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Product Configuration Management in ICT Companies: The Practitioners’ Perspective

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DOI: 10.4236/ti.2011.24028    5,220 Downloads   9,528 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

This article studies practical challenges experienced by ICT (Information and Communication Technology) companies when managing product configuration under the circumstances of various customer requirements, different product portfolios, and extensive product complexity. The analysis from interview results concentrates on the prioritised issues and how to ensure effective product configuration from practitioners’ perspective. The results of this study indicate that typical challenges for product configuration formalisation include fuzzy product offering, lack of configuration strategy, mechanisms, and general product structure. This research highlights the need for industrial managers to adapt a top-down approach starting from business and strategy, instead of focusing on the challenges of single products when formalising product configuration. Companies need systematic configuration logic over their entire product portfolio and not to focus only single product variant options. Consequently, they need to define a generic product structure to support product configurations that covers all product types such as hardware, software and services. This study also highlights the need for better formalization of service products since they have become an integral part of ICT products. These findings are derived from actual business circumstances and their current difficulties.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

H. Kropsu-Vehkapera, H. Haapasalo, O. Jaaskelainen and K. Phusavat, "Product Configuration Management in ICT Companies: The Practitioners’ Perspective," Technology and Investment, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2011, pp. 273-285. doi: 10.4236/ti.2011.24028.

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