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Migrating from products to solutions: An exploration of system support in the UK defense industry

Kapletia, Dharm; Probert, David


Dharm Kapletia

David Probert


This article explores the acquisition of business solutions in complex systems environments, through insights drawn from current literature and a study of the UK defense industry. We seek to counter-balance the dominance of literature focusing on the supplier perspective, as well as provide richer distinctions between different kinds of system suppliers involved in providing business solutions. We do this through the detailed examination of customer support offerings and business relationships that exist at the system customer-supplier interface. Our findings provide a map of solutions models that exist in the UK defense context. These include: (1) product system support, (2) life cycle product system support, (3) functional system support, and (4) enterprise system support. Using these models, we highlight the continued relevance of a product orientation and the challenges involved in adopting a true customer orientation when delivering business solutions. System suppliers seeking to reposition from the supply of product system support towards more integrated and customer-oriented forms of support require a significant organizational step change.


Kapletia, D., & Probert, D. (2010). Migrating from products to solutions: An exploration of system support in the UK defense industry. Industrial Marketing Management, 39(4), 582-592.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 1, 2010
Deposit Date May 21, 2020
Journal Industrial Marketing Management
Print ISSN 0019-8501
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 4
Pages 582-592
Public URL