Solution Labs Have Emerged as an Innovative Service Delivery Model, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MARCH 28, 2001 – Solution integrators (SIs) are turning to solution labs to gain competitive advantage in the solution integration industry. According to IDC, the major benefit of solution labs – centralized facilities used for designing, testing, and constructing client solutions – is they improve profitability by lowering costs and increasing operational efficiency. However, knowing when to use a solution lab and which delivery model to follow is as important as deciding to use it.


"By centralizing key resources and technology, solution integrators are able to reuse knowledge, processes, and architectures, which results in the optimization of resources, lower costs, increased employee retention, and improved profitability," said Stehpanie Torto, senior analyst for IDC’s Solution Integration Strategies program. "However, knowing when to use solution labs is key to their effectiveness. Solution labs are ideal when the goal is to deliver repeatable solutions in an accelerated manner."

Three types of service delivery models exist: traditional, dedicated, and hybrid. While traditional models represent all of the solution development being done at the client’s site, dedicated models represent all of it being done in the solution lab. Neither are as popular as the hybrid model. "Given its flexibility and ability to positively impact the sales process, the hybrid model delivers the highest long-terms benefits," Torto said.

According to IDC, technology, people, and expertise are essential ingredients of solution labs. While these components differ in each lab depending on the partnerships and practices of the SI and its clients’ needs, the goal is to create a consistent development environment. "The common denominator among all solution labs is that they are a centralized physical infrastructure. At a time when there is perpetual talk about ‘virtual’ ebusiness environments, solution labs represent the opposite organizational philosophy. For this reason, they can truly be called ‘click and mortar’ facilities," Torto said.

Because SIs and clients alike are still discovering the appealing benefits of this delivery model, IDC believes solution labs’ heyday has yet to come.

IDC’s recently published report The Solutions Assembly Line: A Closer Look at Solution Labs (IDC #B23915) analyzes the emergence of the solution lab as an innovative service-delivery model. Specifically, it explores their impact on service delivery, quality, and profitability and determines their value proposition to solution integrators, now and in the future. To purchase this report, contact at Jim Nagle 1-800-343-4952, extension 4549, or at

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world’s leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.


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