. We came across several articles describing how a PSS (Product-Service System) can be empowered by digital technologies. The “empowered” PSS has been named by the authors in several similar ways: Digitally-enabled PSS, Smart PSS or Digitalized PSS. This means that such systems are composed by 2 parts: the “physical” PSS and the “digital” component.

And here is the idea: the software system we are talking about is essentially the digital “companion” of a PSS. It is a software system specialized in the configuration, management and delivery of the digital component of a PSS. We can define it extensively a Digital Product-Service System Management Software, or more briefly: Digital Product-Service System.

Why this name matters to you too

If you are investigating how digital technologies (such as Industrial IoT) can support your servitization journey, knowing the existence of this new concept can be very useful.

First of all because you now have the opportunity to choose between “make” or “subscribe”. On the one hand the option to build or have built your custom Digital PSS. On the other hand the option to use a configurable and ready to use system.

Secondly, even if you opted for “make”, you would still have a benchmark to compare your project with.

Let’s take an example: if you decide that ready-made CRM systems do not suit your needs and you want to build a custom CRM, you still know what the features of a CRM are and you can therefore better define what your particular requirements are.

Likewise, knowing the definition of DPSS and its features allows you to better evaluate and define the requirements of your custom DPSS.

The “Digital PSS” series

This brief remark is only the beginning. With this post we start in fact the “Digital PSS” series: a series of posts that will explain in depth what the DPSS is, what it is for, who its users are, how it integrates with other information systems and IoT technologies.

Stay tuned!